So you like it, and now you’re going to put a ring on it. Hold up, not so fast—what kind of ring are you going to pick? There are so many options to choose from when shopping for engagement and wedding rings. But before you even get to the diamonds, you have to pick a setting. Gold is a popular choice, but did you know there are several types of gold to choose from?
In this blog series, we’re going to break down various choices of gold. We’ll talk about gold color options, karats, and plating/coating. First up is gold color… Which is the right one for your beloved? Let’s explore the most popular types of gold engagement ring setting options below. We’ll talk about popularity, cost, and durability—all in the spirit of helping you choose that perfect gold setting.
Pure yellow gold is actually very soft. To increase its durability, it is combined with other metals to create an alloy. (An alloy is a metal that’s made by combining two elements to create something stronger.) The most commonly used metals are nickel, zinc, or copper. Because of this marriage of elements, yellow gold actually tends to come in varying shades.
The popularity of yellow gold engagement rings and wedding rings dates all the way back to Ancient Grecian and Roman times. Traditionally speaking, yellow gold has been the most popular metal for wedding rings. Yellow gold is considered a timeless color that won’t become dated. It generally looks good on all skin tones, helping make it a popular choice in engagement rings and wedding bands.
The general rule of thumb with gold is the less karatage, the more affordable. (More about the various karats of gold to come in a later blog post.) Yellow gold is one of the most affordable gold options available. Prices vary from jeweler to jeweler but generally speaking, you can expect to pay prices starting in the $150—$200 range for a plain yellow gold 14k band.
The downside to yellow gold is that, because of gold’s malleability in its natural state, it tends to be a little high maintenance in terms of appearance. Yellow gold is less durable than other metals and is particularly susceptible to scratches and general wear and tear.
Gold is not naturally white, so to create the stunning color of a white gold engagement or wedding ring, metals are added to the gold. (Just like with yellow gold!) White gold is typically created using a combination of pure gold and a metal like silver, nickel, or palladium. Because the gold is often combined with nickel to create white gold, people with nickel allergies may need to steer clear of this type of band.
The popularity of white gold as a choice for engagement and wedding ring bands has skyrocketed in the last decade. So much, in fact, that it has replaced yellow gold as the most popular choice! Part of its popularity is due in part to its beautiful shine and modern appearance. It’s generally flattering on all skin tones, though it looks best on fair skin tones. One downside to white gold is its tendency to emphasize the yellow tone of a diamond that has a low color grade.
White gold is comparable to yellow gold in terms of price. You can expect to pay prices starting in the $150–$200 range for a plain 14k white gold band.
White gold is created using stronger metals, making it a little more durable than yellow gold. It’s less susceptible to scratches and overall wear and tear. White gold does need to be redipped every few years to maintain its rhodium coating. (Rhodium coating is what helps a white gold ring keep its luster and shine.)
As you have probably guessed by now, rose gold isn’t something you’ll find in nature. Rose gold is created by combining silver, copper, and gold. (It’s the combination of the copper and silver that give it that… rosy glow. ;) ) Since copper often oxidizes over time, the shade of your rose gold may change—that pink ring may evolve into a darker, richer red. Fear not, this deeper shade of rose gold actually tends to give jewelry an antique, vintage look that many people love. Unfortunately for some, rose gold is not considered hypoallergenic due to the copper.
Rose gold in general has seen a surge in popularity over the past few years, but particularly in wedding and engagement rings. Many love the dreamy, romantic look of rose gold while others love the universal complimentary factor—rose gold tends to look amazing on all shades of skin.
As with yellow and white gold, the lower the karatage of rose gold, the more affordable it is. A 14k rose gold ring has more copper, making it more affordable. (This will also result in a richer red tone and a less “pink” hue.) For a 14k solid rose gold wedding band, you can anticipate paying prices beginning around $200–$300. The price is a little higher than yellow or white gold but still comparable.
Because of its combination of metals, rose gold is actually the strongest type of gold you could choose for your engagement ring band. Rose gold doesn’t require rhodium plating like white gold, which means no dipping required!
As you can see, the “perfect” type of gold for an engagement ring all depends on how high or low maintenance you want the ring to be, whether you want to go for “on trend” or “timelessly gorgeous,” and of course, the color preference of your spouse-to-be. (You should probably check to see if they have a nickel or copper allergy, too!)
No matter what type of gold you choose, Zillion’s got your back with outstanding jewelry insurance to protect your investment. We insure all shades, sizes, and shapes of jewelry—including diamond engagement rings and plain gold wedding bands. You can learn more about the ins and outs of engagement ring insurance here.
Contact us for a free jewelry insurance quote today, and stay tuned for the next blog in our series: All about the difference between 14k, 18k, and 24k gold rings!