Ring Guides

Which Ring Metal Is Best For You?

This guide will provide you with an overview of the best engagement ring metals, highlighting their unique properties to help you find the best match for your style and lifestyle. So let's explore the diverse world of ring metals and discover which one is perfect for you.

Which ring metals can I have for my engagement ring?

When selecting the perfect metal for your engagement ring, it's essential to understand the unique characteristics and benefits of each option. Here’s a guide to the most popular ring metals for engagement rings and precious jewellery:

Platinum: Renowned for its durability and natural white lustre, platinum is a premium choice for engagement rings. It’s hypoallergenic and doesn’t tarnish, making it perfect for those with sensitive skin or an active lifestyle. Platinum’s density ensures your ring remains secure and resistant to everyday wear.

Yellow Gold: A classic choice for centuries, prized for its warm, rich colour. 18k gold is more popular than 24k gold due to its perfect balance of purity and durability. Yellow gold complements vintage and classic designs beautifully.

Oval Oberon Engagement Ring in Yellow Gold
Oval Oberon in Yellow Gold

White Gold: This metal offers a simple look with a similar appearance to platinum. It’s usually alloyed with metals like palladium and coated with rhodium to enhance its whiteness and protect it from scratches. However, the rhodium plating might need reapplication over time to maintain its colourless shine, as it can fade to appear yellowish over time.

Bespoke Radiant Bardot Scallop Engagement Ring in White Gold
Bespoke Radiant Bardot Scallop in White Gold

Rose Gold: A metal that has gained popularity in recent years for its romantic pink hue. The colour comes from a mixture of pure gold and copper alloy. It’s durable and complements all skin tones, adding a unique and fashionable twist to traditional engagement rings.

Silver: Silver has a bright white appearance similar to white gold and platinum. However, silver is far softer and isn’t secure enough for an engagement ring and we therefore don’t offer silver engagement rings at Queensmith.

Each metal offers unique benefits, catering to different preferences and lifestyles. Whether you favour the timeless elegance of platinum, the classic appeal of yellow gold, the modern look of white gold, or the romantic charm of rose gold, Queensmith provides an array of beautifully crafted options to suit every taste.

Engagement Ring Metal Comparisons

Metal Purity Durability Skin Tone(s) Key Fact
Platinum 95% Very Durable Cool Among the rarest and most expensive of the popular precious metals. It has a high melting point and good resistance to corrosion and chemicals.
24k Gold Pure Soft Warm 24k gold is considered the purest possible gold available. It's rare for jewellery to be made of solid gold without any other metal alloys mixed in, because it is too soft and has a garish appearance.
18k Yellow Gold 75% Durable Warm Alloys are added to 18k gold for strength. This also improves the colour, which is otherwise quite a bright, garish yellow.
18k Rose Gold 75% Durable Warm Also made up of about 20% copper and 5% silver, which strengthen the gold and give the metal its pinkish colour.
18k White Gold 75% Durable Cool Also contains about 25% silver and nickel alloys, which strengthen the gold and give the metal its near-silver colour. It requires rhodium plating to appear bright and silvery.
Silver 99.99% Soft Cool Queensmith don't make precious jewellery like engagement rings from silver as it is very soft and malleable, and therefore is likely to warp, and isn't secure enough for diamonds.

Should I choose platinum for an engagement ring?

Learn about the most popular metal for engagement rings and precious jewellery - discovering how durable the metal is, why it is the perfect choice for diamond jewellery and whether there are any disadvantages to platinum.

What is platinum?

Platinum is a rare and highly durable precious metal known for its natural white lustre and resistance to tarnish. It is hypoallergenic and often used in fine jewellery for its strength and luxurious appearance, making it an excellent choice for engagement rings.

What are the pros of platinum?

Platinum is an exceptional choice for engagement rings due to its numerous advantages. It is hypoallergenic, making it ideal for those with sensitive skin. Platinum is nearly 100% pure, ensuring a luxurious and high-quality metal that doesn’t tarnish or fade over time. Its natural white lustre enhances the brilliance of diamonds and other gemstones, providing a timeless and elegant appearance. The durability and strength of platinum ensure that your ring will withstand everyday wear while maintaining its beauty for a lifetime.

Is platinum expensive?

