All About the Metals of Engagement Rings
When it is time to buy an engagement ring – you have a lot of factors to consider, you can read our step-by-step guide here. Selecting the right metal for an engagement ring is just as important as the diamond or gemstone it will hold. Your engagement ring is designed to be worn every day, for the rest of your life, you need a metal that will stand the test of time. Your metal choices are white gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum. White, yellow, and rose gold are all available in 10k, 14k, 18k.
Deeper Dive into metals:
Gold is an extremely versatile metal and is the most common metal choice for jewelry. The standard measurement of gold is a karat (not to be confused by the carat of the 4cs), which is divided into 24 parts. Pure gold is 24 karats, meaning 24 out of 24 parts are gold.
The reason why jewelry is not found to be 24k is simply because it is too soft. 18k gold is 75% gold, 14k gold is 58% gold, and 10k is about 42% gold. What makes up the remaining percentage? Typically metals like silver, copper, nickel, and zinc are added to lend strength and durability. The noticeable difference between the karat of gold is the saturation of the color. 18k is going to depict a much richer tone than 10k.
The classic choice, yellow gold gets its color from warm patina from the red of copper and the green hue of silver. Yellow gold is the most common of the golds, partly because gold is yellow in its natural state.
The yellow gold used in engagement rings (and other fine jewelry) is typically alloyed with silver and copper; its color depends on the amount of pure gold in the alloy. The advantages of gold are that it is does not corrode, tarnish, or rust, so it can be counted on to provide lasting beauty.
More contemporary than yellow gold, white gold gets its silvery white color from combining yellow gold with copper, zinc, nickel and sometimes palladium. It is plated with a hard element called rhodium that helps resists scratches, tarnishing and give the white gold a very bright and reflective appearance. White gold has a similar look to platinum but is noticeably less expensive.
White gold will start to turn to a light yellowish tone overtime but can be re-plated to be restored back to its original reflective silver tone. White gold is typically stronger than yellow gold because of the metals it is alloyed with.
The newest trend is rose gold. Known for its warm, pink hue; rose gold is romantic and feminine. The pink hue is created with the combination of yellow gold with copper. The overall percentage of metal alloys are the same, but only includes copper which allows for that soft pink hue to take center stage.
Rose gold, though beautiful, is much softer than yellow or white gold because it is only alloyed with copper and yellow gold. We recommend using rose gold cautiously and to prepare for needing repair services more frequent when you choose a rose gold ring.
Platinum is a naturally white metal with a cool luster that showcases the brilliance and sparkle of diamonds beautifully. It is a popular choice for an engagement ring and wedding bands. Platinum is five times as rare and pure when used in jewelry.
When looking at platinum for an engagement ring, it is more durable than any of the golds and is also naturally hypoallergenic.