White gold vs yellow gold vs rose gold? Today, we’re going to be looking into one of the most important choices of all when it comes to selecting the details of a perfect jewellery item: the type of gold to choose, and more specifically, the different colours of gold available.
Let’s dive deep into the three main different colours of gold – white, yellow and rose – and look into their best features, their individual advantages, and the essence of beauty they bestow when formed into jewellery.
Why do people love gold so much?
Make no mistake, gold is far from the only option for jewellery. Both platinum and silver have become increasingly popular in recent years, and not without good reason: silver is substantially cheaper than gold, and platinum is much stronger.
However, for the vast majority of people out there, nothing compares to the opulence and allure of gold.
Since time immemorial, gold has captivated the senses. It evokes notions of regality, and it reminds us of the aesthetic power of the world’s most precious treasures.
Why do we have 3 different gold colours?
Gold drives talented jewellers the world over to hone their artisanal craftsmanship, seeking out new forms of perfection and new notions of enduring beauty.
Therefore, the gold jewellery industry has been one which has consistently innovated and explored its potential across the centuries.
As a soft and malleable metal, imbued with an awe-inspiring natural colour, gold has always been a treasured choice for adornment and jewellery.
However, its softness presented jewellers with no shortage of hurdles to overcome.
This has led to alloys, blends, and new creations arising, to ensure durability and robustness for a metal that would otherwise be too soft to keep its shape.
From these experiments, three fundamental colours of gold came into being: yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.
1. Yellow gold: timeless splendour
When we think of gold, our minds immediately turn to the glowing beauty of yellow gold. It’s a metal which encapsulates the glory of the sun, which puts us in mind of royalty and divinity, and which never fails to inspire the senses and set heartbeats racing.
Is yellow gold ‘pure’ gold?
Many people often consider yellow gold as being the ‘purest’ of the types of gold. This is simply due to the fact that its colour is most closely related to the gold which is mined directly from the Earth or panned from rivers.
However, this assumption of purity would be something of a mistake. Yellow gold jewellery actually contains alloy metals.
Why does yellow gold contain alloys?
The yellow gold which is used in rings and other items of jewellery is usually an alloy, because alone, it is too soft to maintain its shape for long.
Therefore, for jewellery, yellow gold must be formulated by combining pure gold with other metals, such as silver, copper and platinum.
Karats – what are they?
As is the case with all types of gold, the higher the karats, the more pure gold there is present in the alloy.
A gold karat represents 1/24 of the whole item of gold jewellery that you’re buying. This means that the purity of a gold item is noted as the number of these small parts.
In other words, an item that contains 18 parts of pure gold and 6 parts of alloy metals is called 18-karat gold. In turn, pure gold, where all 24 parts are just gold, is called 24-karat gold.
Karats are abbreviated to ‘K’. For example, to represent 18-karat gold we simply write ’18K gold’.
9K or 18K gold – which is better?
While a high karat content sounds like a positive, it’s something which will raise the price of a jewellery item – and it’s important to bear in mind that a higher karat amount represents a slightly softer item that can dent more easily.
Generally speaking, engagement rings and fine jewellery items made from yellow gold will utilise 9K or 18K gold.
Both are levels of purity which will ensure that all-important, striking golden colour and glow, yet guarantee durability that makes them suitable for everyday and lifelong wear.
Read more – 9K Gold and 18K Gold – What is the difference?
Why choose yellow gold?
There’s no doubt about the fact that yellow gold possesses a timeless charm entirely of its own. If it is set with diamonds, yellow gold really makes their white sparkle stand out.
It looks unmistakeably luxurious and classic when utilised in jewellery, including engagement and wedding rings, and has a versatility and eternal beauty that allows it to suit both ultra-modern and vintage styles.
Read more – Yellow Gold Vs. White Gold
2. White gold: flawlessness redefined
Sleek, modern, and with a truly luxurious appeal, white gold has risen in prominence over the past few decades to become the most popular colour of gold on the market.
What is the difference between yellow and white gold?
The key difference between white gold and yellow gold comes down to its elemental composition. White gold uses a base of pure gold and blends it with alloy components including platinum, silver, manganese or palladium to provide that flawless and irresistibly contemporary colouration.
Even then, a white gold alloy mix will look slightly yellow. So additionally, white gold is coated in rhodium, a tough and beautiful precious metal, to give it a beautiful white lustre.
White gold needs some maintenance
White gold rings require a little more maintenance and care than yellow or rose gold.
White gold must be professionally ‘dipped’ in rhodium every few years in order to restore its original white lustre, otherwise the slightly yellow allow underneath will start to show.
Thankfully, many jewellers will offer this simple service for a small fee, and it’s a process which takes no more than a day or two.
Why choose white gold?
White gold’s key selling point is that, to the untrained eye, jewellery made with this colourless precious metal looks identical to platinum, the most luxurious and coveted of all the precious metals.
Yet white gold is much more affordable than platinum. So if you were hoping to buy a platinum item but your budget falls short, white gold is a great option.
Read more – White Gold Vs Platinum – What Is the Difference?
Read more – What Is White Gold?
3. Rose gold: vintage charm
Charming, evocative, and imbued with a truly dreamy vintage glamour, rose gold is an increasingly popular choice in the ongoing debate surrounding yellow gold vs rose gold vs white gold.
