Help! What kind of metal do I chose for my custom piece?!

There's a lot to consider when choosing what metal to use for a custom piece of jewelry.  Below I'll discuss some of the things that you should think about before you head out.  This is a huge topic so I'll be breaking it up into more bite sized chunks. Today we'll be focusing on traditional metals used for wedding and engagement rings.  Read on to learn more and feel free to contact me with any questions!




First off, what the heck does the word alloy mean?  In the creation of the metals you've likely heard of there's some other ones in there that serve a lot of important purposes. Some are added for color or extra durability.  An alloy is just a combination of metals.  Sterling is an alloy, as are 14K gold, Platinum etc... 


Of the traditional metals platinum is the hardest alloy.   With an excellent resistance to corrosion and resistance to tarnish it's a great choice for your bridal jewelry.  It can be a matter of color preference when you're choosing.  Platinum tends to be a darker grey than 14K white gold but it won't change color over time.  The cost of platinum has typically been dramatically higher than gold but for the first time in history the two are relatively close. 

14K White gold.  

14K white gold has been a favorite white metal for weddings for good reason.  It's typically been a less expensive choice for those that are fans of silver metals and becasue of it's "brighter" finish than platinum.  It's gold mixed with another white metal such as nickel, manganese or palladium.

It's plenty hard for normal wear and tear but one thing to note is that over time white gold may change color.  The metals that make it silver in appearance can wear off and the gold may start to show through.  It's not going to happen overnight but it's something to be aware of.  At some point, you may need to discuss with your jeweler plating or other surface treatments to bring back the original coloring.  

14K gold

14K gold is likely the most traditional metal and there's a lot of reasons why it's a long time favorite.  Due to the fact that there are not "white" metals mixed in 14K gold does not change color over time.  It's durable and a stunning combination with many a stone. It's strong enough to hold a stone if you're looking at something in a more traditional setting.  (Always check in with your jeweler to see their recommended tune up schedule.)

18K, 22K 

As you increase the number of Karats in gold the more gold you'll actually have in your metal.  That means a change of color, typically to a darker, more yellow shade.  You'll also have a metal that is softer.  It may conform more to your finger or scratch more easily and may not be your best choice if you're looking for a traditional prong solitaire setting.   

Colored golds

This includes Rose gold and green gold but did you know that there are even some alloys that make purple, brown and blue gold?  They've yet to become readily available but rose gold is, and it's beautiful.    One thing to consider when choosing a colored gold is whether or not you or your loved one has a metal sensitivity.  For example, Rose gold is a mixture of gold and copper which means people who are allergic to copper may react to rose gold.   

Silver Alloys

There's a lot consider when choosing silver for a commitment piece.  It might be the best option for your budget as silver is typically a lot less expensive than gold.  Though it's a beautiful bright white color, it isn't as durable as a gold.  That means more tiny scratches, maybe loose stones, and overall wear and tear.  In addition, it does tarnish so a great polishing cloth will be something that you'll want to invest in to keep your piece looking like new.   


When making your final choice there will be a lot of factors to consider including budget, durability, and color preference.  This blog post is designed to give you a few things to consider and a bit more info from my experience. It's not designed to steer you one way or another,  If you need more information I'd be happy to help, just contact me.