Rose Gold vs. Yellow Gold

Gold is one of the valuable precious stones occurring naturally. It has an appealing color in its purest forms, making it one of the popular choices when picking jewelry, ornaments, and watches. Gold is manipulated to create gold blocks depending on the type of metals mixed with it. The making of yellow, white, and rose gold alloys strengthens gold and makes it durable.

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Rose gold is a mixture of pure gold with copper, which gives it an attractive pink color, while yellow gold is from mixing gold with zinc, silver, and copper. When purchasing jewelry or watches, I sometimes find it challenging to determine which form of gold to select to match my style and tone.

What should you consider when differentiating between rose gold and yellow gold?


Gold in its purest forms is precious; however, the metal is too soft and weak, making it difficult to manipulate when making jewelry. That is the reason why most golden jewelry contains other metals to make the ornaments or watches durable.

Durability is the ability of the jewelry to withstand wear and tear. Ross gold is more durable in comparison to yellow gold. Why do you ask? Rose gold does tarnish as fast as the copper incorporated makes it durable.

Yellow gold, on the other hand, is prone to getting scratches, and with time, it loses its shiny appearance. It mandates that you take good care of items made with yellow gold and polish them regularly to maintain the shiny luster.

For items like rings and watches, and other jewelry you will regularly wear, consider using rose gold, while for those you can wear from time to time, the yellow gold would work perfectly.


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The price of gold pieces is dependent on the amount of pure gold the jewelry contains. To understand why the cost of items made with either rose or yellow gold is similar first, you need to grasp the concept of Karat.

Karat is the SI unit used to measure the quantity of gold in any item. When engagement rings, watches, or any form of jewelry contains 24k, that means it’s 100% pure gold. However, pure gold is very malleable, which is why it’s mixed with other metals to make it stronger and durable.

Jewelry with 18k contains 75% gold, and 14k has 58.3% gold. The cost of watches and rings will depend on the Karat, the percentage of pure gold in them. It is safe to say that none is more expensive between yellow gold and rose gold than the other.

Gold alloys and Color 

Rose gold alloy is a combination of pure gold with metals like copper and silver. The quantity of alloy used will depend on your choice of karats.  10K rose gold is 10 parts gold and 14 parts alloy, which gives it a dull appearance. 14k rose gold has a perfect shade of pink, making it a common choice, while 18k rose gold is the most expensive of the three as it is composed of 18parts gold and 6parts alloy.

Yellow gold alloy combines pure gold and metals like silver, copper, nickel, and palladium. Since pure gold is yellowish, the yellow gold doesn’t require additional metals to boost its color. Yellow gold is also available in 14k and 18k, which are famous for wedding and engagement rings.

Although the 18 karats rings or watches are more expensive, they are not as strong and durable as they contain more parts of gold. The type of gold to go for will depend on personal preference.

Yellow gold represents wealth or luxury and is associated with emotions like love, compassion, wisdom, and courage. Rose gold represents a sense of style or elegance and oozes a sense of passion, calmness, and refinement.

Allergic reactions

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Some individuals have sensitive skin, and wearing some metallic compounds creates an allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic jewelry has a gentle effect on the skin of normal and hypersensitive persons.

Is Rose gold hypoallergenic? No, it is not. Unfortunately, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to change your mind about rose gold jewelry. Rose gold contains copper, which gives it a beautiful pink color, and copper is highly allergenic. Rose gold may have a different effect on different people, but you can consult with the manufacturers on the quantity of copper before making a purchase.

Is yellow gold hypoallergenic? Yes, yellow gold is considered the most hypoallergenic of all gold alloys. However, yellow gold does contain allergenic nickel. When making a purchase, you can opt for yellow gold jewelry without nickel.

Nothing is as frustrating as buying expensive jewelry that you can’t wear, as exposure to the metal causes itching, swelling, warmth, redness, and tenderness. Pick jewelry with 14k or above, making pure gold higher than the added metal as it has a reduced reaction.    

