Who doesn’t love being dazzled by a beautiful ring? But sometimes it can difficult to tell which metal is which – and what on earth is palladium? We’ve come to the rescue with a helpful guide to ring metals so you can become an expert in all things that sparkle, from gorgeous rose gold engagement rings to show stopping yellow gold wedding bands.
Image credit: Anna Sheffield
White Gold Wedding Rings
White gold rings are separated by their karat weight and this dictates the purity of the metal. This is a very popular choice of metal for wedding bands, especially diamond wedding rings.
White gold is an alloy, which means that it's made of yellow gold mixed with other metals such as silver, palladium or zinc in order for it to form its pale, silvery appearance. This white gold will then be coated in a layer of rhodium to give the ring a dazzling shine.
This type of metal may wear away and yellow after a few years so it will need cleaning or repainting by a professional jeweller. And don’t forget, the higher the karat the quicker it will wear.
This seriously stunning white gold ring from 77 Diamonds would make a gorgeous statement piece thanks to the large centre diamond. How could anyone say no if their other half popped the question with this?
The 18K white gold Cleo ring from 77 Diamonds is a dream come true with its beautifully curved shape. The modern shape would certainly make it an unusual wedding ring, and what’s more, the intertwined eternity bands represent everlasting love.
The great thing about this white gold Alba Rose ring is that the 18K alloy has an almost pure white finish in its natural state, which means that the rhodium (i.e. the sparkle) won’t wear off as quickly! The addition of three beautiful diamonds is a luxurious finishing touch to this elegant wedding ring.
This stunning white gold piece from Alba Rose would make the perfect wedding ring for an elegant and classy bride. Available in 9K, 14K or 18K white gold, this striking diamond ring is ideal if you’d find a statement rock too fussy but still want something show stopping.
This Emmy London ring from H Samuel positively sparkles with 18K of white gold and a regal inspired diamond setting. It’s the perfect style of wedding ring for a bride who wants to feel like a princess on her big day.
Yellow Gold Wedding Rings
“Gold comes in many colours and karats,” explains renowned jewellery designer Anna Sheffield. “I most often choose to work in 14k yellow gold. It's a beautiful and strong alloy - perfect for an everyday piece of jewellery.”
Yellow gold is one of the most traditional ring metals and it’s likely that your parents or even your grandparents will have one. This type of gold is 75% pure and it’s usually combined with other ring metals to give it more strength and durability.
It is however more likely to chip and lose its shine than the white gold alternative, but it is still easy to repair nonetheless.
This Bea Halo ring from Anna Sheffield would make a wonderful alternative engagement ring with its dramatic emerald cut black diamond. This yellow gold beauty is also studded with diamonds for extra glamour – this is a must-have for an edgy bride.
This lovely piece from StoneFeverJewelry has a beautifully ethereal design with its floral inspired pattern. Made from 14K yellow gold, it would make a stunning wedding ring for any bride - especially if you're including lots of floral wedding ideas in your big day.
We want all of the rings in the enchanting Anna Sheffield Rosette Suite, which features a mesmerising rainbow moonstone and diamond dusted halo as the centrepiece. This luxurious set of wedding rings is a must if you’re obsessed with all things gold.
Or how about this other yellow gold Anna Sheffield set in the Rosette range? It proves that champagne is a very elegant pairing with gold and the additional tiara style bands surround the centre diamond to form a magnificent silhouette.
Alba Rose have done it again with this seriously beautiful yellow gold design. Diamonds are the perfect accent to the intricately curved design, which would represent the tight bond you and your other half have for each other. Yellow gold wedding rings with a statement diamond in the centre make for a stunning contrast.
This gorgeous 9K yellow gold wedding ring from NewLoveStudio is the perfect choice if you're looking for a piece that's effortlessly beautiful with minimal fuss. This 2mm wide ring is made to order and there is even a 6mm matching one for the groom too.
Rose Gold Wedding Rings
As you may have already guessed from our rose gold engagement rings article, we’re totally obsessed with this luxurious looking metal. Rock a rose gold sparkler on your finger and everyone will be in awe and envy.
Rose gold has been having a big fashion moment in weddings as of late and it’s easy to see why – the dreamy colour is just impossible to resist. To achieve rose gold, copper is mixed into the alloy which gives the gold its warm hue.
The Luna ring from Anna Sheffield is everything you could wish for in an engagement or wedding ring. Like yellow gold, rose gold pairs wonderfully with diamonds that have a champagne hue. The Luna ring is also set with 33 carats of white diamonds circling the claw set stone in the centre.
