There are many choices to make when shopping for wedding rings. One of those choices is what metal to use. We have put together a list of many of the metals used for wedding rings to aid you in making this choice.
Probably the most ubiquitous metal used for wedding rings, gold is both popular and traditional. Since gold is a very soft and malleable metal, it is almost always mixed with other metals like silver, copper, or zinc to form a stronger alloy. The percentage of gold in the alloy is measured by karat, with pure gold being 24 karat. Most gold jewelry is in the 9 karat (37.5% gold) to 18 karat (75% gold) range.
Gold comes in several colors, with the most common being yellow, white, and rose. Yellow gold is the most popular and what comes to mind when most people hear the word “gold”. White gold is often rhodium plated to enhance the white color and protect the gold from wear. The warmer, more red rose gold has been gaining popularity.
Silver is also a relatively soft metal, making it more susceptible to scratching than harder metals. This, along with its tendency to oxidize, can make it a poor choice for wedding and engagement rings, which are generally worn on a daily basis. When silver oxidizes, its characteristic white color turns black. Oxidized silver can be restored relatively easily with a silver jewelry cleaner. Silver is growing in popularity for wedding ring metals.
Platinum, another white metal, is more expensive and prestigious than either gold or silver. Its exceptionally white color means that it does not need rhodium plating like white gold. Its density makes platinum rings heavier than similarly sized rings made of other metals. It is frequently found at almost 100% purity. Platinum’s brilliant white color makes it a beautiful match for rings with multiple diamonds, like eternity wedding bands.
The durability of titanium has made it an increasingly used metal for both men’s and women’s wedding rings. Titanium is the strongest naturally occurring metal on earth, making it more resistant to scratching, denting, and bending than other metals. Its light weight and variety of colors sets it apart from other metals.
For people who have reactions to metals, titanium is a great choice, because it is 100% hypoallergenic. The down side is that titanium cannot be resized or soldered, making the number of ring styles made of this metal tend to be more limited.
A compound of tungsten and carbide, tungsten carbide is a heavy, durable metal. Rings made from tungsten carbide will stand up to almost any wear and tear and still look like new. These generally white or gray rings have a permanent polish which means that they require less maintenance than rings made of other metals. Like titanium, tungsten carbide cannot be resized. This means that it is very important to have your finger sized accurately when buying a ring made of tungsten carbide or titanium, the wedding ring metal choice is important and personal.
Palladium is part of the platinum metal group. This white metal is naturally lightweight, durable, and resilient to discoloration. It is one of the rarest metals, which makes it one of the more expensive metals. This, along with its longevity, makes it very illustrious and highly esteemed. Like traditional platinum, palladium does not require plating or alloys, so it is usually at least 95% pure.
In recent years, the use of stainless steel for wedding rings has been gaining in popularity. Another hypoallergenic metal, stainless steel can be another good choice for those with sensitivities to other metals. Like titanium, stainless steel is durable, light, and scratch resistant, and it is also resistant to corrosion and tarnish. Many, but not all, stainless steel ring designs have a more industrial look that appeals to many men. Stainless steel is another metal that cannot be resized, and it will react badly to chlorine.