Rose gold, yellow gold or white gold engagement ring buying guide

The colour of purest gold is distinctively yellow. But it is also very soft making it very brittle for use in making jewellery. Therefore, alloys need to be created by adding other metals. Depending on the metal added to make the alloy, the gold gets a different hue. The more popular colours of gold jewellery are yellow, rose, and rose though you may also find red, bronze or lime coloured jewellery.

What does the colour of gold indicate?

The dollar value of gold can be the same if the percentage of pure gold used in making the alloy remains identical. That would make the colour merely a matter of personal preferences in taste and style that obviously varies from one individual to the other. With this knowledge, you can focus on the colour you love most. However, there can be instances where your focus could be on matching the diamond quality with the colour of gold. White gold can accentuate the imperfection in a yellow diamond while yellow gold can hide the imperfection.

Karat Vs carat

Before you start your shopping exercise, it is essential to understand that karat and carat are not the same measures. Gold is measured commonly as ‘Karat’ to denominate its purity.

Carat, on the other hand, measures the weight of a diamond.

24 karats is the purest form of gold which you can buy in the form of biscuits, coins, or bars. When it comes to jewellery, the gold should be malleable enough to give it the desired shape and size. Only when other metals are added, gold gets its strength to give it the desired malleability. Deft craftsmen can stretch a single ounce of gold to as much as 57 miles (91 km) and make some of those very intricately designed jewellery, particularly rings, earrings, and necklaces.

Metals that are commonly mixed with gold

Copper, nickel, silver, zinc and palladium are the metals commonly mixed with gold to give it the desired malleability. The colour of the gold you buy can also be enhanced by applying a metal coating, commonly known as plating. Two or more different colours of gold can also be combined to make a unique colour and they are at times called as three-tone, two-tone, or multi-coloured gold. For those looking to buy a unique engagement ring without drilling a hole through their wallet, this could be an option worth exploring.

Before you make any decision, there is one more thing that you can do. The digital world is the place where you can examine hundreds of various collection of unique engagement rings  from the comfort of your home and you won’t be pressurised by any over-enthusiastic salespersons.

Characteristics of different colours of gold

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is close to pure gold in appearance and typically softer compared to other alloys. Because of this, yellow gold also tends to suffer scratches more easily. While polishing at periodical intervals is a solution to retain the sheen of your jewellery, remember that a small percentage of the metal will be lost each time you get your jewellery polished. Thus, a ten-gram jewellery you purchased 5 years ago could reduce to about 8 grams or less, assuming, you got the jewellery polished some 5 times during this period.

White Gold

Typically, white gold results from a combination gold with silver, nickel or palladium. Depending on the metal and proportion of the mix the properties can be dramatically different. For varying purposes, such alloys are deliberately made. For instance, by mixing nickel with pure gold, the alloy gets harder and is considered ideal for brooch pins and rings. Similarly, when pure gold is mixed with a soft metal like palladium, it gets soft for applications that require pliable gold such as in the case of gemstone settings.


However, the finished product would still retain a marginally yellowish tint. This is one reason why jewellers plate the white gold jewellery with rhodium. It is common to mistake colour or white gold with rhodium. Rhodium, in fact, is the metal which gives gold the desired colour. Apart from this rhodium also lends better durability to white cold since it covers the softer alloy of yellow gold with an additional protective layer.

White gold is great in its looks when new though the rhodium plating will wear off with usage. When that happens you can see the yellowish layer in white gold and this type of jewellery can be re-plated at a cost of about $35 though that is an additional cost you should take into account.

Rose Gold

Rose gold covers every variant within the family of red, rose, and pink shades of gold. Copper mixed with pure gold to make the alloy lends the rose colour to rose gold making it appear red in colour. Generally, rose gold will comprise of 75% gold and 25% to make it 18 karat gold. Many men and women prefer rose gold, particularly when they are shopping for engagement/wedding rings. The pink hue of rose gold is deemed to be romantic and that could be one factor that attracts young men and women to rose gold in preference to the other variants.

Cost could also be another consideration since rose gold is relatively cheaper compared to 22 karat gold or 24 karat gold. Copper imparts higher strength to rose gold and complements nearly every skin tone. Rose gold is also more durable compared to other variants. However, rose gold may not be readily available in all markets and you would also need to spare a thought to potential skin issues.

Shopping for your wedding/engagement ring

In Australia, JAA, Jewellers Association of Australia, represents and protects the jewellery industry and its consumers with the definition of each kind of gold type.

Now that you have exhaustive information on rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold engagement rings, the next task cut out for you is to go shopping. While you are doing this, if you can get one or more members of your family, or perhaps your fiancé, that would be a huge help too.

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