Rose gold is is actually a gold and copper alloy characterized by a pinkish caste.  The coloration is achieved by alloying fine yellow gold with copper, a red metal.  Sometimes a small amount of silver is added to produce the coloration common in 14 karat rose gold and a small amount of zinc is sometimes added to the alloy for hardness.  Rose gold used in jewelry is most commonly 14 karat or 18 karat gold.

Tri-Color Bracelet containing rose goldThe highest karat gold produced as rose gold is the 22 karat variety otherwise known as “crown gold” which is a strictly gold-copper alloy.  This gold-copper alloy was traditionally used in the minting of the British Sovereign coin and still is today.  Today, crown gold is also used in the minting of the popular South African Krugerrand which is known for its beautiful rose gold hue.

Unlike the 18 karat rose gold alloy, the pinkish hue in the lower 14 karat gold alloy tends to be richer and is sometimes referred to as “red gold”.  The deeper hued 14 karat rose gold is achieved because the 14 karat alloy contains a lower ratio of yellow gold to copper than the 18 karat gold alloy.  Fourteen karat gold yields a stronger pink hue  because 14 karat gold contains 41.7% other metal (mostly copper in this case) whereas only 25% of 18 karat rose gold is copper.

It is not uncommon for today’s popular jewelry designers to use rose gold in combination with yellow gold and white gold like in the bracelet shown above to achieve a distinctive appearance.  Since 1978, Italian jewelry designer Roberto Coin has combined rose gold with yellow and white gold in rings, bracelets and other jewelry.

Whether rose gold jewelry is marked 14K or 18K, all rose gold contains the same amounts of fine gold as their yellow karat gold counterparts.  For this reason, cash for gold buyer GoldFellow® pays the same amount for 14K and 18K rose gold as for any other color 14K and 18K gold.  To see some of the items GoldFellow® has purchased from consumers containing rose gold and the prices paid , browse photos in GoldFellow®’s exclusive Gold Payments Gallery.

References:

Crown Gold – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crown_gold

Rose Gold – http://www.bluenile.com/gold-jewelry/gold-education