Rose Gold is an incredibly popular option among ‘brides and grooms to be’ for their engagement rings and wedding bands. In an effort to make better shopping decisions, many go online looking for answers to the following question …
What are the pros and cons of Rose Gold Engagement Rings?
The Pros of Rose Gold:
- Complementary of Many Skin Tones
- Often More Affordable
- Low Maintenance
- More Durable
- Vintage Look
- More Distinctive
- Complements Stones Like Morganite
- Used By Both Men and Women
The Cons of Rose Gold:
- Limited Selection
- Repairs Can Be More Difficult
- Not Hypoallergenic
- Risk of Color Clash
Before diving into deeper detail on the pros and cons listed above, I feel like I should quickly cover some basics. I’ll explain how Rose Gold is made, and what the various purity options are. Once you have that foundational understanding, that full list of benefits and drawbacks will should a lot more sense.
Understanding Rose Gold
Rose Gold, which is sometimes also referred to as Pink Gold or Red Gold, is a manufactured metal. There are no gold mines where Rose Gold or White Gold are mined from the earth. All gold starts out as yellow gold.
Pure gold is a very soft metal. How soft? Have you ever seen someone bite a gold coin and then look at it to see if it’s real? That’s something you’ve probably seen on television a time or two. It’s a real thing! Pure gold is so soft that biting it with your teeth can easily leave imprints in the metal. Lots of other things in your everyday environment are also hard enough to scrape and scar pure gold.
To protect it, harder metals can be added to a mixture along with yellow gold. Various ratios of gold to these other metal alloys can produce gold of various hardness and colors.
Copper is a common ingredient in gold that’s less than 24k. In fact, it’s almost always the second highest ingredient (after yellow gold). Rose Gold has a higher percentage of its metal mixture comprised of Copper. This is the reason that Copper takes on a pinkish or reddish tone. The shade depends on the percentage of the mixture that’s made up of Copper.
When more Copper is added, the mixture becomes harder and redder. The less Copper that’s added, the softer and pinker the mixture becomes.
24k (or 24 karat) gold is pure gold—with NO other metals mixed in. It’s ALWAYS yellow gold. Any number that’s smaller than 24 (like you’ll see with 18k, 14k, 12k, or 10k), will have some amount of other non-gold metals mixed in. The LOWER the number before the ‘k,’ the HIGHER the percentage of non-gold metals that were added to the mixture.
12 karat (12k) gold, for example, is 50% yellow gold and 50% other metal additives. 18k is 75% yellow gold and 25% other metals
This information is important to understand because you’ll have several different purity options to choose from as you shop and compare rings. Each of those different purities will have an impact on the hardness AND COLOR of your Rose Gold.
Now that you have some of the basics down, let’s go ahead and look at some of the detail behind the list that I shared earlier. We’ll touch on the positive aspects first.
The Pros of Rose Gold:
The benefits of Rose Gold could include all of the following. The importance and value of each of the following issues will be higher or lower for each individual, depending on their needs and preferences.
Complementary of Many Skin Tones
Rose Gold has a warm coloring. Many people love the way rose gold compliments the tone of their skin. That’s true for people with a wide variety of skin tones. It’s not the kind of thing that only looks good against one very particular type of skin tone.
Again, the color of Rose Gold varies depending on how pure the gold is. 18k gold is more pure, so it will have a pink tint to it. 10k Rose Gold is much less pure. It has more Copper added, making it redder, and more copper-like in appearance.
Often More Affordable
While Rose Gold costs a lot more than options like Sterling Silver or Stainless Steel, it is less expensive than other common alternatives—like Platinum. Because Rose Gold has other non-gold metals (like Copper) mixed in, it’s cheaper to produce than 24k yellow gold.
With gold trading at about $1,500/ounce, the substitution of Copper for some of the gold in the Rose Gold alloy can lead to some SERIOUS savings!
Unlike White Gold, Rose Gold doesn’t have any surface plating. It has the same metal mixture all the way through the ring. Plating can wear through pretty quickly, especially when there isn’t a very thick layer applied. When plating wears through, a jeweler has to apply it, which comes at a cost.
Since Rose Gold has no plating, it won’t need to have a surface layer reapplied periodically. That makes it a much more durable kind of ring to own for the long term!
Hardness means scratch resistance. Who wants to wear a scratched up engagement ring or wedding band…especially one you paid a lot of money for? Because Rose Gold contains such a high percentage of Copper, it tends to be harder than other gold options.
As I mentioned earlier darker colored Rose Gold rings, the ones that have a reddish look to them, are harder than the ones that have a light pink tone. The darker ones contain a higher percentage of Copper…so they’re harder and more scratch-resistant.
