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Choosing the Perfect Metal for Your Engagement Ring

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.

Engagement Ring Setting Types

An engagement ring should be a reflection of the person wearing it. A woman that has a simpler, more traditional style might prefer a beautifully made solitaire setting with one sparkly center diamond. Women who love flashier styles might be attracted to a pave setting with lots of brilliant diamonds. While a vintage setting with detailed engraving might be the perfect pick for a sentimental woman that loves the classics.

Fashionistas may be in love with beautiful baguette side stones that incorporate colored gemstones. Tension settings will likely appeal to a woman with a more modern style. Think about your significant other’s personality and the right ring style will become clear. Remember, you will be adding a wedding band that will need to match the engagement ring’s style and metal. For someone that has small hands, a thinner band is a better choice. If the person has slightly larger hands, a thicker band may be a more appropriate choice.

Prongs Setting

A prong set engagement ring is the most traditional setting style. Prongs show very little metal on the diamond and maximize light exposure.

The absence of metal allows for more light to pass through the diamond, thus maximizing its brilliance.

Bezel Setting

Bezel settings are known for their clean lines and durability. The bezel surrounds the outer edge of the diamond, framing it with a thin layer of gold or platinum. Although a bezel setting is one of the most secure options you can choose, this style setting does affect the brilliance of the center stone as no light passes through from the sides. Choosing white gold or platinum can give the diamond a larger appearance. Bezel settings can accommodate any shape or size of a diamond.

Tension Setting

A tension setting is a unique and modern diamond setting style. Tensions set rings to feature a center diamond that is held in place by pressure. When viewed from the side of the ring, the diamond will appear to be floating. Tension settings may not look very secure, but they are. The metal used to make these rings go through a special hardening process before it is used. The hardened metal grips the diamond with a vice-like grip making it a very secure setting method.

Channel Setting 

Channel set engagement rings are known for their brilliance and durability. In a channel setting, diamonds are set into the ring channel or groove. Because these diamonds are embedded into the ring channel, there are no prongs to snag and minimal risk of diamonds falling out. If you work with your hands or need to wear gloves for your job, a channel setting would make a great choice.

Twist setting

Twist settings are an increasingly popular trend for engagement rings. Twist set engagement rings to have thin metal woven or braided down the ring. Some have more of an open twist and some are thinner and more tightly woven. You can opt for a minimalist, high polished metal ring, or if you like something a little more sparkly, small diamonds can be pave set down the band.

Bar Setting 

Bar settings are a modern twist on the channel setting. Bar set diamonds have two metal bars that hold the diamond in place giving it a more square appearance. Because there are only two bars holding the diamond, the sides are open allowing more light to reach your diamond and increase its brilliance. You can bar set or channel set smaller diamonds down the band if you would like to add some additional sparkle.

Ring Styles

Choosing the style of your engagement ring is one of the most important steps when you begin ring shopping. Ilanis has a wide variety of engagement rings from classic solitaires to modern tension rings to fit your style. Whether you are looking for a modest, traditional ring or something flashier, Ilanis has the perfect ring just for you.

Solitaire Engagement Rings

A solitaire engagement ring setting features a single diamond or colored gemstone with a plain mounting (usually four or six prongs). Solitaires are one of the most popular engagement ring styles. Their appeal is in their elegance, simplicity, and timelessness. Solitaire rings come in a wide variety of sizes and styles. The most common style has a narrow band, a style that compliments small fingers and that makes a smaller diamond appear larger. Others have thicker bands allowing for more options in the way the center diamond is set. You can pair your solitaire setting with a ring guard or ring enhancer to frame the center diamond making it appear more prominent.

Pavé Engagement Rings

A pave engagement ring has lots of very small diamonds set close to each other all down the band. Because pave-set diamonds only use tiny beads or prongs to hold them in place, they have a much brighter appearance because very little metal shows. You can choose to have a full pave setting where the diamonds go all the way around the ring or half pave where they stop halfway.

Micro pave rings have a more delicate appearance and typically a thinner band. The individual diamonds are so small they create a united surface producing extraordinary fire.  Pave engagement rings look great with any center diamond shape and are usually prong set, basket set, or bezel set.  

