Platinum has a soft white hue. It’s 30 times more rare than gold (which means it’s more expensive) and 40% heavier than 14K gold — and it doesn’t tarnish or oxidize. Because of its hardness, the details of intricately engraved or embellished rings often look sharper and more precise when done in platinum.
Platinum in jewelry is 90% to 95% pure, which brings out the beauty of diamonds set in platinum engagement rings.
Over time, platinum will wear and scratch with use. Your jeweler can polish your platinum ring to remove any scratches.
Gold has always been a standard for engagement and wedding jewelry, thanks to its naturally warm, yellow hue and beautiful luster. Gold engagement rings are romantic and timeless.
The alloy that’s mixed with gold affects its color. There are hundreds of possible mixtures, but options generally include:
Pure gold mixed with a little silver and copper for a warm look.
Pure gold is combined with nickel, copper and zinc.
PINK AND ROSE
Increasingly popular, these reddish gold options are pure gold plus copper. The more copper, the redder the metal.
Gold purity is measured in karats (not to be confused with carats, a measure of gem weight). Karats are divided into 24 parts, so 24 parts of gold — known as 24K gold — is pure. However, 24K gold is soft and easily damaged, so it’s mixed — or alloyed — with other metals to make it more durable. For example, 14K gold is 14 parts gold, 10 parts other metal. Jewelry must be at least 10K to be sold as gold in the United States.
Buff your gold engagement ring with a soft cloth to keep it shiny and smooth.
Silver has been valued for centuries and once was considered more valuable than gold. Today, it’s the most affordable of the precious metals. Sterling silver is actually pure silver mixed with copper or other metal to make it more durable. Although it is harder than pure silver, it’s still one of the softer metals and can get scratched and marked easily.
Like gold, pure silver is too soft to be used in jewelry. It’s combined with other metals such as copper to boost its strength. Sterling silver must contain at least 92.5% pure silver, which is why it’s stamped as .925.
Silver tarnishes, so store your sterling silver engagement ring in tarnish-preventive bags in a cool, dry place. Don’t use tissue paper or paper towels to dry, because they can scratch sterling silver.
Palladium is one of the most luxurious options for rings. It is naturally white, durable, lightweight, and resilient to discolouration. As a member of the platinum metal group, palladium is one of the rarest kinds of precious metals, making it one of the most esteemed. And since it doesn't require alloys or plating, it is usually at least 95% pure.
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