Updated March 2022
Juliet famously proclaimed"What's in a name? That which we call a rose, by any other name would smell as sweet." as she waxed poetic about Romeo.
In jewelry, gold is glorious in all its shades. But one as sweet as its name is the romantic rose gold.
In the early days, rose gold was known as Russian gold. This was because it was first used in Russia, in the early 19th century by Carl Fabergé (yes, of the Fabergé Eggs). Fabergé used rose gold to accentuate his intricate creations. The name Russian gold gave way to rose gold along the way, as it became popular all over the world.
Whilst yellow gold has always been associated with luxury, white gold and rose gold have gone through ups and downs in popularity.
The Great Gatsby movie might have influenced your vision board with flushes of yellow gold, but white gold reigned supreme during the era. The Art Deco era of the 1920’s was an era of opulence and decadence, with striking designs still talked about today. It's known for its sleek geometric patterns and symmetry, and vivid colors. Jewelers of the era were very creative in their design, and often used rose gold as a way to accentuate their creations with warmth and femininity.
But as World War II unfolded, platinum was considered vital for war efforts, like use in engines. Many countries had restricted its use, and some had even outright prohibited its use. This was when yellow gold and rose gold rose back in popularity.
In case you wondered whether rose gold is real gold - it is! The blush rosey color is because of the other metals gold is mixed with. You see, gold actually comes in a super intense yellow color. To make rose gold, gold is mixed with copper. On its own, copper is a reddish brown metal with a strong pink undertone. When mixed with gold, copper gives the gold that signature blush.
Since rose gold is an alloy, you’ll notice how different jewelers have different shades of rose gold - some lands towards the golden side, while others are more reddish. This depends on how much copper is added in it. Lower karat rose gold alloys contain more copper, and will therefore be more pink. 14k rose gold looks more pink than 18k rose gold, because 18 karat gold has more gold in it (75% gold content) than 14 karat gold (58.5% gold content).
At Gardens of the Sun, we use 18k gold. So our rose gold consists of 75% ethical gold. The color of the rose gold we have in stock is quite soft, and not glaringly bright - a lovely shade of subtle.
Alright - so you’ve seen where the hype for rose gold came from. But why rose gold? Here’s the skinny on why rose gold tops other metal colors!
Looks flattering on most skin colors.
Since it has a neutral undertone, it looks good on both warm-toned or cool-toned skin colors. However, if you have a lot of red undertones, be cautious since rose gold may accentuate the redness in your skin.
A stronger metal thanks to copper.
Gold is soft, and copper can give gold its much needed durability. However, copper on its own will tarnish quickly and can turn green. So if you’re thinking about rose gold vs copper, rose gold is where it’s at.
Looks awesome with warm-toned or cool-toned gemstones.
Some stones just look better in rose gold. No doubt.
A chic and feminine statement.
Rose gold elevates the entire feel of the ring, without adding too much drama.
Should you get a rose gold engagement ring? Rose gold rings for women are a thing, and continue to be a trend in 2022.
Rose gold will elevate the look of a plain and minimalist engagement, making it an ideal choice for modern brides. If you think rose gold blends nicely with the color and undertone of your skin, we’d say go for it! Since rose gold is a durable metal, it makes a great engagement ring for everyday wear.
That being said - remember rose gold goes in and out of fashion for a reason. If you love rose gold but aren’t sure you’ll continue wearing rose gold, or if you’re getting your girlfriend an engagement ring but she normally wears silver or yellow gold, a rose gold engagement ring isn’t for you. Instead, consider getting a rose gold statement piece, like a cocktail ring, to sizzle up the party every now and then.
So how about rose gold as the ring of your lifetime? Is rose gold a good choice for a wedding band?
Think about this:
Your wedding band isn’t a fashion piece. So choose a metal color which works best for you on any given day, and any mood. Ideally, the metal of your wedding band matches the jewelry you like to wear on a day to day basis.
aka which gemstones go well with rose gold?
Think rose gold will soon go out of style? With so many elegant and chic looks to create with rose gold, you’ll see more of this unique trend in 2022. Here’s what we see trending in 2022:
Rose gold brings out the dusky blushes of warmer toned gemstones. Rose gold morganite rings are a favorite in our studio. Various shades of garnet, mauve spinel, plum colored or blue sapphire, rubellite (a vibrant pink shade of tourmaline), kunzite, andesine or pink beryl… Rose gold jewelry is luxurious in the way your first morning stretch after a good night sleep feels luxurious.
Classic colors such as white or gray can look stunning on rose gold. Think of a rose gold ring with pearls for a posh and feminine piece. A brilliant white diamond ring with rose gold or its salt and pepper counterpart also adds a pop of sparkle to the whole look. It’s a wonderful balance of cool and warm.
One of my favorite rose gold combinations involves a cool, lavender hued spinel, accentuated with sparkling Canadian diamonds. If you’re looking to play around with color tones, consider a custom opal and diamond ring in rose gold. Opals have always been a popular pairing with rose gold as it can be both cool and warm in color. Crystal opals and opals with predominantly blue color work best with rose gold.
With various chic levels to play with, you’d think that rose gold is more expensive than yellow gold. Well, it’s a bit more complex than that. The price depends on the purity of the gold (aka the gold content), rather than on the color of the gold (aka the alloy mixed with the gold).
If a rose gold ring has more gold and less copper, it’ll be more expensive. After all, gold is a lot more valuable than copper. If the rose gold ring contains less gold and more copper, it’ll be cheaper.
So an 18 karat rose gold ring will be more expensive than a 14 karat rose gold ring, since it has a higher gold content. However, an 18 karat rose gold ring should be similar in price to an 18 karat yellow gold ring.
How pink your rose gold is depends on the copper:gold ratio. As a quick rule of thumb, the less karat your rose gold jewelry is, the higher the copper content will be, the pinker it is.
Did you know sapphires were often paired with rose gold in Victorian era England? You can still find plenty of heirloom jewelry using rich blue sapphires mined in India set in rose gold from the era.
We put our own spin on the rose gold and sapphire combination in this ring set. Featuring pastel toned sapphires ethically sourced from Montana, USA, and Sri Lanka.
Pro design tip:
Go with your gut instinct. When you’re designing a gold ring, the most important thing is to love the elements that go into it. From stone choice, to metal colors, to any additional design elements you want to add to your ring, at the end of the day the most important thing is that you love it.
And remember we’ve got your back! Feel free to ask our team for a mockup of your preferred metal with the gemstone or diamond of your choice.
For the ultimate ethical rose gold ring check out our Custom Borneo Sapphires. Both the gold and sapphires are mined by indigenous Dayak miners using low impact methods.
Don’t stop here