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How to Choose the Right Metal for your Unique Wedding Rings

Choosing your metal, especially for wedding and engagement rings can be a tough decision. There are so many details and descriptions of metals, but what do they actually mean? We wanted to give you a no-nonsense guide to choosing the right precious metal for you.


The most common metals we use in our creations are silver, gold and platinum, but there are many attributes to consider when choosing between them.


Gold


unique one-of-a-kind custom yellow and rose gold wedding rings handmade in london

Gold is often the most popular metal used in fine jewellery. It is most often yellow toned metal, which for jewellers is easy to work with. Gold has been a favourite for thousands of years, especially when it comes to the history of the wedding ring and long long before they even existed. We don’t see this fascination changing any time soon. 


It is a popular metal also because of its versatility. It is an alloy and available in multiple levels or purity, known as carats, to suit a range of tastes and budgets. Gold, no matter the purity, is available in yellow, white or rose shades too. This means gold offers something for everyone. 


Pros

  • It’s hypoallergenic meaning it is kinder to sensitive skin than many other metals commonly used in jewellery.

  • Durable and lasts a long time.

  • Resists corrosion and tarnishing.

  • Multiple colour options: yellow, white, or rose tones.

  • Gold retains its value over time, and will likely even go up in value.

  • Tried and tested, having been used in jewellery for thousands of years.

Cons

  • Higher price than silver.

  • The higher the carat, the softer it can be.

  • Yellow and rose gold can affect the colour of gemstones and diamonds set into it.


Platinum


unique one-of-a-kind custom platinum wedding rings handmade in london

Platinum is quite a rare metal. It can be described as white, grey or silvery in colour. Its sleek colour and durability makes it very appealing to lovers of silver and gold alike. It is in fact one of the most durable metal options and is resistant to tarnishing, making it an ideal choice for long term wear like wedding and engagement rings. It is harder and more durable than gold, no matter the carat.


Pros

  • Hypoallergenic

  • Resistant to tarnishing or corrosion. Although over time it can change colour, this process is known as patina.

  • Its neutral colour means it doesn’t discolour gemstones and diamonds set into it.

  • Due to its density it is heavier than other metals.

Cons

  • One of the most expensive metals.

  • It can be prone to scratching.


What is an alloy?


The gold we know and wear today is mostly an alloy of pure gold. An alloy is a metal made by mixing two or more metals together. In the case of pure gold this is done to give it greater strength and resistance as pure gold is incredibly soft. On it’s own pure gold is not really suitable for everyday wear as it bends easily and even wears away over time if worn for long periods. 

In order to make gold jewellery, which is not only desirable, but hard and durable enough to be worn, pure gold is mixed with other metals to make various carats of gold. It is most commonly mixed with silver, palladium or copper depending on the richness of the colour desired. The mix of metals results in the three main types of gold: yellow gold (the natural colour of gold), white gold, and rose gold.

White gold is made by using ‘white’ metals in the alloy. Mixing pure gold with silver & palladium. The amount of gold in a white gold alloy is surprisingly the same as yellow gold. 18ct white gold has 75% gold in it.

This fact gives white gold a less than white look, there is a warm yellowish undertone to it which some people love and others do not. Catering to those who do not like the warm colour, has led to widespread use of rhodium plating of white gold. Rhodium is a white metal which is used to coat the white gold, it is very commonplace in the jewellery industry but we at Annaloucah Fine Jewellery do not think it necessary. It will wear away over time and you will just have to get it replated, if you don’t like the yellow tone, we would recommend platinum instead.

Rose gold as an alloy is quite similar to Yellow Gold. The difference in colour is down to a larger proportion of copper, giving it a reddish pink hue. As with white gold, the amount of gold in rose gold stays the same too, 18ct rose gold has 75% pure gold in it too.


What is a carat?


"Carat" is the unit of measurement used to denote the amount of gold a piece of jewellery, relative to the other metals that are present in the alloy. The higher the carat, the greater percentage of pure gold is present in the jewellery. Pure gold is 100% gold, without any other metal present, it is known as 24 carat gold (24ct). So for example 18ct gold contains 75% gold, while 9ct gold contains half that amount. 14ct and 10ct are also available but much less widely used in the UK.


You may also see carat noted with a K or kt. Like many other words this is simply a small difference between countries around the world. In the US, and even some jewellers here in the UK, you will see jewellery classed as ‘18k’  or ‘18kt’ for example. But don’t worry, it means the same thing.


We hope this guide to the pro’s and con’s of the most common metals has helped you make some big decisions when choosing the perfect piece of bespoke, wedding or engagement jewellery. Please get in touch to find out more or ask questions, we love hearing from you.

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