In honor of their 175th anniversary, Tiffany have, with much fanfare, launched the Rubedo line, made from an "entirely new metal alloy" which they say glows like gold, is malleable like silver, and is lightweight.
Much as I salivate over the quality of their stones (and a few of the designs), I'm leery of this marketing monkey business.
An element analysis conducted by Goldbuyers.com, a New York gold refinery, found that Rubedo was about 31 percent gold and nearly 55 percent copper, along with silver and a smidgen of zinc. In karats, that comes out to roughly a measly 7.5 percent.
The gold content is not specified nor offered by Tiffany. (For instance, a piece marked 14k is 58.5 percent pure gold; 18k is 75 percent.) Considering the material, you're paying a whopping premium to celebrate the brand's anniversary, which may be the reason why Tiffany have decided to clutter the pieces with hallmarks, creating a status billboard.
Rose gold is often combined with other golds or silver. Tiffany's entry is a 25-inch long interlocking circles necklace of rubedo and silver links. Undeniably a pretty, light piece, but worth $8 grand?
Back to Beladora, where we find the eye-catching Italian chic of Pomellato necklace with a jet charm. For twenty inches of 18k rose gold links, the price, $4,650, is better value than the Tiff trinket, and label girls can put Pomellato up against that T&Co any old time.
Rose gold has charmed for over a century, as shown by this Victorian Art Noveau rose gold locket with its ornate repoussé front and JR monogram. The price, $995 from Etsy seller aawsomblejewelry, is a smidge high but might be negotiable.
The richness of high-karat gold is indisputably beautiful, so I'd choose real rose gold, not plate. The Retro gold band below was probably once a wedding ring but could be worn as a handsome stacking piece today. Price, $395 from Beladora2; size 6 but easy to resize.
Before literally buying a brand's marketing campaign, head to a fine vintage jewelry shop or site like Beladora and do a little comparison. And if you fall in love with a unique piece there, so much the better.
(I receive no compensation or even kisses from any vendor featured here.)