Metals For Brown Diamonds
Brown diamonds were once deemed unsuitable for jewelry. Then marketers in the 1980s gave them tantalizing names like champagne, cognac and chocolate, and brown diamonds developed their own niche.
Like yellowish diamonds, brown diamonds can be placed on a white gold or platinum engagement ring setting to highlight their color, or they can be placed in a yellow gold or rose gold engagement ring setting to complement their color. Even the metal used for prongs can either contrast or complement the diamond in the center.
A 0.38 ct brown diamond pops because it is set in an 18K white gold band and surrounded by a double halo of 0.39 carats of white diamond melee. White prongs accentuate the look. Courtesy: 1stdibs.com
Neil Lane designed this ring for actress, model and Paralympic medalist Amy Purdy. A brown cushion cut diamond is the center stone. A yellow gold band creates a soft backdrop, while platinum prongs and white diamond side stones provide an arresting contrast. Courtesy: Neil Lane
What Are Yellow Gold And White Gold
Both are made from pure gold and mixed with alloys. There is no such thing as natural white gold. Gold is a precious metal that is very soft, so alloys must be mixed with it to make it durable enough for jewelry.
- Yellow gold is mixed with copper, silver, zinc, nickel, and/or palladium. Of those alloys, the copper content is the highest in order to maintain the gold color.
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You’ll see both white gold and yellow gold labeled as a certain karat, such as 14k or 18k. This refers to the purity of gold in the metal . 14k means that 14 parts of the metal are gold and 10 parts are alloy.
So whether it’s white gold or yellow gold, 14k always means 14 parts gold. It’s all the same gold content. Just the alloys used are different, plus the extra rhodium plating for white gold.
To determine the best gold content for you, read our detailed guide: 10k vs 14k vs 18k gold – what’s best for your jewelry?
The Pros And Cons Of White And Yellow Gold
While beautiful metals, white and yellow gold each have some benefits and drawbacks that should inform your decision about which to choose.
- – A more affordable metal than its counterpart, platinum.
- – Since its a popular metal for engagement rings, it has a very modern feel.
- – More durable and scratch resistant than yellow gold due to being alloyed with stronger metals.
- – Complements the white color of diamonds and all colored gemstones.
- – Very complementary to all skin tones, but especially fair or rosy.
- – Historically, it was the most popular metal for engagement rings, so it has a vintage and classic feel.
- – The purest color of all golds, most hypoallergenic, and the easiest to maintain.
- – Easiest for jewelers to manipulate, so works well with intricate settings and more detailed design techniques like milgrain.
- – Works very well with diamonds of a lower color grade, giving off a pretty warmth.
- – Very complementary to all skin tones, but especially olive or darker.
- – To retain its white color and luster, it needs to be re-plated with rhodium every few years. Its an inexpensive process, but still takes effort.
- – Its often mixed with nickel, a metal that causes an allergic reaction in some people. It would need to be mixed with alloy metals other than nickel to be hypoallergenic.
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Platinum Vs White Gold Composition
18 Karat and 14 Karat gold jewelry is made primarily of gold along with a mix of durable metals like nickel, zinc, copper and a rhodium platingas gold by itself is relatively soft. 18 Karat is 75% gold, while 14 Karat is 58.3% gold.
Platinum used in jewelry, on the other hand, is more puretypically between 95-98% platinumwith the remaining percentage rhodium and silver. Stronger and more durable than gold, platinum is the heaviest and densest precious metal. As you can see, gold used in jewelry depends on a higher percentage of alloys and rhodium for its strength and durability. If youre still unsure about the differences in composition between gold vs platinum, our experts can help.
How Meghan Markle Is Influencing Wedding Jewelry
Even before Markle became engaged to Prince Harry, the jewelry she wore garnered interest from a ring with the initial H to a necklace with both of their initials nearly all of it gold. So, it wasnt surprising that when they decided to wed, Markles engagement ring and wedding band were both yellow gold.
The Welsh gold wedding band was gifted to Markle by Queen Elizabeth, and Prince Harry purchased the three-stone engagement ring described as priceless by jewelry experts due to its link to Princess Dianas jewelry collection. Discussing the ring, Prince Harry suggested there was no doubt what color metal he would choose for the band.
The ring is obviously yellow gold because thats favorite, and the main stone itself is sourced from Botswana and the little diamonds either side are from my mothers jewelry collection to make sure that shes with us on this crazy journey together, Prince Harry said of the engagement ring during a BBC interview.