Historically, platinum was more expensive than gold. However, the cost of platinum and gold has evened out in recent years - meaning platinum is now no longer considered a more expensive metal. It is more expensive than similar looking metals, like silver, because it is rarer and more durable. For these reasons, it is considered a great choice for engagement rings.

Will platinum scuff or scratch?

Platinum is one of the toughest and most durable metals available for engagement rings. It is more resistant to scratches and scuffs than gold, but you should be aware that all precious metals can scratch and warp if treated poorly. Over time, platinum can develop a patina, which can be easily polished away. If left, this patina gives the ring a vintage look while maintaining its strength and beauty. As the strongest ring metal available, platinum ensures your engagement ring will stand the test of time, maintaining its elegance and integrity through everyday wear.

The disadvantages of a platinum engagement ring

Platinum engagement rings have a few drawbacks: platinum is denser than gold, which some might find less comfortable for daily wear, although most won't notice the difference. Additionally, although Queensmith offers platinum at the same cost as other metals, platinum is sometimes marketed as more expensive by other jewellers, due to its rarity and density.

Popular Platinum Rings

Should I choose gold for an engagement ring?

Discover the characteristics of yellow gold, from its benefits to the metal's durability, and whether there are any downfalls to choosing a yellow gold engagement ring.

What is yellow gold?

Yellow gold is a timeless choice for engagement rings, known for its warm, rich colour. Made from a blend of pure gold and alloy metals like copper and zinc, 18k yellow gold offers a perfect balance of durability and classic elegance, complementing both vintage and modern designs.

What are the pros of yellow gold?

Yellow gold’s warm, rich hue complements various skin tones. Its durability ensures that it can withstand daily wear while maintaining its lustrous appearance. Additionally, yellow gold is easy to maintain and can be polished to restore its shine. Its enduring appeal makes it a versatile option that never goes out of style, perfect for those seeking a traditional and elegant look.

Are yellow gold engagement rings expensive?

At Queensmith, the choice of metal does not impact the price of your engagement ring. The cost of your ring will primarily depend on the design, craftsmanship, and the quality of the stones chosen rather than the metal itself. This makes yellow gold a versatile and stylish option without worrying about additional costs related to the metal choice.

Is yellow gold durable?

Yellow gold is a durable and fairly resilient choice for engagement rings. With a balanced blend of pure gold and alloy metals like copper and zinc, it is strong enough to withstand daily wear and keep your diamond or gemstone secure. That said, you should always be careful with your engagement ring: gold is not indestructible and will warp or dent with pressure. Like most metals, it will require polishing every couple of years to buff away any scuffs and restore its shine.

Which is better: 9k or 18k gold?

In the UK, 9k and 18k gold are the most common choices for engagement rings. The key difference between the two lies in their gold content: 9k gold contains 37.5% pure gold, while 18k gold contains 75%. This difference significantly impacts their appearance, durability, and price.

9 Carat Gold: 9k gold is harder and more durable due to its higher percentage of alloy metals. However, it has a paler colour compared to 18k gold and is more prone to tarnishing over time. While it is a more affordable option, its appearance may not have the same richness and warmth as higher carat gold.

18 Carat Gold: 18k gold offers a perfect balance of durability and luxury. It has a richer, more vibrant colour due to its higher gold content, providing a classic and timeless appeal. Although more expensive, the superior quality and aesthetic make it a popular choice for those seeking a premium engagement ring.

At Queensmith, all engagement rings are crafted from 18k gold unless otherwise requested, ensuring you receive the finest quality and most beautiful gold hue.

Choosing between 9k and 18k gold ultimately depends on your priorities for durability, appearance, and budget, but for those desiring the best quality and richness, 18k gold is the superior choice.

Why is gold mixed with other metals?

Pure gold is inherently soft and prone to scratching and bending. To enhance its strength and durability, gold is mixed with other metals like copper, silver, zinc and palladium. This alloying process not only fortifies the gold, making it suitable for daily wear and intricate jewellery designs, but also helps it maintain its shape and resist deformation over time. By combining gold with these metals, jewellers create a more resilient material that retains the beauty and lustre of gold while ensuring your engagement ring stands the test of time.

The disadvantages of a yellow gold engagement ring

While yellow gold is a classic and beautiful choice, it has a few drawbacks. Yellow gold is ever so slightly softer than platinum, making it more prone to scratches and dents, especially if worn daily. It also requires polishing to maintain its shine, just like all metals. Additionally, yellow gold may not complement all skin tones as seamlessly as white gold or platinum.

