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Your Guide to Jewelry Metals

Which metal should you choose?

The choice of metal for an engagement ring or other jewelry is an important aspect of the design process.

Choosing a metal is an easy and simple procedure once you understand the basics of ring metals.

The choice between white gold, yellow gold, or platinum is a personal preference as well as a financial consideration.

This guide will help you examine the advantages and disadvantages of several types of jewelry metals before making a final decision.


White Gold

White gold is a stunning and popular choice for engagement ring settings, and it is gradually overtaking platinum as the most preferred engagement ring metal.

The fineness of 14K and 18K are best for engagement ring settings and other fine jewelry.

18K white gold is made up of 75% gold and 25% other metals, while 14K gold is made up of 58.5 percent gold (nickel, zinc, etc).

The benefit of white gold is that it

  • Has the same appearance as platinum.

  • Is slightly stronger than platinum because it is alloyed with harder metals.

  • Has better wear and tear.

  • Is significantly less expensive because of the different purities you can choose from.

  • The same ring will be lighter in gold.

The most Important benefit is that white gold increases the brilliance and glitter of diamonds rated D-I on the diamond color scale, making them look even more dazzling.

White gold is usually alloyed with nickel, zinc, silver, and/or palladium to give it its white hue, and it is frequently plated with rhodium—a bright, white metal that belongs to the platinum family—to make it even whiter.

Although white gold does not tarnish, due to its 58.5 or 75 percent yellow gold composition, it may develop a faint yellow tinge with time.

Depending on wear, the rhodium plating can start to fade (usually about 1 year) and the slight yellow tint will start to show through. If this happens, a simple re-plating can restore the white gold's natural elegance.

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold is the most common and organic of the golds, mainly due to the fact that gold is yellow in nature.

Yellow gold is generally alloyed with silver and copper in fine jewelry, and the hue depends on the percentage of pure gold in the alloy.

Gold has the advantage of not corroding, tarnishing, or rusting, so it can be relied on to deliver long-lasting beauty.

Gold is also more "flexible" than the other precious metals, despite its strength. This means that repairing and changing its shape (or form) is easier in yellow gold.

When gold is in its pure 24 karat state, it is much too soft to be used in jewelry. Basically, the higher the karat level, the softer the gold.

Most Fine jewelry is made using:

  • 18kt gold, which is made up of 75 percent gold alloyed with 25 percent other metals.

  • 14kt gold, which is made up of 58.3% gold, is widely used in jewelry when toughness and strength are crucial.

  • 10 karat gold is made up of 41.7 percent gold, and in the United States, 10 karats is the least quantity of karats that a piece of jewelry must have to be classified as real gold.

Rose Gold

Rose gold is a gold and copper alloy coveted for its warm, reddish tint.

It is widely used for designer jewelry and a unique look.

Because of its prominence in Russia in the early nineteenth century, rose gold is also known as red gold, pink gold, and Russian gold. The copper concentration will dictate if it is red, rose, or pink gold.

The more copper there is in the rose gold, the brighter the red hue becomes. The color of pure gold is a bright yellow, and the color of pure copper is reddish.

So the more gold there is, like in 18k, the less red it will appear and the more copper there is, like in 14k, the more red it will look.


Platinum is a rare and precious metal that can only be discovered in small quantities in a few places on the planet.

Platinum is produced in about 160 tons per year around the world, compared to 1,500 tons of gold.

This is one of the reasons why Platinum is more expensive than other precious metals.

Even though it may be higher in cost, platinum has been increasingly popular in recent years because of its beauty and durability.

Platinum is a popular choice for engagement ring settings because of its rich, even color and high luster, which emphasize the brightness and brilliance of diamonds set in the metal.

Benefits of Platinum:

  • Platinum has a 90-95 percent purity grade

  • Rarely causes allergic reactions, making it the ideal metal for persons with metal or contact allergies.

  • It is a robust metal that can tolerate more stress than other precious metals.

  • Is naturally white metal that retains its brilliant white luster over time, whereas white gold needs to be mixed with alloys to give it its white appearance.

The majority of fine platinum jewelry is made up of 95% platinum and 5% alloys. Iridium, palladium, and ruthenium, which are all closely linked, are alloys that add strength to platinum.

Metal Maintenance

Even though jewelry metals are tough, there are several steps you can do to keep your jewelry appearing new.

  • Store white gold in a soft cotton bag or a fabric-lined jewelry box to keep it gleaming and scratch-free.

  • Clean with a non-metallic, soft brush (like a toothbrush) and mild soap and warm water .

  • Keep away from hazardous and corrosive agents like bleach, ammonia, and chlorine (so don't go swimming with jewelry) to preserve its shine.

  • To dry the jewelry, use a soft, lint-free cloth rather than paper towels.

Metals, especially prongs, wear over time. So remember to have your prongs checked every 6 months to a year to make sure that metal isn't worn so much that your stone will fall out.

If you do need your jewelry repair, you can book a Free Consultation with your Jewelry Concierge to get a quote:

So whether you are looking to create that Special Engagement ring or Fine piece of Custom or Re-Designed Jewelry, I will help you choose the right metal to enhance the beauty of your New Jewelry!

Schedule your Free Consultation:

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