The Best Metal For Your Engagement Ring
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
Now days, couples really have unlimited options when it comes to choosing a metal for their wedding rings. There are loads of ‘alternative metals,’ all of which come with their own special, exciting properties. These metals, from Tungsten to Cobalt offer a unique look at a fraction of the price of traditional, precious metals, but they also come with one huge drawback.
No alternative metal rings can be resized.
It is really common for people’s fingers to change shape and size as they age, and so, for a ring you’ll wear the rest of your life, there is still simply no better metal than gold or platinum.
But this doesn’t mean you are without options. In fact, far from!
Gold and Platinum are two of the most precious, durable, and versatile metals in the world. So which type of gold or platinum is best for you?
Here is everything you need to know when choosing the best metal for your rings.
Gold comes in three tones: classic yellow, white gold, and rose gold. And though very similar, each does have its own unique properties and maintenance considerations.
Let’s start with the original. Yellow Gold.
Gold, in it’s natural state, is yellow. (I guess the clue really is in the name!) However, even yellow gold rings won’t be pure gold. All gold rings are alloy, no exceptions. The reason is simple. Gold is a soft metal. It’s way too malleable to stand alone, and so all gold rings, no matter the shade you choose, will have been mixed with other metals. So while pure gold is 24 karat, your wedding ring will be either 18 or even 14 karat gold.
Yellow gold is a top choice for brides and grooms who are after a timeless look with low maintenance. Because gold is naturally yellow, aside from a little polishing here and there to remove surface scratches you will have to do basically nothing to keep your ring looking brand new.
Some jewelers claim that yellow gold and rose gold will actually make diamonds looks brighter, due to the contrast. We don’t really buy that. Your diamond’s brightness has everything to do with its own properties, but we will agree that there is something really special about the way a diamond sparkles amid classic, yellow gold.
Rose Gold is another alloy, and will also be 14 or 18 karat gold, but unlike yellow gold, rose gold has a touch of copper in the alloy blend. This copper gives rose gold that blushing sunset hue.
Like yellow gold, rose gold’s upkeep requires nothing but the occasional polishing. Because gold is malleable, it is more likely to get surface scratches then some of the other metals. However, that deficit is also an advantage. Gold isn’t brittle, so smoothing out those scratches is a breeze.
However, it’s worth asking your jeweler whether having your ring polished is something that’s included in the warranty. Some jewelers can polish your ring while you wait. Others will want to send your ring away to have the work done. At Wedding Day, our rings come with a complete, industry-leading lifetime warranty, so no scratch will ever be a cause for concern.
White gold is a little different than the other two. It’s still gold, and it’s still 14 or 18 karat, but white gold is mixed with metals that give it a pale hue, then it is rhodium finished. Rhodium is what makes your white gold ring such a bright, vibrant, glossy white.
But because Rhodium is a finish, in time, it will wear away. When this happens the ring will look duller and less white than when you bought it. It may even start to take on a yellowish hue. If you go with white gold, you will need to get your ring re-rhodium finished every so often. Depending on how much you use your hands, you may be able to go a few years between refinishes, but you could also be one of those who needs to have their ring refinished every six months. Now, redoing the rhodium finish isn’t a huge, expensive job, but it is definitely something you will want to consider when choosing a white gold ring.
Again, our rings are all fully covered by our legendary lifetime warranty, but if you buy from a jeweler with less comprehensive guarantees on their jewelry, getting your ring refinished could end up costing you upwards of $40 every single time you have it done.
If you love that bright, blingy look of white metal but don’t want the upkeep of white gold, platinum may be your best choice.
Platinum is the rarest metal known to man. It’s more rare than gold. It’s also denser. If you take a platinum ring and a gold ring that are exactly the same size, the platinum ring will be heavier.
Furthermore, while a gold ring will be either 58.5% or 75% pure gold depending on its karat, platinum rings are typically 95% pure platinum. All of this means platinum rings are more expensive than their gold counterparts.
So what do you get for that extra money?
For one thing, platinum is incredibly resistant to wear.
Have you ever seen an antique, heirloom ring that is actually worn thin in spots? Usually at the bottom or along the sides where it comes into constant contact with other fingers…
Because gold is malleable, over time it can wear away and even bend to the oblong shape of the wearer’s finger. Platinum will maintain its thickness and shape in perpetuity.
Platinum can scratch, but it’s scratches are different than scratches in gold. With gold, scratches are actually little nicks that take a minute part of the gold away. With platinum, a scratch simply means that some of the ring’s platinum has moved from one spot to another. While these scratches can be polished back into a smooth surface, a lot of people actually desire the almost antique, patina look that results from well-worn platinum.
Another advantage to platinum is that platinum rings have platinum prongs around the diamond, and because platinum isn’t brittle, there is almost no risk of these prongs snapping off, which means your diamond will be more secure in a platinum ring than in just about anything else.
Depending on where you choose to buy your wedding rings, these considerations may vary in importance.
With us, the only thing you have to think about is your own preference because all our jewelry is backed by a truly comprehensive, lifetime guarantee. With other jewelers, maintenance can really add up.
But no matter what jeweler you buy from, remember that these rings are the only pieces that both you and your partner will wear every single day for the rest of your lives.
Your weight may fluctuate. Your joints may swell. Only gold and platinum will offer you the durability, malleability, and versatility to guarantee that your ring will age beautifully regardless of how your hand changes beneath it. For this reason alone, gold and platinum are still the best choices for your wedding rings.