Fine jewelry brings along with it numerous options; from an assortment of vibrant gemstones to a mindboggling variety of patterns. It’s no surprise that most of us are left spoilt for choice. But there’s one element that people often tend to give the least importance to – the metal type.
Visual appeal plays an important role in determining whether you pick platinum, rose gold or something else. Even then, every metal has unique features that distinguish it from the others. In this article, we’ll help you pick the right one from 5 popular options.
What is it? Silver in its purest form is very malleable. For this reason, it is blended with other metals to create an alloy that can be used in jewelry. Among all of the alloys, sterling silver happens to be the most popular, and it retains at least 92.5% of pure silver.
Pros: Beautiful color and luster make jewelry crafted from sterling silver visually appealing. It is also very affordable, hence is commonly used for everything from rings and pendants to earrings for everyday wear.
Cons: It’s a soft metal that can get scratched easily. Sterling silver can also tarnish over a period of time. Polishing, however, can be done to remove any patina (a thin film) that forms with age.
Verdict: Choose sterling silver if you want your jewelry to look lustrous, without spending too much. Bear in mind that caring for silver jewelry should be a priority once purchased.
What is it? An alloy created by combining yellow gold with white metals, such as zinc, platinum and nickel (or palladium). White gold is prized for its rarity and is extremely sought-after for its distinct sheen.
Pros: It does not just look stunning, but is also durable and resistant to tarnishing. Even 14k white gold (58.5% pure gold) offers a great balance between cost, color, weight and purity.
Cons: Rhodium plating is mainly responsible for giving white gold its brilliant white color. However, that may wear away with prolonged use. So re-plating will be required to stop the natural yellow gold undertones from showing through.
Verdict: Choose white gold if you’re looking for a cost-effective alternative to other white metals, such as platinum and palladium, which are certainly more expensive.
What is it? Considered to be a traditional metal, yellow gold is created by combining pure gold with other metals, such as copper and zinc. Its classy warm hue has made it a common choice for engagement and wedding rings.
Pros: Yellow gold has a warm, rich color that has been revered by both men and women since centuries. As it is more malleable than platinum, it’s easier to create fine and intricate designs on this metal.
Cons: When worn on a daily basis, yellow gold jewelry can develop scratches. Cleaning and polishing may be required more often to keep it in good shape.
Verdict: Yellow gold will always have an old-world charm to it. If you have an affinity for vintage style jewelry, then this metal will be the perfect choice to complement such designs.
What is it? The entire family of red, rose and pinkish-gold shades comes under the umbrella of rose gold. These colors are created by blending pure gold with copper. The higher the content of copper used, the redder the gold will appear.
Pros: This color is currently in vogue, and has a romantic appeal attached to it making it a preferred choice among women. Rose gold also happens to be tougher than yellow or white gold due to the strength of copper.
Cons: Rose gold rings do not have the tendency to tarnish, however the strong presence of copper in the metal can cause allergic reactions to some.
Verdict: If your choice in jewelry leans more towards contemporary designs then rose gold will definitely be a stunning metal option for you. This color is also absolutely beautiful to look at. Therefore irrespective of what type of jewelry you choose, rose gold will add a pop of color to it.
What is it? It is a naturally white metal, and is desired by people everywhere for the elegant sheen it displays without the addition of any extra metals. Platinum also happens to be five times rare and purer than gold when used in jewelry.
Pros: Platinum is famed for being rare and robust in nature. This metal is also renowned for its durability. Hypoallergenic in nature, platinum is a good option for those with sensitive skin. Its color will not fade or change over time, which means you won’t have to worry about re-plating or re-polishing.
Cons: Platinum is highly durable, but it is also considered to be the most expensive of all jewelry metals. This fact may make it inaccessible to several people.
Verdict: Since platinum is extremely durable, it is a great option for someone who leads an active lifestyle. The density provided by this metal will also facilitate a secure setting for diamonds or gemstones.
Other points to keep in mind while deciding the metal type for your jewelry
- Budget: Take the entire jewelry piece into consideration when choosing the metal. If you like something which is not affordable then simply go for the next best option. You can also balance out your budget by investing in a precious gemstone instead
- Personal Style Preference: You can always experiment with different kinds of metals, but pick something that you’re most comfortable with and the one that flatters your skin tone.
- Duration of Usage: Engagement and wedding rings are meant to be with you forever. So, for them, it makes sense to invest in a metal that offers long-term durability. For jewelry pieces that you intend to use for regular wear (and for short term), such as earrings or pendants, you can consider picking a metal that is more affordable.