Scouting for rings for a proposal or a wedding is a tedious affair, especially if you’re guesstimating your partner’s preferences in the selections. It’s easier if everything isn’t a surprise, but the risk is worth the look on her face when you drop to your knees and make your proposal. You’ll definitely make an impression with a stunning diamond ring, but the carat, cut, clarity, and color are settled if you have the money to spare and the sky is the limit. Choosing a setting for the diamond is bit more involved, though, as there are several metals you can choose from, each with its own properties and strengths. Consider gold, titanium, and platinum (alloyed with other metals) as your options.
Gold, in Different Colors and Carats
Gold is a popular choice because it’s reasonably priced and wears without fading. The carat and the color are primary factors in considering rings made out of this metal. Note that a gold carat (or karat) indicates different criteria than a diamond carat, the latter referring to the weight of the stone. A gold carat refers to the proportion of gold in an alloy, 9 carats is 37.5% pure gold, 14 carats 58.5%, and 18 carats 75%. 24 carat is as pure as it gets, although the tradeoff is in the tensile strength of gold in its purest form. Alloys of other metals contribute to its strength and color; yellow, white, and rose gold, in different shades and in multiple tones. Yellow gold is alloyed with copper or zinc, white with silver or palladium, and rose gold involves a handful of metals, including copper.
Alternatives with Better Tensile Strengths
Titanium is stronger than steel and gold, is scratch-resistant and very durable. Aircraft-grade composition of this metal is practically indestructible, so it’s impossible to resize a ring after it’s been customized to fit. Titanium can’t be soldered with other metals or alloys, and rings made out of this metal are usually can’t be adjusted to accommodate a comfortable fit. It’s hypoallergenic compared to gold, though, and wearers won’t have to worry about skin reactions to the metal. Platinum is heavier than gold, and it almost comes in purest form (at least 95%) in jewelry. It’s a reasonable choice for engagement and wedding rings even if it’s priced almost twice as much as gold. White gold diamond rings are popular because the sparkle of the stone is complemented by the color of the metal, but you also have other options with the setting and you can even mix it up in dual or multiple tones.