Which precious metal should I choose for my engagement ring?

Platinum is the hardest and most durable precious metal, but it is also the heaviest and most expensive of the lot. Platinum’s density is 21.45 g/cm3 compared to gold at 19.32 g/cm3 and silver at 10.49 g/cm3. That means, for the same volume of metal, platinum has more mass than the other metals, i.e. there are more grams to pay for. Platinum is also more labour intensive to work with, and therefore ads even more to the cost of a platinum ring. Platinum is purer and rarer than gold, therefore more sought after and has a much luminescent white colour than the likes of white gold, which has to be rhodium plated to maintain its white colour.

Why platinum?

  • Whiter and more luminescent than white gold and silver
  • Strong and durable therefore suited to everyday wear
  • Most secure metal to set stones such as diamonds and gemstones
  • Extremely pure, with only 5% other metal in the alloy (ruthenium or copper)
  • Exclusive and luxurious
  • Does not tarnish
  • It is 100% hypoallergenic

Gold is an extremely versatile metal and is available in various colours and purities. Gold is a great metal to work with as it is extremely malleable and therefore suited for very intricate designs. It is ideal for jewellery as it does not tarnish from every day use and is highly resistant to corrosion. Gold is available in many different forms as it is alloyed with other metals to increase its strength and to reduce its cost. As its purity declines from 24k (100% pure), 18k (75% pure), 14k (58.3% pure) to 9k (37.5% pure) so does its cost, but with increase in strength. Fun fact: gold and copper are the only two pure metals that don’t have an inherently white or greyish colour. They absorb violet and blue light, therefore reflecting yellow light, where all the other metals reflect all the colours of the visible spectrum equally, resulting in white light.

Why gold?

  • Available in various degrees of purity and cost
  • Available in various colours: white, yellow and rose gold
  • Can be used to make a wide range of intricate designs
  • Suitable for everyday wear
  • Resistant to tarnishing
  • Only colourful precious metal

Silver is the most affordable precious metal used in jewellery making. It is extremely versatile, combined with its affordability makes it perfect for jewellery at a fraction of the price. It is great for big statement pieces and fashion jewellery which would otherwise be unaffordable in gold and platinum. Silver is however considerably less dense than gold and platinum and is therefore not as durable. Silver is relatively soft and therefore not suited for everyday wear nor for setting stones, especially expensive stones like diamonds and precious gemstones. Due to its relatively soft character, jewellery will bend, buckle and become misshapen over time, especially when used for everyday wear. Unlike platinum and gold, silver is not hypoallergenic and can be problematic for people with sensitive skin. Silver tarnishes and requires frequent cleaning.

Why silver?

  • Inexpensive
  • Very versatile
  • Bright in colour
  • Great for fashion jewellery pieces

Which is the best for my engagement ring?
If your budget isn’t restricted platinum is definitely the best option for an engagement ring as it is the strongest and most durable. If you’d like a yellow or pink coloured band, then 18k gold is definitely your go to. If your budget is restricted and you’d prefer to spend the majority of your budget on the stones, then we advise 9k gold. Silver is not advised for an engagement ring.

*All RA 9k gold jewellery is plated with 18k gold when it leaves the workshop. However, with wear the bright colour will fade and the true 9k colour will show. 9k Yellow Gold and Rose Gold look very similar due to the lack of purity of the alloy.

Moissanite vs. Diamond – the question on everyone’s lips

What is a Moissanite?
Moissanite was first discovered in 1893 in a crater created by a meteorite that struck Earth. When Henri Moissan, French scientist and Nobel Prize winner, discovered it in Arizona he initially thought that he had stumbled upon microscopic particles of diamond. He took to chemistry and discovered that the crystal structures were made up of silicon carbide (SiC).

Is Moissanite natural?
Yes, and no. Moissanite was born in the stars and discovered on earth in a very small quantity. However, after years of trial and error, the process of synthesizing Moissanite was perfected. So, all Moissanite available today is lab-created.

Is Moissanite a fake diamond?
NO! Moissanite is not a fake diamond. Moissanite is a gemstone, just like diamond is also a gemstone, and ruby, emerald, sapphire, morganite, etc. Moissanite was born in the stars and brought to earth by a meteorite – it is definitely not a fake diamond.

Will my Moissanite scratch, chip or change colour?
No, Moissanite is the second hardest gemstone known to man. It is practically just as hard as a diamond and is a whopping 9.25 on the Mohs scale. To put it into perspective, it falls between diamond at 10 on the Mohs scale and Sapphire at 9; a masonry drill bit is 8.5. It won’t scratch, chip or change colour but for peace of mind, they come with a lifetime warranty directly from the supplier.

