Until the late 1990s, most jewelers would snicker at the mere mention of rose gold. The metal was a remnant of the early 20th century, and one that many doubted would make a comeback. However, as is true for many fashion ‘relics’, rose gold has grown significantly more popular over the last decade both as a wedding ring material, a designer jewelry option, and a fantastic material for earrings.
Rose gold rings, once thought of as outdated and kitsch, are firmly back in fashion. While the price of rose gold has stayed relatively constant – yet still subject changes in gold price – the value of an exotic rose gold ring, both in social respect and collector resale value, has increased. Unlike many other fashion trends and ‘retro’ resurgences, this one appears to be here to stay for several decades.
How can you get in on the rose gold revolution? This buyer’s guide offers a thorough assessment of the best rose gold pieces, the availability of the precious metal, and the average price of many rose gold jewelry pieces. Whether you’re interested in a rose gold ring or simple intrigued by the metal’s interesting hue, use this buyer’s guide to gain a clear understanding of its value and appeal.
The Rose Gold Resurgence: When Was Its Heyday?
Unlike other colored golds, rose gold’s history in jewelry is over a century old. The metal formed a major component of industrial jewelry, with pieces from the late 19th and early 20th centuries using rose gold to balance coloration and visual weight. Early innovators such as Cartier popularized the metal as a supportive piece, being used to draw attention to darker gold rings and other jewelry.
It’s fitting then, that today’s rose gold rings are primarily used as secondary rings, placed in between prominent dark and white gold pieces to ‘bridge’ the color gap. The jewelry industry has seen quite a significant comeback in colored pieces recently, particularly rings and watches. Rose gold, with the help of white gold and other non-metallic materials, has contributed to this immensely.
Still, the materials hasn’t quite hit the level of popularity it enjoyed in the early 20th century. A fair portion of rose gold rings are purchased for their classic styling and unique properties, particularly when used as a wedding ring. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times pointed out that there are now over 1,000 major designers offering a collection of rose gold wedding and engagement rings.
Rose Gold Rings: Pricing and Availability
Most jewelers offer a selection of rose gold rings, both those based online and in retail space. Due to the metal’s unique color, it’s worth viewing rose gold pieces in person before committing to any purchases. Major chain jewelers in the United States and the UK will have their own collection of rose gold rings, although many smaller stores will need to order pieces for you to view.
Unlike other ‘limited edition’ golds, rose gold is priced similarly to other gold blends. The material gains its light pink shine due to the presence of copper in the mixing process. As all jewelry gold uses a combination of materials for durability and relative hardness, rose gold is unlikely to command a higher price than other types of gold. Unique designs, however, may be priced above other pieces.
Availability is improving, with most jewelers carrying a larger range of rose gold items due to the recent resurgence in demand. Thousands of jewelery brands currently offer a range of watches and rings in rose gold, with many more likely soon to follow. Rose gold is also widely used for custom jewelry, designer wedding bands, and other pieces where personality and uniqueness is essential.
Searching for a rose gold ring isn’t particularly difficult – all manufacturers have rose gold pieces available for viewing online, and most offer a selection of in-store pieces to retail jewelers. If you are having trouble finding your dream rose gold ring, speak with your local jeweler and arrange to view the piece in person before committing to a purchase or custom order.
Rose Gold Rings in Fashion, and The Material’s Other Uses:
The increase in demand for rose gold is largely due to the lack of interest in ‘traditional’ jewelery materials such as platinum and white gold. Over the last decade, the popularity of platinum rings and other jewelry pieces has increased, leading to a surge in purchases and a subsequent lack of exclusivity. For fashion designers and ‘exclusive’ buyers, that’s certainly not a good thing.
Due to this ‘exclusivity dive,’ rose gold has emerged as the comfortable medium point for designers and jewelers. The metal is now used in a variety of rings, wristwatches, and earrings. With its fairly light tone making it a balanced material, a large number of designers are using rose gold as one of several different metals for jewelry, balancing other colors with its pink, slightly reddish shine.
From Cartier to Tiffany & Co., a wide selection of designers and international jewelers have made rose gold such a popular metal. New pieces are becoming available quite rapidly, most priced at a level similar to that of white gold. Engagement rings are particularly popular, along with wedding bands and other rings that lack ornate jewels and other precious gemstones and materials.
Buying Rose Gold: 3 Quick, Simple, and Important Tips
Are you interested in a rose gold ring for your engagement, wedding, or simply for a very special gift? Before you purchase a ring (particularly sight unseen) use these three tips to ensure that you only ever look for the best:
1. Check the gold’s copper:gold ratio. Rose gold gains its light pinkish sheen because of copper in the mixing process. If you prefer a dark red tone, search for a blend of rose gold which is primarily copper-based. Alternatively, light pink rings should contain very little copper.
2. Make sure you’re buying real rose gold. As the material’s popularity has grown, a number of shady online merchants have emerged to capitalize on the demand. Check that you’re buying a real rose gold ring by shopping at an authorized, reliable jewelery outlet.
3. Search for timeless designs. Rose gold is a fairly rare material, and as such is perfect for a family heirloom or future gift. As tempting as it may be to buy something a little different, it’s best to stick with the classic ring designs if you plan to resell the ring at a later date.