The Most Popular Metals Used for the Making of Wedding Rings in South Africa
Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of each of the most popular metals used in the making of wedding rings in South Africa will help you make an informed buying decision. Palladium, tungsten, white gold, yellow gold, and platinum are certainly the most widely used. We look at a few of their features below.
Palladium is a metal that belongs to the platinum group and is known as a noble metal because of its exceptional resistance to corrosion and oxidation. As such, wedding rings made from palladium do not corrode, get spots or discolour, and because palladium is also hypoallergenic, it can be worn by most people. One problem often experienced with white gold is that it does not stay white. Special treatment is necessary to maintain the beautiful white colour. Palladium does not have that problem, since it does not lose its white colour and will not tarnish. High durability is one of the most important characteristics of this metal that does not require any additional plating for protection. One disadvantage is the price tag, since the metal is extremely rare, but it is still more affordable than platinum.
The sister metal of palladium, platinum is a popular choice for wedding rings in South Africa because of its white colour. Some people prefer platinum because it gets a silver sheen with time, which gives the wedding band an authentic, classical or antique look and feel. However, if you do not like the antique look, regular cleaning with a mild lukewarm soap solution and a soft-bristle brush will help maintain the natural white sheen. You can also use a lint-free cloth to buff its surface.
Platinum is a suitable choice for engagement rings because it brings out the brilliance of diamonds and, like diamonds, the platinum band will last a lifetime. With it being exceptionally dense, platinum provides a highly secure setting for the diamond. As a white metal, it requires no rhodium plating to stay white. Durability, strength, corrosion resistance, and its hypoallergenic characteristics make platinum – though more expensive than palladium and other precious metals – a popular choice for wedding rings in South Africa.
With its unique and distinct yellow colour, gold is extremely popular for wedding bands and engagement rings. The contrast between the yellowish surface and the white diamond is striking. Gold is more affordable than platinum and palladium, but it is also softer. This means in order to prevent the gold from denting and scratching easily, it is mixed with a low percentage of other alloys. However, the purity level is still high and you can get anything from light to deep yellow gold, depending on your preference. The purity level is indicated in karat measure, with 24-karat being the highest and rather soft, and 9-karat the lowest in purity, but very hard.
Yellow gold normally contains a mixture of copper and silver, which gives it the warm and rich colour that makes it a popular metal for wedding rings. White gold has a distinctive silver-white colour. It is very strong, but it is necessary to have it rhodium-treated every few years to keep it beautifully white. The presence of rhodium is what makes it harder than yellow gold. Rose gold, though still rare in the making of wedding jewellery, has a rose pink hue, which is obtained through a mixture of gold and copper alloy.
It is more popular as metal for the groom’s wedding band than for the bride’s. The metal does not scratch or tarnish easily. This makes it a good choice for the groom’s wedding band, especially to cater to an active or outdoor lifestyle. To keep it looking beautiful, the metal should not be exposed to harsh chemicals. Cleaning is done with lukewarm water and a soft cloth.