What is the best metal for engagement ring, wedding bands or wedding rings?
A wedding ring—whatever the band material and whatever the metal—is forever.
It is one of the biggest symbols in a woman’s life, and is so important for grooms as well.
Wedding rings are worn forever and are worn every day.
They aren’t inexpensive, either. In 2017 the average price of an engagement ring in the U.S. was $6,351.
Best Metal For Engagement Rings—Why It Matters
Therefore, it’s important to find the best metals for engagement rings, ones that are best for the skin, that are most durable, hypoallergenic, etc.
Wedding rings, which were made of metal, go all the way back to the time of Christ to the ancient Egyptians.
The Pharaohs pioneered the use of wedding bands made of the best metals available to symbolize eternity.
Their neighbors, the Ancient Greeks, became their conquerors, and stole their idea of metal wedding rings.
The Romans conquered the Greeks, and the idea of the wedding ring continued to spread.
In terms of which metals were used for these early wedding bands, iron and copper were popular.
Best Metal for Engagement Rings: Gold as the Gold Standard!
However, gold became the gold standard as the best metal to use in wedding rings, and by 200 A.D. , it was the most common metal for wedding bands.
In 12th century England, the church—which was essentially the government—declared the marriages were a sacred covenant between people and God.
They also decreed that a man should never put a ring on a woman’s finger unless he intended to marry her.
That is how we get the tradition of the engagement ring—made of various types of metal—and the separate wedding ring.
Even people who are in no way religious use rings in this way, and they may not even know why!
The type of stone one uses for a wedding band or for a promise ring is very important, of course.
But that decision shouldn’t get all of one’s attention. The band is important too, for resale value, for the health of your skin, for the overall look of the ring, and for price.
Therefore, we’re going to profile all the best metals for engagement rings, wedding rings, promise rings, and more.
Best Metal for Engagement Rings #1: Platinum
Platinum has been one of the most sought-after metals for jewelry for a couple of centuries.
One of the big draws to platinum is how durable it is. In fact, it was taken off the market in the 20th century so it could be used to build weapons of war.
But it’s also gorgeous with a bold shine—and back on the market.
In the past couple of decades, platinum has has become one of the most popular choices for engagement rings and other hot fashion jewelry!
Natural white sheen, developing a soft glow as it ages
95%, making it the purest of all precious metals! This is why it is the best metal for engagement rings! Get some, girl!
Platinum engagement rings: Care
Have a jeweler gently polish your platinum wedding band or other ring to remove any scratches
Is Platinum Suitable for sensitive skin?
Yes. Platinum is a hypoallergenic metal
Cost: Platinum is among the most expensive material for engagement rings
Among metals for rings, Platinum is among the more expensive.
It’s definitely one of the best metals for wedding rings, but that doesn’t make it any easier on the pocketbook. Platinum rings can also be resized.
3 mm women’s wedding bands in platinum generally run from $300 to $700, though there can always be exceptions.
Men’s 5 mm platinum bands run from $500 to $1,000, and these are simple bands, within inlays or any settings in the band.
Why choose Platinum for your engagement ring?
Platinum delivers an excellent durability, a great reputation, and a lovely, understated beauty.
Best Metal for Engagement Rings #3: Yellow gold
Yellow gold is a sexy blend pure gold, zinc, and copper. Yellow gold wedding bands can be either 14K gold or 18K gold.
The history of yellow gold being used for engagement rings and wedding rings goes back to ancient Greece and Rome.
Its purity and brightness have made yellow gold one of the most popular metals for wedding bands for centuries!
Yellow Gold Wedding bands: Appearance
Angelic, giving off a soft but potent light-yellow glow
24k gold is 100% pure; 14K gold is 14 parts pure gold, 10 parts alloys
You can do self-care with a soft cloth; it requires maintenance but you shouldn’t experience tarnishing.
Suitable for sensitive skin
Be careful. 24K is just fine, because it’s pure gold, and yellow gold isn’t the problem.
If you are prone to metal allergies, and are getting a lower-karat yellow gold, find out if the alloys are brass, copper, or silver, and it may be a good idea to pick one of the other great metals out there.
Not bad. You’ll find wedding bands of yellow gold in the $400-$700 range.
Best Metal for Engagement Rings #4: White gold
White gold is a devilish mixture of pure gold and alloys like silver, palladium, and nickel.
