Friday, 13 February 2015

What is the Difference Between Gold and White Gold Wedding Rings?

As part of my wedding series here on Laura's All Made Up I have a new related post for you today about wedding rings. This post is particularly interesting because it has a bit of a technical/science background to it, so although fashion and style related, you might learn something too ;)

When it comes time for you to invest in a wedding ring, you will be amazed at the overwhelming variety of choices that you will encounter. Most will desire to acquire a diamond-bearing ring, but they will still have to choose among princess cut, brilliant cut, and emerald cut styles. Contours, stone arrangements, engravings, and size will all come into play. It might be easy, with all this attention given to other factors, to overlook one of the most basic: what material will the ring itself be made out of?

Why Gold?
While silver, titanium, and other metals have come on the scene, nothing compares with gold. Gold is the classic, unbeatable metal to plate wedding rings with. Its appeal derives in part from its lustrous shine and attractiveness. Its value, based on its relative rarity, also plays a role. The fact that gold is soft and malleable, while at the same time being dense and highly resistant to water, air, and the elements, is yet another reason why gold has been the dominant choice for wedding rings over the centuries.

One might think that, once gold has been decided upon, there would be nothing more involved in the decision-making process. However, one must also choose from a variety of "shades" of gold as well as what karat level they will settle on.

Yellow Gold
Many are asking the question, "What is the difference between gold and white gold wedding rings?" By "gold," is generally meant yellow gold. The purest form of gold is known as 24 karat and consists simply of 100% (or at least 99.9%) pure gold. The natural yellowness of the metal shines through strong, but, since gold is so soft and malleable, this type of gold is easier to scratch or dent. Of course, one can take extra care and enjoy the radiance and purity of yellow gold. For those who can't afford 24 karat or who worry about damaging yellow gold, there are other options.

Many Kinds of Gold
Before we get into white gold, note that most gold is mixed with other metals to form an alloy. This alloy can be with heavy amounts of copper to form rose gold, common in antique and Russian jewelry. It can also be with iron for blue gold, with aluminum for purple gold, and the list goes on. The two most common types of gold used on wedding rings in the U.K., however, are yellow gold and white gold.

White Gold
White gold is the alloy of gold and one or more "whitish" metal. Common among these additives are nickel, manganese, and palladium. Nickel is added for strength and hardness. Palladium is softer and is more helpful with gemstone fittings. Sometimes, copper and silver are added in to increase the overall weight and durability of the white gold. Finally, it is common for white gold to be plated with rhodium to give it a nicer shine.

Which Gold Do I Choose?
To a large extent, the choice will depend simply on personal taste. Yellow gold is the most popular all-time, the "classic" choice, but white gold has enjoyed the most popularity in recent years. You should seek some advice from a professional jeweler, such as Laings of Glasgow (175 years of experience), in coming to a final decision. They carry a huge range of yellow and white gold wedding rings for you to peruse through, the biggest and best stash in all of Scotland. You will want to ask some specifics about the exact karat level and alloy composition of the ring to ensure the best choice.

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