Wedding Ring Metals Guide

To help you make an informed choice, we have written a short guide on the most popular metals available, we hope you find this useful.

If you are looking to wear 2 rings together on the same finger, we would always suggest that they are made of the same metal, due to the different hardness of metals wearing against each other. So for someone looking to wear their Wedding ring against their engagement ring, we would usually recommend that you have the same metals to prevent one metal wearing against the other quickly .

ALL metals will scratch over time, nothing is scratch proof. Even the most durable, hard metals will scratch when rubbed against a hard surface, but these scratches can usually be polished & refinished by most Jewellers, dependant on the metal.

9ct Gold

9ct gold is a good choice where price is the main consideration, as it’s less expensive to produce due to the lower pure gold content. It is hard-wearing, although as with all metals, it will scratch. It is available in 3 colours, yellow, white, and rose (or red). White gold is not naturally a silver colour, (it is an off-white colour), so to achieve this bright white look, jewellery manufacturers rhodium plate 9ct white gold. Over time this plating will wear off, so to renew the colour of the ring it will require re-plating, sometimes known as ‘dipping’, so the cost of replating your ring every couple of years needs to be considered when budgeting for 9ct White Gold.

18ct Gold

18ct Gold This is 9ct gold’s opulent sister, made of 75% pure gold, carrying a hallmark fineness figure of ‘750’. The remaining 25% is made of various alloys, but in lesser amounts. This means that 18ct gold is softer and may pick up marks more easily, however it is much denser and more durable and is the reason most diamond rings are made using 18ct. Again, it is available in 3 colours yellow, rose & white. Our 18ct White Gold rings are alloyed with Palladium, meaning they do not require replating like 9ct white gold and therefore keeps the maintenance costs down.

Palladium

Palladium comes from the same family of metals as Platinum and looks very similar to it as well. Like Gold, it is available in 2 purity levels '950', which is 95% Palladium, and '500' which is 50% Palladium. Palladium is lighter in weight than Platinum, other than that it is difficult to tell them apart, other than by their hallmarks. Palladium is a brilliant alternative to white gold, as it is naturally silver in colour so will always retain its colour and will not require redipping, so cost of maintenance is lower too. In short, Palladium is an excellent alternative for people looking for a metal without the maintenance requirements of 9ct white gold, but with the look and feel of the ‘top-end’ Platinum. Palladium 950 prices have increased quite dramatically recently, due to the increased demand, which is why Palladium '500' is a more cost-effective alternative.

Platinum

Platinum is generally considered to be the best metal available – rare, extremely durable, hypo-allergenic, dense, and naturally white. Because of this, it comes with a higher price tag, but you do get what you pay for. Platinum is a relatively hard metal, but it can still be scratched, (as with all metals), and begins to acquire a patina look over time. However, when you scratch Platinum it just displaces the metal rather than losing the metal, so the volume of metal remains the same. Most jewellers can refinish it to bring it back to its ‘as-new’ condition, although many people prefer the patina look that a Platinum ring acquires over time.

 

 

Non-precious metals have the advantage of being less expensive in comparison to the more illustrious precious metals, and enables you to have a more contemporary look, with blue, black & grey being a popular choice nowadays. Other reasons for choosing a non-precious metal are their anti-allergy properties, strength & durability. However, many of them can’t be sized or repaired, apart from Zirconium. So, while they will last a lifetime if looked after, should they get damaged, they would need to be replaced, so this needs to be considered if sentimentality is important to you.

 

Titanium has long been used for a variety of purposes, but it has made a huge impact on the jewellery industry as well. Titanium has been popular in jewellery design because of its strength, durability and scratch resistance (although it isn’t scratch proof), as well as its lustre and light weight. It is also the perfect choice for anyone who is allergic to other metals or has skin allergies, as Titanium is hypo-allergenic. The other appealing quality is its price point, working out at a quarter less in price than precious metals, so understandably a lot of people find this enticing. It has a more greyish appearance, which a lot of people prefer to the shiny white look that is often seen in precious metals.

 

Zirconium is a natural element which begins as a silver/greyish colour. It possesses the same qualities & hypoallergenic properties as Titanium and is very resistant to corrosion & scratching, although again it is not scratch proof. It is also available in a black colour, and this is what sets it apart from any other metal. It is heat treated which oxidizes it to a rich black colour. The oxidization layer feels much like ceramic, called Zirconia, and is as hard as sapphire. The black colour is permanent. It does not fade, tarnish, or otherwise change colour. The permanent black colour is a unique feature in the jewellery world, as most black metals are the result of plating or ‘antiquing’ which fades overtime. Zirconium is currently the only permanently black jewellery that is workable enough to allow the setting of diamonds or other gems. Black Zirconium rings are shatterproof, but they can be cut off the finger if necessary. However, like titanium and other alternative metals, it is much more difficult to cut a zirconium ring than a precious metal ring and two cuts are necessary since the material is so difficult to bend. Zirconium rings can be sized within reason but would need to be sized by a specialist, like ourselves.

When choosing which metal to go for, upkeep, longevity and wear are key factors, but you also need to consider your budget. Establish what is the most important thing to you, to help you to decide.