Which precious metal should I choose for my engagement ring?

Platinum
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
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
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.