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Rose Gold vs. Yellow Gold: What's the Difference?

Edited by Janet White || By Harlon Moss || Updated on October 24, 2023
Rose gold is a pinkish-gold alloy, while yellow gold is pure gold mixed with metals like zinc or copper.

Key Differences

Rose gold and yellow gold are both popular choices for jewelry, but they have distinct colors and compositions. Rose gold gets its pinkish hue from the inclusion of copper in its alloy, making it different from yellow gold. Yellow gold, with its natural luster, is pure gold that's alloyed with metals such as zinc or copper to enhance its strength and durability.
The appeal of rose gold lies in its romantic, vintage appearance, which is a result of the reddish tint from the copper. Yellow gold, on the other hand, has been cherished for centuries for its timeless, classic appeal. Its brightness and warmth make it a favorite for many jewelry buyers.
Regarding durability, rose gold's copper content makes it more durable than yellow gold, offering some resistance to scratches and dents. Conversely, the purity level of yellow gold determines its softness. Higher karat yellow gold, like 24k, is softer and more prone to scratches, while lower karat yellow gold is more durable.
In terms of trends, rose gold has surged in popularity in recent years, especially for engagement rings and other jewelry pieces. Yellow gold, being a classic, has consistently been a preferred choice for generations and maintains its status as a jewelry mainstay.

Comparison Chart


Pinkish due to copper alloy
Bright yellow, as a result of its natural hue


Gold alloyed mainly with copper
Gold alloyed with metals like zinc or copper


Generally more durable due to copper content
Durability varies based on karat; higher karat is softer


Gained recent popularity, seen as modern
Timeless, classic choice for centuries

Main Usage

Often used for engagement rings and modern jewelry
Widely used in various traditional jewelry pieces

Rose Gold and Yellow Gold Definitions

Rose Gold

Rose gold offers a romantic and modern aesthetic.
The rose gold pendant looked stunning against her skin.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold's softness varies with its karat number.
The 18k yellow gold was chosen for its balance of color and durability.

Rose Gold

Rose gold's durability is enhanced due to copper.
Despite daily wear, her rose gold bracelet remained scratch-free.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is gold alloyed with metals for durability.
He bought a yellow gold chain for his birthday.

Rose Gold

Rose gold has gained recent popularity in jewelry.
The store showcased an array of rose gold necklaces.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold has a natural bright yellow hue.
The yellow gold earrings gleamed in the sunlight.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a pinkish-gold metal alloy.
Her engagement ring was made of rose gold.

Yellow Gold

The purity of yellow gold is measured in karats.
He decided on a 24k yellow gold ring for its rich color.

Rose Gold

Rose gold contains copper to achieve its hue.
The distinct color of rose gold is due to its copper content.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is a classic choice for jewelry.
Her grandmother's yellow gold locket was passed down for generations.


Which is more durable: rose gold or yellow gold?

Rose gold, due to its copper content, tends to be more durable than yellow gold.

Is rose gold a modern invention?

No, rose gold has historical roots, but it has gained recent popularity in modern jewelry.

Why is yellow gold considered classic?

Yellow gold has been a preferred choice for jewelry for centuries due to its natural, timeless appeal.

Does yellow gold scratch easily?

Higher karat yellow gold is softer and more prone to scratches. Lower karat gold is more durable.

Why is yellow gold often alloyed with other metals?

Alloying enhances its durability and strength, as pure gold is soft.

What gives rose gold its pinkish color?

Rose gold's pinkish hue comes from the copper alloyed with the gold.

Can both rose gold and yellow gold be used in the same jewelry piece?

Yes, many jewelry designs combine rose gold and yellow gold for a unique look.

Is rose gold more expensive than yellow gold?

Prices vary based on design and weight, but generally, the two are comparably priced.

How popular is rose gold in engagement rings today?

Rose gold has seen a surge in popularity for engagement rings in recent years.

How does the appearance of yellow gold change over time?

Yellow gold can develop a patina over time but can be polished to restore its shine.

Can rose gold be plated?

Yes, some jewelry might be made of a different metal and plated with rose gold.

Is there any symbolic meaning to yellow gold?

Yellow gold has been symbolic of wealth, purity, and tradition across cultures.

Is yellow gold pure gold?

Yellow gold is pure gold alloyed with metals like zinc or copper for durability.

Which gold is heavier: rose gold or yellow gold?

The weight is more about the karat and thickness of the piece than the type of gold.

How do I maintain the shine of my yellow gold jewelry?

Clean it regularly with a soft cloth and appropriate gold-cleaning solution.

How can I determine the purity of yellow gold?

Purity of yellow gold is measured in karats, with 24k being pure gold.

Can I be allergic to rose gold?

Some people may be allergic to the metals alloyed with the gold, such as copper in rose gold.

Are there different shades of rose gold available?

Yes, the shade can vary based on the amount of copper alloyed with the gold.

Is it easy to resize rose gold jewelry?

Yes, but it's always best to consult with a professional jeweler for resizing.

Does rose gold tarnish?

Rose gold doesn't tarnish, but it can darken slightly with age due to copper content.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.

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