Choosing the Right Metal for Your Engagement Ring

When starting your search for a ring, a very good early decision to make is what metal - or metals - make sense for you and your beloved. Important to consider when starting the process of choosing a metal is not only the aesthetic of the metal itself, but also how it will suit the design of the ring, the ring’s center and potentially flanking stones, and the lifestyle of the wearer.

Many choose their ring setting’s metal based on existing jewelry preferences. Those drawn to cooler hues and sleeker, reflective surfaces would want to go with white gold or platinum, while those who gravitate towards warmer tones and softer appearance would prefer yellow or rose gold.

Of course, mixing metals is always an option, whether it be incorporating both metals into the shank, or using a splash of white metal around a stone itself to enhance its apparent size and sparkling or brilliant effect.

Because of its intense versatility, Gold is by far the most common choice for all jewelry. Pure yellow gold, or 24 karat gold, which is the brightest, richest, warmest and most yellow of all of gold tones, is too soft for practical jewelry making. Thus, gold is mixed with different alloys, such as silver, nickel and zinc, which make it stronger, and also affect the hue of the metal.

While 22 Karat gold is used occasionally, most jewelry is made of 18 Karat, 14 Karat or 10 Karat gold (the Karat weight denoting how much “pure” gold is mixed with how much alloy) The Karat weight of the gold will greatly affect the appearance, particularly the color, of the gold - lower Karat gold, like 10 Karat gold, will have a paler, cooler tone than the buttery richness of higher Karat, such as 18 Karat, gold.

Yellow Gold
A fashionable classic, yellow gold achieves its warm patina largely from its natural coloration mixed with the red copper it is alloyed with. It’s a favorite for more classic designs like the six or four prong solitaire, or for softer or naturally inspired designs.

Rose Gold
For an even warmer, softer and more romantic look, rose gold is a fabulous option. Achieved by combining yellow gold with a strong copper alloy, rose gold is an excellent choice for clients with lots of pink undertone. Here is an example of a Morganite featured in the super sweet and sophisticated Jalissa.

White Gold
Of course, we can’t ignore the ever loved white gold. First patented in 1917, white gold’s pale, elegant silvery hue was an immediate favorite and has been for over 100 years. White gold gets its silvery white character from combining yellow gold with copper, zinc and nickel, which results in a yellowish white color. During finishing, jewelers plate white gold with a whiter metal called rhodium (a platinum group metal), which gives it a fully white look very similar to platinum. However as with any plating, this coating wears away over time, and requires cleaning and replating to sustain its fully white color (typically rhodium coating lasts about 6 to 18 months). We offer complimentary re-polish and re-rhodium application as part of our full maintenance of rings for our clients. The process takes about 1-2 days.

Platinum is a naturally white metal that is one of the hardest and most durable known metals. Though it was discovered many, many decades before, platinum wasn’t actually available for commercial use until around 1900, when the advent of the oxy-acetylene torch finally made it possible to melt platinum down so it could be used in the creation of jewelry.

Platinum’s elegant, cool luster has long been desired for use accentuating the brilliance of white diamonds. Its intense durability and natural strength make it an ideal candidate for an active lifestyle, and because it is naturally white, it does not require plating and will not change in color over time.

Platinum vs. White Gold

Platinum is about 66% heavier than white gold, so it is a much denser metal. For this reason it is stronger for diamond settings (especially for small stones where there isn't much metal to begin with), and it lasts much longer over time and isn't as susceptible to wear. Many clients also like that platinum feels more substantial and sturdy. A typical platinum setting may cost about $500 more than white gold, but we believe the benefits that you get (especially spread over a lifetime) are well worth the extra cost.

Recycled Metals

We use exclusively recycled metals for all of our rings, and there’s a good reason why. Dirty gold and platinum mining practices not only have devastating environmental impact, but have also been historically linked to civil war, modern day slavery and human trafficked. A commitment to recycled metals is a commitment not only to positive environmental impacts, but also to ethical humanitarian practices.

We use precious metals from renewed sources derivative from numerous post-consumer sources, including recycled jewelry, industrial products, and electronics components. Our precious metals are of identical quality to newly mined metals. By using recycled metals, our aim is to reduce the need for additional dirty mining of precious metals, such as open pit mining. We only work with refiners who are conscious of their metal sources, and have formalized policies in place that guarantees best practices. Hoover & Strong, Asahi Refining and Johnson Matthey are some of our suppliers.

We are proud to offer a variety of metals to their valued customers with the guarantee that the object of beauty they are collecting comes at no detrimental cost to our world.

Have questions? We're happy to help.

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