Moissanite vs. Diamond Characteristics

DurabilityOn the Mohs scale, moissanite scores a 9.25, a very good score that makes it one of the hardest substances on earth, and very suitable for everyday wear as an engagement ring.Diamonds are the hardest known mineral and receive a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. Because of this exceptional score, diamonds are very durable and ideal for everyday wear. This contributes to their popularity as engagement rings’ center gemstones.
BrillianceMoissanites exhibit a different kind of brilliance than diamonds do, as their faceting pattern is different. The fiery, rainbow flashes emitted by moissanites are beloved by some, but others feel that moissanite’s heightened brilliance can create a “disco ball” effect, especially in sunlight. The bigger the moissanite, the more likely it is that the difference will be noticeable. Moissanite has a refractive index from 2.65 – 2.69, which is higher than a diamond.A different type of brilliance is what makes it possible to distinguish a moissanite from a diamond. Diamonds reflect light in three different ways. The white light reflected back is referred to as brilliance, while the rainbow of colors refracted through the diamond is referred to as dispersion. The surface sparkle of a diamond, known as scintillation, is a third type of diamond light return. The combination of these three gives diamonds their famous sparkle.
ColorWhile moissanites are labeled as “colorless”, the gems can still project a yellow or grayish hue in certain lights. Here again, the larger the moissanite, the more noticeable the color.A colorless diamond, whether natural or lab created, has a natural body color that contains no traces of yellow, brown, or grey, resulting in a dazzling, bright white appearance.
PriceFor the same size from the top view, moissanites are dramatically lower in pricing than diamonds of that size. Moissanite gems typically vary in price only based on size and whether the stone is Premium or Super Premium.Natural diamonds and lab created diamond prices vary based on shape, carat, cut, color, and clarity. Lab created diamonds are more affordable than natural diamonds.
SourcingBecause moissanites are lab created, they are an appealing option for those seeking an eco-conscious gemstone as they require no mining.We go above and beyond the current industry standards to offer both conflict free diamonds, as well as lab created diamonds that are ethically grown with minimal environmental impact.

Excerpt from www.brilliantearth.com

So which one should I choose?
The decision lies in your hands and is based on the end goal with your engagement ring design. Is there a specific look you want to go for, but can’t carve out hundreds of thousands for a huge diamond? Or would you rather have something extremely rare like a natural diamond and settle for a smaller version? It is your personal decision as one is no better than the other. Always remember: beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the value of a gemstone is only as much as you are willing it pay for it.

Affordable Engagement Rings in Cape Town

If you’re looking for an affordable engagement ring you’ve come to the right place!

No, we don’t have an Engagement Ring Special “GET 60% off” like those shops that market that 365 days a year. Certain brown box jewellers come to mind. At some point you have to wonder to yourself, “are those really on special?” or do they just slap a ridiculous 200% markup on their prices so that they can tell you that you are special enough to get a discount. We are in the business of giving honest prices. So, I guess you could say that our engagement rings are always on special. Our engagement ring prices are low and honest because we don’t believe in false marketing. If we’re comparing engagement ring prices, you can save between 30% to 60% on retail store prices when purchasing an engagement ring from Ring Artisan.

Whether you’re looking for a custom design engagement ring that is a diamond ring or a precious gemstone ring such as ruby, emerald, sapphire, morganite, etc. – we do all shapes and sizes. Our engagement rings can be crafted in platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold or even silver. All of our engagement rings are handcrafted by artisans exactly to your desires and needs. Whether your need is a cheap engagement ring that is high quality and unique, or if you’re a big spender with expensive taste – we make engagement rings within any budget, big and small. What is a good engagement ring budget? This is a question we often get, well that depends on you. There are no rules on how much you should spend on an engagement ring. It is important to stay true to yourself and your income – be careful not to spend more on the engagement ring than what you can afford.

We also specialize in custom design wedding bands and bridal jewellery. If you’re looking for affordable custom design wedding bands in Cape Town or anywhere in South Africa – pop us an email for a quote. You’ll be surprised to see the difference in price compared to other jewellery retail stores.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Pop us an email at hello[at]ringartisan.com

Custom Diamond Engagement Ring Design

Purchasing a custom diamond engagement ring can be one of the most stressful experiences known to man. Not only is the ring that you are going to purchase and propose with going to be on your loved one’s finger for the rest of her life, but ladies also like to think that their engagement ring says something about them and men like to show-off a little as a taste of their ability to provide for their future family. No pressure.

Custom diamond engagement ring options are endless. It’s definitely not an easy choice to pick a ring design for your future fiancé, but we want to help you make it easy. Since we’re able to custom make anything, we are able to combine several designs into one to create the perfect ring for your future wifey, especially if she likes something unique.

Here are a few pointers on how to choose or create the perfect engagement ring design for your future wifey:

Have an insider: ask one of her bff’s to chat to her about what ring designs she likes; she won’t suspect a thing. Ladies talk about rings all the time and there’s a very good chance that her bff might already know exactly what she wants.

Pop into a jewellery store ‘to look at watches’: she will quickly pull you towards all the diamonds and give herself away immediately. This is also a good tactic to get her to try on a few rings and thereby not only determine her style but also her ring size and it will all seem like it was her idea. Just don’t seem TOO eager.

Comment on other friend’s engagement rings: say something like, ‘you know, Bob really went all out on Sally’s ring’ and she will reply with something like ‘oh no, it’s not my taste’ or ‘oh yes, it’s stunning isn’t it?’ – then ask what she likes/dislikes about it.

Scroll through her screenshots on her phone: this isn’t a favourite, because it can be slightly invasive, but you will definitely find screenshots of rings she’s been collecting as ideas for her future engagement ring.  You can also view our gallery and / or online shop.

Use the available resources: all women have a Pinterest account. Create an account with an incognito name and have a look at what boards she’s created. There will almost definitely be a ring board. You’ve struck gold (excuse the pun).  You could also browse our Instagram and see how she reacts to the styles.

Take note of the jewellery that she wears: this will give a direct indication of what her style is and we will be able to advise what kind of ring design or style she will like. Other items in her wardrobe will also reveal some of her character, like, if she likes genuine leather shoes or handbags, or if she wears expensive perfume or makeup, we know that she has an eye for quality and luxury, etc.

Ask her: some ladies aren’t phased by surprises and would rather prefer to be assured that she will be getting exactly what she’s been dreaming of her entire life.

If you use the above pointers and pay a little bit more attention to detail, it can be very easy to hack into your future wifey’s mind and determine exactly what she wants her engagement ring to look like. Happy 007-ing 😉