Rose Gold

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What is Rose Gold?

In the realm of metallurgy, gold can be considered a base upon which other metals ca be combined to create a startling and amazing variety of colors, each with their own specific properties and virtues. Because of its inherent ability to morph into different kinds of ‘gold’ depending on the metal alloyed to it, a whole range of different types of gold alloys have been created, each with its own distinct aesthetic appeal and allure. Next to yellow and white gold, rose gold or red gold is yet another popular variety of gold alloy. Originally called red gold, it has also been referred to as pink gold. Rose gold is a specialized alloy of gold and copper, a very common composition in and of itself, copper being the most commonly employed ‘hardening agent’ for pure gold. What makes rose gold distinct despite its common composition is the amount of copper alloyed to gold which creates distinct changes in the gold’s inherent coloration with hues that range from rose, pale pink, reddish pink, and even red[1] .

Rose gold is usually composed of equal parts of gold and copper by weight, resulting in gold with a reddish hue. Any variation on this composition results in gold with a slightly different hue, resulting in lighter or darker pink or rose gold[2] .

History of rose gold

Rose gold is not a modern invention; with the Chinese and the Greco-Romans having had developed their own type of rose gold prior to this modern era. Alternately, because gold ores are not found in its pure state in nature, the ancients would have indubitably smelted it as it was, mixing whatever other substances that were in the ore (usually copper, and sometimes lead) along with the gold. This is why the ancients usually described gold as ‘reddish’ in color.

Rose gold was very popular in Russia during the Bolshevik era, and for this reason it was once called Russian Gold, a term that is now obsolete despite the enduring popularity of the gold alloy. Because it usually contains a high amount of copper to achieve the desired pinkish or rose hue, rose gold should be considerably more affordable than yellow gold and white gold. However, because of its artisan quality, it is just as equally prized despite its metallic composition.

Today, rose gold is used in the creation of artisan jewelry, as well as in the minting of currency, the latter being referred to as crown gold. Aside from its use in jewelry and currency, rose gold is also used in the creation of musical instruments such as flues and sometimes (although rarely) saxophones. These are usually made from gold that is alloyed with high amounts of copper, resulting in a deep reddish shade. High end flute dealers sell pieces that range from 9 karats to 19.5 karats of rose gold. The popularity of rose gold in jewelry usually varies depending on the area, with the Middle East, Russia, and Singapore preferring reddish-hued gold compared to yellow gold. In the Chinese practice of feng shui, red gold is thought of to be highly auspicious, encouraging the constant influx of profit to the wearer, which is why rose gold is a popular accessory among Chinese businessmen.

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Content researched and created by Alexander Leonhart for ©

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