All You Need to Know About Rose Gold Beads
If you’re looking to update your jewelry color palette this year, consider adding a touch of rose gold. As a color, rose gold is more popular than ever. It’s been showcased in designer gowns and even in accessories as varied as Birkenstock sandals, Michael Kors sunglasses, and Apple’s latest iPhone.
The unique glow of rose gold is even more charming when it comes in bead form.
The Allure of Beads
Beads are thought to be the earliest form of personal adornment. The oldest beads discovered are made of shells and are believed to be about 100,000 years old. They have tiny holes, so the shells could be strung together and worn on the body.
Since ancient times, beads have been used for many purposes besides decoration, including trade, prayer, currency, and counting tools – such as the abacus. In some cultures, they are thought to carry protective and healing powers. Beads are even used in hospitals as part of a therapeutic approach that helps children cope with serious illnesses.
Beads come in a variety of natural materials, including stone, wood, ivory, bone, glass, and metal, but can also be made of synthetic materials.
What About Gold?
There’s a reason gold is called a “precious metal.” It glows with a warmth that rivals the sun, shines with a smoothness that doesn’t corrode, and melds with other metals to become a durable, timeless piece of art.
The world’s oldest gold bead, found in Bulgaria, was made approximately 6,500 years ago.
Gold’s purity is measured in karats. Pure gold has 24 karats (24K). Since gold is a soft metal, it is combined (alloyed) with harder metals when used for making jewelry.
For 18K gold, the ratio is 18 parts gold to 6 parts other metals for a total of 24 karats. Similarly, 14K gold is 14 parts gold to 10 parts other metals.
Yellow, White, or Rose Gold: What’s the Difference?
Yellow gold is an alloy of gold, copper, and silver. A small amount of copper and silver gives it strength and durability. Yellow gold is said to be a symbol of fidelity.
White gold is an alloy of gold, copper, nickel, zinc, and silver. The addition of nickel, zinc, and silver gives white gold its silvery look. White gold is considered to represent friendship.
Rose gold is similar to yellow gold, but with a higher copper content, which imparts a rosy hue. The higher the copper content, the deeper the red color. Rose gold is a sign of romance and love.
The most common types of rose gold are 18K in Europe and 14K in the U.S.
- 18K rose gold (also known as pink gold) is 75% gold and 25% copper/other metals, such as silver and palladium.
- 14K rose gold (also known as red gold) is 58.5% gold and 41.5% copper/other metals, such as silver and zinc.
More Facts about Rose Gold
Since rose gold–like yellow gold–does not contain nickel, it is sometimes preferred over white gold by those with nickel allergies. It is more durable and less expensive than yellow or white gold. However, it isn’t as widely available.
Rose gold was first worn in Russia during the 19th century when it earned its nickname, “Russian gold.” Since that time, it’s enjoyed several bursts of popularity, including during the Victorian era, the 1920s, World War II, and the 1950s.
The 21st century has ushered in a renewed interest in rose gold. From engagement rings to costume jewelry, women these days like owning something as versatile and romantic as rose gold. It harmonizes with all skin tones, complements a variety of gemstones and clothing colors, and has a vintage appeal.
What About Rose Gold Beads?
Since gold and beads are such jewelry superstars, why not merge them? It’s a winning combination. Just add some copper and silver to the gold to sweeten the synergy, and voilà–rose gold beads! The result is a subtle blush that pleases the eye.
Rose gold beads are available in several styles, including gold-filled and gold-plated options. Gold-filled jewelry consists of a base metal with a layer of at least 12K gold added, while gold-plated jewelry is made by covering the metal with a thin layer of gold through a process called electroplating.
Purchasing a string of rose gold-plated beads and clasps and crafting your own vintage-inspired projects is a creative and economical option.
Rose gold beads and spacers can be used as accents in necklaces and bracelets. They can even add a subtle sparkle to centerpieces, wreaths, floral arrangements, party favors, and much more.
So, why not think pink? After all, roses are red, violets are blue, rose gold is pink, and beads can be, too!