Predictably, the ring has spawned knockoffs ranging from under $100 to thousands of dollars. Buckingham Palace is even selling replicas of the ring for $40.
on Sep 24, 2018 at 12:39am PDT
Their choice of a yellow gold, three-stone ring instantly bestowed that style with a regal gloss, Tanya Dukes, a runway stylist and jewelry expert, told Vox. And in true millennial fashion, they were focused on where the diamonds were sourced and their personal connection to them.
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White Gold Engagement Ring Metal
This lighter variety of gold had its fair share of spotlight in the recent years and is still the best choice for most women especially in the United States. Its cheaper than platinum and on par with yellow gold as far as the price is concerned.
White gold consists of pure gold and is mixed with other alloy metals. These are usually silver, manganese, palladium, rhodium, and nickel. Therefore, white gold does not exist on its own. It can usually be bought as 14K or 18K rings. As already mentioned, a 14K white gold ring will be more durable than a 14K yellow gold ring due to the different alloy metals.
Because of the nickel that is usually contained within white gold, it has the largest tendency to cause allergic reactions. If you are among those people, you have to make sure that the white gold you are buying does not contain any nickel.
It will be harder to find, but white gold rings without nickel but have palladium instead can be found as well. And the latter doesnt cause any allergic reactions!
If you have difficulty finding a white gold ring without nickel, platinum can be a good alternative. These days, its not that much expensive compared to white gold as it used to be.
Given its a plating, it will wear off with the usual wear and tear and will require reapplication every 6 months or so . This can be done at every local jewelry store for a little money.
Shane Co Round Diamond Three
Courtesy of Shane Co.
14k yellow gold detail cascades across this timeless three-stone diamond engagement ring. Set on a 14k white gold band, this piece exudes the most stunning contrast.
For the bride looking to incorporate a bold, nature-inspired elementdo we have the ring for you! Yellow and white diamonds are set in platinum and 18k yellow gold creating the most captivating floral engagement ring.
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This Story Is Part Of A Group Of Stories Called
This Valentines Day, Americans are expected to spend a record $20.7 billion on everything from cards to romantic dinners. But more than anywhere else on the occasion, consumers flock to jewelry stores. Valentines Day is one of the most popular holidays for engagements and weddings, a major reason why Americans shell out more cash on jewelry than any other merchandise this time of year.
But the engagement rings and wedding bands youll see on couples in 2019 might look different from their predecessors of even just five years ago. After two decades of platinum and white gold dominating wedding jewelry, yellow gold is back, say jewelry retailers and experts alike.
The colors renaissance in recent years might be part of the general turn toward gold jewelry thats seen the bamboo earrings, nameplate necklaces, and religious jewelry long found at swap meets marketed to the general public as hip and edgy. Refinery29s Channing Hargrove recently suggested that this trend is cultural appropriation. In terms of gold wedding jewelry, however, the unconventional tastes of millennial brides and grooms might also be at play.
Twenty-somethings have been blamed for bypassing diamond engagement rings, and sometimes precious gems altogether, for New Age faves like quartz instead. Gold bands might simply be another way for young couples to mix up the wedding jewelry theyve come to view as conformist and unimaginative.
White Gold Vs Yellow Gold
The main difference between white gold and yellow gold is the color. White gold is mixed with white metals like nickel, while yellow gold is mixed with yellow metals like copper. White gold has a lustrous white look and yellow gold has a luminous yellow tone. Some prefer the golden tone of yellow gold, while others prefer white gold. The color of gold you choose should be based on your personal preference.
There are a few other small differences between white gold and yellow gold. Yellow gold is more hypoallergenic than white gold and its easier to maintain. You may be able to reduce your diamonds Color by a grade or two, because the diamond will still look white in relation to the yellow gold setting. White gold is slightly stronger than yellow gold, making it more durable.
The cost of white gold and yellow gold is relatively the same, as theyre both made of gold and other alloy metals. 14K gold costs less than 18K gold, no matter the color.
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Platinum Wins The Durability Competition
Since platinum is the most durable metal in addition to being the densest, it shouldn’t be a surprise that this metal is also the most expensive. Being about 20% denser than white gold, platinum is about two-and-a-half to five times more expensive than white gold. Because it’s less malleable, platinum is a more difficult material to work, so the cost of labor that goes into molding that piece increases.
Although scratches in rings or jewelry are inevitable, when platinum is scratched, the metal is not lost as it is in white gold. Rather, the color shifts within the ring itself, creating what is known as a patina finish. In some cultures this is actually seen as a beautiful thing, and a symbol for how long you and your paramour have been together. In the U.S., opinions differ from person to person, but some people embrace the platinum patina.
