Choosing the right engagement ring can make some couples feel a lot of pressure. There are a number of elements to consider, one of the most important being selecting a ring metal that’s right for you and your lifestyle. Silver was once thought to be more valuable than gold, so it’s understandable why many people think that engagement rings are supposed to be silver. However, there are multiple metals to choose from and silver won’t be right for every bride.
We’ll be looking at the features of the most popular ring metals below so you can make an informed decision on the right engagement ring for you and not simply following a trend or societal opinion on what metal an engagement ring is “meant” to be made from.
Even though there isn’t necessarily a metal that a ring is supposed to be made from, silver is certainly a widely used option for many pieces of engagement jewellery. This is likely because it typically comes with a cheaper price tag, but that can often mean it is cheaper in quality too. Like with gold, pure silver is much too soft to be used on its own, so it needs to be combined with copper or other metals to create sterling silver, a more durable alternative. Even sterling silver can’t compete with materials like platinum in terms of quality and longevity.
In addition, if you’re not wanting to do some occasional upkeep to keep the ring looking its best this may not be the metal for you. Despite it being harder than pure silver, it’s still fairly pliable and one of the softer metals, meaning it could be more vulnerable to scratches.
Also, silver can have a tendency to tarnish, so the ring will need to be stored in a cool, dry place, or tarnish-preventing bags. A silver engagement ring will need to be cleaned and polished on a regular basis.
When all these factors are taken into consideration, silver is actually not a great choice for a ring metal, especially for an engagement ring which will be worn daily. So, anyone looking for a unique engagement ring a and have an interest in the colour silver may want to opt for platinum instead.
Gold is the most traditional and classic choice both for wedding and engagement rings, and with good reason. From white gold to yellow gold to a new rising star, rose gold, this metal gives you a wide range of options. Whilst it has clear connotations of luxury and remains a staple choice for engagement rings, don’t rush into buying this metal without careful consideration.
You may think that the higher the Karat (not the same as diamond carat) the better, but when it comes to the longevity of your ring, that may not be the case. Pure gold (24 karat) is so soft that it can be prone to scratches, bending, or the jewels falling out. That means in order to produce a gold ring that is stronger, anything less than 24k is an alloy with other metals. The most common metals mixed with gold are cooper, silver, or platinum.
Of the most common levels of gold purity, 18ct is the optimal gold karat because it is strong and durable. If you’re interested in white gold, keep in mind it will always have a yellow tint to it, so it requires rhodium plating.
The best way to get a gold ring that has exactly what you want whether that be more gold content or less maintenance to keep it looking like new, is to opt for a bespoke engagement ring ideally forged from platinum.
Widely acknowledged as one of the rarest metals in the world, platinum is not only a high-end choice, but it’s also one of the strongest precious metals, adding to its value. Platinum is so valuable and sought after that white gold was created for the first time when platinum jewellery was removed from the market to conserve the metal for war supplies.
The strength and durability of platinum make it a great option for engagement rings and offer peace of mind that it will hold precious stones securely in place for a lifetime. This is often why prongs are made from platinum in rings that have weaker metals such as white gold, as it will be more resistant to scratches and wear and tear.
Even though it is one of the most expensive metal choices, the longevity the wearer has with the ring makes it worth the larger price tag. It’s rare that platinum bands become damaged in everyday life and the metal is sure to retain its colour. So, you won’t have to replate it, nor will it lose its shine over time. If you do find any scratches or tarnishes, they can easily be polished out and the ring will look like it has just been made.
Going back to the question of whether an engagement ring is supposed to be silver, in short no. The ring you decide on can be made from whichever metal and whichever colour you want, and feel is right for your partner or yourself if you’re a bride choosing the ring.
Barbara Tipple can create a beautiful bespoke design engagement ring that combines all the features that are important to you and makes for a truly unique ring that reflects her personality and celebrates the love you have as a couple. Get in touch with us by email, phone, or come and see us at our gallery to start an initial discussion on what you’re looking for.
We can then organise a time to talk to you in more detail about your perfect engagement ring design, budget, and timeframe. Alternatively, you could try out our new virtual shopping video to make finding and planning the right engagement ring an even more simple and efficient process.