Choosing the Right Metal for Your Jewelry

Jewelry is often cherished for many years, whether a piece is worn daily or only for very special occasions. How you intend to wear a piece of jewelry has a lot to do with what the piece will look like, particularly in terms of the stones and metals you select. Certain metals are stronger than others, and certain types will hold up better with long-term, daily wear, so it’s important to think about the metal you select more than just in terms of how it looks.

The best metals for jewelry are the ones you see most commonly used in jewelry, such as gold (white, yellow, and rose) and platinum. Other metals used for jewelry include palladium, silver, titanium, rhodium, tungsten, cobalt, and more, though these are used less frequently. Take a look at our comparison of the best metals for jewelry to weigh the pros and cons of each option to make the best decision for your next piece of jewelry.

White Gold

By far one of the most popular metals used for jewelry, white gold is made by combining yellow gold with other durable metals such as zinc, nickel, or silver. White gold is stunning and durable, and it resists tarnishing quite well. White gold is plated in rhodium, which contributes to its overall whiteness and shine, but rhodium can wear away after time, so it may be necessary to get white gold jewelry re-plated once every few years.

White gold is most commonly sold in 14 karat and 18 karat options, which are relatively pure and stunning, but hard enough to withstand daily wear. For timeless wedding bands and engagement rings, you can’t go wrong with white gold.

Yellow Gold

A combination of pure gold and other metals like copper and zinc, yellow gold is a classic choice when it comes to metals used for jewelry. Yellow gold is very durable and an excellent choice for both engagement rings and wedding rings. It is a popular choice for both men and women’s jewelry, and it has a classic charm that has been adored for centuries. Both 14 karat and 18 karat yellow gold are common, as they hold up the best over time in terms of durability and overall look. Yellow gold can look either modern or vintage in style, depending on how it’s used, making it a great choice for nearly any piece of jewelry.

Rose Gold

Rose gold offers a more romantic and unique look to jewelry pieces, as it is one of the newer metals used for jewelry. Rose gold is created by combining pure gold with copper, and the pink tint of the metal is based on how much copper is used. This is one of the best metals for jewelry because it is strong and durable (more durable than yellow and white gold) and unlikely to tarnish. Rose gold is becoming a popular option in regards to wedding and engagement rings, but it also makes for some gorgeous special event jewelry, such as pendant necklaces, tennis bracelets, and drop earrings.

Platinum

Platinum is a denser/heavier metal, thereby needing more material weight to make jewelry. Because of this, it is considered the most expensive of the metals used for jewelry. Platinum is incredibly durable, will never tarnish or lose its whiteness, and its shine is absolutely breathtaking. It’s rare and incredibly valuable on its own, but even more so when used in jewelry. Another selling point for platinum is that it’s also hypoallergenic.

It is more expensive to resize platinum pieces than other metal choices, so check your sizing thoroughly before purchasing something made with platinum. Keep in mind, however, that platinum is more malleable than gold. This means that it is easier to scratch and dent with enough force.

Gold vs. Platinum Metals: Pros and Cons

If you’re torn between the two main metal options, gold and platinum, you may wish to consider these key factors before making your final decision. First, the color of each metal should be taken into account. If you want a piece of jewelry that is more yellow, yellow gold is easily your best option. If you want something whiter, you could choose either white gold or platinum. Platinum, however, is truly white, whereas white gold has hints of yellow gold in it and will likely need to be re-polished and re-plated. The second factor is durability. Platinum is stronger than gold and it is less likely to break, but gold is less likely to scratch. The final consideration between the two most popular options is cost. Platinum is denser, therefore more expensive, as more of it is required to make a piece of jewelry. Gold jewelry usually has other metals included while platinum jewelry is primarily platinum, contributing to a higher final cost.

Alternative Metals

The above-mentioned metals are considered the best metals for jewelry, but there are countless other metals used for jewelry that people everywhere love. If you want something unique, check out these alternative metal options.

Sterling Silver

Silver is a popular choice for many when it comes to the best metals for jewelry. Silver is more affordable than other metal types, and it offers a stunning luster and gorgeous overall look. Since silver is a softer metal, it can get scratched easily and often tarnishes over time. Sterling silver jewelry should be well taken care of, meaning you must regularly clean and polish it, and be cautious about when it is worn.

Palladium

Palladium’s shine is actually like that of white gold, but its durability and scratch-resistance makes it more similar to platinum at a less costly price. Newer to the jewelry market, palladium is quickly gaining popularity among jewelers and purchasers of fine jewelry.

Titanium

A popular choice among men, titanium is a great option for jewelry due to its lightweight versatility and strength. It is tarnish-resistant and holds up well to wear and tear, making it a great choice for jewelry that is worn daily.

Tungsten

Tungsten is a very heavy metal, and it is incredibly hard. It retains its shine nearly forever, and it almost never needs polishing. A hypoallergenic metal, tungsten is a choice good for a lot of jewelry pieces.

Cobalt

One of the hardest metals used for jewelry, cobalt is nearly scratch-proof. It is also hypoallergenic. Cobalt is most often a silver color, making it resemble white gold, but black cobalt is also a popular choice, especially in men’s jewelry.

Contact Roman Malakov to Explore More of the Best Metals for Jewelry

When it comes to the best metals for jewelry, there are endless options and combinations of metals that can create the perfect piece of jewelry for your desires and style. Contact us at Roman Malakov by visiting us in store or online, and we’ll help you explore the various metal options and make the best choice for you.