Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Choosing the right metal for your engagement ring
For decades, the diamond solitaire engagement ring with a yellow gold setting was pretty standard for jewelry industry. And silver, a less-valued metal, was usually reserved for gifts and less sacred occasions. Then white gold and platinum came along, and with palladium recently added to the mixture, was married today far more options. But how do you know which metal is right for the ring design you chose?
Lifestyle, preferences and the overall style of the ring must all be considered when deciding which metal will work best for your ring. Here are some information about the different types of metals available, and pros and cons of each.
Silver jewelry, including engagement rings, is usually manufactured in one of two ways: sterling or silver ribbon. Because it is much too soft in its pure form, fine silver (99.9 percent or more) is usually only sold on the commodities market.
Sterling silver is 92.5 percent pure silver mixed with 7.5 percent other metals, usually copper. Other metals used in place of copper include germanium, zinc, platinum and additives such as silicon and boron. Silver plated jewelry is usually associated with other metals such as copper or nickel.
Sterling silver is usually the least expensive of the precious metals, and compliments the brilliance of any ring setting.
This soft textured metal, even when combined with other metals, means it is likely to show wear over time. In addition, silver-plated jewelry is often combined with nickel, a metal linked to skin allergies in people sensitive skin. And silver plating can wear off other time exposing the metal underneath.
For years, yellow gold was the most sought-after metal for engagement rings and wedding bands. The most malleable of all metals, gold is often combined with copper or silver to make it less resistant to scratching and denting.
While 24k gold is pure gold, most engagement ring settings are sold in 18k, 14k or 10k, less than a carat, the higher the percentage of other metals. White gold is an alloy of gold and other metal white as silver, palladium or nickel, and usually has an outer layer of rhodium to give the piece a nice luster. Gold plating, a thin layer of gold on silver jewelry, is the least costly alternative in the family gold.
Gold provides a warm background for a more traditional solitaire setting and it accentuates the beauty of most diamond stone settings. It's traditional and more affordable than the higher-end metals, and works well with darker gem stones like rubies, emeralds and sapphires.
The soft texture of gold makes it susceptible to scratches and dents. White gold typically contains nickel and creates a dilemma for 12.5 percent of the population is allergic to nickel. In addition, the rhodium coating may need to be replaced for the duration of the ring. And while gold plating is a less expensive option, it is rarely used because the plating usually tarnishes in a short period.
A newcomer to the jewelry industry, palladium is a metal that offers the buyer the best of both worlds. As a member of the platinum family, brilliance and durability of palladium eclipse other white metals. lower price, this metal is a perfect match for the budget-conscious.
Palladium is the metal best bargain white. It is natural hypoallergenic makes an attractive alternative for brides who may have spent on white gold in the past because of an allergy nickel. In addition, palladium is cheaper than platinum and can be combined with gold to a hypoallergenic white gold ring setting engagement.
Because palladium is the hot new trend in jewelry industry, its popularity continues to grow and there have been few, if any criticism of it. Unless, of course it is not platinum, the Grand-Daddy of all metals.
The chassis of the crown for Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and she worn during the coronation George VI in 1937, was platinum. Hundreds of years ago, the Louis XV of France declared platinum to be the only metal fit for a king. What is there to say?
Platinum is a very strong, durable metal that is highly resistant to wear and tarnish. As a white metal, its integrity is unmatched, and when combined with the brilliance of a diamond, creates an exquisite display as an engagement ring. Platinum prongs are often used to hold diamonds in a platinum prongs but can be used on other metal shanks.
Cons Platinum is the most expensive precious metals.
Decide which metal works best for your engagement ring is a big decision. Choose wisely your precious metal because it is a piece of jewelry you want to show a life.
Useful Link: Wedding Ring
Posted by Beyondtheedge at 10:43 AM