— by Cullen Jewellery
Which Is The Best Metal For Engagement Rings?
When choosing a ring, sometimes it can seem like there are endless choices to make, and choosing the metal is just one of them. But this decision is a crucial one, as it affects the overall look of the ring and there are definite advantages and disadvantages of each. However, we are here to make this decision easier for you!
The main types of precious metals we work with in creating Engagement Rings are Gold (including Yellow, White and Rose) and Platinum. You can sometimes find other metals such as Sterling Size used, however for Engagement Rings which will stay strong and look beautiful for a lifetime, we only use Gold and Platinum.
The traditional and most popular choice when it comes to an engagement ring, gold comes in three distinct variations – Yellow, White and Rose.
Gold is measured in a unit of measurement called Karats. This is split into 24 equal parts, meaning 24k gold is pure. Pure gold, however, is too soft for jewellery use, and would bend too easily in everyday wear. Therefore, gold is typically combined with other metals, known as alloys, to increase strength and alter the overall colour and look of the metal. The most common variations are 9k (37.5% gold), 14k (58.5% gold) and 18k (75% gold). We typically use 18k gold for our engagement rings, as it is able to hold strong for a lifetime, while retaining that colour and shine we all know and love. However, 14k and 9k can be a great alternative in order to reduce the cost of a ring, to increase the strength of the ring, or as the metal for a fashion ring which will be worn less often than an engagement ring.
Let’s have a quick look at the 3 colours that gold typically comes in:
The classic choice when it comes to jewellery, yellow gold achieves its colour from the addition of copper, zinc and silver. It is a timeless style which will never go out of fashion and will always be synonymous with engagement rings. Yellow gold is also very easy to maintain, with only a general clean and polish occasionally needed to keep that bright, shiny finish.
A stunning choice for engagement rings, white gold gives a beautifully clean and neutral look, and is definitely our most popular choice. White gold gets its white shine from both its alloys and plating. It is commonly alloyed with zinc, silver, and palladium to help it achieve its colour – at Cullen Jewellery, we only use palladium based white gold, as it is much more durable, and lower quality jewellery, which is nickel-based, can often cause an allergic reaction for people.
A modern and romantic choice, rose gold is becoming increasingly popular. It gains its beautiful rosy red colour from the copper it contains, and is a gorgeous alternative to your traditional yellow and white gold rings. As with yellow gold, rose gold is quite easy to look after, meaning apart from the occasional clean and polish, maintenance is fairly easy and straightforward.
Naturally a very white metal, platinum is a stunning choice for an engagement ring. Much rarer than gold, and also stronger, platinum is a popular choice for those wanting a beautifully white and bright ring, but also needing a piece that will last through a higher level of wear and tear. As a result of these characteristics, platinum is both heavier and more expensive than gold. It is also naturally hypoallergenic, and is the safest option for those with sensitive skin that reacts to other metals used in jewellery.
In order to achieve that bright white finish, white gold requires something called Rhodium Plating, which coats the ring with Rhodium metal. This is completed when the ring is first made, and needs to be redone every 6-12 months if you are wanting the ring to retain the same look as when it was first created. Re-plating is relatively quick and inexpensive, but is simply something to keep in mind when choosing your ring.
A benefit of platinum rings, as opposed to white gold, is that they do not require Rhodium Plating, due to the natural state of platinum being much more white. This means that the long term maintenance costs of platinum rings are less, as the ring may just need a professional polish every few years to come up looking like new.
As well as the pros and cons of all of these metals, you also want the ring to complement the style of whoever is wearing it. If you are buying it for your partner, thinking about the colour of jewellery they typically wear is a good start, as someone who always wears white gold jewellery may not necessarily like a rose gold ring quite as much.
Another alternative is to actually combine metal colours to create a two tone ring. This is usually done using either yellow or rose gold for the band and white gold for the claws. This allows the beautiful yellow or rose colour to be seen on the band, but still allows the white gold claws to blend into the clear stone.
Now that you know a bit more about the different metal options, which do you prefer? If you’re after a low maintenance ring, yellow and rose gold are great options, as they won’t require re-plating. If you’re after a neutral, cool coloured ring, white gold is a stunning metal to use. For those with sensitive skin, or after an extra durable ring, platinum can be a great choice.
Once you’ve chosen your metal, you can move on to choices like your stone shape and the setting it’s in! The main thing to remember is to enjoy this wonderful time and take in all the fun and excitement of creating a beautiful engagement ring!
Do connect with us for any further clarifications on our products.