A History of Rose Gold Jewelry from Victorian to Modern

Victorian Rose Gold Jewelry 
Rose gold was the favorite metal of the Victorian era, particularly in the British Empire. It was often accompanied by blue sapphire, mined from British-ruled India.  These precious gems made their way to London, where they were often set by master jewelers into rose gold mountings! Their color, a dark, cobalt blue with midnight fire, were the perfect complement for rose gold. Sapphire and rose gold, often with seed pearl accents, remains a popular combination even in modern jewelry today!


Art Deco Rose Gold Jewelry 
As fashions changed, white gold became a more popular color for jewelry. Still, rose gold can be seen in Art Deco era pieces! Used as an accent, rose gold can often be found as an actual rose bordered by green gold leaves in the frame of a cameo or on the shoulders of a ring.  See examples of multicolored gold pieces here.


Retro Era Rose Gold Jewelry
Retro era rose gold was shinier, brighter, and bolder in color. New technology in jewelry-making allowed goldsmiths to combine rose gold with white and yellow gold in the same piece of jewelry. This meant that rose gold took on a new cast, tending more towards a peachy, fiery hue that contrasted beautifully with the white and yellow gold! The same theory was applied to the gems used in rose gold jewelry. Instead of sapphires, bright red rubies became a popular choice for rose gold rings!  See some of our rose gold ruby rings from the 1950s here!


Modern Rose Gold Jewelry 
Rose gold remains popular in current fashions, although the tone of the color has once again changed. Modern rose gold tends to have a pure pink cast with very little of the peach tones of the Victorian era. Russian rose gold is perhaps the pinkest, with a pure pink color that evokes youth and energy!
Shop here for modern rose gold pieces from the Elizabeth Henry Collection.

Whether you prefer the romantic history of rose gold from the Victorian era, the bold rose gold of the Retro era, or the rich, pure pink of the Modern era, we’re here to help you find the perfect piece of rose gold jewelry!
Shop all our rose gold jewelry here.

Q&A:

What is rose gold? 
Rose gold is gold that has been alloyed using copper to give it a pink color.

Is rose gold still 14 karat? 
A 14k gold ring is 58.5% gold, with other metals making up the remaining 41.5% If copper is used in that remaining 41.5%, the gold will be rose in hue!

You have a piece listed as rose gold, but it looks yellow to me. Why is that? 
Rose gold, particularly from the Victorian era, can be a little difficult to define. Modern jewelers use a set formula to create their colored gold, but jewelers 100 years ago were a little more artistic! Sometimes the color of the gold is a judgement call, or the gold looks a little different when viewed in different lights. Feel free to ask us for more photos, or to send you a picture that shows both the jewelry you’re interested in and a piece of yellow gold so you can compare!

What is Hamilton Gold?
Hamilton Gold is a term used by antique and estate jewelers to describe rose gold jewelry that is not quite as rosy as other pink gold.  We describe jewelery as Hamilton gold when it is not quite considered rose gold and not quite yellow gold, rather, its color is right in-between.

What is Pink Gold?
Pink gold is simply another term used for rose gold.  Both are trade terms for jewelry that has been alloyed with copper.

See all of our rose gold jewelry here.
Contact customer service here.

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