Rose Gold vs Yellow Gold: Which is Better?

Faith is a freelance writer who loves writing articles in various niches such as lifestyle,…

You’re excited to buy a new gold jewelry piece. But you can’t decide between rose gold and yellow gold because they’re both fantastic in their own right. While yellow gold is more traditional and widely associated with wealth and status, rose gold is modern and more durable. So, which one will you choose? 

Your confusion ends here because, in this guide, we’re discussing the differences between rose gold and yellow gold so you can make an informed decision.

What is rose gold?

Rose Gold Ring - Rose Gold vs Yellow Gold: Which is Better?

Rose gold is an alloy (a combination of metals) containing pure gold, copper, and sometimes silver. If you’ve followed the latest gold jewelry trends over the past couple of years, you’ve probably noticed rose gold jewelry rising in popularity. 

Its pinkish color comes from the copper; the higher the copper content, the more intense the color. 10K rose gold contains 41.7% pure gold and has a reddish hue. It’s low-quality and often causes skin irritations. 

14K rose gold contains 58.5% pure gold and appears pinkish-red, while 18K rose gold has 75%  pure gold with a pinkish-champagne color.

What is yellow gold?

Rose Gold

Yellow gold is made of pure gold mixed with other metals to increase its durability and produce the desired color tone. The alloy metals in yellow gold include silver, copper, and zinc. 

Yellow gold was a symbol of wealth and power starting from 4000 B.C., making it highly desirable. Men and women wore gold jewelry and considered it a rare luxury. Yellow gold is still popular in almost all parts of the world.

Yellow gold was the most precious gold alloy until the 19th century when white gold was invented and recognized as a platinum substitute.

Like rose gold, the higher the gold content in yellow gold, the higher the caratage. It’s available in 9K, 10K, 14K, 18K, and 22K.

Rose gold vs yellow gold: How they differ

Rose gold and yellow gold are both beautiful jewelry metals. Let’s look at how they differ.


Rose gold has a gold-tinged shade of pink. The pink is due to the presence of copper, which is a red-orange metal. As discussed earlier, its appearance depends on the copper content. The more copper, the deeper the hue. 

On the other hand, yellow gold has a rich orange-yellow color. The higher the gold caratage, the richer it looks, and the more vivid the gold appears.   


Due to the copper content in rose gold, it’s one of the most durable gold alloys. Rose gold jewelry can become darker over time. The darkening happens because of everyday wear and tear. It develops over the years and is called “patina.” 

Yellow gold is subject to dents and scratches; thus, it requires regular cleaning and polishing. Also, yellow gold jewelry tarnishes over time but rose gold does not. 

💡 Fun Fact: Patina is a layer that forms naturally on rose gold jewelry after several years of wear. It makes the jewelry redder and darker and gives it a vintage look.


Copper is one of the cheapest metals available, meaning rose gold jewelry is slightly more affordable than yellow gold due to its copper content. However, many stores price them similarly. 

However, the cost of jewelry will depend on the gold caratage; the higher the gold content, the higher the cost. Other determining factors include specific style, size, and additional adornments like gemstones.

Complementary gemstones

Yellow gold has been one of the most sought-after precious metals since the start of civilization and blends well with various gemstones including:

  • Clear: Diamonds, colorless topaz, and morganite 
  • Bright pink: Pink sapphire, pink tourmaline, and rhodolite garnet
  • Purple:  Fluorite, purple jadeite, and amethyst.
  • Deep blue: Lapis Lazuli, tanzanite, and sapphire.
  • Green: Jade, peridot, and emerald
  • Orange: Citrine and amber
  • Chocolate: Chocolate opal and hessonite garnet
  • Dark charcoal: Black pearls and melanite

Rose gold jewelry is unique because it’s trendy and has a vintage appeal. Your rose gold engagement ring will look amazing with these gemstones:

  • Pink sapphire
  • Ruby
  • Alexandrite
  • Rose quartz
  • Red garnet
  • Amethyst
  • Aquamarine
  • Blue topaz 
  • Pink tourmaline. 
  • White diamond
  • Morganite


Throughout history, yellow gold was the most popular metal color and was predominantly used in making wedding rings. Even today, we still view a yellow gold band as a traditional wedding ring. 

