The differences between yellow, white & rose gold

Coloured Gold Explained

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Here at OERUM, gold is offered in two of the three colourways:
yellow gold & white gold

Coloured gold is a combination of pure gold and alloys, because in its purest form (24k), gold is an orange-yellow colour and is too soft to work with in jewellery. With the addition of alloys, the harsh orange colour is softened and the material becomes more structurally sound and capable of retaining its shape.

Now let us teach you about the compositions of coloured gold so you can understand what alloys give rose gold its warm blush tone, what yellow gold consists of, and which alloys give white gold its cool colour.


Yellow gold combines pure gold, fine silver, and copper to achieve a warm, pale yellow colour. While there are many variations of yellow gold, we’ve found it most common to consist of 75% pure gold, 15% copper, and 10% silver. Yellow gold is a classic, and our most popular colour choice both internally and among our customers – certainly and OERUM favourite!


White gold is often 75% pure gold and 25% other alloys. In this case, gold is often mixed with zinc, palladium, or nickel to achieve its white colour. In addition to this, white gold pieces are often dipped in rhodium, a brilliant, almost chrome-like white metal which makes it less prone to scratching. It is however, recommended that white gold should be “re-dipped” every few years to maintain its lustre.


Rose gold is a mix of pure gold and copper, which gives it a pink finish. There is no single formula for the gold to copper ratio, though to achieve a blush tone is usually around 25% copper by mass. The copper in rose gold actually makes it structurally sturdier but it can also mean it tarnishes faster. A very ‘of the moment’ metal, but one we are very fond of due to its romantic and feminine qualities.

Due to low demand and less availability, we decided to remove rose gold as one of the colourways in our collections. We also feel that rose gold is a more trend sensitive colour making it a less timeless option.

We believe it is important to educate you around our materials – it is something we pride ourselves on and will be doing a lot more of for full transparency.
To get the break down on other aspects of our jewellery, please see our other journal entries under ‘the break down’ tag.


Don’t worry. We send newsletters in the same way we create jewellery: mindfully and always worth your while.

By subscribing you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to Mailchimp for processing. Learn more about Mailchimp's privacy practices.