The process for creating white gold was the developed at the beginning of the 20th century, with the metal becoming a big part of the fashion jewelry world in the 1920’s.
White gold can vary a bit in its whiteness and its overall color, based on how much of the mixture is pure gold and how much alloys.
The whiter a ring is the more elegant it is—it has an incredible classiness that is almost too cool and demure for some folks!
Cool and nearly icy
24k gold is 100% pure; 14K gold is 14 parts pure gold, 10 parts alloys
Because of the alloys involved, white gold takes a bit more care than yellow.
Owners of white gold bands of any kind have to care for them on a regular basis.
A quick fix is to soak the metal ring in warm, sudsy water for about half an hour and then rub it clean with a soft cloth.
If need be, use a tiny amount of ammonia to the mixture, but be sure to use a light touch.
Are White Gold Wedding Rings Suitable for Sensitive Skin?
Not for people with sensitivity to nickel and most white gold bands will include some nickel. So white gold that might not be among the best metals for your engagement ring!
If you can find out from your jeweler that there isn’t any nickel in your white gold ring, you should be in the clear.
It depends on the kind of alloys used. Some white gold rings involve a metal called rhodium, and that metal that is used in rings can be expensive and drive up the price.
Rhodium is one of the top metals for rings. Yet you can get white gold wedding bands or other rings without rhodium.
Its cost falls between that of yellow gold and platinum.
Why Would You Choose A White Gold Engagement Ring?
The first reason to choose white gold for wedding bands is its beauty.
A lot of wearers really appreciate the understated and classy look of this variety of gold.
Another really good reason is its durability. It’s not expensive at all for its level of durability.
White gold is as good a choice as any for wedding bands and other rings that require a look of refinement and specialness.
Best Metal for Engagement Rings #5: Rose gold
Rose gold gets its unique look from the various metals that make it up: 24k yellow gold, silver, and copper.
Like white gold, it has a bit of variety in its color, due to the comparison of alloys to gold.
If the blend has more copper, you’ll get a redder—rosier—ring.
This lovely metal came from the mind of Carl Faberge in his faberge eggs, back in the 1880’s.
In America, rose gold was embraced by the famed French jewelry brand Cartier, and the rest was history.
Rose Gold Wedding Bands Appearance
Rose gold is the best metal for engagement ring for folks who are looking for something different, looking to stand out.
It looks different from most metals you’ll see used in jewelry, since it has a very blush-like, reddish hue, rather than having that metallic look of either a straight gold or silver tone.
It is good for lovely men or women with any skin tone. Not a lot of metals can say that.
24K gold is 100% pure. A 14K band would be an alloy of—differing from shop to shop—something along the lines of 60% gold, 33% copper, and 7% silver.
Be sure to get the specifications from your jeweler, who should have them readily available.
Wash in a solution of soapy, warm water. However, please keep in mind that you may have to take rose gold into a jeweler’s for a professional cleaning every few months.
Safe for Sensitive Skin?
Usually, no. The culprit might be the copper.
Copper is a metal used in jewelry that quite a few folks are allergic to. If you are allergic to copper, rose gold might not be the best metal for your wedding band.
Rose Gold Wedding Bands Cost
There’s always a give and take. If you don’t have copper allergy, the presence of that metal is a plus for you because it keeps the price down.
Generally, these beautiful, unique rings are roughly in the $200-$300 range.
Is Rose Gold the Best Metal for Engagement Rings?
The affordability and durability combination of rose gold is through the roof.
If you like the color and special glow of it, there’s no real substitute.
Best Metal for Engagement Rings #6: Sterling Silver
Not only has silver has been prized for centuries, it was once thought of as more valuable than gold.
Wow—amazing, right? And yet in modern times, the metal sterling silver is the most affordable precious metal.
Why the word “sterling”? How is it not just silver, hmmm? Well, Sterling silver is a mixture of pure silver and copper.
It’s harder than pure silver, and yet also one of the softer metals.
Sterling Silver Wedding Bands Appearance
Sterling silver, one of the top metals used for rings, ranges in color from luminous white to grayish white, and can have either a matte or shiny finish.
A lot of people love this metal for its low-key, sophisticated look, and that’s why it is often use in wedding bands, promise rings and engagement rings.
Super pure. Generally, sterling silver is about 92% silver, the rest being copper and sometimes zinc or nickel.
Including these other metals really increases durability.
