Apart from choosing the stone, one of the most crucial parts of the engagement ring designing process is choosing the right metal. Before making that choice, it is important to know a little about the basics of various ring metals. Although choosing between yellow gold, white gold, or platinum mainly depends on your budget, it should also be a matter of personal preference. Before making a final decision, it is necessary to weigh the pros and cons of the various types of metals used for engagement rings.
White Gold Engagement Rings
White gold is slowly becoming the most popular choice of metal for engagement ring settings. Sunny Diamonds offer white gold jewellery in 18-carat and 14-carat. 18-carat white gold composes of 75% gold and 25% other metals (zinc, nickel etc). White gold provides the overall look of platinum and is comparatively less expensive than platinum. White gold beautifully compliments stones rated D-I on the diamond colour scale. White gold enhances the sparkle and brilliance of the stone and gives it an exceptionally unique look.
The metals found in white gold apart from gold are zinc, nickel, palladium, and silver o give it the white colour. It is often plated with rhodium, which is a shiny white metal that is a member of the platinum family, to further increase the whiter look and to protect it from colour loss. Even though white gold does not easily tarnish, it can develop a slight yellow colour over time. This is the result of the 75% of yellow gold present in the metal. In such cases, the original beauty of the jewellery piece can be restored by an easy re-plating.
Caring for white gold jewellery
White gold is a resilient metal. Even so, you can keep it looking good as new with a few simple steps. Store your white gold jewellery in a fabric-lined jewellery box or a soft cloth bag to avoid scratches and to keep it shiny. To clean the white gold jewellery pieces use warm water and mild soap. It can be further cleaned with a soft, non-metallic brush. Keep it away from corrosive and harmful chemicals like chlorine, ammonia, and bleach. Such chemicals can corrode the lustre of the white gold. To dry the jewellery after cleaning, you can use a lint-free, soft cloth.
Yellow Gold Engagement Rings
Among golds, yellow gold is the most popular variant. This is mainly because gold is yellow in its naturally occurring state. While making fine jewellery, yellow gold is alloyed with copper and silver. The final colour depends on the amount of pure gold present in the alloy. The major advantage of using gold is that it does not tarnish, corrode or rust. Therefore, it can be counted on to provide long-lasting beauty. Moreover, in comparison with other precious metals, gold is more flexible and can be used to create unique designs.
Pure gold is graded 24 carats and is too soft. This property makes it difficult to craft jewellery. Therefore, as a rule, the softer the gold, the higher the carat. 18-carat gold composes 25% other metals with 75% gold. This type is generally used in making fine jewellery. For jewellery in which hardness and strength are important factors, 14-carat gold, which composes 58.3% gold is used. Usually, an item is categorised as real gold only if it has a minimum of 10 carats. 10-carat gold composes of only 41.7% gold.
Authentic gold jewellery bears a "guarantee mark" to clarify the quality of the item. At Sunny Diamonds, every gold item is stamped with the quality trademark sign to ensure the authenticity of the gold.
Caring for yellow gold jewellery
Although gold is a resilient metal, there are a few steps you can take to keep your gold jewellery looking good. To keep your gold jewellery scratch-free and shiny, store it in a fabric-lined jewellery box or a soft cloth bag. Gold jewellery can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap. You can also use a non-metallic, soft brush (like a toothbrush). To maintain the lustre of your gold jewellery, keep it away from corrosive and harmful chemicals like ammonia, bleach and chlorine. Make sure that you always use a lint-free, soft cloth to dry the jewellery. Do not use paper towels to dry your gold jewellery after cleaning.
Platinum Engagement Rings
As you might already aware, platinum is a valuable and rare metal that is found only in limited quantities; and that too in a few, select regions of the world. Compared to 1500 tons of the annual worldwide production of gold, platinum production is just 160 tons. That is why when compared to other precious metals platinum is more expensive.
Due to its durability and beauty, platinum has grown increasingly popular in recent years. Platinum provides an even, rich colour that helps in magnifying the sparkle and brilliance of diamonds that are set in the band. These qualities make it a popular choice for engagement ring settings. Platinum offers a 90-95% purity grade. This feature ensures that it rarely causes any allergic reaction, and is, therefore, the perfect choice of metal for people with contact or metal allergies.
Platinum is a strong metal and can withstand a lot of stress - even more than other precious metals. Also, it is a naturally white metal and therefore retains its brilliant white lustre naturally. On the other hand, white gold, which is mixed with alloys to create a white appearance loses its white shade over time and turns yellow. To maintain the white colour, white gold jewellery needs to be re-plated sometimes. Whereas, platinum retains the white colour naturally. Most fine platinum jewellery use 5% alloys with 95% platinum. The commonly used alloys with platinum are iridium, ruthenium, and palladium. These alloys lend additional strength to platinum. At Sunny Diamonds, every piece of platinum jewellery carries a purity and authenticity stamp.
Caring for platinum engagement rings
For cleaning the platinum jewellery pieces soak them in a mild solution of warm water and soap. To further clean them gently scrub them with a soft-bristled brush. Also, store them in a fabric-lined jewellery box or a soft cloth bag to keep them scratch-free and shiny. Alternatively, you can also keep them in their original jewellery boxes. Wearing platinum regularly can develop a slight sheen on the piece. If necessary, you can restore its original shine by having a jeweller polish the platinum jewellery.
Rose Gold Engagement Rings
Rose gold comes in a warm and reddish colour and is often used for specialized jewellery. It is an alloy of gold and copper and is also known as pink gold and red gold. Another popular name for the metal is Russian gold due to its popularity in Russia in the 19th century. The difference in the copper content distinguishes between rose, red and pink gold.
The colour red in gold becomes more pronounced with the increase in the amount of copper. Pure copper is reddish in colour and pure gold is a deep yellow colour. Depending on its composition, the colour of rose gold is somewhere between red and deep yellow. A typical alloy for rose gold composes of 25% copper and 75% gold by mass.
Caring for rose gold jewellery
Just like maintaining other jewellery pieces, rose gold jewellery should be handled with care for retaining its beauty. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your jewellery stays as good as new. Always store them in cloth bags or fabric-lined jewellery boxes. Also, you should use warm water and mild soap to clean them. Make sure you keep them away from corrosive and harmful chemicals like ammonia, bleach and chlorine. Take extra care while drying the jewellery. Do not use paper towels and only rely on a soft, lint-free cloth to dry your jewellery.