Popular Yellow Gold Rings

Should I choose rose gold for an engagement ring?

Explore the characteristics of rose gold, from which metals are combined to create the pink coloured metals, to the advantages and disadvantages of rose gold.

What is rose gold?

Rose gold is a beautiful and romantic metal made by alloying pure gold with copper, giving it a distinctive pink hue. Known for its durability and vintage charm, rose gold is a popular choice for engagement rings, complementing a variety of skin tones.

What are the pros of rose gold?

Rose gold offers several advantages, making it a popular choice for engagement rings. Formed by alloying pure gold with copper and silver, rose gold has a distinctive pink hue that adds a romantic and vintage charm. Its unique colour compliments a variety of skin tones and stands out from traditional gold and white metals. Rose gold is also highly durable due to the copper content, making it resistant to wear and suitable for daily use. Additionally, its warm, flattering tone pairs beautifully with diamonds and other gemstones, creating an elegant and timeless look.

Are rose gold engagement rings expensive?

At Queensmith, the choice of metal does not affect the price of your engagement ring. Therefore, rose gold engagement rings cost the same as those made from platinum or yellow and white gold. Rose gold offers a unique and romantic alternative without additional cost considerations. Its beautiful pink hue, created by alloying gold with copper and silver, provides a distinctive look that’s both elegant and durable. This makes rose gold a cost-effective yet stylish option for those seeking something different from traditional yellow or white gold.

Is rose gold durable?

Rose gold is a high-quality, durable precious metal, formed by alloying gold with copper and silver. It is a resilient choice for everyday wear, but you should always avoid putting pressure on your ring or knocking it around as all metals are susceptible to wrapping and scratching. Additionally, rose gold’s durability is enhanced by its copper content, which gives it strength.

Should I choose 18k or 9k rose gold?

When choosing between 18k and 9k rose gold, the key differences are in colour and weight. 18k rose gold contains more pure gold (75%), giving it a richer, warmer hue and a heavier feel. In contrast, 9k rose gold contains only 37.5% gold, resulting in a paler colour and lighter weight. At Queensmith, we offer 18k rose gold for its superior quality and luxurious appearance.

What are the disadvantages of rose gold engagement rings?

While rose gold offers a unique and romantic appearance, it does have some disadvantages. The copper alloy that gives rose gold its distinctive pink hue can, or rare occasions, cause allergic reactions in individuals with copper sensitivities. Just like most precious metals, rose gold does require polishing every couple of years to maintain its shine and buff away any scratches or scuffs. Despite these drawbacks, rose gold remains a beautiful and popular choice for many.

Popular Rose Gold Rings

Should I choose white gold for an engagement ring?

Explore whether white gold is the right choice for your engagement ring, leaning about how durable the metal is, its benefits and potential issues, as well as why it needs plating to appear white.

What is white gold?

White gold is an alloy made by mixing pure gold with white metals like palladium or nickel, then plated with rhodium for a bright, silvery finish. It combines the elegance of platinum with the romance of gold, offering a modern and stylish choice for engagement rings.

What are the pros of white gold?

White gold offers several advantages, making it a popular choice for engagement rings. It has a sleek, modern appearance similar to platinum and silver, but is more durable than silver, making it suitable for everyday wear. Its neutral colour enhances the brilliance of diamonds and complements a variety of gemstones, making it a versatile choice. Additionally, the rhodium plating used on white gold adds extra shine and helps protect the ring from scratches and tarnish.

Are white gold engagement rings expensive?

At Queensmith, the choice of metal does not impact the price of your engagement ring. White gold engagement rings offer the elegant, modern appearance of platinum without additional cost considerations. This makes white gold a cost-effective choice for those seeking a sleek and contemporary look. Its durability and bright finish, enhanced by rhodium plating, provide an attractive alternative to platinum, combining both style and value without any price difference.

Should I choose 9k or 18k white gold?

When choosing between 9k and 18k white gold, the same principles apply as with other gold variations. 9k white gold is less pure, containing 37.5% gold, making it harder and more affordable. However, 18k white gold, with 75% gold content, offers superior purity, a richer colour, and greater value. At Queensmith, we exclusively offer 18k white gold for its enhanced quality and luxurious appearance.