Here’s where we get into a touch of bad news: sterling silver definitely tarnishes.
When you find that a band or piece of jewelry made with this metal is looking dark or grungy, it is tarnished.
Many metals for jewelry tarnish, and this is one of them. So sterling silver might not be the best material for wedding rings.
It really takes some effort on your part, but you can keep things under control with being very conscientious.
Frequently wash your awesome sterling silver ring in solutions such as:
- White vinegar and baking soda
- Soap and water
- Baking soda and water
And after washing in this manner, it’s a good idea to polish your sterling silver with a soft cloth and a polish made specifically for this precious metal.
Safe for Sensitive Skin
Absolutely. As long as it’s true sterling silver.
To be sure, look for the “sterling” stamp.
Silver Sterling is One of the Most Affordable Options for Engagement Rings
Sterling silver is in a whole new universe of price, compared to other fine metals we’ve discussed.
A lot of promise rings, wedding bands, and other rings made of this metal run from about $100 to $200.
Why to choose
A preference for the color silver would be a big motivator here.
However, if your budget affords some of the various golds, or even platinum, those type of metals for wedding bands may be preferable.
They are less easily scratched and more durable, and they have the prestige from their names.
Best Metal for Wedding bands #6: Stainless Steel
Let’s face it—the world is getting more expensive: higher rents, higher car insurance, higher everything…except wages.
While tradition is important, today’s buyers of engagement and wedding rings are increasingly being able to go in a different direction.
Many are looking for a good price, and that’s where stainless steel comes in. Stainless steel is the most affordable among the best metals for engagement rings.
Stainless steel can either have a matte or a shiny finish. It looks a lot like sterling silver.
It’s usually a light-to-medium silver unless it is brushed, and then it can be more of a gunmetal tone.
Usually about 87-88% steel with the rest made of chromium.
While stainless steel doesn’t corrode or rust, it does discolor and take on an old look.
To care for this jewelry, use a bit of warm water with just a bit of mild soap.
It’s very important to wipe the soap off with a cloth that has only water on it, and then to dry it with a soft cloth.
Reasons to choose a stainless steel engagement ring
It’s easy to get pulled in to the idea of a very fancy wedding band, engagement ring, or promise ring.
But some of the metals most popular for wedding rings and other important rings can tarnish, fade, or need professional cleanings.
Gold, for example, is a very soft metal. But stainless still is extremely durable, and the care for it is easy.
What good is a ring meant to be a permanent symbol of something important if it gets scratched?
The durablility and the low price—about $150-$220 for wedding bands and as low as $20 for fashion bands—are what recommend stainless steel.
For everyday fashion jewelry, particularly for a man, you can’t go wrong with stainless steel.
However, some people are always going to want to go with one of the “big boys” (silver, gold, titanium) for wedding rings and engagement rings.
Best metal For Engagement Rings #7: Titanium
Titanium was independently discovered by two different scientists in the 1790s.
These strong siblings fought a long battle against Zeus—they lost because Zeus is Zeus, but the long skirmish shows their strength.
It can come in silver, grey, or black. Because titanium comes with inlays of various alloys, and those metals are what give Titanium its soft sheen.
It requires only moderate home cleaning with a soft cloth.
Suitable for Sensitive Skin?
Yes. Both Titanium and its alloys are hypoallergenic, so wear it in confidence.
Why choose Titanium for your wedding band?
Titanium is durable and not very expensive. Wedding bands tend to run about $400-$600 unless they involve expensive inlays or other additional features.
Those two things are the main draws for this metal in rings and other jewelry.
Tungsten is Our best Metal for Engagement ring Number 8
Tungsten was discovered in 1783 by two Spanish brothers who were chemists.
What’s more, scientists believe that Tungsten was formed by explosions in giant stars.
Also, it’s the strongest metal on earth.
The metal itself usually has a moderate shine, with a low refractive index.
But it’s a metal that is often brushed when used with jewelry, turned black or a variety of colors.
Its versatility is key.
The hardness of Tungsten keeps it very well protected, and it needs little care.
Is Tungsten Suitable for Sensitive skin?
Yes, Tungsten is totally hypoallergenic
Why choose Tungsten for your Wedding Ring?
You’d probably have to hold hardness as one of your top priorities to go for Tungsten.
Another high priority would be price, since rings of this interesting metal ten to run under $250.
Brass is our best metal for engagement ring #9.
