Rose Gold Allergy Guide

    If you’re a sensitive-skin-haver or have ever had a reaction to rose gold, this guide is for you! Keep reading for everything to know about rose gold allergies including:

    • What is rose gold and why we love it
    • Who might have a rose gold allergy
    • Copper vs nickel allergies
    • Is it an allergy or irritation?
    • How to test for an allergy and what to do if you’re allergic
    • Gold plating & allergies  

    What is rose gold?

    Rose gold is a mixture of pure gold, copper, and occasionally silver alloys. Like all gold tones, rose gold comes in a variety of karat weights. Higher karat means more gold, less copper, and a subtler pink tone. The lower the karat weight, the more copper in the mix, upping the pink factor.

    Small amounts of silver could also be added and will lower the copper content slightly for each karat weight shown below:

    • 10 Karat rose gold: 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% copper
    • 14 Karat rose gold: 58.3% pure gold and 41.7% copper
    • 18 Karat rose gold: 75% pure gold and 25% copper
    • 22 Karat rose gold: 91.7% pure gold and 8.3% copper

    Why we love rose gold

    If you’re a Gem Breakfast gal, you know we have a next-level infatuation with pink. So naturally, we love rose gold with it's warm, pink golden sunset tones.

    peach sapphire three stone ring in rose gold Gem Breakfast

    Some of our favorite one-of-a-kind ring designs have been crafted with rose gold and all our hand-engraved, made-to-order bands are available in rose gold (as well as white gold, yellow gold, and GB exclusive Peach Gold).

    Besides aesthetics, the copper in rose gold makes it more durable, so it’s a great option for those with extra active lifestyles.


    If you’re allergic to copper, there’s a chance you could be allergic to rose gold. Copper allergies are very rare, and rose gold allergies are even more seldom as the copper content in fine jewelry is so low, however it is possible!

    diamond mirella half halo ring in rose gold Gem Breakfast

    If you do have a copper allergy but love the hue, try a higher karat to see how your skin reacts. Because 18kt rose gold contains substantially less copper than 14kt or 10kt gold, you might not have any allergy issues!

    Is copper or nickel the problem? Does rose gold have nickel?

    Most people who think they’re allergic to copper are actually allergic to nickel, an alloy sometimes found in trace amounts in all colors of gold. Nickel allergies are surprisingly common.

    If this is you, chat with your jeweler to ensure your rose gold has zero nickel contamination (we can easily make this happen for you).

    Is your skin allergic to rose gold OR JUST IRRITATED?

    If your skin reacts unhappily to your rose gold jewelry, it’s either an allergy or an irritation. How to tell the difference:

    Rose gold allergy symptoms:If you get a rash shortly after putting on your jewels, it might be an allergy.

    Irritation:A rash can also be caused by moisture between your ring and your skin or from a buildup of oils, debris, soap, lotion, or dry skin. Any residue on your jewels serves as a breeding ground for bacteria which can create a rash that resembles an allergic reaction.

    So, how to know if it’s an allergy to rose gold or an irritation?

    Have your ring professionally cleaned and try wearing it again once your rash has cleared up. If all is well, it’s likely not an allergy, just a ring that needed cleaning. To prevent any future irritation, make sure your hands are completely clean and dry before donning your ring(s). Clean regularly at home with a toothbrush and dish soap to keep everything squeaky clean and irritation-free.

    Read our blogon how to clean your ring at home for more!

    What metals cause allergies?

    • Nickel – The most common allergy culprit, nickel can be found in both silver and gold jewelry.
    • Copper – Though not as common, some people do have a copper allergy.
    • Brass – A mixture of copper and zinc. If you’re allergic to brass, you may be allergic to pure copper as well.

    Gold plating & Allergies

    Is gold-plated jewelry a good option for those with metal allergies? Sadly, no. Gold plated jewelry is made by applying an extremely thin layer of gold over a base metal. Yes, even vermeil and gold-filled jewelry is made with a microscopic layer of gold (vermeil gold plating is 28 times thinner than a single strand of human hair). Eventually the plating will wear off, and if you’re allergic to the metal underneath, your skin will react.

    Read our blog for more on solid gold vs gold plating.

    How to test if you’re allergic to rose gold?

    In an allergy test, your doctor will apply a patch to your skin with a small amount of the potential allergen on it. After 48 hours, your doctor will remove the patch and assess the skin underneath. If your skin is inflamed, that usually means an allergy.  

    Purple-Blue Opalescent Oval Cut Sapphire Ring in Peach Gold

    What can you do about a metal allergy?

    If your doctor confirms your allergy, they may give you medications or creams to help heal your rash. Long term, you’ll want to avoid that particular metal. If you’re allergic to nickel for instance, only shop for nickel-free jewelry and contact your jeweler to ensure the metal is truly nickel-free. The same goes for copper allergies.

    is rose gold okay for sensitive skin?

    Although most sensitive skin-havers are completely fine with rose gold, there are those that still react to the trace amounts of copper. If this is you, try a higher karat of rose gold (less copper) or read more about GB exclusive peach gold below - a rosy golden hue with much less copper!

    Peach gold: the goldilocks of gold

    If you love the blush tone of rose gold but your skin doesn’t, consider Gem Breakfast exclusive Peach Gold – a perfectly peachy blend of rose gold and yellow gold. While it still contains some copper, the content is much lower than traditional rose gold and just may be the ticket for your copper-adverse skin. Plus, it’s stunningly beautiful, universally flattering on all skin tones, and exclusively found at Gem Breakfast.

    Read Related Blogs

    How to Choose Between Peach Gold, Rose Gold and Yellow Gold

    How To Clean Your Engagement Ring

    How To Care For Your Fine Jewelry