When you look at people around you, have a glance at their wedding rings. You will notice that most, especially those worn by the older generation, are yellow gold while younger people will have rings of yellow gold or white metal. Some are a combination of yellow and white metals.
When you choose the color of your wedding ring you need to consider the color of your other jewelry. And, when you have decided the co lour you need to choose the metal. You will need something that is tough, hard wearing and scratch resistant, and that is affordable. So what are your options?
In its purest form – 24 carat - gold is yellow, but at this purity it is useless for rings because it is too soft and malleable. To make it suitable for rings it is alloyed with other metals that reduce its purity (usually to 9,14, 18, and 22 carat - respectively 37.5%, 58.5%, 75% and 91.6% by weight) and it is these other metals that determine the color of the finished product: Both yellow and white gold are
- Yellow gold is an alloy that usually includes silver, copper and zinc. This is the traditional color favored in the past and which is still very popular today.
- White gold is an alloy that normally comprises nickel, palladium, platinum and manganese with zinc, copper or silver sometimes added. The silvery shine of white gold is attributable to a coating of rhodium.
- Rose gold is gold that is alloyed with a high proportion of copper to give it a reddish glow. It is increasing in popularity among people who are looking for something that is a departure from the norm.
Platinum is usually used 95% pure and is identified as Platinum 950. It makes an excellent material for wedding rings because it is hard wearing and easier to fabricate and engrave than white gold. Platinum is becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to white gold not only for its properties and appearance but also because in the past it was extremely expensive compared with gold but is now comparable in price as the price of gold has risen considerably in recent years.
With similar qualities to platinum, palladium is gaining favor as a white metal alternative because it is cheaper and lighter. In jewellery it is 95% pure and will not tarnish.
Silver is prone to tarnishing and is therefore not a popular choice for wedding rings. There are now tarnish-resistant silvers available. These are alloyed with a small percentage of platinum or, in some cases, germanium that increases resistance to tarnishing.
Modern couples often depart from the single color look of most rings and combine two metals in one ring to give a two-color effect. The result is a stunning look that is achieved without the need for engraving or the addition of gemstones.
Your wedding ring is a symbol of enduring love and commitment. These metals will give you a ring of enduring beauty that will last a lifetime and beyond.