Picking the ideal metal for diamond jewelry is an important aspect of the ring design process – and you definitely have a lot of options.
The metal you choose, however, can accentuate or minimize particular attributes based on the cut, quality, and overall look of your diamond. Different colored metals react differently with diamonds. Some make the diamond appear brighter – while others make it appear darker.
This article will explain how various metals react with diamond color and overall appearance, so if you’re wondering in which metal we should wear diamond, keep on scrolling!
How Do Precious Metals Alter the Appearance of Diamonds?
Why would the precious metal in which the diamond is set alter its appearance, anyway? Well, it’s all about the reflection of light: Diamonds are always cut to reflect and refract light – and that gives them a dazzling appearance.
However, diamonds reflect more than simply light; they also mirror their surroundings. That’s accurate for diamonds of all shapes and sizes – as well as diamonds of all carat weights.
And that means that any diamond might take on the color of the setting on your engagement ring or other jewelry. White gold, yellow gold, rose gold, and platinum are the most common precious metals used in engagement ring settings. Don’t worry; we’ll discuss them in detail further below.
Most individuals choose the precious metal for a diamond engagement ring setting merely for aesthetic reasons, which is entirely appropriate. However, while picking your engagement ring’s setting, keep in mind how your diamond will reflect these precious metals.
What To Consider When Choosing A Precious Metal For Diamond Jewelry
Before you match your diamond with a metal ring setting, there are a few things you should take into consideration.
Think Of What Your Partner Would Prefer
Start by discreetly looking through your partner’s jewelry box to identify which metal colors they prefer. It’s also a good idea to find a metal that will perfectly match your partner’s skin tone.
If you think they’d like to wear something unusual, you may look for mixed engagement rings – or consider matching a diamond with a contrasting metal ring.
The bottom line here is: Decide on your partner’s style first – and then look for the appropriate metal and color to go with it. When selecting a metal for a setting, consider the sort of jewelry your partner usually wears:
- Platinum or white gold is the way to go if your partner typically likes cooler hues and silver-toned jewelry.
- If your partner prefers warmer tones, yellow gold or rose gold are excellent picks.
- Combining metals such as white gold and yellow gold is a good choice since it will enhance any piece in your lover’s jewelry collection.
- Placing the diamond in a white metal head (that keeps the gem in place) – such as platinum or white gold – will highlight the diamond’s brightness and create a glittering impression.
The Color Of The Diamond
The diamond’s color is another factor to consider when selecting the ideal metal for the ring or other diamond jewelry. The metal you choose for your ring has a significant impact on the appearance and color of your diamond.
Choose a white metal – such as platinum, palladium, or white gold – for a clean, colorless luster. Bright metals will draw out the fire in the diamond without dominating it or changing its color. If you want to “warm up” your stone for a traditional appearance, though, yellow gold is the way to go. That’s a typical choice for solitaires and more prominent gems in unusual shapes.
Lastly, if you want your ring’s precious metal to make a statement on its own, go with rose or black gold.
The Price Of The Precious Metal
The type of metal you pick significantly influences the ultimate cost.
With that said, platinum is the most expensive metal when it comes to the cost of your ring. It’s one of the rarest, purest, and most durable materials on the planet, and the price reflects that. It is, nevertheless, quite thick and robust, requiring less care in the long term.
Following that comes gold, which is the most widely used metal for diamond jewelry in general. It’s also important to mention that a gold ring will cost between 25 and 60% less than a platinum ring of the same size, weight, and style.
Palladium is another alternative that is gaining favor since it has a similar appearance and structure to platinum but is considerably less expensive. Although palladium might not be as dense as platinum, it has a comparable silvery luster.
Silver is the most cost-effective precious metal, but you’ll more than makeup for it in future maintenance costs. Because silver tarnishes fast, it must be cleaned and polished regularly to maintain its original luster. An excellent alternative to silver are tungsten and titanium. They are easy-to-maintain and sturdy options that are both inexpensive and long-lasting.
The Setting Design
Depending on the shape and style of the diamond and setting, the precious metal you pick might have a significant impact on the look of your ring. For example, platinum or white gold, rather than rose gold, might be more acceptable if you prefer something a little more sophisticated and want a dazzling princess-cut diamond.
