The delightful pink tones present in today’s modern rose gold stem from a rich heritage of creative metalsmithing and evolving jewelry trends. To understand the history behind rose gold, a basic understanding of alloys and their progressive role in the jewelry scene is the best place to start.
Since pure gold is a soft metal, stronger wedding band materials (known as alloys) are mixed in with the gold to strengthen the jewelry and introduce new color tones. In the case of rose gold, the supporting alloy is copper. With lighter rose tones, the percentage of gold is higher; with darker rose tones, the percentage of copper is higher. In your average 14K rose gold ring, you’ll find about 58% pure gold and 42% copper alloys.
Rose Gold & The Adoption Of Alloys
Readily available and easy to manipulate, copper was naturally one of the first alloys to be utilized successfully in jewelry smithing. The beautiful tones that come with the addition of copper provided a unique twist on silver and yellow gold varieties that had dominated the jewelry scene.
First spotted in Rome, metal impurities resulted in the accidental creation of some reddish/pink gold coins. Later discovered by archeologists in Columbia, metal workers as early as ~100 A.D. used copper and other alloys to intentionally develop red and orange metal artifacts. As the value of alloy use gained traction across the globe, red and pink golds could be found adorning royalty and other high members of society as early as the 1500s in England, and the 1700s in France.
Fast forward to the 19th century in Russia, when copper was used to accent their collection of golden eggs. The designer Peter Carl Farbergé popularized the hue, which eventually became the rose gold we know and love today.
Rose Gold’s Rise To Popularity
The stage was set for global expansion, and rose gold could be found on dazzling women in the 1920s, and again became highly popularized following World War II. Rose gold offered the inspired and exciting style women had been looking for, and the unique and eye-catching tones were the perfect representation of the bold and retro trends that had emerged.
Equally as impressive as the unique finish rose gold provided, rose gold bands boasted incredible durability and retained the aesthetics longer than traditional jewelry options. Truly the perfect blend of luxury and affordability, the versatility of rose gold continued to shape the landscape. As a result, copper alloy remains a popular choice in today’s modern jewelry production.
Immersed in rich history and special care, considering rose gold wedding rings in Chicago are a great way to symbolize and celebrate the merging of two special lives into one. At Hitched, you’ll work with a passionate team of jewelers. Contact us to find your very own set of charming rose gold rings today!