Style and Popularity                                         

The use of gold dates way back in history, but its status became elevated when it became a symbol of wealth and status. Gold sometimes does go out of trend, but it still retains its value as a precious metal. Over the centuries, gold has been incorporated into ornaments and is a popular metal in the fashion industry.

Yellow gold has been popular and in style for a while now. Yellow gold had a rough patch in the mid-90s when it was considered tacky, but it still made a comeback and gained popularity. For many years, the use of yellow gold wedding rings and watches has been stylish.

Rose gold is the new queen in town but not as fresh as rose gold dates back in the 1800s, popularly referred to as “Russian gold.” Rose gold is currently the trendiest of all the gold alloys.

It is difficult to determine which type of gold will stay in style the longest as fashion trends keep changing. The best method of choosing jewelry is to go with your heart and pick the one that speaks to you, and no matter what alloy it is, you will still wear it with pride.

Skin Tone matching

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Image: something borrowed

When choosing jewelry, you want the ones that compliment your skin tone and match your style and taste. Yellow gold and rose gold are beautiful, but when purchasing, choose the one that looks best on you as either can give a washed-out appearance.

The fair skin with red undertones rose gold tends to have an exaggerated pink against your skin, while yellow gold may appear overwhelming. White gold is the best gold alloy of choice for your skin tone.

The fair skin with pale undertone both gold alloy are an ok look on you, but the white gold is your piece. Its color is alluring against your skin.

The lightly tanned, Mediterranean, or olive skin, both yellow and rose gold jewelry, looks angelic against your skin tone. If your skin falls under this bracket, you can’t go wrong with either choice.

Whether you have Arabic, dark African, or fair African skin, both pieces of gold alloys will look stunning on you. However, ensure the jewelry sizes are not exaggerated but just obviously visible for an admirable look.

The South-East Asian skin, both gold alloys complement your skin, but the yellow gold against your skin gives you a classy look.

Most skin tones will appear warm and admirable with either the rose gold or the yellow gold; choose the one that makes you feel unstoppable.

Rhodium Plating

Rhodium plating is the process of adding rhodium as a coating over an existing metal to increase strength and durability. Rhodium plating is mainly done on jewelry to give it a white-like shiny finish. Rose gold already contains copper, making it durable and robust, meaning it doesn’t require rhodium plating. Rose gold does not scratch or tarnish; hence it needs no polishing as its appearance is long-lasting.

Yellow gold, on the other hand, does need rhodium plating. Rhodium plating gives the yellow gold piece a white appearance and acts as a protector. Depending on how often you wear your golden jewelry, the plating will eventually wear off, exposing the yellow gold underneath. Rhodium plating will last about three months to a year, and if the coating wears out, you can take your ornaments back for re-plating.

Pros of Yellow Gold

  • It is the most hypoallergenic, making it possible for sensitive skins to rock yellow gold jewelry.
  • Yellow gold complements almost all skin tones.
  • It is a popular choice when it comes to engagement and wedding rings.
  • It is malleable, making it easy to manipulate and mix with other metals.
  • Can retain its value over time.
  • Durability is improved by rhodium plating.

Cons of Yellow Gold

  • Requires regular polishing to maintain its shiny luster.
  • It is highly susceptible to scratches and dents.
  • It may require rhodium plating to increase its strength and durability.

Pros of Rose Gold

  • It is currently a trendy look among celebrities and fashion icons.
  • It is considered romantic due to its pinkish appearance.
  • The presence of copper makes it solid and durable.
  • It is beautiful with darker, olive, and Mediterranean skin tones.
  • Rose gold fits perfectly with a vintage style.

Cons of Rose Gold

  • It is highly allergic due to the copper property
  • It is not a good fit for the pale skins with red undertones.
  • It may be out of style over time.


Armed with the information above, it is more straightforward knowing what to consider when purchasing jewelry made of either rose gold or yellow gold.

When picking out the rings, yes, you can follow the trendiest styles but most importantly, follow your heart. Rose and yellow gold make attractive jewelry, watches, and other accessories.

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