Channel Set Engagement Rings

Channel set engagement rings feature diamonds set in an open channel groove down the sides of the ring. A thin strip of metal on each side secures the diamond in place and no prongs are used. Because the diamonds are flush with the band, channel set rings are stronger than most other designs and are less likely to snag on clothing or gloves.  

Channel settings are available in both gold and platinum, and with a variety of diamond shapes and sizes. Princess cut diamonds are a popular choice for channel set rings because their square shape ensures no gaps between the stones.  

Sidestone Engagement Rings

Sidestone engagement ring settings usually consist of a larger center diamond flanked by two or more smaller diamonds on each side. The smaller side stones enhance the center diamond making it appear larger and giving the ring more radiance. Sidestone engagement rings can hold any shape for the center diamond but round or princess cuts are the most popular picks.

Three-Stone Engagement Rings

A three-stone engagement ring has a larger center diamond flanked by two smaller diamonds. The center diamond is usually set higher and the smaller diamonds accentuate the size and brilliance of the larger stone. The tapered effect looks elegant on any size finger. In the past, round and princess cut diamonds used to be the most popular choices for center stones. Over time, three-stone ring designs have become more stylish and creative using pear, oval, emerald, and many other elongated shapes.  Most center stones are prong, basket, or bezel set as these setting styles help distinguish the center diamond from the accent stones.

Tension Set Engagement Rings

Tension engagement rings are a modern style setting that features a center diamond held in place by the pressure of the ring, without any prongs. When you look at a tension set ring from the side, the diamond appears to be floating in the air. Despite the appearance, tension set engagement rings are some of the most secure settings as the whole ring pushes against the diamond to hold it in place even tighter than a prong setting can. Because a tension set engagement ring shows off the entire diamond, clarity, cut, and color are even more important, as there is not a lot of metal obstructing the view, the brilliance is amazing. Round, princess, and emerald-cut diamonds are popular choices for tension set rings.

Halo Engagement Rings

Halo engagement ring settings feature a center diamond surrounded by smaller micro pave diamonds.  The micro pave halo gives the appearance of a larger center diamond and adds to the engagement ring’s overall sparkle.

There are many different styles of halo engagement rings. More traditional halo settings are a modern take on the classic solitaire ring. Vintage-style halo rings are a popular choice as the milgrain or beading details add a unique look to the setting. Halo engagement rings come in all shapes and sizes of center stones. Some feature round stones, asscher-cut diamonds, pear-shaped and oval diamonds. Halo rings often feature colored gemstones, like blue sapphires or red rubies for the center stone with diamonds surrounding it to add some contrast and sparkle.

Vintage Engagement Rings

Vintage and antique-style engagement rings possess all the beauty and intricate details of an older ring with the benefit of modern manufacturing and newer design techniques. Many vintage-style engagement rings draw inspiration from the Art Deco period but are set with modern cut diamonds, which are cut to maximize their brilliance, fire, light reflection, and beauty.  Most vintage-style rings are set in either white gold or platinum and nearly any shape diamond can be used as a center stone. Prong, basket, or bezel settings are most commonly used in vintage-style engagement rings.

Palladium White Gold vs Traditional White Gold – What is the difference?

If you love the look of bright white precious metal you are probably familiar with traditional white gold and platinum. Most chain and small jewelry stores will have a wide selection of traditional white gold jewelry and a smaller selection of platinum options. But did you know there is a relatively newer option of white gold on the market that doesn’t demand the level of maintenance that traditional white gold does? 

Palladium white gold jewelry is emerging as a better, brighter option to the traditional white gold choice. Because of palladium’s naturally white color and durability, this high-end new metal is becoming increasingly popular and a sought-after precious metal in its own right. Palladium white gold is an excellent choice as it requires far less maintenance than traditional White Gold to keep your jewelry looking beautiful as the day you first laid your eyes on it.

What are the differences between Palladium White Gold and Traditional White Gold?

