While gold and platinum are favorite materials for wedding and engagement rings, there is a vast world of metals that may be used for these rings, ranging from the traditional to the ultra-modern.
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When planning to buy engagement and wedding rings, the focus should not only be on the diamond. Diamonds are the eye-catching element of the ring, but you should also focus on the base that holds everything together - the ring itself.
There are several options to consider when you’re looking into buying engagement and wedding rings.
Platinum is a beautiful but durable metal that was once taken off the market because it was used for military purposes during wartime. Currently, platinum is one of the most popular choices for jewelry, particularly engagement and wedding rings.
This metal is mined deep underground in Russia and South America, and the British Crown jewels are mostly made of it. When used in jewelry, platinum is up to 95 percent pure, allowing the central stones to shine and express their individual beauty.
This metal is traditionally the standard for both engagement and wedding rings, mainly because of its naturally warm, yellow hue gives off a beautiful luster. People consider gold engagement and wedding rings timeless and romantic.
Pure gold is very soft, so it isn’t ideal for many kinds of jewelry. Mixing the pure gold with another metal makes the gold stronger and more durable. Typically, people buy gold in 24K, 18K, 14K and 10K purities. These numbers represent gold mixtures that are 100%, 75%, 58.3%, and 41.7% pure gold respectively.
Generally, white gold is mixed with white metals such as platinum, palladium, or silver to give it its signature color. Even white gold has a slightly yellow tint, so to achieve the desired pure white color, white gold jewelry is usually plated with a thin layer of rhodium.
Gold may also be green, pink, and rose. When silver is added to pure gold, it comes out as yellowish green in appearance. Pink and rose gold rings are made of pure gold with copper added. The ring will be redder when more copper is added.
There was a period in history when silver was considered more valuable than gold. Silver today is still a popular metal for jewelry because it is now highly affordable. Sterling silver is pure silver mixed with copper or other metals for added durability. Though it is more durable when mixed with an alloy, sterling silver is still considered a pretty soft metal, so you need to be cautious about wearing it when it can get scratched.
Palladium is related to platinum, and they display many of the same characteristics. It shines a pure white color, and since it is more durable than white gold, it doesn’t need a rhodium plating at all. It is also hypoallergenic which makes it an ideal metal for people with metal allergies.
This metal is lightweight, silver in color, extremely durable, and tarnish and corrosion-resistant. These factors combined make it a perfect wedding ring material for people who do a lot of work with their hands or who work outside in the elements.
Other alternative metals may be used for engagement and wedding rings such as cobalt, stainless steel, and tungsten. Talk to your favorite jeweler about your budget and individual preferences to find out which option would be best for you.