When choosing an engagement ring, there is more to think about than the main diamond or stone. Choosing a quality and durable metal for your engagement ring ensures that the ring will last a lifetime. Since engagement rings are generally a jewellery piece people wear quite regularly, a durable metal is a must have to prevent the band from scratching or bending. Most people choose to go with one of the precious metals: gold, silver, or platinum. Alone, these metals are not strong enough to withstand scratches or bends, so they are typically mixed with alloy metals due to their strength. The purity of the precious metals differs in the different types of metal mixtures, and should be taken into account before making a purchase decision.
Engagement rings can be purchased in brick and mortar jewellery stores, or online using eBay. eBay's large selection means bigger selection, as well as prices that are often times below retail. Before purchasing an engagement ring, it is important to understand the different types of metal available, so you can easily find a ring that fits within your taste and budget.
Determine a Budget
Purchasing an engagement ring can be quite an investment, so it is important to begin by setting a budget to ensure you do not overspend. While some people say there is a set amount of salary that should be spent on an engagement ring, it is truly a matter of personal preference. When giving someone an engagement ring, it should represent how you feel about them. Aside from the size of the stone, the different metals are also important to factor into the budget. Some metals are more lustrous or durable than others, but may cost more than other options. When setting a budget, one should focus on which metals and qualities are important in a band, and then choose accordingly.
Gold Engagement Rings
For centuries, gold has been sought after for its rarity and lustre. Many people choose to go with gold engagement rings because of the style and durability. Gold is too soft to be used in jewellery alone, so it is often mixed with different alloy metals, such as copper and zinc. The different alloy metals are what gives the gold different colours or hues. The weight of pure gold in each piece is determined by the number of carats. The highest amount of pure gold is found in 24 carat gold, which is 99.9 per cent pure gold. Next is 22 carat, which is 91.7 per cent pure gold. While many people think choosing metal options with higher pure gold weight is going to be the best option, these options are often very soft and can misshape or scratch with regular wear.
For engagement rings, it is more practical to choose 18 or 14 carat gold. 18 carat gold is 75 per cent pure gold, and 14 carat is 58.3 per cent pure. Because of the stronger alloy metals, 18 or 14 carat gold bands are more likely to withstand everyday wear. Solid gold is generally considered 14 carat and above. 10 and 12 carat bands are also available, but are often less lustrous than higher weighted pure gold options. When choosing a band that sparkles and lasts, the best bet is to go with 18 or 14 carat gold. Aside from the weight of pure gold, when choosing a gold band for your engagement ring, it is also important to decide on the colour or hue of gold.
Yellow Gold Engagement Rings
Yellow gold is one of the most popular colours of gold for engagement rings. When the gold is mixed with different alloy metals, it creates a specific colour. Yellow gold is usually a mixture of both copper and zinc, which creates a yellow hue when mixed with the pure gold. Yellow gold often improves in colour with age, and never needs to be replated. This can be a huge advantage over other gold rings, since replating rings can often be costly. Yellow gold looks best on those with warm skin tones. People with cool skin tones can often look washed out by yellow gold. Yellow gold is also known for its elegance, and is often considered more classic than white or rose gold.
White Gold Engagement Rings
The other most popular form of gold for engagement rings is white gold. White gold is pure gold mixed with white metals such as silver and palladium, to create a light grey or white colour. White gold is similar in colour to silver, and many people prefer white gold since it matches easily to many skin tones. Another benefit of white gold is that it does not easily tarnish since there is no copper in the mix. White gold can also be mixed with platinum or titanium, making it more pricey than other gold options, but less expensive than a platinum alternative. White gold is often very brittle, and can sometimes require rhodium or platinum plating, giving the look of platinum without the price tag.
Rose Gold Engagement Rings
Rose gold, also known as pink gold, is made by mixing three parts copper to one part gold, giving the ring a rose-reddish hue. The amount of copper determines the colour of the ring, and rose gold rings are not usually made with a mixture of any silver metals. The colour of rose gold often intensifies with age. Rose gold rings also work best for those with warm skin tones. Like yellow gold, rose gold can often make those with cool skin tones look washed out.
Silver Engagement Rings
Aside from gold, silver is one of the most popular metals used in engagement rings. Much like gold, silver is mixed with different alloy metals to create jewellery since it is often too soft on its own. Silver is normally mixed with copper, which is why silver tends to tarnish over time. The purest form of silver is fine silver, which is 99.9 per cent pure silver. Like 24 carat gold, fine silver is very lustrous, but can become misshaped or scratched easily because of its softness.
Mixtures of Silver
Most people prefer to go with sterling silver bands, which is 92.5 per cent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper or other alloy metal. Sterling silver is considered a standard among silver grades, because of its lustre and durability. When purchasing something that is worn as often as an engagement ring, it is important to choose a metal that is both beautiful and long lasting. Mixed silver is a lower percentage of pure silver and more weight of alloy metals. Some mixed silver does not even contain silver at all. Although mixed silver is a much more affordable option, mixed silver has a higher chance of causing an allergic reaction to skin, and also does not have the lustre of other higher weight silver options.
Added Benefits of Silver
Unlike gold, silver only comes in one hue. The benefits of silver include going well with every skin tone, outshining gold, and matching well with casual or formal attire. In addition, silver is a much more affordable alternative to white gold or platinum. When choosing a silver engagement ring, the purity of silver is the only choice you have to make before making a purchase.
Platinum Engagement Rings
Like silver or white gold, platinum is a lustrous, white metal, and is considered more precious and rare than silver or gold. Platinum is often much heavier than other precious metals, but is still mixed with alloy metals to ensure strength and durability. For a metal to be considered 'platinum' it must be at least 95 per cent platinum, and five per cent alloy metal. Platinum jewellery with less platinum is considered platinum alloy jewellery. Platinum is also the most expensive form of jewellery metal, but has increased in popularity despite the cost. It is often the most lustrous of all precious metals, and like silver, it goes well with all skin tones and can be dressed up or down.
How to Buy the Right Metal for Your Engagement Ring on eBay
Whichever metal you are looking for, you can be certain to find thousands of various options browsing on eBay. Before making a decision, take into consideration the type of metal jewellery that the recipient usually wears. Since engagement rings are often worn quite regularly, they should match the individual's style and taste. You can begin your search with the use of a few keywords on the eBay home page. If you already know which metal you are looking for, you can begin your search with something specific like, 'white gold engagement ring'. If you are unsure of which metal you would like, you can search something more broad like, 'engagement rings' to browse the different options and prices.
eBay also makes it easy to stay within your budget when choosing a ring. eBay offers the option of setting a price maximum, to ensure you do not waste time looking at options outside of your price range. Choosing a ring on eBay ensures that you find the perfect engagement ring, while sticking to your budget.
While most people focus on the diamond or stone when choosing an engagement ring, choosing the right metal is just as important. Since a diamond or stone lasts for a long time, it is important to choose a metal that is equally durable, and will last along with the stone. Choosing a metal for your engagement ring is a matter of personal taste and budget. Yellow or rose gold tends to be a more classic, elegant choice, while silver, platinum, or white gold is more modern and matches well with any skin tone.
When choosing gold, most people prefer to go with 14 or 18 carat. When choosing silver, most people tend to go with sterling silver. When going with platinum, many people prefer to go with platinum rather than platinum alloy. By going with a quality and durable option, the engagement band is sure to last for a long time. No matter which metal you choose, eBay makes it easy to find a beautiful ring sure to impress that special someone.