Gold purity is measured in karats. When purchasing an engagement ring, you’ll see that the prices increase as you move upward toward 24 karats, indicating pure gold. However, pure gold is easily damaged as it is softer and less durable, so it is typically mixed with other metals and alloys. 10, 14, 18 AND 21 karat gold jewelry can reasonably be worn daily and hold up to wear without damage.
White gold consists of pure gold combined with palladium and silver or with nickel, copper, and zinc. Oftentimes, these pieces will have rhodium plating to improve durability and embolden the whiteness. White gold offers a beauty akin to that of platinum at a more attractive price point for many buyers.
Yellow gold provides the classic yellow hue of gold while creating warmth with subtle hints of nickel and silver. This timeless beauty will generally not rust or corrode, letting your ring last well through the times and generations.
As a rising star, rose gold has swept jewelry lovers off their feet. Rose gold gets its reddish hue from copper added to the gold. The more copper in the mixture, the deeper the red color will appear in the jewelry. You can clean your rose gold ring the same way you would other gold jewelry, and you can expect it to stand up to the test of time just as well too.
Platinum offers a soft white hue to beautifully complement and boost the sparkle of your gemstones and diamonds. Further, platinum is even rarer than gold itself, making it even more valued as a jewelry metal.
Over time, platinum will scratch with consistent use. Its patina is the finish and texture that develops with regular wear, giving less luster with a rustic aesthetic. To keep your ring looking flawless, you can have the platinum polished as needed. However, while scratches might naturally signal to you that your ring is wearing down, platinum actually strengthens each time it’s scratched.
Sterling Silver is the most affordable precious metal. Sterling silver can be prone to tarnish and scratches easily. As with platinum, a patina develops; however, with silver, this process hastens and will require polishing more frequently than with its more durable counterparts.