The difference between palladium white gold and traditional white gold might not be apparent when viewing them side by side. You will begin to notice differences in color over time as you wear your jewelry. Traditional white gold tends to turn yellow as you wear it, whereas palladium white gold keeps its white color. 

Traditional White Gold

Gold has a naturally warm, yellow color. Traditional white gold jewelry you purchase has other metals alloyed or mixed with it to improve durability and achieve its sheen white finish. For instance, if you purchase a 14kt gold item, 58.5% is pure gold and a mixture of other metals.

Traditional white gold is alloyed with nickel to give it a whiter appearance. Nickel is a hard and inexpensive metal which made it a popular choice amongst manufacturers. Unfortunately, nickel allergies are quite common and can cause irritation or rashes on your skin.

Traditional white gold has a dull, gray appearance with a yellow undertone. To achieve a bright white look, traditional white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium. Plating a thin layer of rhodium helps combat tarnishing and creates a buffer for allergic reactions. This is why you may be able to wear your ring for some time before you notice any allergic skin issues.

Freshly plated traditional white gold jewelry has a sparkling, white color, but it doesn’t last. When the rhodium begins to wear off, you will notice a much duller appearance and the yellowing of the metal. Once this occurs, you will need to head to the jeweler to have your jewelry re-plated or dipped. Traditional white gold will cost you more money over time because you have to keep re-plating your jewelry to keep it looking great.

Palladium White Gold

Palladium white gold is alloyed with palladium to achieve its white color. Because it belongs to the platinum family of metals, palladium shares the unique characteristics of being invulnerable to scratches and tarnish.  As palladium white gold doesn’t require rhodium plating, it requires less maintenance so fewer expenses. Palladium white gold is harder than traditional white gold so you will have better protection from damaging your special jewelry pieces.  Because palladium white gold jewelry does not contain nickel, it doesn’t need to be rhodium plated (which wears off over time).  Palladium white gold‘s appearance will never diminish. In simple words, palladium white gold can be professionally polished to bring out that natural white shine without worrying about your jewelry yellowing over time.  

If you suffer from allergies, palladium white gold is an affordable and safe option. Being part of the platinum family, palladium is a hypoallergenic metal. You are far less likely to suffer a reaction to this metal.  

Why Palladium White Gold May Be the Best Choice for You

If you experience an allergic reaction to nickel, palladium white gold should be the ultimate alternative option for you. Also, you won’t have the disappointing experience of having your jewelry turn yellow and dull as you would with traditional white gold as palladium white gold does not change color over time and doesn’t require any form of plating.

Because palladium white gold is harder than traditional white gold you are far less likely to damage your jewelry. Accidents do happen but palladium is a malleable metal to work with so it makes repairs a breeze and less expensive than traditional white gold or platinum. Because of this alloy’s density and strength, palladium white gold is the ideal metal choice for prong or cat claws setting of diamonds and gemstones in solitaire designs and engagement rings. Palladium white gold is less prone to stress cracking, so your diamond will be more secure. 

Palladium white gold is a wonderful option as you build your jewelry collection. Its beauty, strength, and durability make it the perfect choice for heirloom jewelry that will be enjoyed for generations.

Superior vs poor quality lab diamonds

Just like natural diamonds, lab-grown diamonds can vary significantly when it comes to their quality and worth. In our industry, it is commonly referred to as the “Tale of Two Industries” which is carefully bifurcated into high-quality and bad-quality lab diamonds. Supreme quality lab diamonds are much more expensive to produce and typically trade at way higher prices in the wholesale market as they rival some of the highest-quality mined diamonds in the world. Low-quality lab diamonds are far cheaper to produce and get easily pushed onto the public via e-commerce sites that offer budget-friendly goods. 

At ILANIS, we place excellence and quality above profits. We inspect each and every diamond we sell and that’s why we will never sell poor quality diamonds to you. We clearly refuse to sell unappealing diamonds to our clients. Period! That said, mentioned below are 6 facts about CVD lab diamond quality that you must know before purchasing. 

Fact #1: There Are Beautiful CVD Lab Diamonds Available

ILANIS only sells top-notch quality CVD diamonds that possess a perfect carbon structure.

