Wedding bands are available in a wide range of different metals, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. These include yellow, white and rose gold in different karatages, as well as precious metals like palladium and platinum. Wedding bands are also available in alternative metals, such as titanium and tungsten carbide.
While there is no overall “best” metal for every wedding ring, we can look at some of the most common and alternative metals to see which one may be the perfect fit for you.
Should I Get a Gold Wedding Band?
Before we get into specific metals, it’s important to be aware of your needs from a ring. For example different metals can vary hugely in terms of durability, with some metals being soft, delicate and easy to scratch, while others are hardy, durable and highly resistant to damage. Metals also vary in appearance from warm to cool, so it’s important to match your skin tone as well as your main stone. And lastly, some metals are more expensive than others.
Yellow gold has traditionally been the most popular metal for engagement rings and wedding bands. It is made using a combination of pure gold, copper, and zinc to improve durability. Depending on the pure gold content of the alloy, the band will be 14K (58.3% pure gold) or 18K (75% pure gold) a richer, warmer color, but less durable and also a little more expensive. Yellow gold will never go out of style, anyone can wear it, and it’s the easiest type of gold to maintain.
More contemporary than yellow, white gold gets its silvery white character which complements fair and rosy skin tones from combining yellow gold with copper, zinc and nickel or palladium. It’s plated with a hard element called rhodium, which resists scratches and tarnishing, and gives it a reflective appearance but may wear away over time, requiring re-plating. Like yellow gold, white gold comes in a variety of purity levels (karatages) and is very affordable.
Unique and romantic, rose gold has a warm, pink hue created by combining yellow gold with a copper alloy. Many people consider rose gold to be the most romantic wedding ring metal thanks to its warm, pink hue. Like yellow and white gold, rose gold is available in several purity levels (karatages). Rose gold naturally complements all skin tones, is typically stronger than yellow or white gold and also quite affordable.
What Are Alternative Metal Wedding Bands?
Platinum is worth considering if you’re looking for a durable, luxurious, white-colored metal and don’t mind a relatively high price tag. Palladium is a white, silvery-colored precious metal that is similar to platinum, but much lighter. It’s also durable and comparable in price. If you’re just after the white color and don’t want to overspend, 14K white gold is a great affordable alternative to platinum and palladium.
Durable, affordable, and comfortable, titanium is an alternative to conventional metals usually for men’s wedding rings like gold and platinum. Like titanium, tungsten carbide is typically used as a men’s wedding band metal. It’s a very durable metal that resists scratches, making it a good option if you’re active. Tantalum is another non-conventional men’s wedding ring metal that is very durable. Although cheaper than palladium or platinum, rings made of tantalum are typically more expensive than those made of titanium or tungsten. Cobalt is also a popular non-conventional men’s wedding band metal that’s often chosen as a more affordable alternative to white gold, platinum and palladium. Although contemporary metals are very affordable the downside is they can’t be resized and also can’t be sawed off in an emergency situation.
Sterling silver is the most affordable of the precious metals. It is pure silver mixed with copper or other metal to make it more durable, although it’s still one of the softer metals and can get scratched and marked easily. Silver also tarnishes. Stainless steel is becoming popular because of its strength, durability and affordability. Shiny and strong, stainless steel rings can be polished to take on different looks matte or more reflective.
Because everyone has unique needs and tastes, there is no “best” metal for everyone’s ring. To get the best ring for you and your partner, choose a metal with qualities that match your needs and lifestyle, while avoiding bothersome disadvantages. If you would like to create a custom ring or need help, please give us a call at (303) 385-8449 or click here to schedule your appointment. We’re here to help!