HWedding bands have symbolized eternal love and union for literally thousands of years. They have been worn, cherished, and passed down for great part of our history as the human race.
There is a sort of fascination with the idea of purchasing a beautiful and valuable piece of jewelry to symbolize a couples love and union. A piece of jewelry that announces this love to the world!
The wedding day is full of details most of which, as beautiful and necessary as they are, only last for the day. The wedding rings, however, will last far past that special day. They will last for the entire duration of a couples life together! Considering this, wedding rings are definitely worth putting some thought into. They are also one of the things related to the wedding that are worth putting some extra money into!
Many though are intimidated by the choices of precious metals out there to choose from. We wrote this article in order to take the confusion out of it. We will explain the most used precious metals and explain why they are so valuable. We will try to differentiate any pros and cons that may make a metal more or less desirable.
So, let’s start! We will start with the most expensive and prestigious of the group:
Wedding Rings Made from Platinum
Platinum is an amazing metal! Not only is it beautiful and extremely rare, but it is also very resistant. Its elegant white shine won’t fade with time. In fact, it won’t lose any of its substance either. That is because Platinum doesn’t separate when scratched, instead it displaces. That means that it stays together and will not lose its original weight and matter. Scratches on a platinum ring are easily taken care of at any jewelers shop.
Wedding Rings Made from Yellow Gold
The classic choice for a wedding ring is and always has been yellow gold. Yellow gold has been used for thousands of years and for good reason.
There is something about the emotion of gold in your hand that is worth taking into consideration. Gold is naturally beautiful, resists tarnishing and shines incredibly.
The fact that gold is soft makes it easy to work and excellent for jewelry. However, the fact that it is so soft effects its resistance, gold rings are more susceptible to scratches, and unlike Platinum will lose some of their weight over time.
Pure gold is extremely soft, so in order to strengthen it, gold is alloyed together with more resistant metals. The harder metals make gold more resistant, however, they also “water it down”. In order to control this, the carat system was developed.
Understanding Gold Carats
24 carat gold: refers to pure gold, that is 100% gold. 24 carat would not be good to use for jewelry for the obvious reason that it is too soft and would be easily damaged.
22 carat gold: refers to gold material that consists of 91% gold and 9% other metal. Any more gold than this would be too soft for use in jewelry. However, 22 carat is considered to be a good choice for high-end jewelry.
18 carat gold: refers to material that consists of 75% gold and 25% other metal. The result is a great balance between hardness and purity. 18 carat gold is very common in most of Europe and is another great choice for high-end jewelry.
14 carat gold: is the most common quality used in America. 14 carat gold refers to 58% gold and 42% other metal. This would be the lowest acceptable amount of gold for fine jewelry.
9 carat gold: is sometimes used in jewelry. While it is only 36% gold, it can still be considered gold and is very resistant. Some may prefer 9 carat both because of its cheaper price and its resistance.
Wedding Rings Made from White Gold
Now that you understand gold carats it is time to move on to white gold. White gold is a very popular choice for wedding rings.
White gold’s look is similar to that of platinum. The main advantages are that it costs a little less, it is lighter, and well… its gold.
So, what is the difference between white gold and yellow gold? In its purest form gold is yellow. We saw this above when considering carats. When gold is alloyed it looses some of its yellow color. When alloyed with specific metals it gives off a very desirable white appearance.
White gold is usually alloyed with precious metals such as Platinum palladium or silver.
If you want to produce an 18 carat white gold ring it is important to maintain the percentage of gold at 75%. In order to accomplish this while giving off a nice white color it is important to undergo another process. The ring is plated with a coat of rhodium, this rare and precious metal gives it a nice white shine while enhancing its value.
Wedding Rings Made from Rose Gold
Rose gold is very similar to white gold. The difference is that rose gold is alloy with copper. The copper red tinge of copper combined with the yellow of the gold results in a beautiful rose color.
Rose gold is very elegant. It is also practical, as it is harder than both yellow and white gold. While it is prestigious and very elegant in appearance it is also somewhat cheaper than yellow or white gold. The cheaper price is due to the fact that copper is not as rare or expensive as the other alloys.
Wedding Rings Made from Palladium
Palladium is similar to platinum, it has many characteristics in common and it is from the same family of precious metals as well.
It isn’t as rare and cheaper as a result. Palladium is also not as dense as platinum. The lighter density takes a little away form its strength, however, it also makes it not as heavy as platinum. The lighter material makes it a little more comfortable for some.
Palladium is easy to care for, and cheaper than many other options while keeping its prestige. All of this make it a great option for someone on a budget.
Wedding Rings Made from Silver
Silver has been used for rings for literally thousands of years! Silver is a very beautiful precious metal. Even so it is considered to be inferior to the metals that we have examined up until now.
Silver is softer than most of the metals that we have considered up until now and as a result it scratches easier. Another downside of silver is that it tarnished quite easily.
Even after considering these factors silver is still a great choice for someone on a budget that still wants a precious metal.
If you choose silver it is a good idea to have it coated with rhodium. Rhodium plating will help it not to tarnish and it will also make it more resistant to scratches.
Wedding Rings Made from Titanium
Titanium is an almost perfect choice as a material for a ring. Not only is it stronger than most of the metal considered up until now, but it is also quite a bit lighter as well. This material is hypoallergenic as well.
So why is it so far down on our list? The short answer is that it isn’t considered a precious metal. It is easy to mine and can be found in abundance, so although it is an exceptional material for jewelry, it isn’t considered a precious metal.
For not being a precious metal, however, it does have a higher price tag than other metals in it’s class. This is due to the fact that its is hard to work and therefore the specialized labor involved in producing the ring marks the price up a bit.
Wedding Rings Made from Tungsten
This is a “newer” metal, however, it is quickly becoming an important one! The biggest reason fo its success is the fact that it is very hard. In fact it is almost the hardest metal that jewelry can be made form.
So, those who have jobs, or hobbies, that would scratch most wedding rings might prefer tungsten. It is said that the hardness of tungsten is around ten times the hardness of eighteen carat gold!
It should also be mentioned, however, that due to its hardness tungsten can actually shatter if dropped or crushed.
Some who work in construction prefer this characteristic for safety reasons. We won’t go into detail on why in this article, however, if you are interested in finding out a quick google search will answer your question.
Wedding Rings Made from Stainless Steel
Stainless steel maybe isn’t the first material that you would think of when considering a wedding ring. However, it is the choice for a growing number of newlyweds.
There are a few reasons for its growing popularity. One reason is that it gives off the look of being a precious metal while costing a fraction of the price. It also is as durable as most precious metals. The main attraction, however, is the price tag. Stainless steel is obviously much cheaper than the other options we have looked at in this article.
For those on a budget, however, it is the most sensible choice that still offers a dignified appearance.
If you are on a budget, but reluctant to buy a stainless steel ring consider the following: Many start out with an inferior quality ring. In the future when things get better financially they upgrade to the metal of their choice. Keeping the original cheaper ring is a nice way to remember your progress in life. Many of us also feel good reminiscing on the “simpler times” when we were newly wed 🙂
As we mentioned in the introduction of this article: Many are intimidated by the choices of precious metals out there to choose from.
We hope that this article helped take the confusion out of it. We also want to wish you a happy search for the perfect wedding ring!