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Rose gold jewelry was a fixture of the Victorian era. However demand began dwindling with the onset of the 20th century. Fads work in cycles and appreciation for rose gold has now returned. Today, rose gold is commonly used in the manufacturing of jewelry. But what exactly is rose gold? And more importantly, is it right for you?

Is Rose Gold Real Gold?

Rose gold is a mixture of yellow gold, silver, and copper. The copper used in the manufacturing of rose gold jewelry is primarily responsible for its unique color. The more copper present in a piece of rose gold jewelry, the more red it will appear.

There is no set gold content for rose gold jewelry. Lower-karat rose gold contains only a small amount of yellow gold. It mainly consists of silver and copper. 10-karat rose gold jewelry, for example, is made up of 41.7% pure gold. The remaining 58.3% is composed of alloy. If keeping costs to a minimum is your main concern, then low-karat rose gold is your best option.

If you have more flexibility in your budget, then 14-karat, 18-karat and even 22-karat alternatives are options. 22-karat rose gold is often referred to as "crown gold". Boasting 91.7% gold, it's the purest form of rose gold available. 24-karat rose gold, which would be virtually 100% pure, does not exist.

Despite what many people assume, rose gold jewelry is no less pure than a yellow gold alternative. 18-karat rose gold, for example, contains just as much gold as 18-karat yellow gold.

Rose Gold Bracelet

Pros and Cons of Rose Gold

You'll find the most noteworthy pros and cons outlined below.

Pros

The renewed popularity of rose gold isn't all that surprising. After all, rose gold jewelry boasts an array of advantages over its yellow and white gold counterparts.

Durable

One of the great advantages of rose gold jewelry is its durability. Copper is a remarkably resilient material and it's resistant to scratches and scrapes. While blemishes do occur with copper jewelry, they can be easily removed. The presence of copper in rose gold makes it much more durable than many other types of gold.

Yellow and white gold jewelry is often rhodium plated. Rhodium plating is a popular means of protecting jewelry from common threats. But it's not an affordable option. Furthermore, rhodium-coated jewelry requires re-plating every couple of years which adds to the cost. With its high copper content, rose gold does not require rhodium plating. Because of its resilience, it's often used in jewelry intended for daily wear. For example many engagement rings utilize rose gold.

Affordable

Rose gold jewelry is an affordable alternative to other types of gold jewelry. Although equally pure, a 14-karat rose gold ring will cost you less than a 14-karat yellow or white gold alternative. This makes rose gold the best option for those shopping for gold jewelry on a budget.

Versatile

Certain kinds of gold work best with certain outfits, and rose gold boasts unrivalled versatility. It works just as well when paired with jeans and a t-shirt as it does when paired with something more formal. Rose gold jewelry will not look out of place regardless of your outfit or skin tone.

Rose Gold Flower Earrings

Cons

Rose gold is not without its potential drawbacks. There are a few drawbacks that you should be aware of before making a purchase.

Allergens

The copper in rose gold is responsible for its durability, which is perhaps its greatest selling point. However, it's also responsible for the biggest con of rose gold jewelry. Certain materials used in the manufacturing of jewelry are allergens, and copper is one of them. If you suffer from a skin condition, then this type of jewelry could potentially aggravate it.

Darkening

Despite the presence of silver, rose gold jewelry does not tarnish. But it does have a tendency to darken. This is once again because of the copper used in its manufacturing. Over time, the copper in rose gold jewelry loses its shine. When this happens, the entire jewelry piece darkens. It's worth noting that some people like the darkened look.

There is little that can be done to prevent rose gold jewelry from losing its shine. Thankfully, darkening can be minimized if you choose the right jewelry. High-karat rose gold contains a larger quantity of yellow gold. It's therefore less affected by dimming copper. While darkening will still occur, it will hardly be noticeable on 18-karat or 22-karat rose gold.

Caring for Rose Gold

Rose gold can become damaged if not properly cared for. To protect your rose gold jewelry from threats, be sure to store it somewhere safe when not wearing it. A jewelry box is the best option. However, you can also just keep your jewelry in the box that it came in.

To clean a piece of rose gold jewelry, fill a non-metallic bowl with warm water. Next you can either add baking soda or soap. If you choose to add soap, use just enough to create a lather. Place your jewelry into the water for a couple of seconds before removing and inspecting it. Repeat this process until all dirt has been eradicated. Using a cotton cloth, gently dab your jewelry until it's dry and ready to be worn or stashed away.

You can also take your piece to a jeweler in order to get a deeper clean.

14K Rose Gold Ring

Conclusion

Rose gold went out of style once before. For this reason, some people are reluctant to purchase rose gold jewelry today. But even if it's still just a fad, it's on track to become more popular than ever before. With such a great abundance of rose gold items, it seems unlikely that it will be cast aside as it was in the past. In addition, Rose gold has a lot of advantages. It blends perfectly with virtually all skin tones and outfits, and it's more versatile than traditional yellow and white gold. Meanwhile, its low price makes gold jewelry a possibility for the many people who couldn't afford it in the past.