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Platinum has a silvery gunmetal appearance and is the rarest of all the precious metals and also the most valuable. Platinum has a higher density than gold and therefore weighs approximately 35% more than 18ct yellow gold. Platinum's increased density above 18ct gold means more platinum is used in a wedding ring of the same size compared with gold, couple this with the higher commodity price, higher purity and you can understand why platinum wedding rings are much more expensive.
Platinum jewellery sold in the UK has a minimum platinum purity of 95%. The remaining alloy is usually made up from metals such as ruthenium and iridium. The platinum and ruthenium alloy (as used by us) is the most hardwearing which allows for jewellery to be polished to a highly reflective finish, and also provides greater scratch resistance.
Platinum's purity means platinum jewellery is hypoallergenic and is suitable for all skin types.
Gold has a glorious deep rich yellow colour and is available in three main alloys/qualities in the UK which are 9ct, 18ct and 22ct. When comparing the three alloys 9ct is the lightest in colour with a more straw like colour than 18ct gold and, 22ct has a real deep rich gold colour.
Gold has no real alternatives that can match its special yellow colour, which is why even since ancient time's gold has been highly cherished for its natural beauty.
Rose Gold is now a popular choice once again, whether it’s used in a plain band or as a splash of colour in a two tone ring. Rose/Red/Pink gold is made by alloying gold with copper, which makes a beautiful rosy pink colour. 9ct rose gold has a bright attractive pinky colour, whereas 18ct rose gold is slightly more yellowy due to the increased amount of gold.
White gold is created by taking gold and alloying it with white metals such as silver and palladium. White gold wedding rings are a popular alternative to platinum, as they have a similar appearance but are available at a lower price. White gold is also slightly lighter than platinum which many people prefer, particularly on wider bands.
Most white gold rings are normally finished with a Rhodium plating, which helps to enhance the whiteness of the metal. The downside to Rhodium plating is that it can wear away over time, exactly how long depends on the wearer but it should typically last around 5 years.
Should your ring require re-plating in the future then we can arrange this for you (current price is £20 inc. VAT and insured delivery).
All of our 18ct white rings are made using palladium rich alloys, which means they require no Rhodium plating and will not yellow in the future. Our 9ct white gold rings are Rhodium plated as standard, although if you prefer the ring un-plated then that’s fine. An un-plated 9ct white gold ring has a slightly warmer colour than Rhodium plated white gold, more of a Champagne colour which some people prefer.
If you would like to have your 9ct white gold ring left un-plated then please let us know at the time of ordering. It is always possible to have a Rhodium plating removed or restored in the future if needs be.
Palladium is a naturally white metal and is often referred to as the sister metal of platinum as it shares many of the same qualities. Although palladium has been used for many years particularly around world war two when platinum was unavailable, palladium had no legal hallmark. Since 1st January 2010 it has been mandatory for all palladium jewellery weighing more than one gram to have a hallmark.
High platinum prices coupled with the legal hallmarking for palladium have lead to a huge increase in the popularity of the metal, particularly with wedding rings.
For British jewellery, palladium like platinum is available in a purity of 95% (950 Palladium), although palladium is now also available in a 50% purity (Palladium 500).
Titanium is a pure and hypoallergenic metal that is as strong as steel but with half the weight. Because titanium is not a precious metal it does not require a hallmark once fashioned into jewellery. Titanium is available in various grades, ranging from grade 5 which is an aircraft grade which uses an alloy of titanium and aluminium/vanadium. Grade 5 is very tensile and suitable for rings which have tension set stones, because of its high tensile strength it's virtually impossible to resize. Grade 2 is purer and is easier to re size but still remains hardwearing.
Titanium wedding rings are particularly resistant to corrosion which makes them perfect for people who enjoy activities such as diving and surfing, or for people who are worried about their ring becoming tarnished.
Zirconium is a pure, hypoallergenic and hard wearing metal which is grey in colour and can be polished up to a bright lustrous finish. Zirconium is commonly used on space vehicles due to its excellent heat resistant properties.
Plain zirconium has some interesting properties and if it's heated to very high temperatures the surface of the metal will change to a black colour. The colour change occurs because the intense heating of the metal causes a transformation of the surface into a black ceramic like material. The black colour is most intense with a polished finish, whilst the satin finish gives the ring a softer black/gunmetal colour.
Black zirconium wedding rings are more expensive than plain zirconium or titanium due to the intense heat treatment, but this is a small price to pay for a ring which is much more hard wearing and resistant to scratches than a plated ring.