Gold has been the favourite choice for rings for years. Gold was first mined and made into jewellery by ancient civilizations. Today gold is usually mixed with other metals when used for jewellery because gold by itself is brittle and would easily be damaged or melt at high temperatures. When it is mixed with other metals gold is more stable and harder. Yellow gold rings are a mixture of gold and copper or zinc. Other colours of gold alloys used in rings are pink, red, green and peach.
White Gold Rings
One of the most popular ring choices are white gold rings. White gold is gold mixed with silver or palladium. The strongest of the gold alloys white gold rings hold up better than most of the other gold alloys. White gold rings are generally plated with rhodium a very shiny white metal to make the new ring whiter in colour. Many white gold rings today are recycled gold. These eco-gold rings are recognized as an environmentally friendly choice since they most often come from recycled old jewellery rather than depleting declining natural gold supplies.
A popular alternative to white gold rings are platinum rings. Known for its brilliance platinum is more durable and heavier than gold making it a good choice for rings. Platinum rings are generally not plated with rhodium so no need to worry about the shine on your ring dulling over time. Platinum rings can be pricey but for those who can afford it platinum makes a beautiful and long-lasting ring.
Palladium is in the same metal family as platinum. Palladium rings are harder and more scratch-resistant than white gold rings and, like platinum, palladium holds its shine. Other advantages of palladium are its price which is much less expensive than high-quality white gold rings and palladium is considered hypoallergenic for those who have metal allergies.
Silver is the whitest of metal used for rings. Silver is the least expensive metal for a ring. The cost of a silver ring is mainly in the crafting of the ring not the metal. However silver rings do not hold up as well as white gold rings but if you are on a tight budget silver is a good alternative.
Tungsten carbide rings are a relatively recent alternative to white gold rings. Promoted as indestructible and scratch resistant tungsten rings are a safety hazard because tungsten is so hard it cannot be cut off your finger with steel cutters if you need to have the ring removed because of an accident or other swelling of your finger.
Stainless Steel Rings
Another interesting and inexpensive alternative to white gold rings are stainless steel rings. While not as durable as white gold rings stainless steel can be hand-formed unlike other metal and there are some very creative hand-formed stainless steel ring designs.