Is Pink Gold Prone to Discoloration? Everything You Need to Know | JEWEL CAFÉ Malaysia

Date Updated: November 21, 2023

Is Pink Gold Prone to Discoloration? Everything You Need to Know | JEWEL CAFÉ Malaysia


Pink gold is so cute!


Pink/Rose gold has recently become more popular among young women.


That's right. There are some rose gold accessories that I'd like to have, but I've heard that they discolor easily and cause allergies, so I'm having a hard time getting my hands on them.


There are certainly rumors like that. This time, we will dig deeper into the characteristics of pink gold and explain it in detail.

Since its introduction as a fashion jewel in the 19th century, pink gold has remained a highly coveted option in jewelry and fashion accessories. Its soft, warm-toned, and elegant hue has an incredible appeal, making it a popular choice from then till now. Many people choose it for their engagement rings, watches, and necklaces, among other fashion items.

Despite all these, there’s been a perennial contention on whether pink gold is susceptible to discoloration. To settle the debate, one must first understand the components of pink gold to identify whether or not it has properties that may subject it to discoloration.

As a result, this post will examine everything you need to know about pink gold. The objective of doing this is to establish the truth on whether or not it is prone to discoloration. So, let’s start by discussing essential things you must know about the beautiful pink gold metal.

Essential Things to Know About Pink Gold Metal

The beautiful pink gold metal is an alloy that contains several other metals, including yellow gold, silver, and copper. It achieves its unique pinkish hue because of its combination with copper. So, when you see variations of pink gold, it means each one has different amounts of copper.

In most cases, the higher the copper in the content of gold, the deeper the pinkish hue it generates to form pink gold. Kindly note that this doesn’t make pink gold less of a gold. It is, in fact, real gold. The reason why it’s subjected to such a mixture with other metals is because pure gold is too soft to be carved into accessories, so it uses other metals to enhance its durability.

For example, 14k pink gold contains 58% gold, 38.3% copper, 2.1% silver, and 1.3% zinc. On the other hand, 18k pink gold has 75% gold, 23% copper, 1.3% silver, and 0.7% zinc. Between these two pink golds, you’ll be surprised that people often choose the 14k more than the 18k. Why?

People choose the 14k pink gold more primarily because it has a deeper color of the pinkish hue that’s highly sought-after. Only those who prefer to see a more subtle manifestation of the pinkish hue on their jewelry settle for the 18k pink gold, a perfect blend of yellow gold and other metals. So, like its creator, Carl Fabergé, other jewelers are mixing different alloy recipes to create different pink-gold color variants in their accessories.

The subtle, rosy, and warm color feature of the pink gold gives it a romantic translation, making it the dominant choice for engagement rings. Its hue is versatile, allowing it to fit in different accessories like rings, watches, bracelets, and anklets, while complementing a wide range of skin tones, especially bright pink summer skin tones. You can always find the perfect pink gold for your skin tone at your jeweler.


It turns out that while pink gold is highly durable, it is also prone to discoloration.


Although it is easy to discolor, pink gold color is still very popular among women because of its beautiful appearance.

Is Pink Gold Prone to Discoloration?

As we mentioned earlier, the properties of pink gold metal offer it fine durability against scratches and deformation. Unlike other precious metal products, it is resistant to rust, corrosion, and tarnishing. Unfortunately, pink gold is prone to discoloration and distinctively plays out in different fashion accessories.

Discoloration is a process in which jewelry gradually changes color, creating one different from the original. As regards pink gold jewelry, discoloration occurs when you see a dull, more vintage color on your jewelry. At other times, a blanket on the surface of the jewelry removes the pristine luster that made it so desirable before you purchased it.

The budding question at this point is – what causes pink gold discoloration? Research has shown that the discoloration we see in pink gold jewelry is a product of several factors. These factors combine to trigger the natural coloration of the jewelry, causing it to wane over time. Below is a highlight of some of the factors:

Chemical Reaction from Mixed Metals

You’ll recall we mentioned that pink gold is realized by combining several metals, including gold, silver, copper, and zinc. This combination triggers a chemical reaction whenever they interact with elements like sulfur, oxygen, and oil, among other things. When this happens, discoloration begins, and the pink gold jewelry turns yellow or brown.

An extension of the chemical reaction is the exposure of pink gold to saltwater, sweat, chlorine, and body care products. These properties have chemical contents that trigger the metals in pink gold, causing them to begin discoloration. While exposure to some of these properties is unavoidable, they are manageable. You can manage exposure to chlorine, sweat, and other liquids.


After a few years of use, pink gold jewelry suffers the relentless marching of time. The jewelry simply ages, and this results in discoloration. This is also an extension of the metal properties in it. Naturally, silver changes color over time, and its existence in pink gold doesn’t halt its natural discoloration. It triggers that of pink gold. That’s why your jewelry changes color after a period of use.