Why is rose gold sometimes called “Russian gold”?
Sometimes rose gold is referred to as pink gold or red gold. It’s also known as ‘Russian gold’ due to the fact it was invented there and became a hugely popular choice during the opulence of Tsarist Russia in the 19th century.
Where does rose gold get its colour from?
Rose gold gets its colour from the addition of copper to the alloy mix, which lends that gorgeous pinkish hue central to its appeal.
Why has rose gold become fashionable again?
Rose gold is an unmistakable addition to the gold colour family and has become something of a favourite with millennial consumers on the lookout for a jewellery identity to call their own.
Rose gold is highly suited to vintage style jewellery
This colour is the essence of romance, of Old World glamour, and of a distinctly vintage charm. It puts the viewer and the wearer in mind of sepia-coloured photographs, and of faded opulence and the golden age of the silver screen.
As such, it’s not uncommon to see rose gold rings fashioned into vintage-inspired designs, and coupled with retro diamond shapes, such as Asscher, which heighten this particular style idiom.
Why choose rose gold?
If durability is important to you when it comes to choosing between yellow gold, white gold or rose gold, then rose gold makes a strong case for being chosen.
Despite appearances, rose gold is actually considered the most durable and scratch-resistant of all the gold colours. This is due to the relative toughness and robustness of copper, which forms the heart of the alloy alongside pure gold.
Read more – Everything You Need to Know About Rose Gold
How to choose between white gold vs yellow gold vs rose gold?
When selecting the perfect jewellery piece for yourself or your loved one, there are a number of factors which will help to influence your decision:
- You’ll need to consider the overall style of the piece, and navigate the choice between the classic or the contemporary, the vintage or the avant-garde.
- You’ll have to think carefully about your choice of gemstone, the diamond cut, and everything from the carat weight to the impact a ring will have on his or her finger if you’re getting engaged.
- If you’re buying a ring, there’s also the ring size of the band to bear in mind, and the style you feel will make that initial impact all the more memorable.
Once you’ve decided these factors, now it’s time to choose between yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold according to your style and skin tone.
Matching gold colour with your style, skin tone and budget
Let’s take a look at some of the points which will help you reach the perfect conclusion, resulting in a jewellery item that will be treasured forever.
• Your individual style
We all have our own individual style. It’s what informs the way we dress, how we choose to present ourselves to the world, and what makes us feel most comfortable in our own skin. These same preferences are as valid to our choices in jewellery as they are to our clothes, our hair, and anything else in our lives.
- If you or your partner are on the lookout for a ring which exemplifies a traditional essence of classic luxury, then yellow gold may tick all the right boxes for you.
- Those seeking a more modern or minimalist look will most likely be more drawn to white gold items.
- Those in love with the breathless romance of vintage glamour may feel that rose gold is the perfect choice.
Read more – 9 Tips for Buying Gift Jewellery
• Your skin tone
While all three colours of gold have the potential to look fantastic on anybody, regardless of skin colour or tone, certain colours have a particular affinity with different hues of skin.
- Yellow gold, for example, is a versatile gold colour in this regard. However, most experts would agree that it exhibits a particularly impactful quality when worn by individuals with warm skin tones.
- Conversely, white gold with its icy, sophisticated lustre has its visual potency enhanced when worn by those with cool skin tones.
- Sitting comfortably between the two extremes, we find that rose gold works wonderfully with warm and cool skin tones alike, making it perfect for those who experience their skin tone changing with the seasons.
• Your budget and lifestyle
The alloy metals used for each gold colour vary. For example, the main alloy in rose gold is copper and the main alloy in white gold is platinum. This has an impact on each gold colour’s price and durability:
- Yellow gold is considered to be the softest of the different gold colours, followed by white gold and then rose gold. Those with an active lifestyle seeking a ring which will be hardy and dent-resistant may wish to steer away from yellow gold rings, especially those with a higher level of purity or karat rating. On the other hand, yellow gold is slightly more affordable than white gold and doesn’t require constant re-dipping maintenance.
- White gold is a fantastic, affordable alternative to platinum. So if you wanted a platinum ring but can’t afford it, then white gold is a great option for you. Having said this, white gold needs regular maintenance with rhodium coating, which can add up over the years. When it comes to wear and tear, white gold is solid and strong thanks to it being mixed with platinum and coated with rhodium, two extremely hard precious metals.
- Rose gold is the hardest and most affordable of the three gold colours because of its copper alloy. So both from a budget and wearability point of view, it’s an excellent choice all around.
Read more – How much do you spend on an engagement ring?
Read more – What is the best metal for an engagement ring?
White Gold vs Yellow Gold vs Rose Gold – something for every individual
Centuries of innovation, exploration, and constant finesse and discovery have led to the glorious array of precious metals, styles, and designs we see available today.
This range of options has transformed the way we think of and purchase items of jewellery, opening up the doors of possibility for seeking out the most perfect, most treasured, and most unforgettable rings for ourselves or those closest to us.
At The Diamond Store, we specialise in matching our customers with rings and other creations that ignite the senses, inspire great emotions, and create lifelong memories.
If you’re on the hunt for perfection and need help choosing a type of gold or anything other feature, don’t hesitate to reach out and get in touch with an expert member of our team.
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