Is Rose Gold Real Gold?

True rose gold has also become a staple in jewelry stores across the nation, and you have found yourself wondering over the years, is rose gold real gold? Like many retro fashion trends, rose gold has made its way back in style over the last decade. You can get just about anything in that dusty red color including phones, pillows, and even the soap dispensers in your bathroom.

So, is rose gold real gold? Rose gold is real gold, the only difference being the color. 18 karat Rose gold consists of 75% gold, 23% copper and about 2% silver. 18 karat Rose gold has one of the highest percentages of gold and gives you the precise red-pink hue that gives rose gold its name.

Read on because we will be discussing everything you need to know about rose gold before you make an investment. We will cover what rose gold is, how much it’s worth, and what to consider when buying it. We have also provided a quick list of the pros and cons when choosing rose gold for an engagement ring.

What Is Rose Gold anyway?

Rose gold is made with a combination of gold and copper to create a pink alloy. 18k rose gold contains 75% gold, but the percentages of copper and silver will vary by karat. True rose gold is considered 23% copper and about 2% silver.

Humans have been mining and utilizing gold for thousands of years, but it was not until the 1800s that mixing it with other precious metals to create an attractive color palette became a practice.

How many karats is Rose Gold available in?

Karats are not to be confused with carats although they are similar. A carat is a measure of weight for diamonds, but a karat is a measure of purity for metals like gold. You can get rose gold in 9 to 22 karat ring settings. With 9 karats containing the least amount of gold and 22 karats containing the most. 18 karat has one of the highest percentages of gold and gives you the precise red-pink hue that gives rose gold its name.

Which is better rose gold or yellow gold?

The only difference between yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold is the amount of red tint present in the metal. That’s it. The question of whether to choose rose, yellow, or white gold is entirely a style decision. As the saying goes, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” Both yellow and rose gold tend to go through trends as the decades wear on. Rose gold can be found pretty much everywhere since a revival around 2012. If you’re the one who has to wear it, you’re the only one who can decide if it’s still in style for you. We will give you a brief overview of the pros and cons of choosing rose gold in the following section.

Why is Rose Gold so popular?

Just watch this overview of a brief history of rose gold. The host of Midway to Main Street explains how rose gold came to the United States, and what brought it to the forefront of fashion in the past decade. Apple and Disney both stood at the helm of pushing these trends into the mainstream, and before anyone knew what hit them, we are now neck deep in a rose gold boom.

In addition to traditional jewelry making, rose gold has been found all the way from people’s hair dye and onto their wedding cakes. As with most trends, people have also found a way to DIY it, and there are even rose gold painted mason jars as well as rose gold glitter Converse sneakers.

Rose gold, traditionally called Russian gold, owes its popularity in the United States primarily to the Cartier Trinity ring and collection. It was popularized after the first World War by Jean Cocteau. As a fashion statement, it falls in and out of favor throughout the decades but is usually brought back into vogue by Hollywood and celebrities. Due to numerous celebrities choosing the pretty pink rose gold for their engagement rings and wedding bands, rose gold has spread like wildfire. (Plus it matches your iphones and apple watches)

Is Rose gold valuable? How much is it worth?

Rose gold is worth exactly as much as traditional yellow and white gold because the gold content is the same. The gold base is what determines how valuable any alloy is, not the mixture of copper, silver, or nickel that is added after the fact. You can be assured that your 18 or 22k rose gold is just as tried and true as the original.

A simple 14k rose gold band with a single diamond can be as affordable as $440. On the other hand, there are ornate rings featuring a large centerpiece diamond surrounded by over a hundred smaller diamonds all held together beautifully by a strong rose gold base that are worth all of the $5,290 that they cost.

Are rose gold engagement rings more expensive?

Rose gold engagement rings are not more or less expensive than other metals because the gold content is the same.

But other factors can affect how much a piece of jewelry costs, like setting style, designer/brand, and diamond quality and count. There are many types of engagement rings, and any additional gemstones or customizations you can make that will attribute to a higher cost ring. Many bestselling rose gold engagement ring settings cost an average of $1690 to $2770.

With rose gold, you can actually get away with choosing a less pricey diamond as I’ll explain in the next section.

You can actually save money with a Rose gold engagement ring

Rose gold can hide the “yellowness” of a diamond, so it works well with a diamond that isn’t completely colorless. Diamonds that have a small amount of yellow or brown in their color tint are valued lower despite the average consumer not being able to detect a difference.

With a rose color band, you can choose lower color grade diamonds because the reflection of the gold cuts down on the amount of impurity you can see in the diamond itself. A rose gold engagement ring is a great way to save money on a ring.

What to look for when buying a rose gold ring?

The most important thing to look for when buying rose gold is that the measurement of karats is plainly available in writing. It is even better if the manufacturer’s name is stamped into the ring itself.

Other than that, be aware of how susceptible any given ring is to damage or wear and tear. The best jewelers will provide you with a lifetime warranty and maintenance for little to no cost.

Can Rose Gold tarnish?

Rose gold does not tarnish, but it can change color over time due to oxidation. In other metals, this is frowned upon. In rose gold though, it is considered to be a good quality because it gives the piece a “vintage” style look as it becomes redder over time.

Rose gold is not easily blemished and will last for years without needing much maintenance.

While yellow gold and platinum gold require regular trips back to the jewelry store to be plated in rhodium to maintain their sheen.

Pros and Cons of rose gold


  • Rose gold doesn’t tarnish.
  • It is extremely durable due to the addition of copper in this alloy it is much stronger than varieties with a higher gold content.
  • Rose gold is also budget-friendly when combined with diamonds lower on the letter scale.
  • Despite not being any more or less outright expensive than yellow or silver gold, it can be the more affordable option in the long run because it does not require the same regular maintenance as other gold options.


  • Rose gold can irritate your skin if you have a sensitivity to copper.
  • It tends to go in and out of style. If keeping with the fashions is important to you, rose gold may not be the best choice, and you can opt for a more timeless silver.
  • Rose gold can become a darker hue over time, so take account of this when choosing what is right for you.

Final thoughts

If you are in love with pink for its romantic, delicate nature, then rose gold is the perfect complement to your personality. Your jewelry should suit your tastes, and rose gold allows you to show off exactly who you are. Rose gold will give you an elegant airy glow, and you will feel distinguished and confident while wearing it.

Be sure to buy from a reputable dealer and inquire about their insurance or warranty policies. Double-check that it is real rose gold and not a counterfeit. As much as you want a pretty piece right now, you also want it to last throughout your lifetime. Real rose gold will not be tarnished or damaged easily. As long as you do not have sensitivity, it will not discolor your skin or cause you discomfort.

At the end of the day choosing which variety of gold you’d like to wear is up to your own taste in precious metals. The monetary value you get from rose gold will be the same as other golds, but you may value it more sentimentally because its aesthetic sets it apart from traditional yellow gold and silver. Rose gold can be as affordable or as opulent as you desire, and you will be sure to find jewelry in your budget and style.

Carl A. Jones, GIA GG

Carl A. Jones is a GIA Graduate Gemologist with over 20 years of experience in the diamond industry. He is an independent jewelry appraiser. He specializes in determining the value of diamonds and advising consumers on how to buy quality diamond jewelry.

You May Also Like