It is a fascinating little alloy that has quite a bit of copper in it, plus a bit of zinc.
How much of what goes where determines the color of the brass.
Brass has a bit of a unique appearance because it generally has a yellow/gold color but without the bling of gold.
It has a darker aspect which is rustic and quite masculine.
Brass is a mix of copper and zinc, generally about 65% copper and 35% zinc.
Brass tarnishes like a maniac. To clean, use a solution white vinegar or lemon juice, and treat gently.
Suitable for sensitive skin
If you have an allergy to brass and develop a rash from wearing it, discontinue use.
The downside is that they are rough on the skin, sometimes turning it green.
Why Brass Is Not The Best Metal for Engagement Rings
Copper rings make one think of ancient Babylon or Egypt, or even Greece or Rome.
They have a rusticity hard to find anywhere else, and they’re way affordable.
Best metal for engagement rings #10: Palladium
You’re really swimming with the sharks, now, baby! Palladium is a very expensive, very coveted ring metal that is part of the platinum family.
Palladium stands out due to its natural white quality. Unlike gold or copper or brass, there’s no ancient history to the rare metal palladium.
It wasn’t discovered until the 19th, century. It was then put in the platinum metal group, which, along with its namesake, includes iridium, rhodium, and ruthenium.
For many jewelers, Palladium is clearly the best metal for engagement ring: but it is also 50% more expensive than… gold!
The two rare and valuable (traded on the commodities market) metals in that group are platinum and palladium.
Where palladium gets one up on its cousin is in its lightness—it has a less dense structure
Gorgeous, darling. Its white-silver sheen is its calling card.
High, generally 95%
With such a prime piece of jewels, it may be a good idea to go with a packaged jewelry cleaner.
Don’t go too long without a pro cleaning.
Suitable for sensitive skin
All day and all through the night. This metal is as hypoallergenic as they come.
Why Choose Palladium as the Best Metal for Engagement Rings?
Palladium isn’t a good choice for a ring to wear down to the pub or to work.
But it is great for a wedding band or an engagement ring. It’s just too expensive for other uses.
It’s a great pick because it’s just so pretty with so much bling, and an understated bling at that.
Best Metal for Engagement Rings #11: Tantalum
Tantalum is an interesting silver-colored metal named after Tantalus, a Greek mythological figure who stole nectar and ambrosia from Zeus.
He was punished by being sent to the underworld, where he had to stand under a fruit true, constantly reaching up for the fruit, yet never being able to reach it.
Appearance: Dark, blue-grey.
Purity: Tantalum is an awesome jewelry metal because it’s heat resistant and shatter-proof.
Care: Casual—it does not tarnish
Why Choose Tantalum for your Wedding Band?: Tantalum is tantalizing and hypoallergenic. It’s easy to care for and easy on the pocketbook.
Cobalt is a metal of silver color that resembles titanium, yet is heavier.
It’s a strong dense metal.
Appearance: In its natural state, cobalt is a sparkly white, but you sometimes see machine-forge cobalt that is either a metallic blue or even black.
Purity: Mostly pure, but does have some chromium mixed in.
Care: Cobalt is a ring metal that resists scratching pretty well and doesn’t tarnish.
Wash from time to time in warm soapy water.
Why choose Cobalt: Budget is the main driver here.
What is the Best Metal for Engagement Rings FAQ
Q. What is the most durable metal for wedding rings?
A. Platinum. If you choose to use Tungsten for a wedding band, that metal would get the nod
Q. What is the best metal for sensitive skins?
Q. What is the best metal for a men’s wedding band?
A. When cost is no issue, Platinum. On more of a budget, sterling silver, and on an even smaller budget, and looking for something more masculine, tungsten.
Q. Which metal ring is good for health?
A. Silver, since it helps prevent aging and can help with coughing and other common cold symptoms
Q. Is Titanium a good metal for wedding bands?
A. Yes and no. It doesn’t have the refined look of gold or silver, and certainly not of palladium or platinum.
It can be better for a man than a woman, but because it is very durable and also easy on the debit card, it’s always going to be in the running when someone is deciding on a wedding band.
Q. Do titanium rings turn your finger green?
A. No. You’re thinking of brass.
Q. Does stainless steel make a good wedding band?
A. It’s awesome. It has a beautiful, refined look; it’s not hard to clean and is durable.
It also comes at a low price for all the quality it gives. It should be on your short list!
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