What Is Silver Made Of
Silver is a metal youll find in almost every jewelry lovers collection. Its famous for its unique beauty and affordability, and many people love it because its hypoallergenic, depending on what other metals it may be mixed with.
Pure silver is typically a soft metal, which is why its often alloyed with copper to make it a perfect fit for jewelry. This mixture of silver and copper is also called sterling silver. Both copper and silver are hypoallergenic, although copper can be prone to tarnishing, which can cause the silver to easily oxidize.
You may find a 925 or 0.925 label on sterling silver, which means its made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal. The problem with mixing silver with other metals is that those alloys may not be hypoallergenic. So it really depends on what youre looking for.
Typically though, silver is mixed with copper to make sterling silver. Due to this non-allergenic composition and easy availability, sterling silver is one of the most prevalent and affordable white colored metals available.
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What Is White Gold
White gold is an alloy composed of pure gold and durable metals such zinc, nickel, and copper giving it strength and its whiter color. White gold rings are usually made with either 14K or 18K gold. 14 karat is 58.3% gold and 18 karat is 75% gold.
Learn more about white gold and how it differs from platinum below.
What Kind Of Wear And Tear Will My Ring Go Through
Platinum, a rare and precious metal, is a popular choice for both engagement rings and wedding bands, because it’s so strong and durable. That’s why it’s an especially good choice for someone who works with his or her hands, or whose ring will experience a significant amount of wear and tear. If you’re set on gold, a lower karat is a better choice-the higher the karat, the purer the gold is, which means it’s more susceptible to scratching. “But gold that’s been hardened with an alloy will also maintain a ring’s character over a lifetime of daily wear,” Robertson adds. Need something even stronger? You’ll want to consider alternative metals like tungsten and titanium.
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Keep The Center Stone In Mind
The center stone can also influence the best metal for an engagement ring. If you already have a diamond shape or color in mind, work with your jeweler to find a metal that will complement it. Or, if you know your S.O. has their heart set on a gold band, for example, an expert can guide you toward a center stone that will look great with that color. “If you’re considering a diamond with some warmth these tend to look best in yellow or rose gold,” Brantner advises. “The surrounding vivid color of the metal tones down the warmth of the diamond and compliments it beautifully.”
Believe it or not, the ring metal color can sometimes appear through the diamond center stone. “If you set a colorless diamond in rose or yellow gold, some of the metal color will reflect within the diamond at certain angles,” Brantner adds. This can make the diamond look less brilliant and sparkly than it actually is, so work with your ring designer to pick a center stone and metal that work well together.
Finding Engagement Rings Made Of Silver
Despite their versatility and beauty, engagement rings made of silver can be difficult to find. Fine jewelers will often have a limited supply of silver pieces, but any gold or platinum design can be reproduced as a silver ring if desired. Small, less expensive rings are often available in silver, though they are often called promise or commitment rings rather than actual engagement rings, and their designs are less elaborate and use smaller gemstones. Of course, custom rings can incorporate any precious metal, including silver. When choosing a jeweler, always inquire about their experience with silver rings because of the required specialized care and delicate nature of fine silver.
Silver rings are an affordable alternative to white gold or platinum for many couples. Not only is silver less expensive, but it is very malleable and can be used to create delicate patterns and intricate designs in addition to classic, simple configurations. When choosing a silver ring, however, always consider the additional care necessary to keep the metal tarnish-free and as sparkling as the day it is first put on the woman’s finger. With loving attention, a silver engagement ring will be just as treasured as a gold or platinum ring, and will last far past the silver anniversary.
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How To Choose The Best Metal For Your Diamond
If youre opting for a high-clarity diamond, something in the D-to-F range, platinum, white gold, or other silvery settings will accentuate your colorless stone. If you choose yellow or rose gold, your diamond might look duller, with a hint of color reflected from the metal.
If your heart is set on a yellow or rose gold setting, try white metal prongs to keep the diamond looking stunning.
If your diamond is a lower clarity grade, though, a yellow or rose gold setting will actually complement your diamond. It can even highlight the slight color in your diamond, giving your ring a lovely vintage look.
The same goes for certain cuts. A diamond with larger facets, such as an emerald cut, will show more color not only in the diamond but from the band. This can be a good or bad thing, depending on your perspective.
If youre going for a fancy color diamond, the goal will be to make the color stand out. Pink, blue, black, and other fancy colors are most often paired with white gold or platinum to put the diamond center stage.
Browns and yellow, however, can be paired with yellow or rose gold to create a more harmonious look.
A word about black metal: Recently, pairing black metal with a diamond has gained popularity. But be very careful if you choose to do this. Make sure the diamonds setting accentuates its color rather than diminishes it.