Why is white gold rhodium plated?

White gold is rhodium plated because the mixture of alloy metals alone doesn’t achieve a true white colour. Without rhodium plating, white gold is a pale, buttery yellow tone. Rhodium, a tough and hypoallergenic precious metal, is applied to the surface to give white gold its bright, silvery appearance. This plating enhances the ring's durability, making it scratch-resistant and providing a luxurious finish. The rhodium layer ensures that white gold engagement rings maintain their beautiful, high-quality look over time.

Is white gold durable?

White gold is a somewhat durable and resilient choice for engagement rings, suitable for daily wear. Its strength comes from the alloy metals mixed with the gold – but you should always take care not to knock, impact or warp your ring regardless of the metal. Over time, the rhodium plating that gives white gold its bright, silvery finish will wear off, necessitating recoating. This maintenance is relatively inexpensive and straightforward, ensuring that your white gold ring continues to look luxurious and new. The durability of white gold combined with easy and affordable upkeep makes it a practical and attractive option for engagement rings.

What are the disadvantages of white gold engagement rings?

While white gold engagement rings offer a sleek and modern look, there are some drawbacks. The rhodium plating, which gives white gold its bright, silvery appearance, will wear off over time and require periodic reapplication, which is an ongoing maintenance task. Additionally, some people may experience allergic reactions to the nickel often used in white gold alloys. Despite these potential issues, many still find white gold an appealing and practical choice for its beauty and durability.

Popular White Gold Rings

We’re here to help

We get it, you’ve never done this before.

That’s why we have diamond and design experts on hand, who are here to guide you through every step - from understanding what carat, color, cut and clarity mean, to designing the perfect ring.

Should I choose silver for an engagement ring?

Learn about whether silver is a good choice for an engagement rings, from discovering how durable the metal is to why most jewellers avoid creating silver engagement rings - and which metals are a better substitute.

Is silver suitable for an engagement ring?

Silver is generally not recommended for engagement rings due to its softness and susceptibility to scratches and tarnish. Unlike more durable metals like platinum and gold, silver can struggle with long-term wear, making it less ideal for a piece of jewellery that is worn daily. Its lack of durability means it can easily lose its shine and shape over time. A silver ring’s band can easily warp and the claws can become loose, meaning the diamond or gemstone is put at risk. For these reasons, Queensmith does not offer silver for engagement rings, preferring to use more resilient and lasting metals to ensure your ring remains beautiful and intact for years to come.

What is the best metal for engagement rings?

Choosing the best metal for an engagement ring ultimately comes down to personal preference and style. When selecting a metal, consider factors like durability, appearance, and how it complements your skin tone. If you’re buying a ring for your partner, observe the jewellery they wear most frequently and try to match the metal to ensure it aligns with their taste.

To determine which metal suits your skin tone best, refer to our skin tone guide.

Platinum:

  • Pros: Extremely durable, hypoallergenic, nearly 100% pure, and has a natural white lustre that enhances the colourless brilliance of diamonds.

  • Cons: Some jewellers sell platinum at a higher price to gold.

Yellow Gold:

  • Pros: Classic and timeless with a warm, rich colour. Durable enough for an engagement ring and precious jewellery.

  • Cons: Diamonds can pick up a hint of yellow when set in yellow gold – try choosing a yellow band with platinum claws to avoid this.

White Gold:

  • Pros: Offers a sleek, modern look similar to platinum at a comparable price. Durable and enhances the colourless brilliance of diamonds.

  • Cons: Rhodium plating needs periodic reapplication, and some may experience allergic reactions to nickel in the alloy.

Rose Gold:

  • Pros: Unique pink hue that adds a romantic, vintage charm. Highly durable due to its copper content and complements various skin tones.

  • Cons: Copper can cause allergic reactions, and its colour may deepen over time.

Silver:

  • Pros: Pretty silver tone

  • Cons: Not typically recommended for engagement rings due to its softness, tendency to scratch, and tarnish over time. This lack of durability makes it less ideal for daily wear, which is why Queensmith does not offer silver for engagement rings.

For these reasons, platinum, 18k rose gold, white gold and yellow gold are the best options for engagement rings, each offering unique benefits to suit different styles and preferences.

Need help choosing the perfect ring?

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