What metal is best for your engagement ring?

What metal is best for your engagement ring?

Jonathan on one knee


What metal is best for your engagement ring?  How do you decide?  How many times have we heard clients say, “We read platinum is the best.”  


The most important thing we can do for you is tell you the facts so you can make the decision for yourself.   Forget what you’ve heard or read.  That is old information.  Technology and innovation have changed the rules.  How many years can everyone drink the same Kool-Aid?


We have all heard it before.  Platinum is the strongest metal.  Platinum is better.  Platinum holds its shine longer.  Platinum doesn’t have the maintenance that is necessary with white gold.  Platinum won’t give an allergic reaction that can happen for some people with white gold.


Are all those things true?  Not really.  Platinum is a fine metal.  It is a bit soft.  Some manufacturers mix in iridium to give it added strength.  We have found that is scratches pretty easily.  When polished it is restored to its original lustre.


Before we explain about white gold, let’s make sure we all understand the fundamentals of karat gold.


24k = pure gold.   Gold bars are typically made with this.


18k = 18/24 or 75% gold.  The rest is another alloy.  We express the fineness of gold as how many parts per thousand.  Therefore there are three equivalent legal stamps for 18kt gold:  18k, 18kt and 750. They mean the same thing.


14k = 14/24 or approximately 58.5% gold. The rest is another alloy (or a mix of alloys).  14kt gold items may be stamped 585, 14k or 14kt.


In the “old days” and still the norm with many manufacturers, nickel was used as the alloy for white gold.  The main problem is that the resulting metal has an off-white appearance.  The solution is to apply an electroplated layer of rhodium (a very white, shiny metal) to the surface of the gold to make it appear whiter.  This is the normally accepted standard of the jewelry industry.  For earrings or pendants, this works well.  But rings and bracelets get more wear and tear and the rhodium plating can be scratched or worn off over time.  It is really not that big a deal, but it means going back to a jeweler to have the piece polished and re-plated.  The cost is usually $50-$150.  The second issue is that nickel causes allergic reactions for some people.  Often clients would spend $700-$2,000 more to have the piece in platinum just to avoid the perceived need for maintenance and avoiding an allergic reaction.


What has changed?

We now have a proprietary alloy mix to create 18k white gold.  There are tremendous benefits of using our 18k white.

  • It is extremely white and does not need rhodium. 
  • The color will not change over time.
  • It is far less expensive than platinum.
  • The new alloy does not contain any nickel or any other allergen.
  • And the best of all….it is much stronger than platinum or any other 18k gold we have ever seen.


This last benefit has more implications than you may realize.   Our setters have complained that this metal is so much stronger than regular white gold (or yellow or rose gold.)  It requires more strength and takes them much longer to set the stones perfectly than with other metals.  This was music to my ears!  It is exactly what I wanted to hear!  This metal is so strong that our clients won’t inadvertently bend the wires or prongs that we use to hold diamonds.   In fact, we have had ZERO repairs since we started using our new alloy.  No bent rings.  No stones coming out from bent prongs.  This is our dream!  The ultimate protection for precious diamonds and gemstones.


halfmoon three stone ring

Here is an example of what we can do in our special 18k white gold.  Notice how thin and delicate we made the ring? And the prongs are more sleek than usual, because we know the metal will not easily bend.  Our metal is so strong, the ring will keep its shape, even when struck with an accidental blow.

To make it even better, we are now offering this super white, super strong metal on our 18k white gold wedding rings—with or without diamonds.  You can wear your rings every day with no fear that you will damage them with normal wear and tear.

If you think every jeweler has access to this revolutionary new 18kt white gold, think again.  This is a unique feature that we at Maurice Badler Fine Jewelry are proud to provide to our clients. 


Our goal is to give you the highest possible quality product we can at a reasonable price.   Maurice Badler always used to say, “If it doesn’t look its best, nobody will ask you where you got it.”


Feel free to come in to our store at 485 Park Avenue (between 58th & 59th Streets) in NYC   Email jeff@badler.com with any questions you may have, or call (800) M-BADLER   (800) 622-3537   Preview our engagement rings and other fine jewelry at badler.com  

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Maurice Badler | New York City fine jewelry store for Roberto Coin, Bez Ambar, Pandora, and more