While The Engagement Ring Studio uses only the highest quality precious metals in their fine jewelry collection, we understand that the choice between the various metals can seem confusing. Each metal has its advantages and disadvantages. Read through this section to determine which metal is best for you. You will have to consider the characteristics of each metal, the price, and the care required to maintain the metal at its optimum beauty.
Gold is a very durable and timeless metal that will not rust, corrode, or tarnish. Jewelers throughout the ages have preferred gold to all other metals for its lustrous beauty and the ease with which it can be worked into gorgeous and timeless designs. It can be alloyed with a number of other metals to increase its strength and produce a variety of colors. The most common colors in addition to yellow are rose and white gold, although recent experiments have yielded colors such as green, black and even purple! Because pure 24k gold is considered too soft for jewelry manufacturing, The Engagement Ring Studio manufactures all our jewelry in 14k and 18k white, yellow, and rose gold, as well as in platinum.
When buying gold jewelry always look for the karat mark which should be stamped somewhere on the jewelry- for rings, it is usually on the inside of the shank. Gold karat marks are often just 14k or 18k, however it is also quite common to encounter the numbers 750 and 585. These three digit numerals are referring to the approximate percentage of pure gold within the alloy mix, so for example 750 equals 18k because 18k gold is 75% pure; 585 is the standard value for 14k because this karat mix is 58.5% pure gold. When choosing yellow gold, we highly recommend 18k as it contains more precious metal than 14k gold and thus has a deeper, richer gold color that is quite beautiful. Also, because of these mix of alloys, 18k gold is stronger and more durable than both 22k and 24k.
Gold Characteristics and Terms
Gold content is measured in karats, which should not be confused with the term carat, used to measure diamond weight. The higher the karat, the greater its gold content and price. The K number specifies how many parts, by weight, of pure gold is contained in 24 parts of the alloy. Therefore, the content of pure gold in the various karats are as follows:
10k = 10/24 = 41.7% pure gold
14k = 14/24 = 58.3% pure gold
18k = 18/24 = 75.0% pure gold
24k = 24/24 = 100% pure gold
The decision between 14k and 18k is a matter of personal taste and preference. 14k has the advantages of added strength, but lacks the higher gold content and beauty of the rich yellow color found in 18k.
What is White Gold?
White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as nickel, silver, and palladium. White gold can be 14k, 18k, or any karat. Because 14k white gold is 58.3% gold, and 18k white gold is 75% gold, white gold will naturally have a light yellowish tint. To give white gold its brilliant white luster, in the final process of manufacturing white gold is rhodium plated. Rhodium is a shiny, white metal, which is extremely hard and durable. However, over time the rhodium plating may wear away, revealing the slightly yellowish tint of the underlying metal. To keep white gold looking its best, it may require rhodium re-plating every 12 to 18 months, depending on wear.
Proper care for your gold jewelry is important to maintain its lifelong beauty and value. It is wise to remove your jewelry during rugged activities. To keep your gold jewelry clean, soak it in a mild solution of soap and water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Be sure to check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it to a professional for inspection.
At The Engagement Ring Studio, all platinum jewelry is made of finest quality, 950 grade platinum. Platinum is regarded as the preeminent metal for fine jewelry. It is 35 times more rare than gold, and has a naturally bright or true white color that never requires additional rhodium treatments, is 90-95% pure, and most importantly, eternal. The white luster of platinum is unique as it will patina over time unlike other metals. It is also the strongest precious metal used in jewelry and for that reason is highly sought after- particularly for large diamond and gemstone settings because the settings will be more secure. Platinum is almost twice as heavy as 14k gold.
Platinum Characteristics and Terms
Platinum is 35 times more rare than gold. Each year, 88 tons of platinum is crafted into jewelry, compared to 2,700 tons of gold. It requires 8 weeks and 10 tons of ore to produce a single ounce of platinum. There is just one platinum mine for every 10 gold mines, which makes platinum one of the most uncommon precious metals on earth.
Platinum jewelry is at least 90-95% pure. By comparison, 18 karat gold is 75% pure and 14 karat is 58% pure gold. Platinum is also a naturally white metal that requires no additives or rhodium plating. Platinum’s brilliant white luster makes it an ideal choice for fine jewelry because its white luster brings out the true beauty of diamonds. Also, platinum’s purity level makes it hypoallergenic and ideal for those with sensitive skin.
Platinum jewelry is a perfect choice for everyday wear. Its incredible density and weight make it more durable than other metals and provides assurance in value. Platinum holds precious stones firmly and securely. While it is the strongest of jewelry metals, it can scratch but platinum does not wear away and decrease its volume, unlike other metals. Over time, platinum develops a natural patina that many people prefer over the high polished appearance. This look is unique to platinum and can be simply re-polished for those who prefer the high polish.
Proper care for your platinum jewelry is important to maintain its lifelong beauty and value. Platinum is strong and durable, but is subject to damage. It is wise to remove your jewelry during rugged activities. To keep your platinum jewelry clean, soak it in a mild solution of soap and water and gently scrub it with a soft-bristled brush. Always store your jewelry separately in a fabric-lined case or in a box with dividers or separate compartments to avoid scratches or other damage. Be sure to check any diamond settings periodically for possible damage. If you see a loose prong, or if the setting looks out of line, immediately bring it to a professional for inspection.