Choosing the right engagement ring metal for you comes down to evaluating two factors: style and function. Every engagement ring metal has a different look and different practical considerations. Whether you want to choose your ring’s metal-based purely on style, purely on function, or take both things into consideration, this guide will help you determine which engagement ring metal is right for you.

 

Yellow Gold

This luxe diamond engagement ring showcases the beautiful, traditional look of yellow gold.

Yellow gold is considered the most traditional choice for an engagement ring. It’s a beautiful precious metal, with its classic glowing golden look.

For yellow gold (and all other golds), you’ll probably have a choice of either 18k gold or 14k gold. Pure gold is 24k gold but 24k gold is too soft for everyday wear, so most gold used in jewelry is mixed with other metals to make it stronger. You can tell how much pure gold is in the metal by the karat number. The closer the karat number is to 24k, the more gold there is in the metal.

You may think that the higher the karat number, the better the gold. But it’s really a matter of personal preference. 18k yellow gold has a slightly deeper golden tone than 14k gold, but it’s softer, due to the higher pure gold content. So, if you prefer a richer color and don’t mind a slightly higher possibility of scratching, you might want to go with 18k gold. But if you like the color of 14k gold and want something more durable, 14k gold might be a better choice for you.

The softness of yellow gold is something to consider before choosing it for your engagement ring. While all golds are durable, they are more prone to scratching than platinum. These scratches can easily be polished out by a jeweler, however, so if you love the look of yellow gold, don’t let this simple maintenance requirement stop you from choosing it for your engagement ring.

Pros of Yellow Gold:

  • Its rich golden color.
  • Its traditional look.
  • Easy to resize.

White Gold

This dazzling halo oval diamond engagement ring shows just how chic and stunning white gold can be.

White gold is yellow gold that has been plated in rhodium, a beautiful white metal. White gold has a gorgeous, chic white hue.

If you want a white metal for your engagement ring, you’ll be choosing between white gold and platinum. Both are lovely options for your engagement ring but they do each have their advantages and disadvantages. White gold is less durable than platinum and sometimes its rhodium plating wears off over time. But white gold can be re-dipped in rhodium to restore its color. And white gold does have a big advantage over platinum: it’s less expensive. So, if you love the sleek, chic look of a white engagement ring but don’t want to spend the extra cash for platinum, white gold is the perfect choice for you.

Pros of White Gold:

  • Its beautiful white color.
  • Looks similar to platinum but is less expensive.
  • Easy to resize.

Cons of White Gold:

  • Less durable than platinum and rose gold.
  • May need to be re-plated in rhodium over time.

Rose Gold

This mesmerizing halo diamond engagement ring is crafted from romantic rose gold.

Rose gold is a gold alloy. It’s usually a blend of pure gold and copper. The copper used in rose gold gives this precious metal a stunning pink hue. Since rose gold was very popular in the early 1900s, rose gold also has a vintage look that many people adore.

The copper used in rose gold makes it more durable than other golds. On top of that, the copper in rose gold allows it to develop a patina over time, which is something many people think of as a huge advantage. A patina is a coloring that appears on some metals over time, which happens due to oxidation. On rose gold, a patina will develop naturally, giving the metal a beautiful antique look. Of course, if you choose a rose gold ring but find you don’t love the patina it develops, you can always have it cleaned to remove its patina.

While rose gold is more durable than other golds, it’s still less durable than platinum. However, rose gold is an excellent choice for an engagement ring, especially if you love its romantic, vintage look.

Pros of Rose Gold:

  • Its romantic pink color.
  • Develops a beautiful patina over time.
  • Requires less cleaning than other golds.
  • Has a neutral tone, allowing it to look beautiful with most skin tones.
  • It’s more durable than other golds.

Cons of Rose Gold:

  • Less durable than platinum.

Platinum

This beautifully detailed engagement ring is crafted from white diamonds and durable, pure white platinum.

Platinum is a rare and beautiful precious metal. It has a stunning, pure white color and is an exceptionally strong, and therefore durable, metal. Platinum is an excellent choice if you want a white engagement ring that requires less maintenance than white gold. It’s less prone to scratching and, like rose gold, develops a patina over time so it doesn’t need to be cleaned if you love its patina. The patina of platinum is softer than that of rose gold. It’s more of a luster than a coloring; platinum will retain its pure white color even with a patina. And, also like rose gold, you can always have a platinum ring polished to remove its patina if you prefer.

Another advantage of platinum is that it’s hypoallergenic, which can be important for those with sensitive skin.

The one potential drawback to platinum is its cost: it’s the most expensive option. Platinum is more rare than gold and is more difficult to work with, which gives it a higher price tag. However, if you want a white ring and have room for the cost of platinum in your budget, you may find it’s well worth it to spend a bit more to enjoy platinum’s many benefits.

Pros of Platinum:

  • Its pure white color.
  • Highly durable.
  • Hypoallergenic.
  • Develops a soft patina over time.

Cons of Platinum:

  • The most expensive option.
  • It’s challenging to resize, which makes resizing more expensive.