Engagement ring metals

Find out all you need to know about engagement ring metals. Pure Gold (24 carat gold is yellow) is soft and not practical for daily wear. Other metals are mixed with it to make it more durable – and to lower its cost. Adding other metals to the mix also allows metallurgists to change the colour of gold. Palladium or platinum can be added to create white gold whilst adding copper will produce a rose or pink tint.

Engagement rings

Yellow or Rose Gold

  • Available in different carat weights
  • Can be polished and buffed by a jeweller

White Gold

  • White gold was invented to imitate the look and properties of platinum but at a cheaper price
  • Available in different carat weights
  • The mix of metals added to the pure gold will affect the colour and strength of the resulting white gold. Ask what metals have been added to the gold when discussing the quality of the white gold you might be using for your engagement ring.
  • All white gold is rhodium plated. Rhodium is a naturally white metal belonging to the platinum family which is used as a ‘coating’ to give white gold its bright and polished look.
  • The rhodium plating must be regularly renewed to give white gold a polished look. On average a white gold ring must be replated every 12 to 18 months.

engagement rings


  • Platinum is a rare precious metal used to create fine jewellery. Its heavy weight and durability make platinum a metal that will not wear away with constant use. Platinum’s natural white luster means that it does not need to be plated.
  • For a piece of jewellery to be hallmarked as ‘platinum’, it must contain at least 95% pure platinum. If there are less than 950 parts (95%), a number is used in front of the ‘Platinum’ terms to disclose the amount of pure platinum in the mix.
  • Platinum does make certain demands on the jeweller’s skills. It requires high temperature melting and casting equipment and a scrupulously clean working environment. Careful attention to polishing technique is needed to achieve the highly reflective finish which shows a stone at its best.
  • Platinum is heavier than gold and more platinum will be needed to make a ring than white gold. It is also more expensive than white gold per gram. But it will give you a lifetime of enjoyment.

Article provided by: Deborah Windfield Jewellery

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