Again, those darker Rose Gold rings will often be 10k gold. 14k will be a little lighter, and 18k will be lighter still. Here’s a 14k Rose Gold and Diamond engagement ring that balances value and durability beautifully.
Darker Rose Gold can have a cool vintage kind of look to it. That’s brought out even more if oxidation happens in the ring because of the high Copper content. Some people love the look…and even TRY to speed the process of developing that look and style for their Rose Gold ring and jewelry.
Rose Gold rings are less common than Yellow or White Gold rings. That can help a Rose Gold engagement ring to feel all the more distinctive and unique. In addition, Rose Gold offers an incredibly wide range of color options. Because color is influenced by the type and quantity of non-gold metals that get mixed in, Rose Gold’s coloring can vary a lot from one manufacturer to another.
That color variation makes a Rose Gold ring much more unique. While there are others wearing Rose Gold rings, it’s unlikely that the shade of their ring will exactly match yours in most cases.
Complements Stones Like Morganite
The warm pinkish tone of Rose Gold can make Morganite look AMAZING! Morganite has coloring that typically involves shades of pink and peach. When the Morganite and Rose Gold is paired with tiny diamonds, set as accent stones or a halo, the Rose Gold and Morganite pairing pops even more! Here’s a great example of this type of ring. Notice how the Morganite and the Rose Gold complement each other so well!
Morganite is far from the ONLY kind of stone that Rose Gold can look incredible with, but it’s definitely one of my favorite pairings!
Used By Both Men and Women
Pink isn’t JUST for the ladies. It’s not uncommon to see a man rocking a pink shirt or a pink tie these days.
Similarly, men have been adopting Rose Gold in record numbers. There have been LOTS of articles in the media about men rushing out to grab Rose Gold Beats Headphones or a Rose Gold iPhone for example. Gadget manufacturers struggle to keep up with demand from both their male and female customers!
Watches and wedding bands are other areas where many men are embracing Rose Gold. Some couples even decide to get coordinating Rose Gold rings so they match!
The Cons of Rose Gold:
It can’t ALL be good news with Rose Gold, can it? No, as with anything, there are a few areas that may be considered drawbacks for some. I’ll outline the common ones below.
Jewelers offer more ring designs in Yellow Gold or White Gold. That means that you could stumble upon the perfect ring design, and then find that it isn’t even offered in Rose Gold.
There are still LOTS of rings available in Rose Gold…it’s just not EVERY ring.
Repairs Can Be More Difficult
You may have a harder time finding a jeweler to do resizing and repairs for your Rose Gold Ring. Working on a Rose Gold ring means trying to match the original metal color. It’s tough to get that exactly right! Because of that difficulty, some jewelers won’t even try.
While some jewelers turn away work on Rose Gold rings, others gladly welcome it! There are many jewelers that do a great deal of work with Rose Gold. If you don’t have a jeweler like that in your area, you can always mail your ring to a jeweler located in another city or state.
There are very reputable, and qualified, jewelers online that you can get help from if needed. Check their feedback on Google, and look them up with the BBB, to ensure they don’t have any disturbing complaints from past clients.
There really are some quality options out there. Finding one online shouldn’t be difficult.
Some people have allergic reactions when their skin comes in contact with certain metals. Allergies to Nickel seem most common. While Rose Gold generally doesn’t contain Nickel, it DOES contain metals other than just yellow gold.
Because of this, people with sensitivity to the metals that are mixed in, like Copper, for example, could have skin reactions when they wear it. The less pure the Rose Gold is, the more likely it is to cause problems for those with sensitive skin. The majority of the gold mixture for 10k gold is made up of non-gold metals, so it’s the most likely, of the common Rose Gold options, to trigger a reaction. 14k is a level of purity that seems to be safe for most people with mild sensitivity. 18k is an even safer bet. There are those with extreme sensitivity that can’t wear Rose Gold at all though.
Risk of Color Clash
When you pair gems like Aquamarine or Orange Tourmaline with Rose Gold, the colors can easily clash. A reddish or pinkish gold just won’t match every possible center stone. That’s not a big deal, but it’s something you need to be conscious of—especially if you’re ordering a custom ring online.
Yellow gold can also clash with certain colorful gems. White gold, on the other hand, is such a neutral background, that it can really be worn with any kind of center stone without concern of color conflict.
Rose Gold is a beautiful metal. It’s not without its limitations and challenges, but all things considered, it can be a great overall value for engagement rings! Eye-catching, distinctive, and durable, Rose Gold is a metal that’s certainly worth considering for your engagement ring.