The basic criterion when choosing jewellery is the preferences of the person who will wear it. However, each alloy has its own properties that can help you make the final decision.
Let's start with the colour issue. When designing jewellery, I try to combine stones that have a cool tone with white gold, and those with a warmer tone - with yellow gold. However, there are exceptions to the rule. For example, blue sapphires, in a properly selected composition, will look great both with yellow and white gold. It should also be added that the world of design has long ago freed itself from many standards that were the norm until now. The more courageous the client is, the more willingly I experiment with colours. As a result, spectacular combinations are created that emphasize the individual characteristics of my clients.
What is the hardness of the individual alloys? Yellow gold is commonly considered a relatively soft metal that is easily scratched with everyday use. White gold with the addition of nickel has the advantage. It is much harder, so it retains its shine longer and is less prone to scratching.
This alloy is commonly demonized for its elemental content that can cause allergies. To get around this, stores use rhodium plating, i.e. coating the product with a layer of rhodium, a metal from the platinum family. However, this solution is not durable, and the ring must be rhodium-plated again with time, because the galvanized layer will wear off.
This practice is similar to cold puffing. In my company, I use special alloys with EU approval, in which the nickel content is low. During my jewellery making experience, I have encountered only a few people who were allergic to this element and who required a different solution
Ring without nickel
Yellow gold does not contain any harmful elements. Usually, this alloy consists of silver and copper in addition to the yellow ore. Therefore, when choosing this material, we avoid the dilemma of allergies. Also, it does not need to be coated with anything. A product made of yellow gold only needs to be polished once in a while to make it look like new again.
An alternative to white gold with nickel is palladium gold. This alloy is devoid of the aforementioned harmful factor, and contains palladium which is also from the platinum family, used, among others things, in spacecraft. Since this alloy does not cause any allergic reaction and has a greyish colour, similar to platinum, it is called white gold. This material is more expensive, but it also has higher premium.
Can an engagement ring be silver?
From time to time, I will carry out this type of order, but I always advise against this solution for clients. There are several reasons for this. First of all, whether the ring is gold or silver, they both need the same amount of work, which will cost a similar amount. If we look at this matter from an investment point of view, the cost of the work put in to the silver product is unrecoverable in the event of selling. Usually, jewellery of this type is purchased at the price of scrap metal worth only a few zlotys, because silver is associated with mass production, and not with high-class individual products. Of course, it is different with larger items such as a necklace, tiara or bracelet. The mass of such a gem, the amount of additional stones and the amount of work put into the product increases significantly. However, if we put the same work into gold jewellery, the investment value increases by up to several hundred percent!
Maybe platinum then?
This ore has its unique properties perceived by specialists both as advantages and disadvantages. For example, contrary to popular opinion expressed as a mantra on the internet, platinum is not hard at all. Its scratch resistance is similar to that of silver, and because it's high mass, it deforms when dropped on a hard floor. Why do some people read this as an advantage? Due to its plasticity, platinum ages in a specific and unique way. In highly developed countries, there are many specialized, luxury boutiques selling only ancient platinum jewellery. In every such product, history and the good old school of craftsmanship are written.
However, as in the case of silver, it is worth considering the investment aspect. Easily tradable assets are considered the best in today's troubled times. An example of such a medium is gold, which is easy to verify and cash in. In the case of platinum, the matter becomes a bit more complicated. Hardly anyone wants to buy it, because not everyone knows it. It is difficult to detect counterfeits of this metal. Due to the above risk, in a world of geopolitical unrest, it may turn out that our investment is very difficult to liquidate.
The above list shows that there are a lot of possibilities when it comes to choosing the metal. The decision-making process will be helped by the partner's taste, colours and unique properties of individual alloys. It is also worth following the investment aspect, which will mean the jewellery has not only sentimental value, but also investment value. This approach will bring more joy and satisfaction from the valuables purchased.