Rose Gold Engagement Rings - What Makes Gold “Pink”?


The other day, one of our customers was looking at rose gold engagement rings and asked:

“Yellow gold is the best, right? Because it’s more pure?”

We covered this in-depth in our article about different precious metal qualities, but I think it’s important to address it here specifically in the context of rose gold engagement rings because rose gold has become so popular over the past few years.

Are Rose Gold Engagement Rings “Less Pure” Than Yellow Gold Engagement Rings?

If you’re thinking about buying a rose gold engagement ring, the first thing you should know is that the color of the gold does not impact its purity; the karat “fineness” is what describes its purity.

For example: 14k white gold, 14k yellow gold, and 14k rose gold all contain the same amount of gold.

24 karat gold is pure gold, which is always yellow. But any gold that is less 24 karat (most fine jewelry is made with 14 karat or 18 karat gold) contains alloy metals that strengthen it for everyday wear and change its color.

So is a 14k rose gold engagement ring “less pure” (or less fine, is the technical term) than 24 karat, pure yellow gold? Yes. But it’s just as pure as a 14k yellow gold engagement ring. 

What Makes Rose Gold Engagement Rings “Pink”?

As described above, most engagement rings are made of either 14k or 18 gold which means there are alloy metals in all gold jewelry.

These alloy metals strengthen the gold for everyday wear (because pure 24k gold is too soft to be worn as jewelry), and the specific alloy metals used are what dictate the color of the gold. 

The dominant alloy in rose gold engagement rings is copper, which is gives it a “pink” color when mixed with the yellow gold and other alloy metals.

There is actually a spectrum of color from red gold to pink gold to rose gold which varies by the amount of copper used.

image of gold color spectrum

image source: wikipedia

(this truth is the same with white gold, but the alloy metals used are white metals like nickel and palladium)

Rose Gold Engagement Rings - Wrap Up

Rose gold engagement rings have become popular in recent years. They offer a beautiful alternative to traditional yellow and white gold, and rose gold is stunning backdrop for sparkling diamonds.

If you’re thinking about buying a rose gold engagement ring, rest assured that if you purchase a 14 karat or 18 karat rose gold engagement ring from a jeweler you trust, you’re getting a gold engagement ring that is just as pure (or “fine”) as a 14k or 18k yellow gold engagement ring.

If you’re shopping for a rose gold engagement ring in the Four Corners area, come see us here at Garcia & Co. Jewelers in Farmington NM.

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