A modern and stylish choice
Rose gold engagement rings offer a classic and elegant alternative to white and yellow gold. Although it’s definitely the least common type of gold, rose gold’s popularity has increase hugely in the past 10 years as people realise that it offers an unusual and stunning combination.
In this section we’ll look at
- A little bit of technical info about rose gold, so you know what it is that you’re buying
- What’s good about rose gold engagement rings
- What’s not so good about rose gold engagement rings
- A selection of ring settings for you to choose from
At the end you should have everything you need to know to make an informed choice about rose gold engagement rings, as well as some inspiration for choosing your ring.
What is rose gold?
Pure gold is known as 24 carat gold, which means that 24 out of 24 parts of the gold mixture are actually gold. So, the whole lot then. Common gold alloys that are used in jewelry are:
- 18 karat gold = 18 / 24 = 75% gold
- 14 karat gold = 14 / 24 = 58.3% gold
- 10 karat gold = 10 / 24 = 41.7% gold
- 9 karat gold = 9 / 24 = 37.5% gold
Rose gold alloys are made with a mixture of yellow gold, copper and silver or zinc, although the actual proportions of each metal in the final rose gold depends on the karat rating. Typically 18 karat rose gold will have 75% gold, 4% silver, and 21% copper.
Make up of 18ct rose gold
Rose gold color
Pure gold is a deep yellow color and pure copper is reddish, so rose gold falls somewhere between the two. The copper tint adds warmth and depth to the naturally yellow colour of gold, and the higher the amount of copper, the more pronounced the red color.
14 karat rose gold has a higher proportion of copper in it and a lower proportion of gold than 18 karat rose gold, which gives it a darker hue.
What’s good about rose gold engagement rings?
One of the biggest advantages of rose gold is that it is distinctive. Although it has become more popular over the last 10 years, it’s still much less common than either white colored (white gold or platinum) or yellow goldengagement rings. This means that you’re unlikely to find many people with the same engagement ring – rose gold is a great choice for those who value individuality.
Rose gold can also give classic engagement ring designs a new lease of life – it makes the solitaire setting on the right look much more modern and up to date.
While tradition dictates that yellow gold suits ‘cool’ skin tones best and white jewelry suits ‘warm’ skin tones, rose gold’s color looks equally good on any skin tone.
Rose gold is also extremely flexible with what it can be worn with. While it’s generally considered not-the-done-thing to mix wearing gold and silver jewelry at the same time, rose gold can be worn with any color of jewelry and will complement it all.
A key difference between rose gold and white gold is that the color of rose gold will never fade, unlike white gold’s color.
To make white gold white, gold is first combined with copper, nickel and zinc and then covered with a thin layer of another metal – rhodium – which gives it the bright white finish. Rose gold’s warm color isn’t a result of a surface finish – it comes from the mixture of yellow gold and copper in the alloy.
This is an important difference because while the white of white gold can wear away, meaning that white gold engagement rings need to be taken into jewelers every two years to be replated with rhodium, the warm rich colors of rose gold won’t fade. The color is ‘baked in’ to the metal, so even 20 years from the day you purchase, your ring will still look just as beautiful.
What’s not so good about rose gold engagement rings?
Fashion is temporary
Rose gold first became fashionable in Russia in the mid-19th century, before making its way over to the West in mid-Victorian times. It remained popular up until the rise of the ‘art deco’ school of design in the 1930s, which prioritised monochrome and geometric designs. This meant that white colored metals, particularly platinum, dominated jewelry design, and the fancier rose and yellow tones of gold fell out of fashion.
The reason for bringing the history of rose gold up is that it has fallen out of fashion in the past – for 60 years – and it’s possible that it may do so again in the future.
Rose gold engagement rings are extremely fashionable now and they do seem to be the most modern and cutting edge at the moment. However the resurgence of rose gold is an extremely recent development and it’s too early to tell whether it will be a trend that will last 30 years, or one that will last five.
An engagement ring is going to be worn for long after current fashions have faded, so you need to think whether there is the possibility that your ring could be the equivalent of cargo shorts 10 years down the line.
In the ‘what’s good’ section, we look at how the color of rose gold engagement rings won’t fade with time, which is awesome. However, rose gold is actually the least durable of the three colors of gold and the most likely to pick up scratches in day to day use.
The hardness of metals is measured by something called the ‘Vickers scale’. Without going into too many details, it basically measures how resistant metal is to scratching. The table below shows the Vickers score for the three gold colours – the higher the number, the more resistant it is to scratching.
White gold tops the list because of the rhodium covering, which gives the gold underneath a considerable amount of protection. Yellow and rose gold are left to fend for themselves, and as the metals that are used to make yellow gold’s alloys are more resistant to scratching than the copper in rose gold, it’s a little more durable.
Either way, it’s clear that going with an engagement ring with a higher karat rating will make a ring more scratch resistant and more likely to remain beautiful for longer.
Rose gold engagement ring settings
While it’s important to get the best center stone that you can for you ring, it’s the ring setting that really defines the character of the ring.
This list below is by no means definitive, but it’s a representation of some of the different styles of settings that are available. If you see a setting you like, click through to find out more and you’ll also be able to see many more rose gold engagement rings at each retailer.
Learn more about this rose gold solitaire engagement ring here.
This particular example pairs a rose gold band with a white gold head, which minimises the possibility of any of the rose color from the ring setting being seen through the diamond and making it look ‘warmer’ in color than it really is.
‘Click here to learn more about this ‘Tiffany’ style solitaire ring in rose gold with white gold head from Whiteflash, who are my top tip for the very highest diamond quality.
The marquise and pear shapes are uncommon alternatives to the ’round brilliant’ shape of diamond and actually look larger for a given carat weight, while costing about 30% less.
There are 10 common shapes of diamond that most jewelers sell and the heart shape, as seen here, is probably the most romantic. Again, the solitaire setting does a great job of allowing the diamond to shine brilliantly by allowing as much light as possible to enter and then be reflected.
Click here to find out more about this rose gold bezel engagement ring.
Find out more about this rose gold half bezel engagement ring from Brian Gavin here
Classic and vintage designs are a great source of inspiration for jewelers – this ring features a ‘knife edge’ band and geometric shapes to hark back to the Art Deco period.
Learn more about this vintage style rose gold bezel engagement ring here.
Click here to learn more about this pavé rose gold engagement ring.
Check out more info on this ring and other rose gold halo engagement rings here
Giving the center stone a couple of wingmen is a great way to take the pressure off it – it means that the center diamond doesn’t have to do all of the impressing on its own. The two side stones on this ring add up to a full half a carat, in addition to the carat weight that is chosen for the center stone, which would all add up to a seriously impressive engagement ring.
See more info on this rose gold three stone engagement ring here
Click here to learn more about this ring
Tension settings are a spectacular way to display a diamond – the stone appears to be floating in mid air between the two halves of the ring setting. Traditional tension settings literally hold the diamond in place with the spring-effect of the two sides of the ring, but this version has a hidden support underneath the diamond to ensure that it is held extremely securely.
See more info on this rose gold tension engagement ring here
Rose gold is a great alternative to white and yellow colored engagement rings and as we can see above, ring designs that are a bit ‘ho hum’ when presented in white gold look much more modern and stylish in rose gold.
When buying a ring though, you’ll need to consider whether you want to go for the latest trend, or whether you want to go for a classic style that has remained popular for decades and is unlikely to fall out of favour in the future. As Coco Chanel said ‘Fashion fades, only style remains the same’.
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