Rose gold has gained significant acclaim in the jewellery industry and is now touted as the “chicest” hue for summer accessories, according to a Sotheby’s Diamonds report that discusses the precious metal’s rise to popularity.
Rose gold is the perfect complement to a warm glow brought about by summer, with the pink tint of the gold and copper alloy bringing out the subtle blush tones of the wearer’s skin, the auction house said.
Despite its popularity in today’s jewellery market, rose gold didn’t get its start until the 19th century in Imperial Russia. Carl Fabergé, renowned jeweller to the czars, was one of the first to use it in his creations, specifically his famous Fabergé Eggs.
Blending yellow gold and copper created an alluring pink material that was first coined as “Russian Gold.” As this mix of alloys became popular among jewellers around the world, it was later renamed “Rose Gold.”
The colour of rose gold depends on the ratio of copper to gold, ranging from a soft pink to a deep red. As the copper content increases, the colour of the gold deepens to red. The components of true rose gold are approximately 75 percent gold and 22.5 percent copper and a small percentage of silver, which slightly lightens the effect of the dark copper.
Inspired by vivid colours, jewellers from the 1920s introduced innovative designs using rose gold to add warmth and femininity to jewellery. Cartier, in particular, incorporated the pinkish material into many of its high jewellery designs at the time.
After the Wall Street Crash of 1929, a dramatic shift influenced the designs of the new decade, according to Sotheby’s. “Art Deco gave way to Art Nouveau, and jewellery saw a heavy influence of monochromatic and geometric aesthetics, heavily favouring the use of platinum for an icy white colour scheme,” it continued.
As World War II unfolded, however, platinum became a mineral vital to war efforts, which caused many countries to restrict and even prohibit its use. Once again, gold in both yellow and rose hues was reintroduced into jewellery design and became the precious metal of choice. Today, this tradition continues. Rose gold’s understated elegance brings inimitable femininity and warmth to jewelled creations, Sotheby’s said.