Precious Metal Guide

PRECIOUS METAL

While the diamond is the star of your engagement ring, it is important to choose the right precious metal to set it in. The colour and tone of the metal can enhance the diamond, making it appear bigger, brighter and more scintillating.

As a rule, white metals; platinum and white gold, are best for diamonds that are colourless or near colourless – D, E, F, G. Diamonds with a yellowish tint become more obvious when set in white metals, and for this reason, you will often see diamonds lower on the colour scale set in yellow gold.

Rose gold, with its old fashioned beauty, is also becoming increasingly popular and suits diamonds across the colour scale, and is particularly popular with fancy coloured diamonds.

But perhaps the most important factor when choosing a precious metal, is personal preference. Some women prefer white metals while others are yellow gold girls. If you are surprising your beloved with a ring, take note of the colour of the jewellery she wears and use that as your guide.

Gold

GoldGold is an extraordinary and rare precious metal, with an unmatched combination of chemical and physical properties. It is the only yellow metal and the name gold derives from the Old English word for yellow, ‘Geolu’.

Gold is the most non-reactive of all metals and it does not oxidize under ordinary conditions, meaning that it will never rust and never tarnish. Gold’s physical properties of high electrical conductivity and chemical inertness make it an excellent and reliable conductor, particularly in harsh environments, where temperatures can range from -55°C to 200°C. No other metal is as malleable as gold. A single ounce of the metal can be drawn into a wire five miles long. Gold is also an excellent conductor of thermal energy. Due to all these specialties, gold is used in various other industrial applications along with jewelry manufacturing.

18ct Yellow Gold
Yellow gold is the traditional choice for engagement rings, and while its popularity began to decline towards the end of the last century, it remains a popular choice for women who value tradition, heritage and classic styling. It is a popular metal for stones with more of a yellow tint, and is becoming increasingly popular as a setting for fancy colour diamonds, and other precious gemstones. Yellow gold is also a popular choice for red-headed women, who believe the gold adds warmth to their fair complexions.

White Gold
Probably the most popular choice for contemporary engagement rings, white gold is classic and suits almost every skin tone. It starts life as yellow gold, and is alloyed with a white metal – usually palladium, manganese or nickel – to give it a soft, white glow. This is then coated with rhodium to make it appear more “white” and this will slowly wear off over time. Some people prefer the look of un-plated white gold, but if you like yours bright and shiny, don’t forget to bring it back to Affinity each year and we will re-plate it for you as part of our complimentary care service.

Rose Gold

Everything old is new again, as rose gold makes a comeback! No longer associated with vintage jewellery, rose gold is now adorning the ring-fingers of fashion concious ladies around the globe. An alloy of yellow gold and copper, one of the advantages of rose gold is that it complements almost any coloured stone and skin tone. It also matches readily with either white or yellow gold, and is often used as an accent colour in a halo, or band or prongs. It works especially well with rare and beautiful pink diamonds, and brown and cognac diamonds look modern and chic when set in rose gold.

Platinum

Platinum Considered the most precious of the metals, platinum has a grey-white hue which perfectly complements diamonds in the colourless to near-colourless spectrum. Darker in colour than white gold, platinum is the perfect setting for quality diamonds. Over time and wear, the metal acquires a distinct and desirable patina which will add to the beauty of your ring. The heavy weight of platinum means your ring will feel substantial and solid on your finger – it’s definitely the choice for those with a discerning eye.

Platinum in jewelry is actually an alloyed group of six heavy metals, including platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium. These other metals are so similar to platinum in weight and chemistry that most were not even distinguished from each other until early in the nineteenth century.