An engagement ring is such a precious symbol of your love, which is why every element of the ring needs to reflects her unique style and personality. And one of the often-overlooked features to make a decision about, is the type of metal you want the ring to be made of. The three precious metals for rings that Shimansky’s master craftsmen work with are platinum, 18k gold and palladium. All of these ancient metals are rare, valuable and have their own distinct benefits. Aside from the visual preference in the metals, there are many other factors to consider when choosing one over the other.
This ring metal guide is here to help you make a more informed decision and sits alongside our detailed precious metals page. Aside from an exhaustive ring metal comparison, our guide answers common questions around engagement ring metals – like what the strongest metal for rings is, the available hypoallergenic ring materials, the most unique and rare metals for rings, whether wedding ring metals match and what ring metals can be resized. So, before we explore the different types of metals for rings, let’s start by answering these questions.
Many couples ask us what the best metal for your ring is. Unfortunately, there is not one clear answer to this question, as what is best for you two, as a couple, will differ from what’s best for someone else, depending entirely on what qualities you value in a ring. When it comes to engagement ring metals and wedding ring metals, one thing is certain: Shimansky only uses the purest and most precious metals to craft our unique creations. These metals include platinum, palladium and 18k white, yellow or rose gold. These are all good choices.
Our ring metal guide wouldn’t be complete without guidance on metal sizing. Although it is possible to resize all pure platinum, gold and palladium rings, we always advise that your finger size is measured properly when choosing a ring - rather than resizing your engagement ring later. Ring resizing is a common practice; however, unfortunately it does come with potential risks and disadvantages. Certain ring settings, like the channel setting and tension setting, for example, are difficult to resize. Resizing rings with small micro-set diamonds or with delicate settings may compromise the strength of the setting, causing the diamond to be less secure. Resizing a ring with a very thin shank may also render the ring weaker. So, we advise you to always measure first, as a preference, and use our ring size guide to assist in getting it right.
Matching your ring metals is entirely a preference. Mismatched metals provide you with more options, play to a more fashion-forward aesthetic, and is great for people who prefer a looser, more easy-going style. Pairing rose gold, yellow gold and white gold is one of the biggest engagement ring and wedding jewelry trends at the moment. An engagement ring designed with different metals will complement a wedding band designed with the same metals beautifully. However, when it comes to two different metals that are very similar in tone, such as platinum and palladium, we recommend that you stick to one or the other. Different metal and different alloy will not pair well together. And, of course, if you prefer a more structured look, with coordinated separates, in general you would prefer a wedding and engagement ring set that matches.
Since Shimansky has pioneered the use of platinum in South Africa, this extremely rare and precious metal has taken the jewelry industry by storm. This highly sought-after material is the strongest metal for rings in the Shimansky showroom, and one of the most popular engagement ring metals and wedding ring metals in the world. Platinum is the perfect choice for pieces that are worn daily and require the durability to stand the test of time. Due to platinum’s hardness, Shimansky uses 95% pure Platinum with a small amount of other metals to make it more pliable for casting and less brittle.
Platinum is resistant to corrosion and oxidation.
Platinum is one of the best hypoallergenic ring materials and can be worn by those with sensitive skin or skin allergies.
Platinum is the most durable and strongest precious metal used to create Shimansky’s highly sought-after jewelry and one of the most secure engagement ring metals for delicate settings.
Platinum does not wear thinner over time. If scratched, the metal is merely displaced and can be polished back to its original shine.
Platinum will not tarnish and needs less maintenance, compared to other metals, like white gold.
Platinum’s remarkable natural light color brings out a diamond’s shine magnificently.
Due to its scarcity and exclusivity, platinum is more expensive than gold and palladium. However, in the long run, platinum requires less maintenance, which may outweigh the initial extra cost.
Gold is a traditional choice that is still very popular today. This relatively soft metal requires the addition of alloys like nickel, silver, zinc, manganese, palladium or copper to add strength. Gold is naturally yellow in color. By adding different alloys, jewelers can create beautiful pinkish rose gold or bright white gold, giving brides-to-be an array of different types of gold engagement rings to choose from.
Gold does not rust, tarnish or corrode.
Yellow gold and rose gold won't lose their color over time.
If you’re on a budget, gold is a less costly choice than platinum.
There are more types of gold engagement rings to choose from than rings made from any other metal. The variety in terms of color allows brides-to-be greater freedom of choice.
Trendy – rose gold, white gold and yellow gold can be combined for a more contemporary look.
Gold is less dense than platinum and therefore lighter, which makes it easier to wear when it comes to larger pieces.
The nickel present in the gold alloy may not be suitable for metal allergy sufferers.
Requires more maintenance – white gold needs regular rhodium plating to maintain its bright white shine.
Wears down over time – small scratches on the surface will remove microscopic amounts of the metal, as opposed to platinum and palladium where the metal is only displaced.
Platinum is rarer than gold. It’s so rare, in fact, that all of the platinum ever mined could fit into your living room. Palladium, however, is even scarcer. In fact, this exquisite silver-white metal is 15 times rarer than platinum. If rare metals for rings fascinate you then palladium might be a sterling choice for your engagement ring.
Palladium is very similar to its cousin, platinum. Both of these noble metals are hypoallergenic, durable, extremely comfortable and require minimum maintenance. The main differences are in weight and price. Palladium is by nature a less dense metal than platinum and gold, which means that less grams of the metal are required for a piece of jewelry. This means that palladium engagement rings are not only lighter but also cost less than platinum and gold engagement rings.
Minimum maintenance – like platinum, palladium is a naturally white metal and does not need to be rhodium plated like white gold.
Durable – palladium engagement rings and wedding bands are strong and will stand the test of time.
Palladium engagement rings cost less than platinum and gold engagement rings due to the metal’s low density and jewelers needing less grams of it to create an item.
Does not wear down – like platinum, palladium has what is called a ‘fluid surface’. When palladium gets scratched the metal is actually just displaced as opposed to being removed like gold.
Palladium’s light weight can be off-putting as some people value the more substantial weight of platinum.
Availability – palladium is difficult to work with by hand, therefore not many jewelers are knowledgeable and equipped to work with it, therefore palladium jewelry is not widely available.
We invite you to visit your nearest Shimansky showroom and browse our collection of engagement rings and wedding bands. Here at Shimansky we only use the purest precious metals in crafting our exquisite diamond creations, including platinum, palladium and 18k white, yellow and rose gold. When acquiring your perfect Shimansky diamond ring you can rest assured that your diamond is securely set in resilient metal that is both elegant and everlasting – just like your love for each other.