Then again, yellow gold is a good choice for a retro, classic look. Rose gold complements intricate embellishments particularly well, and the reflective surface of palladium is the ideal complement to a dazzling, prominent center stone.
Take into account the overall aesthetic you’re going for when choosing metals – and how the different components of your ring come together. It’s just as crucial to find the right metal for your diamond ring as it is to pick the right stone and setting.
There are many aspects to consider when diamond shopping, whether your major concern is affordability or you want the right blend of color, shine, and adaptability.
The Diamond Shape
The amount of colored metal base reflected into the diamond is also affected by the diamond shape. Diamond faceting patterns are proportioned differently depending on how they’re cut and fashioned.
No two diamonds are similar. As a result, certain forms display their color in a more apparent – or less visible – manner. You’ll need to think about the color grade of each diamond shape, how each diamond shape displays its color, and how colored metals interact with one another.
The round brilliant diamond is the form that reveals the least amount of body color. Because Emerald and Asscher cut diamonds show their color better, you should choose a color grade higher than you would for a round brilliant if you choose to go with one of these shapes.
Types Of Precious Metals: Metals That Enhance a Gem’s Beauty
Gold is hands down, the most popular choice for all jewelry because of its extreme flexibility. Pure yellow gold – also known as 24-Karat gold – is the brightest, richest, warmest, and most yellow of all gold tones, yet it is too soft to be used in jewelry.
That’s why gold is combined with other alloys such as silver, nickel, and zinc, strengthening the metal while also changing its color. While 22-Karat gold is rarely used, most jewelry is made of 18-Karat, 14-Karat, or 10-Karat gold.
And to clear things up, Karat indicates how much “pure” gold is blended with other metals. The Karats will considerably alter the look – particularly the color – of the gold.
For example, lesser Karat gold, such as 10-Karat gold, will have a lighter and cooler tone. On the other hand, the higher Karat gold – such as 18-Karat gold – will have a more warm tone and sort of buttery richness to it.
Yellow gold, a popular classic, gets its warm tarnish from its natural coloring combined with the red copper with which it is alloyed. It’s a go-to for conventional solitaires with six or four prongs, as well as softer, more natural-looking designs.
Learn More: Yellow Gold: Everything You Need to Know
Rose gold is a fantastic alternative for a warmer, softer, and more romantic aesthetic. Rose gold is perfect for individuals who have a lot of pink undertones since it’s made by blending yellow gold with a strong copper alloy.
Learn More: Rose Gold: Everything You Need to Know and More
White gold’s delicate, graceful silvery tone was instantly popular when it was first invented in 1917 – and it has remained so for almost a century. Combining yellow gold with copper, zinc, and nickel produces a yellowish-white tint, giving white gold its silvery-white appearance.
During the finishing process, jewelers coat white gold with rhodium (a platinum group metal), which gives it a completely white appearance akin to platinum. This coating, like any plating, wears away with time and requires cleaning and replating to maintain its white hue.
Learn More: White Gold: Everything You Need to Know
Platinum is one of the toughest and longest-lasting metals known, and it’s naturally white. Platinum wasn’t genuinely available for commercial usage until approximately 1900, when the oxy-acetylene torch made it feasible to melt platinum down enough to use it for making jewelry.
Platinum has long been prized for its beautiful, cool shine – which is ideal for enhancing the brilliance of white diamonds. Its extreme durability and inherent strength make it an excellent choice for an active lifestyle.
And because it’s naturally white, it won’t fade with time.
Platinum also has the advantage of being hypoallergenic. Because it’s a naturally white metal, there’s no need to mix it with nickel, which may cause allergic reactions in certain people.
Related Read: Diamond Vs. Platinum: Comparison Guide
Do you like the beauty of platinum but not the cost? Well, we have good news for you:
Palladium has a white tint and a gleaming gloss akin to platinum. While it isn’t as durable, it comes close – and is still great for anyone with an active lifestyle who desires that mirror-like sheen. It’s also light, easy to wear, and hypoallergenic.
The disadvantage is that it shows scratches and is difficult to resize, which might present an issue in the long run for someone who wants to wear it for a lifetime.
