Chapter 4: What Is the Best Metal for an Engagement Ring?
In this chapter, we will discuss the final most crucial factor in choosing the perfect engagement ring for your partner — the metal. Fortunately, there are not too many options when it comes to engagement ring metals, so you should have an easy time picking the right metal quickly.
It will help immensely to have an idea of the style and diamond you want for your ring beforehand, as this will help you choose the best metal for your engagement ring. Let’s look at the different engagement ring metals so you can choose which one works best according to your budget and desired style.
Gold vs. Platinum Engagement Rings
When you think of an engagement ring, you may imagine either a gold ring, a white gold ring or a platinum ring. You may already know which type of metal your girlfriend prefers.
However, you need to take metal into special consideration when buying an engagement ring because unlike other pieces of jewelry, your girlfriend might wear her engagement ring every day under all kinds of circumstances. With that in mind, some metals are easier to maintain than others. So, how do you choose between gold or platinum? Here’s what you need to know:
1. Gold Engagement Rings
Gold generally comes in three colors: rose, white and yellow. Gold is less expensive than platinum, making it a great option to work with for those on a budget. A gold engagement ring, whether it is white, yellow or rose, can be styled in almost any setting.
Pure gold is too soft to be used alone in jewelry, so it is usually alloyed with other metals to make it more durable. Alloys are metallic substances composed of two or more elements and are usually produced by melting the mixture of ingredients.
Because gold jewelry is an alloy, it is classified by its actual gold content. Jewelers use karats, represented by the letter K, to measure purity — not to be confused with carats which measure weight.
Rings are most commonly 10K, 14K and 18K. Here is the percentage of gold in each according to the International Gem Society (IGS):
- 10K means 41.66 percent gold.
- 14K means 58.33 percent gold.
- 18K means 75 percent gold.
When calculating the gold content value of a piece of jewelry, a seller will consider weight, karat, the daily gold price and labor. The most popular metal for engagement rings is 14K gold. A 14K gold ring is more affordable than platinum and 18K gold, yet it is very durable and versatile.
Which gold color should you choose? Here are tips to help you decide:
- Yellow gold: As yellow gold looks nice on anyone, it is especially striking against olive or darker skin tones. Yellow gold works well with vintage style settings and requires little maintenance over time. However, it is susceptible to scratches.
- Rose gold: Rose gold is less common and looks amazing with vintage styles. It can be combined with other types of gold for an artistic touch, and the pinkish hue adds a romantic element. Rose gold works well with any skin tone and is highly durable due to a copper alloy. It is usually more affordable than other metals, though not as widely available. It is also not a hypoallergenic metal.
- White gold: White gold may be the best choice if you like the look of platinum but want a more affordable option. White gold is durable, complements white diamonds beautifully and looks stunning with fair or rosy complexions. White gold engagement rings are usually plated with a very thin coating of rhodium to provide a shining white appearance. Keep in mind that white gold contains nickel, so it would not be a good choice if your girlfriend has a nickel allergy.
A beautiful, durable gold engagement ring is perhaps a more affordable option than you may have thought.
2. Platinum Engagement Rings
Platinum is the premium metal for engagement rings. It is more valuable, heavier and stronger than gold. Platinum also does not tarnish. This highly durable, brilliantly shining metal is also highly coveted.
Platinum actually refers to a group of metals, which includes iridium, osmium, palladium, rhodium and ruthenium, in addition to platinum itself. Platinum is the most abundant of these metals, and all of them except osmium can be used in jewelry.
Although platinum is more rare than gold, it has been used and admired for its strength and beauty for thousands of years. Platinum was used in a variety of objects dating back to 700 B.C., and it became a symbol of wealth for celebrities in the early 20th century. If you are looking for a luxurious metal to represent your enduring love and commitment, platinum is built to last.
At Mountz Jewelers, we offer a stunning variety of gold and platinum engagement rings. Contact us today so we can help you choose the best metal for your engagement ring.