Ring Guides

Learn About Rose Gold

A rich and warm pinky-golden colour, rose gold has surged in popularity in recent years and has become the metal of choice amongst contemporary tastes. Learn more about rose gold metal, what it is made up of and the history behind this unique metal colour.

What is rose gold?

Rose gold is a pink-tinted metal type used to create fine jewellery. Somewhere between a yellow and red tone, rose gold is an enchanting, pinkish sunset hue, regarded for its warmth and unique appeal. Rose gold metal is created by adding copper to gold, with a touch of silver to desaturate and balance the severity of the colour. The resulting rosy colour is what gives rose gold its alternative name, ‘pink gold’.

Rose gold metal can consist of differing quantities of gold, copper and silver. Most commonly, engagement rings and fine jewellery will be created with 18K or 14K rose gold.

Which metals make up 18K rose gold?

18K rose gold contains 75% pure gold, 20% copper, and 5% silver. Copper gives the otherwise yellow gold its pink tone, which the silver dilutes the intensity of a little, whilst also strengthening the rose gold alloy. The is no such thing as pure rose gold, and the only gold colour found naturally is yellow.

Diagram showing which metals make up rose gold

What's the difference between 18K and 14K rose gold?

The terms ‘18K’ and ‘14K’ refer to the purity of the gold within a gold-based alloy, in this case, rose gold. 24K is the purest form of gold, which is deemed too garish in colour and too soft in durability for fine jewellery. The metals copper and silver are added to pure gold to create rose gold metal. In the right quantities, this will make the rose gold perfectly toned and adequately durable for everyday wear.

14K rose gold contains 58% pure gold. With a greater ratio of copper and silver to gold, 14K rose gold has a paler, brighter pink colour, and is a little more resistant to scratching. 18K rose gold contains 75% pure gold, so has a richer pinky-gold tone, and is a little softer than 14K rose gold. The difference in durability between 18K and 14K rose gold metal is minimal, but you may notice a difference in the richness of colour. 18K tends to be the preferred colour intensity for rose gold rings.

The Queensmith standard is 18K rose gold, however, we can create 14K rose gold rings on request. Get in touch to learn more.

The history of rose gold

Rose gold metal is a relatively modern metal alloy compared to both yellow gold and platinum. Rose gold was first created and used for fine jewellery in the mid to late 19th Century in Russia. Used within Carl Faberge’s famous, ornate Faberge Eggs, rose gold became known as 'Russian gold'. Since, rose gold has gradually risen in popularity, but remains the lesser-chosen metal for today’s engagement rings.

Modern in contrast to yellow gold and platinum, which were commonly used for jewellery creation in antiquity, rose gold is a great choice for contemporary engagement ring designs, or to give an otherwise traditional ring a modern flare.

Popular rose gold ring designs

How much does rose gold cost?

The metal work for a rose gold ring starts at £700, for a simple solitaire ring design. With the addition of a 0.30ct, quality diamond, you’ll find a well-made rose gold ring starts from around £1,300. The cost of your rose gold ring will depend on the design, and therefore the metal and workshop hours needed to craft it, and more prominently, on the size and number of diamonds or precious gemstones used.

Until recently, rose gold rings have retailed at a lower cost than platinum, but now you’ll find rose gold and platinum rings cost the same price.

Is rose gold real gold?

Yes, rose gold is real gold - but it is not a naturally occurring gold, like yellow gold is. Rose gold metal is an alloy that consists of pure gold, copper and silver. Unlike pure gold, rose gold is not naturally occurring, nor is there such a thing a pure rose gold metal. Rose gold is, however, created by combining the perfect proportions of other natural metals, to create an aesthetically alluring and durable metal.


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Why choose a rose gold ring?

Rose gold will make a modern ring design look sleek and contemporary. Although rose gold is a modern metal, that doesn’t mean it should be restricted to modern engagement ring designs only; rose gold can give an otherwise traditional ring an unusual and contemporary twist.

The rosy tone of rose gold can provide certain ring designs a feminine quality, the shade adding an ethereal quality to such designs as cluster halo and diamond shoulder rings. The more simple the design, the more contemporary and bold the rose gold metal will appear.

View the pros and cons of rose gold in the table below.

Pros of Rose Gold Cons of Rose Gold
As the least commonly chosen metal, it is unique and charming - and you're less likely to see someone with the same ring Non-hypoallergenic, due to the presence of copper - meaning some people have allergic reactions, although this is rare
More copper makes it marginally more durable that yellow and white gold Colourless diamonds can pick up and reflect the colour of the metal within the stone. This can be combatted with platinum claws on an otherwise rose gold ring
Does not tarnish or need plating, like white gold does
Warming and flattering for most skin tones
Contrasts beautifully with gemstones, and perfectly compliments tonally similar stones like pink sapphires

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

Get in touch with our experts - we’re on hand to help.

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