Silver’s one of the oldest precious metals used in jewelry, and it was formerly thought to be more valuable than gold. In today’s market, it’s also the cheapest of all.
Pure silver, like gold, is much too soft to be used alone, so it’s combined with copper or other alloys to make sterling silver – a more robust alternative.
The white moon-like tint, along with the metal’s history and allure, makes it one of the preferred options for those looking for a high-end aesthetic at a reasonable cost.
However, if you’re not willing to put in some extra effort, this flexible metal might not be the greatest option for you. Although it is tougher than pure silver, it is still a softer metal that is easily scratched.
Silver tarnishes and thus must be stored in tarnish-resistant bags or in a cold, dry location to avoid harm. Plus, your ring will require frequent polishing and cleaning.
Related Read: Are Real Diamonds Ever Set In 925 Silver?
Titanium was initially utilized for industrial purposes but is becoming increasingly fashionable for men’s rings. It’s not only highly robust, but it’s also relatively light – ideal for someone who isn’t used to wearing jewelry every day.
It’s incredibly scratch-resistant and straightforward to maintain. Plus, it has a rather modern and unusual appearance. Titanium does not require any special maintenance to keep it looking as beautiful as it did on your wedding day, either.
What’s the drawback? Titanium wedding bands can’t be resized, so make sure you get the proper size – and bear in mind that you won’t be able to adjust it even if your finger size changes.
Related Read: Why Do Men Wear Diamonds? Is It OK for Men to Wear Them?
Tungsten is perhaps the most durable metal and is four times stronger than titanium. It’s the most scratch-resistant alternative at an affordable price. When it was first employed in lightbulbs to substitute carbon-filament lights in 1904, this pure element altered the world – and it has revolutionized wedding bands, too.
Tungsten, just like titanium, is pretty easy to maintain but can’t be adjusted. So, use caution when wearing it. Furthermore, while tungsten is exceedingly strong and does not tarnish, it’s fragile and could break if dropped or hit against a hard surface.
Because of the metal’s toughness, tungsten wedding rings require no further maintenance – much like titanium.
Pairing Precious Metals With Diamonds
D to F Color Diamonds
According to most experts – including the gemologists of the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) – colorless diamonds should be set in platinum or white gold.
If you choose a yellow or rose gold setting for your D-F-colored diamond, it might appear somewhat yellow since it reflects the color of the setting.
G to J Color Diamonds
Diamonds with G to J color grades will exhibit a very subtle yellow hue that most people will not detect.
Since diamonds in this color spectrum are generally colorless, experts suggest putting your diamond in white gold or platinum if you want it to seem as white as possible.
You can select a yellow or rose gold setting for a G to J color diamond. However, keep in mind that these warmer hues may give the impression that your diamond has a lower color grading than it actually has.
K to Z Color Diamonds
Diamonds with a color grading of K to Z will be visibly yellow. So, qualified gemologists and jewelers frequently propose a yellow gold setting as it gives your diamond band a balanced appearance.
Rose gold, with its warm golden overtones, can also be used here.
If you like, you can still use a white gold or platinum setting with a K to Z color diamond. However, keep in mind that the contrasting tone of these dazzling white metals may draw attention to your diamond’s subtle yellow tinge.
How To Maintain Your Jewelry With Precious Metals
Here are some general maintenance instructions for any metal you choose:
- Soften the buildup on your ring by soaking it overnight. Use white vinegar or water with a tiny bit of dish soap.
- Scrub the top and below the band softly with a baby toothbrush.
- Invest in a jewelry cleaning cloth to protect your rings from becoming dull.
- Before using strong chemicals or swimming, remove your ring.
- Always take off the jewelry before going to the gym, working in the garden, or doing anything else that might harm the ring.
- If your ring includes pavé stones, be particularly cautious.
- Get your ring checked every year, regardless of metal or style.
Related Read: Should I Take Off My Rings At Night?
Choosing a metal is a straightforward procedure once you understand the basics of precious metals. Deciding between white gold, yellow gold, and platinum is a matter of personal taste – but at the same time, it’s a financial decision, too.
In the end, it’s crucial to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of several types of metals used in jewelry before making a final selection. Let us know how it goes!
Related Read: Is Diamond A Metal Or Non-metal? Rock Or Stone?