The common assumption is that special items such as diamond engagement rings should be created in yellow gold, with its warm, regal hues that inspire envy in many. However, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Of course, there are a wide variety of metals that can be used in jewelry, from silver to stainless steel to even carbon fiber. But today, we’ll be talking about four metals in particular; platinum, white gold, yellow gold, and rose gold.
What sets them apart from each other? What are the advantages of platinum over yellow gold? Why choose rose gold over white gold? We’ll be setting out to answer all of your burning questions in this blog.
Platinum is a precious, silverish-white, non-reactive metal, and is actually one of the rare metals found in the Earth’s crust. Its name comes from the Spanish platina, which is a diminutive of plata, meaning silver.
Platinum makes for a stunningly clean and striking engagement ring, like the delicate Platinum Danhov AE100 Abbraccio Diamond Engagement Ring. Image courtesy of Whiteflash.
When it’s used in jewelry crafting, it’s generally used in highly pure forms, anywhere from 95% to 98%, which is a real benefit to platinum wearers and buyers. In terms of how it looks, it has the same white light that white gold has, and can retain its shine for many, many years.
When used in jewelry, gold isn’t actually pure. Pure gold is far too soft to be used in jewelry, as it’s incredibly easy to dent or scratch. For it to be used in jewelry, it needs to be combined with another metal to form an alloy, which means it will be much harder and therefore able to be worn without the wearer having to worry.
White gold itself is pure gold combined with durable metal/s, such as zinc, copper, and nickel, which is what gives it the ‘white’ color. A common alloy would be 90% pure gold and 10% nickel.
As you can see, white gold makes for an inspirational engagement ring. This Riviera Cathedral Pavé Diamond Engagement Ring is truly gorgeous. Image courtesy of Blue Nile.
Gold, when used in jewelry, is usually made to either 14 karat or 18 karat specifications. As pure gold is 24K, this means that 14K gold has ten parts made up of other metals. 18K gold has six parts that are made from other metals.
Yellow gold is the classic gold we’re used to seeing in stores and in the media. That warm golden hue is what we most commonly think of when we think of both gold and jewelry in itself.
This 18k Yellow Gold Simon G. Fabled Diamond Engagement Ring is a classic example of beautiful yellow gold. Image courtesy of Whiteflash.
Yellow gold actually comes in different shades. For example:
Remember, the higher the karat of pure gold, the less durable the overall jewelry product will be. However, this metal type does come with a large array of advantages.
Rose gold has become increasingly popular in the last few years due to its warm coloring and unique nature. Again, it’s an alloy, being composed of a mixture of gold, silver, and copper. The more copper that the rose gold contains, the redder the metal appears. The most common alloy composition is 75% gold and 25% copper.
Rose gold is more popular than ever because of its beauty, simplicity, and subtle warmth that suits many different skin tones and fashion styles, as you can see in this 14K Rose Gold Trio Micropavé Engagement Ring. Image courtesy of James Allen.
As you can see, there are so many pros and cons to all of these jewelry types. So the question remains, which metal is best?
If we’re completely honest, there is no universal answer to this question. The best metal is the one that you prefer the most. We would recommend purchasing in line with specific considerations. For example, if you’re buying a ring for a loved one who works a lot with their hands, it may be worth choosing a more durable metal type.
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I’m Louis Jacobs, the creator of Diamond Expert, a platform where I share my lifetime’s knowledge of diamonds. Born and raised in Antwerp, Belgium, the world’s diamond hub, my fascination with these precious gems began at a young age. I spent over three decades in the diamond industry, earning the reputation of a trusted advisor among friends and family for diamond purchases, particularly engagement rings. Now retired, I’m dedicated to providing online guidance to make your diamond buying experience informed and successful.