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When naturally mined and extracted, gold has a traditional metallic yellow color. However, you will never find an engagement ring that is made out of pure gold. This is because pure gold is much too delicate and soft for manufacturing. Therefore, the gold has to be mixed and combined with other metals in order to make it more durable and reinforce it. Otherwise, you’d never be able to wear the engagement ring daily. You can find some rings with 22k gold, but the most popular types of gold are 18k (75% gold), 14k (58% gold), and 10k (around 42% gold). The remainder percentages are for other metals that add to the overall strength and durability. All these metals are equal in durability. So it simply comes down to appearance. Some prefer the soft glow of yellow gold while others like the versatility of white gold and others like the romantic appeal of rose gold.
In order to create yellow gold engagement rings, pure gold is mixed with some silver and copper for a warm look. It is classic and fashionable, and the most popular metal choice for engagement rings. Yellow gold gets its warm patina from the red of copper, and the greenish hue from the silver. One main benefit of yellow gold is that it’s always in style, and it’s also immediately associated with pure gold due to its color. Yellow gold also provides a greater contrast when white diamonds are placed in it. Many antique wedding rings are yellow gold. Yellow gold is typically not a neon yellow color but more of a soft warm yellow in the 14 karat and 18 karat variations.
In white gold engagement rings, pure gold is combined with palladium and silver. Alternatively, pure gold can be mixed with nickel, copper, and/or zinc. Rhodium plating can improve the whiteness and durability in white gold. Although not as timeless, white gold engagement rings are more contemporary than yellow gold. The rhodium plating costs about four times as much as platinum, and it resists scratches and tarnishing. This gives white gold a reflective appearance. However, the plating can wear over time, so once every few years you will need to re-plate it. With Clarity offers a lifetime warrantly that covers replating and poilishing of the ring. This ensures that the ring will be beautiful for a lifetime.
Rose gold engagement rings are becoming increasingly popular. They are a reddish gold, as the name indicates. These rings are made out of pure gold combined with copper. The more copper, the redder the metal and overall product will be. It is a very unique and romantic option for engagement rings. Many women are really starting to appreciate the warm, pink hue that comes with rose gold engagement rings. The overall percentages of metal are the same for rose gold as they are for yellow and white gold, it’s just a different mixture is used. Rose gold may require more frequent polishing and cleaning compared to other metal mixtures to retail it's color. However with polishing and care, rose gold will retain it's color and shine.
White gold was originally developed to create something different than yellow gold. It was an opportunity for people to have a different overall look and feel to engagement rings. White gold is becoming an increasingly popular choice for engagement rings because it has a similar look and feel as more expensive and luxurious metals, for example, platinum and titanium. This silvery shade of gold is also great for accentuating diamonds in engagement rings. Another benefit of white gold engagement rings is that they are traditionally more durable and scratch resistant than yellow gold engagement rings. This is largely due to the stronger metals that are used to make them.
14kt rose gold is another popular metal that is often chosen for it’s striking pink hue. It is often considered to be a romantic choice, used commonly for engagement rings and wedding bands. Typically 14kt rose gold is made of a mixture of 58.5% gold, 41.7% copper and other metals. For those that prefer more of a pink champagne color 14kt rose gold is the optimal choice. This metal pairs well will all types of gemstones and diamonds. It looks best with fancy shaped diamonds due to its romantic appeal and deeper colored gemstones like ruby and emerald. Rose gold does not require rhodium plating, but over time if it does get dull it can be repolished to it’s original luster. Learn more about Rose Gold Trends.
Ultimately, the choice is yours when deciding whether yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold would be best for you. It’s important to inspect the colors and see what shades of gold you like better. It’s also important to consider the durability and scratch resistant factor of each metal. Do you want something contemporary (white gold), or do you want something timeless, classic, and traditional (yellow gold)? These are all questions you can ask yourself when trying to decide what metal is best for you. Yellow, white, and rose gold wedding rings with equal carat weights usually have the same dollar value. Therefore, the difference between them is based purely on personal preference and taste. Whatever color you choose, they all make for equally attractive engagement rings.
18kt rose gold is 75% pure gold and 25% other metals. It offers durability and value and also long-lasting shine. Because it has more gold within it, 18kt rose gold is less pink than 14kt rose gold. Because 18kt rose gold has more gold within the alloy, it is more expensive than 14kt rose gold. Rose gold is a versatile metal that blends well with contemporary designs and vintage styles. For those that want more purity, 18kt rose gold offers more purity in the gold.