Various advancements in diamond scanning and laser cutting have resulted in manufacturing a selection of lab-grown diamonds with perfect & ideal cuts, no bow ties, and no paneling. Additionally, these quality diamonds are available at prices of – 50% off compared to equivalent quality natural earth-mined diamonds that cost way more. 

Fact #2: Not Every Lab Diamond is the Same

Just because two lab-grown diamonds received the same 4C’s grading definitely does not imply that they both will look the same. 

HPHT (High-Pressure High Temperature) diamonds with too much boron will display a blue tinge and phosphorescence. Irradiated HPHT diamonds with an excessive amount of titanium and aluminum can look a bit grayish. CVD (Chemical Vapor Deposition) diamonds that haven’t been given the required time to grow and were grown too fast often look brownish. CVD Diamonds with iterative growth patterns often tend to appear lifeless and cloudy. CVD Diamonds can also possess black surface inclusions due to excess polycrystalline. Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) diamonds that are grown on cheap seeds will surely obtain a certain blurriness from graining and crystal strain. 

These small elements are definitely not obvious at first glance to an untrained eye. 

Fact #3: It’s Easier (and Cheaper) to Make Bad Diamonds

Beautiful lab diamonds cannot be grown without patience. The faster you try to grow a lab diamond, regardless of the method, the worse its quality. Growing high-clarity and colorless diamonds is much more time-consuming and “expensive” than growing darker colored diamonds with major inclusions. Even though the technology to grow diamonds has greatly improved over the past few years, many manufacturers around the world still continue to grow “cheap, worthless” diamonds in their labs. The reason why is quite straightforward; they require far less time to grow and thus are cheaper to make. 

Some growers take “short-cuts” like HPHT treatment, irradiation, and bad cutting methods to cut down on costs as they try to grow the most lab diamonds they possibly can. In conclusion, these types of growers focus on quantity over quality. 

Fact #4: Bad Lab-Grown Diamonds Sell on Budget E-Commerce Sites

There are a ton of nascent diamond growers around the world that contribute to an abundant supply of bad lab-grown diamonds. These diamonds are grown fairly quickly and cheaply and are then sold on budget-friendly E-commerce sites to unsuspecting members of the public. 

Supreme-quality CVD diamonds can cost the manufacturer 2-3X more than low-quality and cheap CVD diamonds. These diamonds trade at significantly different wholesale pricing and are hence offered to the public at various prices.  As an example, a 3 Carat G VS1 round can easily be 30% more expensive than another on the market. The reason this happens often lies beyond the lab-grown diamond certificate.

Fact #5: An Expert Should Have a Look At Your Diamond

It can never be enough to simply have access to a shady return policy or an inexperienced customer service associate who looks at a video for you. It is a must to have an expert with you that will be able to fully explain the diamond characteristics when you are looking into purchasing such an expensive item. A Lab Diamond Expert must inspect your diamond before you seal the deal. Being a lab-grown diamond manufacturer, Ilanie is one of the most knowledgeable persons in the entire diamond industry. Ilanie, along with her expert team, has spent hundreds, if not thousands of hours inspecting various lab-grown diamonds of all qualities. 

We can confidently identify unnatural color defects, undesirable inclusion types, poor make, crystal material, and other characteristics and make sure you get the best quality lab diamond within your budget.  

Fact #6: Low Price = High Risk

Buying a lab-grown diamond from any online wholesaler or budget-friendly e-commerce site often requires fully paying for the diamond upfront, without having a live look at the diamond. 

Most lab-grown diamonds sold on the internet are never inspected prior to shipping. You may get a discount, but you can literally never be sure whether or not you are getting the diamond displayed to you in the online video and make sure it matches the diamond certificate. At ILANIS, your five-star guaranteed experience is low risk. Without any financial obligation, we will properly curate, inspect, and obtain media of the best diamonds currently in our stock. We will also send you real-life pictures and live recorded videos of the diamond options according to your specifications and preferences; All within your budget. Once you confirm any diamond with us, we only require a 30% deposit to reserve the diamond and design your ring. We’re so confident in our service and quality that we offer a hassle-free 30-day return policy.