Rose gold has long been one of those jewelry trends that comes and goes over the years — often lying dormant for decades, only to pop up again when fashion dictates. Today, however, we seem to have entered a new era of rose gold, one that transcends jewelry and influences many aspects of culture and design.
Our current fascination with the precious metal and the color goes beyond engagement rings, jewelry and men’s watches to include hair color, electronics, home accessories…and more. Let’s take a closer look.
A Rose by Any Other Name
Also known as pink gold or red gold in the jewelry industry, rose gold owes its blushing color to the inclusion of copper alloy. Most gold used in jewelry is mixed with other metals to achieve strength and durability, because “pure” 24-karat gold (99 percent or more gold) is too soft on its own.
The more copper alloy added to gold, the deeper the pinkish tone will be.
A Brief History of Rose Gold
No matter what we choose to call it, rose gold has long been used by fine jewelry designers.
- In late 19th-Century Russia, goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé chose it to create many of the intricate Easter Eggs his firm designed for the Imperial family.
- In the Victorian era, when pink was all the rage, so it came to popularity again–the perfect setting for the pink and red garnet jewelry so popular during this time.
- In 1924, Cartier introduced its now-iconic Trinity ring, using bands of 18K yellow, white and rose gold.
- During World War II, when our military needed platinum for defense, it was used as an alternative jewelry metal…a practice that continued through the ‘50s Retro period.
The Modern Era
From the 1960s through the 1990s, rose gold jewelry took a back seat to yellow gold, and in the wedding jewelry arena, to white gold and platinum. In response to the high-contrast days of the 1990s, however, when black, white and silver ruled the runways, designers started to embrace warmer colors, more colorful gemstones, and more feminine styles.
Since the turn of the 21st century, the term “rose gold” has completely penetrated the zeitgeist. From the list of examples found below, it seems that it is finally here to stay.
In the Pink
- In the last five years, jewelers have reported record sales of romantic rose gold engagement and wedding rings. Fueled by Social Media, rose gold is now one of the most popular color schemes for millennial weddings.
- In May, InStyle magazine named rose gold one of the top 10 jewelry trends for 2016.
- The Rose Gold iPhone 6S quickly sold out after its September introduction.
- The Pantone Color Institute named Rose Quartz one of two 2016 Colors of the Year, and the pink gemstone Spinel has been designated an alternative August birthstone (more on that next month).
- Glamour just reported that rose gold is the biggest hair color trend of the summer!
- The Moscow Mule, served in a copper mug, is one of the most popular “revival cocktails” of the year.
- Houzz.com reports that rose gold home décor accessories are enjoying record sales.
Sources: NewYorker.com; Glamour.com; InStyle.com; WeddingBee.com; Houzz.com