White Gold, Yellow Gold, Rose Gold - What’s The Difference?

Ever wondered what’s the difference between white gold, yellow gold and rose gold?

As a jewellery lover, it’s important to know what each is about, so that you can pick the best one for you.

Hint: it’s more than meets the eye...

Let’s start off with some general notes.

First and foremost, know that the gold used in jewellery is always a compound. Pure gold by itself wouldn't be tough enough for day to day wear, so other metals are mixed in to make the jewellery more resistant.

The purity of gold is measured in carats (spelled karats in the US), with 22 ct being the highest usable purity in the jewellery industry, followed by 18ct, 14ct and 9ct.

Out of all these, 18ct gold has the perfect balance between gold purity and strength, so that is the one we typically work here, at McFarlane Fine Jewellery.

Now we’re getting to the interesting part… depending on the different metals it’s mixed with, gold can be either yellow, white or rose in colour.

White Gold Diamond Ring

Rose Gold Eternity Ring

Yellow Gold Diamond Ring

Yellow Gold

The OG, the classic, the standard. You simply can’t go wrong with it!

Mixed with: zinc or copper.

Particularly beautiful on: dark and olive skin tones.

Jeweller’s notes: yellow gold is the most malleable and the easiest to tool. For us, it is the Rolls Royce of metals – we love working with it.

Shop our selection of yellow gold jewellery pieces:

Top row: Pretty Little Circle Ring / Little Heart Ring / To Infinity Ring

Middle row: Gold Little Phalanx Ring / Half Moon Ring / Forget Me Knot Ring

Bottom row: Yellow Gold Diamond Bar Bracelet

White Gold

Love gold but want a more modern take on it? It’s white counterpart is cool, cooler, coolest!

Mixed with: palladium, manganese or nickel.

Out of these three, we always choose palladium, since nickel can often cause allergies.

Particularly beautiful on: light and fair skin tones.

Jeweller’s notes: white gold is trickier to wear, as there is a constant need for upkeep. White gold is generally rhodium-plated to give it that cool shine. For this reason, it needs to be re-plated every few years.

PS: We offer this as a free service on all our pieces – email us!

Shop our selection of white gold jewellery pieces:

Top row: White Gold Little Phalanx Ring

Middle row: White Gold Diamond Ring

Blue Sapphire Earrings

Bottom row: White Gold Diamond Bar Bracelet

Rose Gold

The new kid on the block, rose gold has become increasingly popular over the past few years.

Mixed with: copper to give it that rosie colour.

Particularly beautiful on: neutral skin tones.

Jeweller’s notes: rose gold can be slightly more challenging to use, since it oxidises quicker in the soldering process. And, as it contains copper, it can cause allergies (so if you know you are allergic to copper, go for another variety). However, if allergies are not a concern, then you’ll be happy to know that rose gold is the strongest of the three and arguably, the most eye-catching.

Shop our selection of rose gold jewellery pieces:

Top row: Rose Gold Circle Ring, Heart Ring & To Infinity Ring

Middle row: Pink Sapphire Ring / Rose Gold Half Moon Ring / Rose Gold Forget Me Knot Ring

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