If you need this rose gold double banded piece on your finger, leave this page open as a hint to your partner if you feel a marriage proposal may be on the cards. The ring is finished beautifully with a statement diamond surrounded by a halo of smaller stones.
If your other half is partial to a bit of rose gold too (if so, then this a sure sign that you've found the one you're going to marry!), then you're both sure to appreciate these his and hers wedding rings from TheSlyFox. Simple and elegant with the most beautiful copper shimmer, this stunning set is made from recycled 14K rose gold.
For full on glamour, we highly recommend this emerald cut rose gold ring from 77 Diamonds. The rose gold band is studded with channel diamonds and completed with a show stopping emerald cut diamond in the centre. This is a ring you’ll treasure forever.
If you prefer jewellery with a bit of colour, then the Anna Sheffield Pear Rosette ring will enchant you with its unusual emerald centre. The classic silhouette of this 14k rose gold ring would go beautifully with a vintage wedding dress.
If you’re looking for rose gold wedding rings with a traditional feel, then this channel set diamond band from Alba Rose will inspire you. The soft hue of the rose gold is so stunning to look at and it’s available in 9K, 14K and 18K.
Silver Wedding Rings
If the wedding budget is tight, then a sterling silver wedding ring would be a more affordable option than a gold piece of jewellery. But don’t be fooled by the cheaper price though – a silver ring is still incredibly elegant and is so easy to wear as an everyday piece.
When made into jewellery, silver is alloyed with other metals to increase its durability and strength. If you want a longer lasting piece that won’t discolour as easily, look for sterling silver which is purer.
We’re captivated by this sterling silver ring from Martha Jackson which would make a really unique wedding ring. Part of the ring is actually made from a piece of meteorite which has been bonded to the silver band. This is a cute ring to represent your relationship if you love your partner to the stars and back.
Fashion forward brides will adore these silver stacking rings from Alison Moore Designs. Made from solid sterling silver, two of the four rings are decorated with blue lapis lazuli gemstones which are complemented tastefully by the other silver bands.
Highlight the true love you and your partner have for each other by picking out this stunning eternity knot ring by Jessica Greenaway. If the budget is too tight for a white gold ring, then this piece would make a beautiful temporary engagement ring in the meantime.
This amethyst ring is from H.AZEEM London and it’s making our hearts skip a beat with its pear drop stone centre. Made from sterling silver, this eye catching ring is a must for February babies who have amethyst as their birthstone.
A sterling silver wedding band, like this one from H Samuel, would be a special keepsake for the man in your life. Sophisticated and stylish, the ring has a modern matt finish and an elegant 9K rose gold groove.
Platinum Wedding Rings
Platinum is the purest metal available and it is extremely strong, so it doesn’t need to be coated in rhodium as it is naturally white. Due to the high purity, platinum is quite dense and can feel heavier on your finger than gold or palladium – although some people prefer this sturdier feel.
“I often use platinum when a client wants a white metal,” explains Anna Sheffield. “I prefer not only the hue, but the inherent strength and weight of the metal. A lot of people may even prefer it to 18k white gold.”
Platinum is hypoallergenic which means it will not scratch or dent as easy as other ring metals - instead, it will wear slowly to form a lovely patina (a sheen on the surface).
As it has the highest quality of any precious ring metal, it is also the most expensive, but there are still affordable pieces available if you shop around.
This platinum Alba Rose ring is a beautiful piece of jewellery that has an unusual curved shape. If given as an engagement ring, you may need a shaped wedding ring to fit it.
Looking for sapphire engagement rings? This gorgeous platinum piece is also from Alba Rose and has alternating diamonds and sapphires all the way round the band in a cut down setting. If you loved Kate Middleton’s sapphire engagement ring just as much as her iconic wedding dress, then this classic platinum piece is the ring for you.
The elegant sunset boulevard ring from Eladore may have a hefty price tag, but we think it’s definitely worth blowing the budget for. The blue sapphire centre is surrounded by a halo encrusted with sparkly white diamonds that will catch the light wherever you go – we couldn’t love this platinum piece more if we tried.
Sometimes, it’s best just to keep things simple. You can’t help but admire the minimalistic elegance of this platinum wedding band from Huiyi Tan, which would make a timeless and classic piece of jewellery to represent the vows you and your other half make to each other.
This statement sparkler from Alba Rose has a gorgeous design that you’ll fall in love with immediately if you’re a glamorous bride. Grain set diamonds are dotted along the top half of this platinum wedding ring, leading to a breath taking round cut diamond in the centre.
This beautiful platinum wedding ring from Emmy London at H Samuel may be pricey, but it would certainly be a piece to treasure forever. The upside down crown design gives the ring a sophisticated and unique edge, which is accessorised further with 0.15 carat diamonds.
