Choosing a Metal
The precious metal you choose for the ring serves as the base for the diamond. The type of metal will impact the strength, look and feel, and ultimately the price of the ring. While different metals can be found in other types of jewelry, most engagement rings are made of platinum, gold, or palladium. Find out more detail about each precious metal below.
- The high purity level of platinum (90-95%) not only makes it very valuable, but also makes it hypoallergenic – an ideal choice for anyone with sensitive skin.
- Its remarkable density makes platinum one of the most durable metals in the world.
- Platinum is known for its radiant, naturally white luster.
- The enduring qualities of platinum mean that its luster never tarnishes or fades.
- Because of its rarity, purity and desirability, platinum is a more expensive metal than gold or palladium.
- Because it is a softer metal, pure gold is rarely used in jewelry. Instead gold is normally combined (or “alloyed”) with other metals, such as silver, copper, nickel, and zinc to increase its durability.
- The purity of gold is measured in karats (remember, this is different from the word “carat”, which refers to the size of a diamond).
- The traditional look of yellow gold is normally achieved by alloying the gold with silver and copper.
- White gold is alloyed with nickel or palladium and is often chosen for engagement and wedding rings.
- Rose gold is alloyed with copper. Though rose gold is a popular choice for other jewelry, it is normally not found in engagement rings.
- Because gold is not as rare as platinum, it is usually less expensive.
- The price of gold depends on its purity (number of karats) and its size.
- Exceptionally pure and hard, palladium is hypoallergenic and will not tarnish.
- Casting alloys are typically 95% pure palladium in the US market.
- Because of its light weight and lower metal price, Palladium is an affordable metal.
- Palladium is a durable metal with higher wear resistance than 14K white gold.
- With its smooth, bright, naturally white luster, this fashionable metal is emerging as a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings.
- In the current market, palladium is less expensive than platinum or gold.