Furthermore, copper, a metal property in rose gold, also undergoes oxidation after some time. The molecules in copper react to the same environmental elements, causing pink gold to wane. Note that copper is the primary metal that enhances the pinkish coloration of pink gold. So, the lower the volume of copper in the jewelry, the lower the pinkish color tone.


While this may sound counterintuitive, it is a notable factor that enhances the discoloration of pink gold. Yes, you’re cleaning your pink gold to preserve its integrity, but polishing reduces the volume of copper in pink gold. Copper is highly reactive, and the slightest alteration to its unique form.

The more you polish it, the lesser the volume of copper in the pink gold. The reduction in copper properties is a gradual process that occurs over time until the discoloration becomes visible. While some people find the vintage look appealing, others don’t, as the appearance depends on what you want your rose gold jewelry to look like.

Scratches and Wear

Scratches are the most neglected factors that enhance pink gold discoloration and stem from poor handling. No matter how durable a precious metal product is, you can’t subject it to poor handling because that would make it lose beauty quickly.

Loss of beauty starts from tiny scratches that accumulate over time, creating imperfections on the pink gold jewelry. The imperfection gives the jewelry a different look from what it used to be. It even gets worse if the jewelry is coated. The coating is always at the surface, so the base metal is exposed whenever the surface scratches off.


Discoloration due to aging of pink gold is unavoidable.


That’s right. However, if you know how to prevent discoloration, you can slow down the discoloration. Let’s take a look at how to slow down the discoloration of rose gold.

How Do You Prevent Discoloration in Pink Gold Metal Products?

Pink gold discoloration is inevitable, but you can manage it for a long time if you observe preventive measures. Below are expert suggestions on how to prevent discoloration in your pink gold jewelry:

1.     Ensure You Always Avoid Contact With Moisture

Many pink gold jewelry states ‘water resistant’ in their sale manual; that’s why you see people leave them on when they go for a swim or visit a hot spring. People often wear jewelry like rings, anklets, and even necklaces despite contact with water. You must understand that doing this with your pink gold accessories accelerates the discoloration in the jewelry.

Water contains oxygen; pool water may contain chlorine, and hot spring water may contain sulfur, all elements that can trigger chemical reactions in your pink gold accessories. Therefore, the first preventive measure to observe is always to avoid contact with water and other moisture contents when your pink gold accessories are on you.

2.     Observe a Proper Storage

Whether you’ve spent a fortune on your pink gold accessories or not, you find them valuable enough to be owned; that’s why you’ve purchased them. As a result, you must observe proper storage of your jewelry whenever you’re not wearing them. Keeping your pink gold jewelry in trays, pans, and straight in the drawer in your room isn’t ideal to avoid discoloration.

The ideal way to prevent discoloration is to get jewelry storage boxes and place each in them. If you can’t get jewelry boxes, you can use velvet or cotton bags as alternative storage options for these items. Doing this is also a way to prevent them from scratches that may occur when you leave them on a bare surface.

3.     Observe Careful Usage During Summer

Summer is the time of the year when humidity increases and the climate shifts to hotter temperatures. As a result, we all tend to sweat more from even the slightest physical engagement. As natural as sweating is, it’s a viable cause of pink-gold discoloration, and it is more potent during sweaty seasons like summer.

Our skin produces a natural oil called sebum through the sebaceous gland. This oil, or any oil, is a potent trigger of pink-gold discoloration. Hence, during a sweaty season like summer, you must observe the careful usage of your pink gold jewelry. If you’re wearing it out, ensure you’re conscious to wipe off sweat droplets with a soft cloth constantly.

4.     Compartmentalize Your Jewelry Per Metal

If you have so much jewelry from different precious metals like gold, silver, or bronze, you must separate them by their metal. That is, gold jewelry should be placed in a different place than silver. The reason for doing this is to reduce the chances of tarnish and discoloration to the barest minimum.

First, inventory all your jewelry, then separate them by metal and type. Bracelets should have a different storage to necklaces and rings. After doing this, place each one in a different compartment. Doing this will also help you eliminate scratches and tangling when they are together.

5.     Observe Maintenance Practices

The quality of maintenance practices you observe determines the longevity of your pink gold accessories. While you can observe a DIY maintenance practice, you can also get professional assistance from professional jewelry cleaners. Whatever option you settle for, you must follow maintenance practices for your pink gold jewelry.


If you use it carefully in your daily life, you can slow down its deterioration over time.


Yes. It may be a little troublesome, but if you pay attention to these points, you will be able to maintain the color you bought it for a long time.

In addition to the preventive measures discussed above, you must observe regular cleaning of your pink gold jewelry. Please occasionally remove your jewelry and polish it with a soft microfiber cloth. Ensure you’re gentle to avoid scratching or peeling off the surface of the jewelry.

