Difference between Yellow Gold, White Gold and Rose Gold

Difference between Yellow Gold, White Gold and Rose Gold

The natural color for gold is yellow. You create white gold and rose gold by adding various alloys to yellow gold.
For example, 9ct gold where the ratio is 37.5% pure gold to 62.5% alloy, it’s the other alloys that give gold its color. 18ct has a ratio of 75% pure gold to 25% other alloy. Pure 24ct gold will always be yellow as there are no other alloys mixed to create a different color variation.


White metals are mixed with gold to create the color. These alloys are most often (but not limited to) magnesium, silver, nickel or palladium. These alloys affect the properties of the gold such as strength and durability. For example, adding nickel to the mix strengthens the gold while adding silver makes the gold more malleable.

By adding additional alloys to gold often gives it a light yellowish or dirty color. Rhodium plating is therefore used on most commercial rings such as engagement rings, wedding bands and other pieces to create a brighter white effect. White gold jewellery items do need a certain level of maintenance to retain its white color.


Rose gold is predominantly a gold and copper mixture. The copper gives it the gold a reddish/pink color. Rose gold is therefore also known as pink gold.
The main differences between the “Red”, “Rose” and “Pink” colors are directly related to the copper content. The higher the copper content, the deeper or darker the hue of the gold.
Rose gold, previously used mainly in specialist jewellery is slowly but surely making its presence known and is becoming ever more popular.


Jewellers often charge up to 20% more for white gold or rose gold as for yellow gold. This is mainly due to market trends and nothing more. If you buy an engagement ring for R10 000 in yellow gold, the same ring could set you back R12 000 in white gold.
They do this because the demand for white gold is currently much higher than yellow gold.
The truth is that the difference in cost is so marginally small that it should not impact the price of jewellery at all. Whether you buy white gold, yellow gold or rose gold, it should cost you the same.

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yellow gold white gold rose gold