If you’re in the market for a diamond ring, you have a wide selection of materials to choose from. But depending on the cut, quality, and overall appearance of your diamond, the metal you pick can highlight or diminish certain qualities. To really make your diamond ring shine, there are a few things to take into account when comparing your metal options.
Cost vs. Maintenance
The average American spends between $3,500 and $10,000 on their engagement ring, but the metal you choose has a major impact on the final total. When it comes to your ring’s price point, platinum tops the list. It’s one of the rarest, purest, and strongest materials on earth and this is reflected in the cost. But it’s also incredibly dense and tough, which means it requires less maintenance in the long run.
Next in line is gold, which is the most commonly used metal for wedding and engagement rings. You can expect to pay anywhere from 25 to 60 percent less for a gold ring than you would for a platinum ring in the same size, weight, and design. For example, this classic six-prong solitaire setting in platinum is listed for $1,205, while the same ring in rose/yellow/white gold or palladium would cost you less than $500.
Palladium is another option that is steadily gaining popularity because it has a similar look and structure to platinum, but with a much lower price tag. Palladium is not as dense as platinum, but it gives off a similar silvery shine.
The most cost-efficient precious metal is silver, but what you save in initial cost you’ll likely make up for in required maintenance over time. Silver tarnishes quickly, so it needs to be regularly cleaned and polished to restore its original shine. For an affordable and durable alternative, tungsten and titanium are strong and easy to maintain.
Color: More or Less?
The metal you use for your ring can greatly affect the appearance and color of your stone. For a clear and more colorless shine, go with a white metal like platinum, palladium, or white gold.
Bright metals will bring out the diamond’s fire without overpowering or altering the hue. However, yellow gold is the tried and true standard if you want to warm up your diamond for a classic look. This is an especially popular option for solitaires or larger stones in less common cuts. If you want your metal of choice to play a large part in the overall look and feel of your ring, opting for rose or black gold will create a unique and eye-catching design.
Stone and Setting Design
The metal you choose can also have a heavy influence on the style of your ring, depending on the shape and design of your diamond and setting. If you want something more modern and prefer a brilliant princess-cut diamond, platinum or white gold may be more appropriate than rose gold.
For a vintage, “Old Hollywood” vibe you might opt for yellow gold. Rose gold goes especially well with detailed accents and mirror-like palladium is the perfect compliment for a sparkly, dominant center stone. When you’re considering metal options, keep in mind the overall aesthetic you’re looking for and how the individual components of your ring fit together for the main design.
Choosing the best metal for your diamond ring is just as important as selecting the stone and setting. Whether your main concern is cost or you want the perfect balance between color, shine, and versatility, there are a variety of factors to consider before settling on an option.