Finding the perfect engagement ring is an exciting journey—of course, it can also be a nerve-wracking one. You want to choose the perfect look that fulfills your sweetheart’s every desire and captures the beauty of your future together. And doing that takes a lot of consideration. There are so many cuts, colors, and settings of stone to choose from. And beyond the stone, you also have to think about the best metal for engagement rings.
Many people start with a simple binary: yellow or white color. But from budget to lifestyle to longevity, there are many more factors at play than color alone. At Bromberg’s, our experts have deep experience helping betrothed-to-be ring shoppers choose the perfect combination of stone and band to meet their every need. Let’s take a look at some of the considerations.
Gold, in all its varieties, is the most popular choice for engagement rings. Whether you choose white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold, this traditional choice has been highly prized for centuries and generations on end.
There is one important aspect of choosing gold: the higher the karat, the softer the metal. That means it will require more care and keeping, and may scratch easily. Some who use their hands more often don’t prefer gold for this reason.
White gold rings can also lose their color over time and may need to be rhodium plated, a process in which a positive electric current is used to bond a thin layer of rhodium over the ring. re-plated. However, gold rings are also easier to resize than many other choices.
The difference between yellow, white, and rose gold is in the alloy. Gold is naturally yellow, but yellow gold is still alloyed with other metals—no ring is pure gold because it would be too soft to wear. Rose gold gets its hue from copper alloy: the more copper, the warmer and deeper the hue. White gold is made from a variety of alloys, including silver, palladium, nickel, and zinc.
Platinum is a strong and beautiful precious metal, extremely rare in the world and perfect for an engagement ring. Of course, its rarity makes it an expensive metal—but the price tag comes with numerous benefits. Its deep, mirror-like finish intensifies the brilliance of diamonds, and because it is only alloyed up to 5-10% with other metals (compared to 75% with gold), even those with sensitive skin can wear it without worry.
A platinum ring is highly durable, fairly scratch resistant, and will never lose its luster. Caring for platinum is easy, too, as any scuffs or scratches can easily be polished by a trusted jeweler.
Other metals, such as palladium, titanium, and tungsten carbide are gaining some interest online as engagement ring alternatives. However, we don’t recommend any other metal aside from platinum or gold to hold diamonds. While these nontraditional metals can be a great choice for men’s wedding bands, gold and platinum are the best metals for engagement rings.
Other metals don’t do the diamond justice, either in terms of the look or the durability and strength. When it comes to making the best investment, gold and platinum are the way to go.
We’re starting to see increased interest in mixed metal engagement rings. Mixed metal generally means one of two things: either two-toned rings or recycled ring metals. However, different ring metals have different care requirements. And recycled metals can often be made of various materials or—in the worst cases—filler alloys of low quality.
If a dynamic ring interests you, you have a piece of heirloom jewelry that you’d like to repurpose as a custom engagement ring, or if eco-consciousness is a concern, talk to the experts at Bromberg’s! We can guide you toward the perfect ring that checks all the boxes with quality top of mind.
Another option to consider is choosing platinum prongs on a yellow or rose gold ring. Our jeweler typically recommends platinum prongs to support any diamond, no matter the material of the band. This is because platinum is stronger, securing the diamond in place. Plus, since it’s a white metal, it won’t reflect yellow or rose into your white diamond. This way, you get a unique two-toned look without sacrificing quality!
Depending on who you ask, yellow gold or white gold are the top most popular choices. White gold dominated for many years, but according to The Knot’s 2021 Jewelry & Engagement Study, yellow gold is making a strong comeback. Many believe that yellow gold’s natural warmth and hue complement a diamond in a particularly gorgeous way (though more on that below).
The answer truly depends on the cut, color, carat, and clarity of the diamond in question (learn more about the 4Cs of diamonds with this guide!). Different diamonds have qualities that can either be enhanced or diminished by the color of the band. That’s why we recommend working with an expert jeweler to determine a combination of stone and band for your diamond engagement ring that will make it truly sing.
The choice is yours! Traditionally, the bride will wear her engagement ring on her right ring finger on the day of the ceremony. However, some prefer to leave it on the left finger to stack below the wedding ring, switching the position later on. And others store their engagement ring in a safe place or ask a trusted family member to hold onto it during the ceremony.
Check out our guide to choosing the perfect wedding band for more insight on pairing your engagement and wedding rings on the big day.
Choosing an engagement ring is a deeply personal journey. You only get one chance to make the moment spectacular—so partner with a jeweler you can trust to make sure you get every detail right. Bromberg’s has the most knowledgeable jewelers in Birmingham, and we’re ready to guide you every step of the way. Find us in one of our two locations in Mountain Brook or The Summit, or connect with us online to see more of what we do!
Bromberg & Co. Jewelers have been serving the Birmingham area for nearly 200 years with the finest quality jewelry and customer service. We’re here to answer all your questions about engagement rings, wedding registries, and beyond—after all, we’ve been doing this for quite some time. Call ahead to make an appointment or to inquire about our selection of fine engagement rings: (205) 871-3276 for Mountain Brook, or (205) 969-1776 for The Summit.