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There are many options in the world of precious and non-precious metals. First, consider what you love in terms of appearance. Next, factor in what makes the most sense for you in terms of durability and other considerations such as skin sensitivity. Because it’s hypo-allergenic, platinum might be the perfect choice for you. Here’s some information to help you with your decision.
Gold is the most popular metal in the US and has the longest and most storied history of all the precious metals. There are various grades of gold purity ranging from 10K, 14K, 18K to 24K (considered pure gold). Pure gold is usually too soft to use in most jewelry, so it is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength and durability. 18K gold is actually 75% gold and 25% other metals, while 14K is 58.3% gold and the rest other metals. At Moses Jewelers, we generally do not feature or stock jewelry made with 10K gold. In some cases, the gold used is plated to enhance either its color or its whiteness. With time and every-day wear, it is not unusual for some plating to wear off. Re-plating, often referred to as refinishing, is a standard and simple jewelry repair we offer and do routinely. Yellow gold is naturally resistant to rust, tarnish and corrosion. Gold is timeless, elegant and the most popular metal for everyday wear.
White Gold was developed to give a different look. It is made with similar properties to yellow gold but is mixed with different metals, such as nickel and palladium, to give it a white color. Since white gold alloys often are not truly white, most white gold jewelry is plated with rhodium (a member of the platinum family). With every-day wear, rhodium plated rings may eventually need re-plating.
Rose Gold is made with similar properties to yellow gold but is mixed with copper to give it a warm blush rose color, which beautifully flatters many skin types. Rose gold engagement rings styles or the use of rose gold mixed with white gold is a trending look today, especially with young brides-to-be!
Platinum is one of the most rare, yet popular metals for engagement rings and wedding bands. It’s naturally white and will never fade or change color. Over time, with everyday wear, it will develop a natural “patina”. Simple repolishing will return platinum to shiny, bright white again. One of the strongest and densest metals, it is durable and hypoallergenic. Although often the most expensive, (palladium sometimes surpasses it), platinum will last forever and is the ultimate symbol of everlasting love!
Not usually used for engagement ring settings, sterling silver is primarily used for fashion jewelry and accessories. It tends to tarnish and scratch, which are two big reasons we don’t recommend it for holding a precious diamond or colored gemstone in your engagement ring. However, it is a very affordable alternative to white gold or platinum for you “wear-everywhere” jewelry.
Alternative metals are often an option for men’s wedding bands and can be used as a back-up band to the traditional gold or platinum ring. Tungsten carbide, cobalt, titanium, and stainless steel are some examples, each with its own features. Be aware, these metals can never be resized, should the need arise.
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