The most important aspect in choosing the right metal is keeping in mind what color metal she wears most often. If she wears more silver toned jewelry go for platinum, palladium or white gold. If she wears more warm tones consider yellow or rose gold. Some women wear both metals and in that case consider getting a two tone ring, that way it will match with whatever color jewelry she wears.
Platinum is a naturally white metal, so it will not fade or color over time. When used in jewelry Platinum is 90-95% pure, and is a very dense metal, about 40% heavier than 14k gold. It does scratch, just like any metal does, and although it scratches easier than gold, the scratches can easily be buffed out. Platinum is about 5 times more rare than gold and as a result is about 2 times more expensive than 14k gold. The upside to buying Platinum, although more expensive, is that it will last for generations. Platinum is great for people who have an active lifestyle or are allergic to gold.
Palladium is a sister metal to Platinum, meaning it is also naturally white in color and contains similar properties. The main difference between Palladium and Platinum is that Palladium is a lot lighter than Platinum and is a lot less expensive. Palladium is 95% pure when used in jewelry and therefore hypoallergenic. Palladium won’t tarnish and is scratch resistant.
Gold is the most common choice for an engagement ring. The standard measurement for gold is Karat, which is divided into 24 parts. Since pure gold, which is 24 Karats is too soft to be used for jewelry; gold is combined with other metal alloys to increase its strength. 14k gold, which is 58% gold is the most popular percentage of gold used for engagement rings in the U.S., because of its strength and pricing. Gold is the less expensive of the metals for a ring, and a great choice for an engagement ring as it can easily be adjusted and sized.
There are a handful of different gold colors but the 3 most common are yellow gold, white gold and rose gold. White gold is the most popular color gold. It gets its silver color by combining yellow gold with copper, zinc and nickel. White gold is plated with rhodium, which gives it the white sheen, which resists scratches and tarnishing. Rhodium wears off over time so white gold needs frequent maintenance to keep its reflective appearance.
Yellow gold is slowly becoming popular again, most likely because it requires the least amount of maintenance of all the gold colors, as well as it having the tendency to make lower color diamonds look whiter.
Because of Rose Gold’s vintage appeal the color has become a popular choice for engagement rings. Rose gold has a warm, pink hue that is created by combining yellow gold with copper alloy. Rose gold creates a beautiful contrast with diamonds and complements all skin tones.