Palladium Wedding Rings
Palladium is the next precious metal on the purity scale at 95% and is usually one of the main alloys in 18K white gold.
“As the main precious metal used in jewellery, palladium has a few advantages over white gold,” explains Tobias Kormind from 77 Diamonds. “It is less dense (lighter) and is also less expensive than other precious ring metals.
“As gold and platinum have risen in price over the years, palladium has become a more popular material for jewellery. It is mined in various places around the world and is also sourced from recycling car catalytic converters.”
It’s also worth noting that palladium is hypoallergenic as it’s a naturally white metal, making it a great choice of ring metal for brides with sensitive skin.
This elegant palladium ring from Alba Rose can be made with your choice of gemstone, including modern choices such as the contemporary topaz stone pictured here. For something more classic, this ring can also be set with a solitaire diamond.
If a platinum ring is out of the budget, this sparkly palladium wedding ring from Alba Rose would still have the same show stopping effect. There’s something so regal looking about this design, thanks to the crown-like appearance of the solitaire diamond and the unusual wrap-around design at the base.
If you want to take advantage of the customised service that Alba Rose offer with all their rings, then why not go for this palladium ring studded which is studded with black diamonds? The perfect piece for an alternative bride who wants something elegant with an untraditional twist.
For a stunning piece that would pair well with most engagement rings, take a look at this patterned wedding ring from Alison Macleod. The ring is available in other precious metals as well as palladium and can even be personalised with an engraving of your wedding date or both your initials.
Titanium Wedding Rings
If you’re looking for a wedding ring that’s stylish and modern, but with an affordable price tag, then titanium is definitely a metal to consider.
According to H Samuel’s expert metal buying guide: “Titanium is a lightweight and lustrous grey metal with a low density, great strength and a high durability that makes it a popular metal for rings. As technology has developed, there are now a broader range of titanium ring styles available, including those inlaid with sparkling diamonds or gemstones.
“Titanium is the perfect choice for a sleek, simple and strong ring. It won’t lose its shape but keep in mind that it's harder to cut and resize - so just make sure it's a suitable and comfortable fit before purchasing.”
If you opt for a titanium wedding ring then you won’t have to take it off if you hit the swimming pool on your honeymoon either, as this material is extremely resistant to corrosion and the effects of sea water and chlorine.
If you’re a magpie who owns a lot of jewellery, this titanium meteorite ring from Martha Jackson would make a really special addition to your collection that’s like nothing you’ve ever owned before. The sleek design and intriguing meteorite that’s inlaid into the band make this a very versatile piece for the bride or the groom.
This beautiful titanium wedding ring from H Samuel can be effortlessly worn everyday thanks to its polished matt finish. The leafy pattern is a stunning addition that would appeal to a laidback, boho bride.
One of the great things about titanium as a ring metal is that the sleek, grey-toned appearance makes it versatile to be used in wedding rings for both the bride and the groom - as proven by this lovely matt titanium ring from H Samuel.
A dapper groom needs a wedding ring to match his style, and this contemporary design would do the job perfectly. Another winner from H Samuel, this titanium ring has two strips of satin curving all the way round the band, which create a unique yet appealing contrast to the metal.
Tungsten Wedding Rings
“Tungsten is a steel coloured grey metal that’s appreciated for its robustness,” as explained in H Samuel’s metal buying guide. “It has a similar density to gold and is currently very popular for men’s wedding rings. Men tend to favour tungsten wedding rings because, whilst still fashionable, they offer a non-scratch, no-tarnish finish with a long-lasting shine.
“With its hardness, non-tarnish properties and lustrous shine, tungsten is a popular choice for a ring that will not only carry special meaning, it will also last a lifetime.”
If you or your other half opt for a tungsten wedding ring, remember that it could cause damage to other jewellery if you keep it with the rest of your collection. Keep it separate in a soft pouch and regularly clean with a soft cloth to keep it looking polished.
This tungsten wedding ring from H Samuel is a must for any groom who has excellent taste and style. This polished band is enhanced further with a groove running all the way around the centre for a look that’s perfect for the modern man.
Proving that tungsten is a wonderful ring metal for women’s wedding rings too, H Samuel offer up another beautiful design in the form of this simple yet elegant 5mm band.
If the man in your life would prefer a wedding band that’s simple, but with plenty of shine and elegance, then this 7mm tungsten band from H Samuel would be the perfect choice.
If you’re conscious about how your ring is made and where it comes from, take a look at our guide to ethical engagement rings which is packed full of helpful advice.