Today, yellow gold is back in style as a classic metal that brings a vintage feeling and old-world charm to various jewelry pieces.

On the other hand, rose gold is relatively more recent. It was first created in Russia and was popular in the 1800s. Rose gold was popular in the Mid-Victorian era and peaked during the 1920s. In the later half of the 20th century, especially in the 90s, yellow gold and rose gold were considered old-fashioned as white metals became prominent.

Rose gold jewelry is trendy today as it brings femininity and romance to the fore. It’s the perfect balance between a modern and traditional look.


For wearers with sensitive skin, some metallic jewelry can cause an allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic jewelry is safe to wear for people with both hypersensitive and normal skin.

On its own, gold doesn’t trigger allergic reactions. However, some gold alloys can ignite an allergic reaction. Rose gold is not hypoallergenic due to its high copper content.

Yellow gold is a better option for sensitive skin; however, it depends on the gold caratage. For example, 14K gold can still cause skin irritation. But 18K gold has a higher gold content and only 8% of nickel, so it’s considered hypoallergenic.

Rose gold vs yellow gold: Side by side

Here’s a table with a side-by-side comparison of both jewelry metals.

FeaturesRose goldYellow gold
AppearanceRose gold is rosy pink or gold-tinged pink. Yellow gold is orange-yellow.
DurabilityRose gold is long-lasting and tarnish-resistant.Yellow gold tarnishes over time and is susceptible to dents and scratches.
CostThe cost depends on the caratage (pure gold content). 
Copper is a cheap metal, but similar gold caratage to yellow gold is usually priced similarly.
The cost depends on the caratage (pure gold content) It usually costs the same as rose gold jewelry with similar gold caratage.
Complementary gemstonesPink sapphire, ruby, amethyst, aquamarine, pink tourmaline, and red garnet.Diamonds, emerald, colorless topaz, tanzanite, citrine, amber, and chocolate opal.
PopularityRose gold is trendy today.Yellow gold has been popular for thousands of years and is still popular today.
AllergenicityRose gold is not hypoallergenic; it contains copper and may cause reactions in copper-sensitive wearers.Yellow gold is hypoallergenic but contains nickel which may cause reactions in nickel-sensitive people.

Which should you choose?

As we have observed, both these metals are similar in popularity and value. However, rose gold is more durable than yellow gold. The main difference between the two is their colors, so your choice will depend on what color best suits your interest and skin tone. 

However, yellow gold would be a better option if you have sensitive skin, especially 18K and 22K gold pieces, as the nickel content is minimal.

Frequently asked questions

If you still want to know more about rose or yellow gold, we’ve answered questions that people usually ask.

Is rose gold better than yellow gold?

When it comes to durability, rose gold is better than yellow gold. Your rose gold jewelry won’t tarnish and will last for long without frequent maintenance. However, rose gold is more likely to cause allergic reactions than yellow gold.

Which skin tones go well with rose gold?

Rose gold complements olive and warm skin tones best.

Is rose gold worth the same as gold?

Rose gold contains the same amount of pure gold as yellow gold. For instance, a 14K rose gold has the same amount of gold as a 14K yellow gold ring, so you could say they are worth the same. It’s no wonder both have similar prices in retail stores.

Can I wear rose gold every day?

Yes, rose gold is a highly durable gold alloy that you can wear daily.

Is it okay to shower with rose gold?

Yes, you can shower with rose gold jewelry. However, avoid swimming with it as chlorine and salt water will reduce its shine. 

Pink or Yellow: Which one will you choose?

We’ve shared everything you should know about these two gold alloys, so now you must decide. Are you more traditional? Or do you prefer modern jewelry? Do you have sensitive skin? What’s your skin tone? Examining these factors will help you decide whether rose gold or yellow gold is better for you.

💎 You should know: We use affiliate links throughout our site. This means we may earn a cent or two when you make a purchase on our site. Thanks for adding to our shine.