Creating the finest engagement ring includes choosing the finest metals. It must be brilliant, high quality, stand up to everyday wear, and it must look elegant. There are several options for choosing a high quality metal that will fit your needs and create a beautiful ring to last a lifetime. Three different factors will play a role in the choice: price, color, and durability. Each of these qualities can be combined in a different way to form the perfect ring with an influential design and extraordinary brilliance.
Begin by setting a budget for the entire ring. Keep in mind that because Eco Diamonds provides the most affordable way to get a premium designer ring, you may be able to choose a top quality metal without sacrificing your budget.
Pure gold, also referred to as 24 karat or 24K, has many unique and desirable characteristics that make it valuable. For instance, it doesn't tarnish, it is non-allergenic, it is very malleable/workable, it polishes to a mirror-like shine, it is rare, and it is highly valued in every country in the world. However, it is very soft and pliable in its pure 24K state and is generally considered to be unsuitable for wedding bands and other jewelry. In order to make gold jewelry that is durable and long lasting, gold is combined with other metals--called alloys--to make it stronger and change its color. Alloys add strength, but dilute the value of the gold and may cause jewelry items to eventually tarnish and/or cause allergic reactions. In an attempt to achieve the best balance between the strength of alloys and the valuable and desirable properties of gold, three different karat gold combinations have become standard: 18K, 14K, and 10K. Because Eco Diamonds provides only the finest settings, we do not offer 10K gold. Both of the 18K and 14K golds are available in white gold or yellow gold. White gold alloys are typically stronger than yellow gold alloys, so a white gold ring will be slightly stronger and last a little longer than a yellow gold ring.
18 Karat Gold
A purer, more expensive option for those who like the look of silver or white gold is platinum. Platinum is very white and there is never a need to plate it to correct its color because the color remain brilliant and pure. It is used in its almost pure form, meaning 95% of the metal in a platinum piece of jewelry is pure platinum. Platinum is heavier than gold and because of its higher quality, it is usually twice as expensive.
White gold is an alloy of gold mixed with white metals like silver and palladium and it creates a shimmering tone like that of crystals sparkling in the snow. Most white gold still has a yellowish tinge so it is plated with rhodium, causing it to have a completely white appearance.
With its silvery tone and the way it holds its shine, palladium is a dead ringer for platinum. The skyrocketing price of platinum has made palladium, a lesser known platinum-group metal, suddenly much more desirable. It is equally as white as platinum and whiter than white gold. Palladium is hypoallergenic, never needs rhodium plating. And, as a platinum group metal, palladium wedding bands provide wearers with the same durability and premium white beauty that platinum wearers have learned to treasure. With the same look and feel, jewelers are offering it up to their customers as a less expensive alternative. Please note, our palladium settings can take up to 3 weeks to complete.
Those who like a traditional look will likely opt for a butter yellow gold. Yellow is probably the color most associated with gold jewelry. The yellow hue occurs because pure gold, which is yellow, is mixed with alloy metals like copper and zinc.
18K gold contains 75% gold and 25% alloy. 18K gold is the softest and purist between 14K and 10 karat golds and is the most expensive because of its high gold content. It is typically used where a richer yellow color is desired. It is the most resistant to tarnishing of the three karat golds, and although it is the softest, it is still hard enough to be used for rings and wedding bands. 18K gold wedding bands will show wear marks sooner and wear out slightly faster than 14K gold bands.
14 Karat Gold
14K gold contains 58.3% gold and 41.7% alloy. 14K gold is generally considered to be the ideal karat gold for rings and wedding bands because it is strong yet will not easily tarnish. Probably 90% of all the gold rings and wedding bands sold -- whether yellow gold or white gold--are made with 14K gold. It still has a good yellow color for those wanting yellow bands instead of white, & when choosing the best karat gold based on all-around beauty and practicality, 14K gold can't be beat.
White Gold Rings and Rhodium Plating
Because white gold is made from yellow gold and various alloys, white gold in its natural state has a slight yellow tint. It's not a true white metal like platinum or silver. To enhance the whiteness of white gold jewelry, and no matter where you purchase white gold jewelry, it has become standard in the jewelry industry to plate (or cover) white gold jewelry with another metal called Rhodium. Rhodium is very white, reflective, extremely hard and virtually tarnish free, so it's the perfect protective coating for a white gold ring.
When setting your brilliant Eco Diamond, any 18 carat or 14 carat gold or palladium setting will provide you with an elegant piece of jewelry. If it is in your budget, platinum is an excellent high-end choice. Regardless of the metal you choose, your Eco Diamond ring will offer an attention to color uniformity unlike any other stone, and both the gem and setting will faithfully adhere to the highest of quality standards.
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