- Platinum is an exquisite silver-white colored metal that is considered to be the most valued precious metal due to its rarity and durability. It is usually composed of 95% platinum and 5% other pure alloys. Platinum is rising in popularity and demand for diamond engagement rings because of its tenacity, being highly resistant to damage and discoloration.
- Yellow gold is a classic choice of metal for engagement rings and is the closest to resembling the natural color of gold. The purity of gold is expressed in karats (k or kt) such as 14k, 18k or 24k. Although 24k gold is the purest gold, it is too soft to be used for jewelry. So gold metal engagement rings are usually only offered in 14k or 18k, and deciding between the two will be largely based on personal preference. 18k gold is composed of 75% gold and 25% pure alloys. 14k is composed of 58.3% gold and 41.7% pure alloys. Both 14k and 18k gold metal bands will be easy to polish and repair, and will be resistant to rust and tarnishing. 18k gold will be richer in color than 14k, but 14k is a lot stronger and durable because of its hardness.
- White gold is a metal of high value but is less expensive than platinum. Although it closely resembles platinum, it is comprised of mostly the same properties as yellow gold with added mixtures of different metals such as nickel, zinc and palladium. Choosing a white gold band for an engagement ring will enhance the brilliance of diamonds with color grades D, E, F, G, H and I. Unlike platinum, white gold does have the tendency to fade and develop a slightly yellow color since it is composed of 75% yellow gold. Most white gold bands are plated with rhodium, a shiny white metal, to prevent fading. However, over a long period of time, rhodium eventually begins to wear away but re-plating is always possible. White gold is available in 14k or 18k.