Deciding on the best metal for your engagement ring is a key decision when designing a ring. Knowing the basics of ring metals ensures your choice will be easy, and exciting! Deciding between yellow gold, white gold, or platinum is dependent on not only your budget but also your style. Instead of rushing your final pick, it’s important to consider the attributes of each metal, for your engagement ring.
White Gold Engagement Rings
White gold is a stunning and favored metal for engagement ring settings. It’s on the rise to become the most sought-after engagement ring metal! 14K gold consists of 58.5% gold, but 18K gold consists of 75% gold and 25% other metals. White gold gives the appearance of platinum and is considerably more inexpensive. White gold effortlessly enhances diamonds with a D-I rating on the diamond color scale, as it amplifies the stone’s sparkle and brilliance.
White gold is commonly alloyed with nickel, zinc, silver, and palladium to create its color. It is also typically given a rhodium plating, which is a bright and white metal similar to platinum, to prevent color loss and create a brighter color. Even though white gold doesn’t tarnish, over time it could turn a bit yellow because of its high percentage of yellow gold. However, a mere re-plating will refurbish its original charm.
Caring for White Gold Jewelry
White gold is a hardy metal; however, there are precautions you can take to preserve your jewelry. Maintaining a scratch-free and bright surface is as easy as stowing it in a fabric-lined box, or a clothed bag. When cleaning white gold use warm water and soap while using a soft, non-metallic, brush (such as a toothbrush). Make sure to avoid paper towels, and use a soft cloth for drying. Keeping white gold away from damaging chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and chlorine is also important in preserving its sheen.
Yellow Gold Engagement Rings
Yellow gold is the more common gold, largely due to gold being yellow in its original state. In jewelry, yellow gold is usually alloyed with silver and copper, and its color reflects the amount of pure gold used. The greatness of gold is that it doesn’t corrode, rust, or tarnish. Gold is very resilient, but it is more flexible than other metals.
24 karat gold, or pure gold, is too weak to use for jewelry. The lower the karat count, the stronger the gold is. In the U.S., the lowest amount of karats an item may have to be considered real gold is 10 karats, which contains 41.7% gold. 14kt gold contains 58.3% gold and is typically used in pieces requiring strength and hardness. 18kt gold is made up of 75% gold and is used when creating fine jewelry.
U.S. law requires all gold items to be stamped with the country of origin and the manufacturer’s trademark to guarantee authenticity. Authentic jewelry is stamped with a “k”, which is referred to as a “karat mark”.
Caring for Yellow Gold Jewelry
Yellow gold is a hardy metal; however, there are precautions you can take to preserve your jewelry. Maintaining a scratch-free and bright surface is as easy as stowing it in a fabric-lined box, or a clothed bag. When cleaning white gold use warm water and soap while using a soft, non-metallic, brush (such as a toothbrush). Make sure to avoid paper towels, and use a soft cloth for drying. Keeping white gold away from damaging chemicals like ammonia, bleach, and chlorine is also important in preserving its sheen.
Platinum Engagement Rings
Platinum is a rare metal that can only be found in a few regions of the world, in limited quantities, causing it to be quite valuable. Yearly, the world produces about 160 tons of platinum, comparatively 1,500 tons of gold are produced. This causes platinum to be more expensive than other precious metals.
Recently, platinum’s popularity has soared because of its strength and elegance. Platinum’s deep, distributed color and luster make it a favorite for engagement ring settings. Its attributes amplify the brilliance and sparkle of the diamonds placed in the metal. Additionally, the 90-95% purity grade of platinum results in it rarely causing any allergic reactions.
Platinum is resilient and can bear more stress than other precious metals. Also, it retains its white color, because it is naturally white. However, white gold’s color yellows over time because it is not naturally white, and will need to be re-plated. Typically platinum jewelry uses 95% platinum and 5% alloys. Similar to platinum, iridium, palladium, and ruthenium are used as alloys, increasing the strength of platinum. All platinum jewelry in the U.S. has a purity stamp and must be composed of at least 90% pure platinum. “900 Plat” is a 90% purity, and “950 Plat” means the item has 95% purity.
Caring for Platinum Jewelry
Maintaining platinum’s scratch-free and shiny surface is as easy as keeping your jewelry in a fabric-lined box, or a clothed bag. When cleaning platinum you should use warm water and soap, while using a soft, non-metallic brush (such as a toothbrush). Your platinum may develop a slight luster if worn often. While many people prefer the sheen, platinum can be easily polished to regain its original shine.
Rose Gold Engagement Rings
Rose gold is composed of gold and copper and is typically used for unique jewelry and is known for its red color and warm tone. It’s also known as pink gold, red gold, or even Russian gold. The difference between the golds is their amount of copper. The intensity of the red color is dependent on the concentration of copper. Because pure gold is yellow and pure copper is red, rose gold’s color lands between the two. The composition of rose gold can vary. A typical composition is 75% gold and 25% copper by mass.
Caring for Rose Gold Jewelry
Gold is a hardy metal, but there are some precautions you can take to preserve your jewelry. When cleaning rose gold use warm water and soap while using a soft, non-metallic brush (such as a toothbrush). Preventing scratches, and retaining its sheen is as simple as showing it in a fabric-lined box, or keeping it in a clothed bag. Also be sure to keep your jewelry away from damaging chemicals such as ammonia, bleach, and chlorine.