Engagement Ring Settings – Can Metal Break The Deal?

When you begin searching engagement ring settings one of the big decision you will need to make is what type of metal you want the ring to be made of.

Although gold is traditional, there are more options today than ever before and more things to consider than just how the ring look. With brides having more active lifestyles, varying complexions and different physical make-ups, educating one’s self on the effect these different metals can have on each, is important to the selection process.

Houston, What Are My Options?

In today’s world, engagement rings settings can be had in gold, white gold, platinum, palladium, titanium, tungsten and silver. Each has their own pluses and minuses. Gold has been the traditional, but some women have allergies to gold, and that has opened a market for many other metals. Here is a quick rundown:

Gold/White Gold:  Gold is a softer metal and requires additional metals added to its content to make it a suitable metal. The amount of gold in a ring is defined by the carats (karats) which speak to the actual percentage of gold in a ring. Normally, in engagement ring settings, the carats are 9k (37.5% pure), 14k (58.5% pure) and 18k (75% pure). While 24k gold is the most expensive and sounds impressive, it is usually too soft for durable rings.

One thing to keep in mind, because gold requires additional alloys sometimes women have allergies to those alloys. If your bride-to-be has quit wearing jewelry made of gold, or has mentioned they can cause her to have a skin irritation, another option should be pursued. This is especially true in older vintage rings, where nickel was used to make white gold.

Platinum: this durable metal is 95% pure, much tougher than gold, naturally hypo allergenic and looks very similar to white gold. Because it is more of a pure white, it also will not give a shadow or tint to the stone in the mounting.

Palladium: silver white in color, similar to platinum but less expensive.

Titanium: known as a lightweight metal it is as strong as steel, but lighter than aluminum. It is corrosion resistant, hypo allergenic and has a similar color to platinum. One thing you do need to keep in mind is titanium’s hardness keeps it from being soldered so the ring is difficult to be resized. Engagement rings settings of this type are a great choice for the active women, due to its strength not only in the ring, but also in the prongs of the setting.

Tungsten: one of the heavier metals, its strength is like titanium, but it has a great deal more weight. It is the most scratch resistant ring you can buy. Some engagement ring settings are available, but because of its weight, it is more often used in men’s wedding rings. Like Titanium, its strength does not allow it to be sized up or down.

Silver: not often used in engagement rings settings, it is softer than gold, can tarnish and is much less resistant to scratches. It is easily cleaned with a silver polish, making it very quick to be returned to its initial beauty.

Beyond Reason, There Is Symbolism

Just in case your bride-to-be is concerned more about traditional symbolism, you should know that white gold is supposed to stand for friendship, yellow gold for fidelity and rose gold for love. Keep that in your bag of nostalgic trivia. It may come in handy!

Hand to Hand Combat

One of the last points you need to keep in mind when choosing the right metal for engagement rings settings is her complexion. While yellow gold looks the best on women with yellow or darker skin tones, white doesn’t have to be the choice for the lighter paler skin gals.

The best thing to do here is to watch what she currently wears. If she wears a lot of yellow gold, that may be the path to take, or the reverse if she tends to wear silver or white. Women generally know what compliments their skin color, so paying attention to her wardrobe habits will give you the best clue to her taste.

Choosing the right metal for engagement ring settings is still about the bride. Her likes and dislikes along with her lifestyle are all considerations, but above all it has to portray the love you feel for her and be an extension of her beauty.

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