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The term Russian gold is often thrown around in the jewelry industry as though it is some rare, little-known type of gold but in reality, this term is quite obsolete.
In reality, Russian gold today is gold from Russia. But in the past, it used to refer to a different type of gold. Let’s have a quick look at what Russian gold is and why it can be confusing.
History of Russian Gold
Russian gold refers to rose gold, which was very popular in Russia in the early 19th century. Because rose gold was used excessively to craft jewelry in Russia during this period, rose gold became known as Russian gold.
Today Russian gold is a term that’s not much used. However, it is, it simply refers to a rose gold alloy and not any other special type of gold.
What is Russian Gold Made of?
Rose (Russian) gold ring by Tiny Sparkle Studio. See this ring here.
If you know what rose gold is made of, then you know what makes up Russian gold. Typically, this is an alloy consisting of pure gold mixed with copper. The addition of copper to gold enhances the durability and strength of the alloy, while also providing it with its famous rosy tint.
Russian gold went in and out of fashion over the years but today is considered among the top three gold colors for jewelry – yellow, white and rose.
If you search for Russian gold jewelry on popular jewelry sites like Etsy or Amazon, you’ll see that it gives up results of rose gold jewelry. However, we noticed that Ebay carried many ‘Russian Gold’ jewelry pieces. However, on closer observation, these were either made in Russia or the brand was called Russian Gold. In the metals description, they were accurately described as rose gold.
Is Russian Gold a Matte Costume Jewelry Finish?
On the internet, you’ll come across some sites that claim that Russian gold is a type of matte electroplated finish used to beautify costume jewelry. There is no basis for this claim and you’ll be hard-pressed to find such fashion jewelry.
You will, however, find a lot of rose gold plated jewelry that has a rose gold finish but is made of base metals.
If you want a ‘genuine’ piece of Russian gold jewelry, we recommend finding an antique rose gold piece, back in the day when rose gold was known as Russian gold. Apart from that, any rose gold jewelry you buy is, in fact, Russian gold.