You may have heard of different golds such as rose, red and pink. But did you know, technically speaking, that there is no such thing as rose, red or pink golds? Pure gold is a metallic-yellow colour and is too soft to be used for jewellery which is why it is mixed with other metals to form gold alloys such as those we’ve just mentioned.
So, what is the difference between rose, red and pink gold?
Nothing really, they are basically different names for the same thing; a mixture of pure gold and copper. Where the difference lies is the amount of copper used to mix with gold – the higher the copper content, the stronger the red colour. Zinc is another metal which is used to change the red hue of such golds, for example, a jewellery manufacturer may add zinc to his copper and gold alloy to make it appear less red in colour, effectively creating rose or pink gold.
Pure rose, pink or red gold – does it exist?
Because they are an alloy, there is no such thing as pure red, rose or pink gold. Gold is alloyed with copper to produce their colours and you may see 18-karat rose gold which usually is made up of 75% pure gold and 25% copper. The closest you can get to a pure rose, red or pink cold would probably be crown gold. Crown gold is 22-karats and made up of a mixture of pure gold, copper and sometimes silver. Did you know that crown gold is still used as the standard when making British gold sovereigns .
Are reddish golds a recent invention?
No. Believe it or not, we have been mixing gold and copper since as early as the 19th century. In the early 19th century, in Imperial Russia, a jeweller of the czars (Carl Fabergé) was one of the first to use the alloy which can still be seen today in the famous Fabergé Eggs. It was later coined as “Russian Gold” and even though the term is now obsolete, jewellers around the world are still mixing copper and gold to create beautiful pieces.
Rose, red and pink golds are a mixture of gold, copper and sometimes zinc. Even so, they can create beautiful pieces which compliment a wide range of skin tones and the red colour adds to its romantic connotation. Thanks to the copper content, they are also far more durable than most other gold alloys.