Engagement Ring Settings – Yellow Or White Gold?

Whether you go with yellow gold or white gold, traditionally engagement ring settings have been made of gold.

While there are other choices, gold is still the number one choice and knowing the difference in what these two color options provide is important to making the right selection.

Knowing Your Peas And Karats

When you start looking at gold engagement ring settings the first thing you will notice is everyone talking about karats or referring to gold rings in karats, such as 14 karat gold, or 18 karat gold.

What karats refer to is the percentage of gold used in the make-up of the ring. Because gold is a very soft metal, it is mixed with harder metals to make it a suitable product for the use of rings.

The larger the number of karats, the higher the percentage of gold used to make the ring and therefore, the higher the cost. A ring with 9k has only 37.5% gold, while an 18k ring is 75% gold.

When someone refers to 24k gold, it is solid gold or nearly 100% gold, no alloys added. Even though that is the most expensive it does not make great engagement ring settings due to its soft nature which would allow it to bend out of shape and be more vulnerable to scratches and damage.

He’s Yellow Through And Through

Although nearly all gold engagement ring settings have some alloys added to give them strength, white gold has alloys added to change its color as well. While in the early years of white gold, nickel was added, now days it is usually replaced with palladium or platinum since nickel has been found to be one of the main sources of skin irritation with gold rings.

White gold rings are also coated with rhodium to help them hold their color. Rhodium can wear off in years of wear leaving your ring dull or more yellow than white. However, if your ring does start to discolor it’s not the end of the world. You can take the ring to a jeweler and have it re-coated.

One of the pluses of white gold that is made with palladium, platinum or titanium is the fact that these harder metals make the white gold ring much less susceptible to scratching, bending or other damage.

How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count The Ways

While all gold should only be cleaned with cleaners specifically designed to clean gold, white gold is especially sensitive to harsh chemicals and even chlorine from pools. Removing your white gold ring when doing household chores or swimming is a good safety precaution to prevent pitting or any discoloration.

Whether engagement ring settings are yellow gold or white gold, when they are not worn, make sure they are put away in a velvet lined box where they are held in place and not allowed to rub up against other jewelry. This will help them keep from getting unwanted scratches or damage.

Complex Or Complexion

One last key to keep in mind is what the bride-to-be prefers. Some women with darker or more yellow tint to their complexions prefer yellow because it compliments their skin tone.

Watch what she wears and if she wears a lot of gold jewelry then you may want to stick to the traditional gold. If she wears a lot more silver jewelry, then white gold may be the answer. She knows what she looks good in.

Choosing engagement ring settings of gold are a great traditional choice, white or yellow. Either one will make a lasting and loving show of your lifelong commitment to her.

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