I’ll be honest, I was slow to get on board with rose gold. I was convinced it was a fad, and so I stayed away from it, and tried to wait it out. But then I got this great set of stacking rings in rose gold, and I LIKED them. I mean, I REALLY liked them. That surprised me. I also got lots of friends and family who complimented me on my rings, and I thought I might need to rethink my aversion.
You may recall that I wrote about rose gold when I was doing a round-up of jewelry trends last year. Not only is it still around, it seems to be gaining in popularity. Although it first started appearing on the scene back in 2014, it’s everywhere now. And way beyond jewelry! This metallic shade is is in make-up, nail polish, hair color, clothing, handbags, shoes, and watches. Just in my own life, here is what’s rose gold – my iPhone, the discs in my notebook, and some super glam tumblers. This metal has even made its way into home decor with a huge variety of fixtures and furnishings.
But what exactly is it?
What makes gold that rose color?
So, there’s really no such thing as pure gold. I mean, there is, but you wouldn’t want it for your jewelry. It’s too soft. Gold always has to be mixed with another metal. So with rose gold, what you’re doing is mixing yellow gold, copper and silver. The copper adds the red, and the silver keeps it from getting too red. In a typical 18K piece, it’s likely 75% yellow gold, 21% copper, and 4% silver. And you end up with this nice, subtle pink shade.
Rose gold isn’t new. Most people think the first time we saw rose gold was with Fabergé, the famous jeweler to the Russian royal family. (Click here to read one of my very first blog posts on Faberge.) He famously used the pink shade in one of his iconic eggs (shown below).
<img class="wp-image-4603 lazyload" title="Faberge's Moscow Kremlin Egg, from 1906, featuring rose gold" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/peter-carl-faberge-the-moscow-kremlin-egg-1906-trivium-art-history.png" alt="Faberge's Moscow Kremlin Egg, from 1906, featuring rose gold" width="271" height="501" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/peter-carl-faberge-the-moscow-kremlin-egg-1906-trivium-art-history.png 866w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/peter-carl-faberge-the-moscow-kremlin-egg-1906-trivium-art-history-162x300.png 162w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/peter-carl-faberge-the-moscow-kremlin-egg-1906-trivium-art-history-768x1420.png 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/peter-carl-faberge-the-moscow-kremlin-egg-1906-trivium-art-history-554x1024.png 554w" sizes="(max-width: 271px) 100vw, 271px" /> Faberge’s Moscow Kremlin Egg, from 1906, featuring rose gold
In fact, for the longest time, rose gold was referred to as “Russian gold.” But it turns out it goes back much farther, to the ancient Columbians. Recently, we discovered pieces from the first millennium!
<img class="wp-image-4604 lazyload" title="The earliest known rose gold - a nose ornament from ancient Columbia" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA5NS83MTIvb3JpZ2luYWwvcm9zZS1nb2xkLWZpZ3VyZS02LmpwZw.jpeg" alt="The earliest known rose gold - a nose ornament from ancient Columbia" width="500" height="433" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA5NS83MTIvb3JpZ2luYWwvcm9zZS1nb2xkLWZpZ3VyZS02LmpwZw.jpeg 660w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5saXZlc2NpZW5jZS5jb20vaW1hZ2VzL2kvMDAwLzA5NS83MTIvb3JpZ2luYWwvcm9zZS1nb2xkLWZpZ3VyZS02LmpwZw-300x260.jpeg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" /> The earliest known rose gold – a nose ornament from ancient Columbia
Rose Gold trends In, and then Out
Fabergé’s “Russian Gold” gained popularity worldwide, and was renamed “Rose Gold.” Over time, it has gone in and out of fashion. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, it surged in popularity. This was the Victorian period, and pink was seen as a romantic color. It was used as lovers exchanged rings and other jewelry pieces. It next became became popular in the roaring 1920’s, when Cartier released an iconic piece called the Trinity Band.
<img class="wp-image-4607 lazyload" title="A selection of rings with rose gold. The original Trinity Band is in the center. " src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/CartierTriColor.jpg" alt="A selection of rings with rose gold. The original Trinity Band is in the center. " width="376" height="501" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/CartierTriColor.jpg 600w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/CartierTriColor-225x300.jpg 225w" sizes="(max-width: 376px) 100vw, 376px" /> A selection of rings with rose gold. The original Trinity Band is in the center.
Of course, the buying and selling of jewelry in America changed forever with the Wall Street Crash of 1929. Overnight, people were destitute, and jewelry wasn’t nearly as important as having enough food to eat. Plus, with the times changing, art, fashion, and jewelry moved into Art Deco, which saw platinum as the favorite metal. Art Deco loved their simple, geometric pieces and their icy look of platinum and diamonds. But times changed once again and World War II came along. Platinum was needed for the war effort, and so the government banned it for civilian use. This meant good news for rose and yellow gold, which both became popular as as alternative metals. Unfortunately, that was really the last time we saw rose gold being popular, during the war and up until the 1950s.
So until very recently, it just hasn’t been around.
Rose gold flatters everyone
Rose gold has exploded in popularity, and one of the reasons I think it has such staying power is because it’s such a flattering color for everyone’s skin tone. Personally, I think gold is universally flattering. But with those pink tones, it’s even better, and really easy to wear.
Plus, I feel like we’re not afraid of pink anymore. For a long time, I think women avoided pink because they didn’t want to seem overly girly. But now that just seems ridiculous! Even men wear pink, and it’s ok. It really is. Think of all the tech gadgets that come in rose gold. You think it’s only women buying those?! Think again.
Everywhere I go I see more and more rose gold. A quick stop over at Nordstrom revealed ballet flats, luggage, a sequin gown, an Anne Klein timepiece, a handbag, eyeshadow, and of course, lots and lots of jewelry. Tory Burch and Kendra Scott both have lots of pieces in the metallic shade. I was surprised, although I shouldn’t have been, to see engagement rings in the lovely pink. They’re honestly really beautiful, and I love that we’re adding more options for everyone. Silver, platinum, and gold will always have their place, but it’s refreshing to see something new and different.
<img class=" wp-image-4616 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/249978.jpg" alt="A beautiful rose gold engagement ring from Brilliant Earth" width="506" height="506" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/249978.jpg 425w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/249978-150x150.jpg 150w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/249978-300x300.jpg 300w" sizes="(max-width: 506px) 100vw, 506px" /> A beautiful rose gold engagement ring from Brilliant Earth
Rose gold trend has staying power
What about you? Have you gotten onto the rose gold bandwagon? Do you have any pieces that you’re in love with? Let me know!
<img class="wp-image-4617 lazyload" src="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_1995.jpg" alt="The rose gold set that started it all for me" width="375" height="500" srcset="https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_1995.jpg 810w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_1995-225x300.jpg 225w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_1995-768x1024.jpg 768w, https://valthegemgal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/IMG_1995-1080x1441.jpg 1080w" sizes="(max-width: 375px) 100vw, 375px" /> The rose gold set that started it all for me
As for me, I’m curious to see how long this trend will last. Now that I’m over my initial aversion, I think this might be one that has real staying power.