What are the precious metals?
The term ‘fine jewellery’ is used to describe any jewellery that is made from precious metals, including wedding rings. Precious metals are rare metals that also hold desirable characteristics. If a metal is valuable, rare, and makes beautiful jewellery, it is considered precious. The precious metals, as well as those used most commonly in wedding rings are rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
One of the most important things to look for when purchasing wedding rings is the piece’s sustainability. The precious metals have a high surface lustre, and will not rust or corrode if taken care of properly, meaning that they are durable. The metal also plays an important role in the appearance, and cost of wedding rings, which we will consider as we develop your understanding of each of the precious metals. As well as beauty and sustainability, these metals have a high economic value, and in some cases, have even been used as a form of currency!
What is metal carat?
The metal carat refers to the quantity of pure gold contained in a metal. The purity level is stamped on the piece of jewellery, which is called a hallmark. The most cost effective metal carat is 9ct, which is hallmarked 375, meaning that it is 37.5% pure gold, the rest consisting of other metals. Next is 14ct, which contains 585 (5.85%) pure gold. The highest content of pure gold that you will find at high street jewellers is 18ct. 18ct gold provides a rich yellow or rose hue due to its high content. Therefore, it is durable and considered ideal for engagement rings and wedding rings which are worn daily. The purest form of gold available is 22ct, which contains 916 (91.6%) parts.
Which metal should I choose?
Gold is unique for its durability, non-corrosive nature, and lasting beauty. Whether you prefer yellow gold, white gold or rose gold, this precious metal brings unmatched beauty, timelessness and class to any piece of jewellery.
The most popular shade of precious metal is yellow gold. Its spectacular ability to stay tarnish free, to not lose its colour over time, and to continually be cost effective makes it the perfect choice for many jewellery buyers.
However, although gold as a precious metal has many advantages, it can become scratched, especially in pieces that are worn daily such as wedding rings and engagement rings. In the unlikely event that a gold piece does become damaged, it can be easily repaired by a professional jeweller. Discover our jewellery repair services at Oscar & Olivia Jewellery. Book here!
Of all the precious metals that are readily available in the UK, silver is by far the most cost effective. You can find some stunning silver pieces for a very reasonable price. However, silver’s value extends well beyond its price; its beauty, versatility, lustre and rarity leads this precious metal towards becoming a very desirable choice. In addition, it contains 92.5% pure silver, mixed with other metals, such as copper, to prevent scratching, meaning it is a good option for those with reasonably active and on-the-go lifestyles.
Keeping silver looking its best, though, does require considerably more maintenance compared to the other precious metals and therefore is rarely chosen as a wedding ring. We do however create sample rings in silver if you are choosing our bespoke wedding ring service.
Recently, platinum has risen as a popular choice of metal in wedding bands, engagement rings and other pieces. It is a hard-wearing metal, meaning that it is very durable and a popular choice for men’s wedding bands. Platinum is equally as beautiful as it is strong, even when subjected to daily wear and tear.
Although similar in appearance, unlike silver, platinum is not reactive, so will not tarnish or become dull looking. These desirable characteristics are reflected in its price, and its excellent quality as a precious metal does mean that it can be considerably more expensive than gold or silver.
As a part of the platinum family, the precious metal palladium displays many of the same desirable qualities that are sought out by many jewellery buyers. Palladium is beautifully and naturally white in colour, lending a high sheen and luxurious appearance.
At times, palladium can be difficult to work with, and is therefore used within simple wedding ring designs. The strong, durable, and easy to maintain nature of palladium means that it is another great option for men's wedding bands, especially for those with an active lifestyle or hands-on job. It is also lighter than traditional platinum, harder, and even more scratch resistant.
However, despite these advantages, like any other precious metal, it is not indestructible and can scratch or dent if under damaging circumstances.
Which metal is best?
Each precious metal has many similar, as well as many unique characteristics. The most desirable ones that buyers typically look for are durability, affordability, style, and whether they are kind and hypoallergenic to the skin!
Here at Oscar and Olivia, our range of wedding rings offers Platinum, Titanium, 9ct and 18ct white, yellow and rose gold options. We are also happy to arrange 14ct golds if that is your preference, please just ask!
Get in touch
Are you still unsure about what precious metal is right for you and your partner? If so, there is no need to worry! Get in touch with our team at Oscar & Olivia Jewellery, and we will be happy to discuss your options with you. To gain a better understanding of what we offer, browse our selection of wedding bands online today.