What Can You Do When You Realize Discoloration in Your Pink Gold 

There’s no cause for alarm when you notice discoloration on your pink gold jewelry. But there’s a cause for action as soon as you see it. Below are suggestions on how to correct such discoloration:

1.     Check the Extent of Discoloration

You know what your pink gold jewelry looks like when it has its original color. So, even if the discoloration is gradual and unnoticeable until you notice it, the first thing to do is determine the extent of the discoloration. This requires a careful analysis from you or whoever is checking for you.

If the discoloration is minor, you may observe DIY solutions to correct it. However, if you realize the discoloration is at the later stages, you may have to consult a professional for restoration. Whatever decision you take starts with checking the extent of discoloration on the pink gold jewelry.

2. Carefully Clean the Jewelry

As we said, you can observe self-care solutions if the discoloration is early. The first step is getting jewelry cleaning supplies, including a neutral detergent, lukewarm water, and a soft microfiber cloth. After getting these, you follow a strategic cleaning process we will highlight below.

The first step is to pour a small amount of the neutral detergent into the water and wait for it to dissolve. After it dissolves, soak your pink gold jewelry in it for 7 to 8 minutes. After the time elapses, gently wipe with the soft microfiber cloth. Take out the jewelry after a short wipe and rinse in another water.

After rinsing, observe a thorough drying exercise to remove all liquid from the jewelry. As we mentioned, water is a potent discoloration agent, so you must remove all of it after cleaning. By this time, your pink gold would look much better, and its luster would be renewed.

3. Request Repairs from Professionals

Regardless of the extent of discoloration on your pink gold accessories, visiting a professional jewelry repair company is advisable to get a proper repair. Doing this puts your mind at rest that they’ll get everything right while restoring your pink gold jewelry to its standard quality and appearance.

Personal polishing exposes the jewelry to several risks. So, to eliminate all the risks, commit it to professional care. This will be for a fee, but it’ll be worth it for the quality of service they’ll offer you. So, contact them when you notice discoloration on your pink gold jewelry. 

A: If the color of your pink gold has changed, it would be better to have it repaired by a professional.

B: That’s right. It’s safer than doing it yourself, takes less time, and has many advantages.


If the color of your pink gold has changed, it would be better to have it repaired by a professional.


That’s right. It’s safer than doing it yourself, takes less time, and has many advantages.

Can Metal Allergies Occur if Pink Gold is Incompatible?

It’s rare to see other metals trigger allergies in people. But recently, many people have claimed that pink gold triggers their allergies. Following that, we conducted research to discover the allergens in pink gold. Below are the results of our research.

Copper, a significant component of pink gold metal, is a highly potent causative agent of allergies. When allergic individuals wear pink gold accessories, the ions in the copper interact with the skin tissue, and the body switches on its defense mechanism against the foreign agent. The result of this is allergic reactions.

Some symptoms of pink gold allergies include rashes, itching, pain, and slight discomfort. Note that these symptoms can appear and disappear suddenly. So ensure your skin is compatible with pink gold by taking skin tests before buying pink gold accessories.  


How can I find out if I have a metal allergy?


You can test your metal allergy by taking a patch test. Find out which metals you are allergic to.

In Conclusion

Pink gold in all types of accessories is prone to discoloration, which is unavoidable. However, you can reduce the potency of this occurrence by always observing preventive care measures. We have listed some of them for your perusal in this post, so ensure you do due diligence. Also, if you discover discoloration on your pink gold jewelry, you should take it to professionals for proper care.


Be careful not to let it come into contact with water as much as possible.


It is important to be conscious of taking care of it on a daily basis. Simply wiping it with a soft cloth can also be effective.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pink Gold

Does Pink Gold Look Cheap?

Pink gold is a beautiful metal in many accessories that appear elegant and soft in its pinkish hue. This distinct appearance shouldn’t be mistaken as cheap, even though it costs less than white and yellow gold.

Can I Wear My Pink Gold Accessories Daily?

A notable characteristic of pink gold is that it is highly durable because of its inherent properties. Hence, you can wear your pink gold accessories daily, but ensure you observe discoloration prevention tips.

Should I Buy 14k or 18k Pink Gold?

Your preference between the two depends on your taste and budget. But it is advisable to buy 18k pink gold because it’s more valuable than 14k. But if you’re looking for more durability, you can opt for the 14k because it contains more copper and silver, which makes it more durable.


I find out more interesting facts in here.


Yes that's true, you can also get more information about other luxury item facts in here


Oh okay! Thank you so much.


You're welcome

The person who wrote this article

author Micheal Author

Micheal is a graduate of the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Arts, University of Ibadan. He has been a writer since 2018, giving insightful submissions on both classic and emerging trends in the fashion industry. He shows his enthusiasm by reviewing branded fashion items including bags, watches, and jewelry to offer his readers authentic and unique insights that improve their style.

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