Be it a engagement ring or wedding bands, you will need the material to make those rings. With so many different options available (from high-end platinum to classic gold to budget-friendly tungsten), it can be difficult and a big headache to determine the right types of metal rings for your wedding and engagement rings.
Fret not! We are here to share with you to find out what you need to know about the most popular metals in the market currently, as well as their advantages and disadvantages.
Gold has always been a standard for engagement and wedding jewelry, thanks to its naturally warm, yellow hue and beautiful luster. Romantic and timeless, gold engagement rings are the ideal designs for most couples. When purchasing gold ring, the first decision you need to make is… 24K or 18K gold?
The “K” refers to “karat”, a measurement which is used to determine the purity of gold. It indicates the amount of gold as a percentage of the total:
- 24 karat gold – 100% pure gold
- 18 karat gold – 75% pure gold (18 parts gold and 6 parts other metals)
- 14 karat gold – 58.5% pure gold (14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals)
As pure gold is too soft for jewelry-making, alloys are added to improve the strength, corrosion resistance, color, and workability.
White Gold jewellery uses pure gold alloyed with other white metals such as palladium and silver, to produce the beautiful polish and shine outlook. White metal provides an excellent backdrop for diamonds. Rhodium is plated to give its brilliant white lustre and helps to protect the white gold. However, rhodium will wear away over time. Re-plating can be done to restore whiteness at any time.
Yellow Gold is the most popular and traditional choice for wedding rings. A mixture of pure gold, copper and silver will give yellow gold jewellery its signature warmth. Depending on the size of the carat, the colour and hardness of the ring will be different.
Rose Gold, also known as pink gold or red gold, adds a touch of romance to your jewellery. It is increasing popular if you want a ring that is trendy and distinguished. Rose gold is often used in bi-coloured rings to offset the more traditional white or yellow gold. Similar to yellow gold, the colour and hardness of the ring will be dependent on the carat you choose.
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Gold is traditional, popular and widely available. Although gold rings may show scratches and other abrasions, repairs and maintenance are easy. Do take note that white gold costs more than yellow, so keep in mind of the additional top-up for white gold rings.
Platinum is one of the most popular choice for wedding and engagement rings due to its hardness, rarity and naturally white sheen that will never fade or change colour. It is the best choice if you have the budget for a prestigious ring that will last you a lifetime.
Dubbed as the “most precious” of all precious metals, it is rarer than gold. It’s usually mixed with other similar metals, known as the platinum group metals. It is extremely dense and much heavier than gold or silver, Hence the remarkably high level of durability. Not only that, it does not wear or tarnish like other metals, and it is not susceptible to corrosion.
However, without regular cleaning, its white appearance can develop a hazy patina over time. You can solve this by simply soak in a mix of mild soap and warm water, and then gently rub it with a soft brush. Platinum is not scratch proof, but it can easily be removed by buffing.
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Although the cost of platinum is more than any other metals, it requires less maintenance over time. Hence, it is more worth in a long run.
Palladium is a white precious metal and a member of the platinum family. Well known for its natural white colour, it is similar to platinum in terms of appearance, and it does not tarnish or require re-plating. This metal also shares the similar characteristics such as high melting temperature, cool gray color, durability and rarity. However, it is much less dense. Here comes the best part… Palladium is cheaper than Platinum! In addition, it is a great low maintenance, durable metal.
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Palladium gives you the look of Platinum at a cheaper price! It is also naturally hypoallergenic and durable, therefore it is ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Titanium is an ideal metal for making jewellery due to its lightweight, strength and durability, It is distinguished by its darker colour and lighter weight. The main advantage of this silver-hued metal ring is its high corrosion resistance. If you are in a water-related profession where you are consistently in contact with sea water and/or chlorine, Titanium will withstand those damaging elements. Another fantastic attribute is that it is hypo-allergenic, making it perfect for those sensitive to wearing jewellery.
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Highly recommended for those in water profession, titanium is one of the most corrosion-resistant metal. Furthermore, it is also budget-friendly! There is one point to note: Titanium is difficult to resize and can only be increased in size.
5. STERLING SILVER
Sterling silver, one of the longest standing precious metals used in making jewellery, is the whitest of all metals. It is popular within jewellery as it is very malleable and one of the most inexpensive precious metals. Similar to pure gold, 100% fine silver is too soft for most jewelry applications. Therefore, sterling silver is created with a mixture of 92.5% silver and 7.5% metal alloy (look out for the standard quality stamp 925 which indicates 92.5% purity).
As silver can tarnish and scratch more easily than other metals, an easy solution of rhodium plating is often added to sterling silver to enhance surface reflection, as well as to protect tarnishing. With rhodium plating and proper care, you can maintain a polished, shiny look sterling silver jewelry for years before experiencing any tarnishing.
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Sterling silver jewelry has become an increasingly popular trend. It is much more affordable than gold, and its rhodium plating gives the look and shine of platinum or white gold. With careful maintenance, sterling silver jewelry can last for many years.
Wolfram, also known as Tungsten, is a very exceptionally strong metal with a gray color in its pure form. Tungsten rings are proved to be popular among men for its stylist gray metal look, affordable price, and durability.
Tungsten is dense, scratch-proof, and require little maintenance. In addition, it does not tarnish and is substantially heavier in weight when compared to other metals. Tungsten carbide rings can also be plated in gold or black.
Its main weakness is its brittleness. Being a very hard metal makes tungsten brittle – If a Tungsten ring is dropped or severely knocked onto a hard surface, it can potentially fracture the ring.
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Tungsten is a perfect choice for those rugged type people who do not need to worry about damaging their ring. However, its biggest drawback is that this type of metal cannot be resized at all.
I hope that this article helps you in understanding the differences between these metals. Now, it is time to choose the right one wisely and put the pieces together. Pick or create your own style and complete the look with a diamond or gemstone.
*Read on the types of Gemstones available in the market currently*
During the process, you will discover things about your future wife-to-be that you may not have known about her before (and that is part of the fun). We hope that these information could help you in choosing your ideal metal types for your engagement ring as well as your wedding bands.
Do you want to make your wedding proposal or solemnization a memorable day? Well… we, at Kaepsel, could provide a wide range of wedding ring box and ring bearer designs to create an additional spark to your special day! From slim & compact customised-design wooden ring box to personalised wooden ring box with special opening, you can find one that can complement your engagement ring here!