People often ask us what metal is the best choice for their wedding bands. Here are our feelings about what we think about the different materials we work with.
Should I make my wedding band in Sterling silver? Sterling silver is the softest metal that we carry. It can bend and dent easily with wear and tear. It is an excellent choice, if you have a limited budget and can upgrade on an anniversary! All fine metals will scratch and should be handled with TLC. If you are purchasing a wedding band to wear with your engagement ring, you will want to consider the metal of your ring. It is best to put metals of similar durability together, so that the friction between the rings will not wear them down. For example, I would not recommend a sterling silver wedding band to go with a platinum engagement ring. Sterling is very soft and platinum is quite durable. The sterling ring would wear down very quickly. Sterling silver can turn green and also can tarnish in humid environments or with some skin chemistry.
Thoughts on 10 karat gold- 10 karat is made of 41.7% gold content it is the hardest of the white gold’s. 10 karat is whiter than 14 or 18 karats when it is not rhodium plated. As a standard Brent and Jess do not rhodium plate as it is bad for the environment as well as the jeweler. If requested we will rhodium plate our jewelry.
Rhodium plating is often used as a barrier for the nickel content in white cake white gold. It is effective if you do end up with an allergy to nickel and your ring is causing you problems. Please reach out to us if you have ordered a ring and have determined do you have a nickel allergy we are happy to help.
14 karat white gold for wedding rings- 14k white gold is the standard at most jewelry stores. It is 53% gold the rest other alloys including nickel. It is slightly softer than 10 karat gold but considerably harder than sterling silver. It has a slight warm hue when it is not rhodium plated. It makes a beautiful fingerprint wedding band.
18k white gold-18 karat is the softest of the gold alloys. It is 75% gold. Because gold comes out of the earth yellow it has a warm yellow hue even though it is not yellow. Often people rhodium plate to make the jewelry look whiter. This rhodium plating will need to be redone occasionally.
When talking about yellow gold versus white gold, white gold is harder than yellow gold. Yellow gold is quite beautiful and still much harder than sterling silver.
Why would I choose Platinum for my jewelry? Platinum is the silver-white metal that is extremely resistant to tarnishing and corrosion. It is soft and valuable making it a great material for jewelry making. It is harder than sterling silver. And is a beautiful highly valued and desirable metal for wedding bands.
Platinum also has a very small amount of alloys so it is a very pure metal when used in jewelry. People tend to not have allergies to platinum.
Palladium is a metal that comes from the same group of metals as platinum. It is 95% pure and durable. It has a greyish-white color, rather than the bright white color of platinum. Palladium is also hypoallergenic. Right now, to craft a palladium ring is very expensive. Historically it had been a great inexpensive option compared to Platinum currently the cost has increased significantly and prices higher than platinum. Palladium gets it’s name from the Greek goddess of wisdom and protector of Athens, “Pallas Athena”. It was discovered in 1804 by a British chemist, though it was almost two centuries before it really stood out as a precious metal of significance. It gained most of its popularity not as much for use in jewelry applications, but for its use in catalytic converters. Not a very glamorous start, but certainly one that changed the face of auto emissions greatly!
White gold is made by alloying yellow gold with white-colored metals. Nickel is generally used as an alloy because it adds a great deal of strength and tempers the strong yellow color of gold. At brent&jess, we make rings using 10k, 14k, and 18k white gold. The rings we make retain their natural slightly yellow gray color because we don’t rhodium plate our rings unless the customer requests it. This color is deeper in the rings that have more yellow gold in them, so the whitest color is in 10k white, then 14k white, and then 18k white, which is quite yellow. However, none of the shades of yellow are very apparent unless the ring is placed next to another ring in a brighter white metal.
There are a number of things to consider when selecting the “perfect” wedding band: your lifestyle, the design of the ring, types of metals, compatibility of metals, ring size, and ring width. Gold metals are durable due to their alloys. Our gold contains nickel which may pose concerns for people with allergies. 18K yellow gold has a greater content of pure gold and a rich yellow color. 10k Gold is the most scratch resistant of the gold Karats. It is very affordable.