Wedding bands are available in a range of different metals, each with their own characteristics including aesthetic and durability. These include yellow, white and rose gold in different karatages, as well as precious metals like palladium and platinum. Wedding bands are also available in alternative metals, such as titanium and tungsten carbide. While there is no overall “best” metal, we can look at some of the most common choices to see which one may be the perfect fit for you.
Gold Wedding Band Options
Yellow gold has traditionally been the most popular metal for engagement rings and wedding bands. It’s made using a combination of pure gold, copper, and zinc to improve its durability. Depending on the gold content of the alloy, the band will be 14K (58.3% pure gold) or 18K (75% pure gold) which yields a richer, warmer color, but is less durable and a little more expensive. Yellow gold will never go out of style, and it’s the easiest type of gold to maintain.
More contemporary than yellow, white gold gets its silvery white character which complements fair and rosy skin tones from combining yellow gold with copper, zinc and nickel or palladium. It’s plated with a hard element called rhodium, which resists scratches and tarnishing, and gives it a reflective appearance which may wear away over time, requiring re-plating. Like yellow gold, white gold comes in a variety of purity levels (karatages) and is very affordable.
Unique and romantic, rose gold has a warm, pink hue created by combining yellow gold with a copper alloy. Many people consider rose gold to be the most romantic wedding ring metal thanks to its warm, pink hue. Like yellow and white gold, rose gold is available in several purity levels (karatages). Rose gold naturally complements all skin tones, is typically stronger than yellow or white gold and also quite affordable.
Alternative Metal Wedding Bands
- Platinum is worth considering if you’re looking for a durable, luxurious, white-colored metal and don’t mind a high price tag.
- Palladium is a white, silvery-colored metal that’s similar to platinum, but much lighter. It’s also durable and comparable in price.
- Titanium is usually used for men’s wedding rings, it’s durable, affordable, and comfortable.
- Tungsten Carbide is typically used as a men’s wedding band metal. It’s a durable metal that resists scratches, making it a good option if you’re active.
- Tantalum is another durable men’s wedding ring metal. Although cheaper than palladium or platinum, tantalum is typically more expensive than titanium or tungsten.
- Cobalt is a men’s wedding band metal that’s an affordable alternative to white gold, platinum and palladium. The downside is it can’t be resized or sawed off in an emergency situation.
- Sterling Silver is pure silver mixed with copper or other metal to make it more durable. While it’s the most affordable metal, it scratches easily and can tarnish.
- Stainless Steel is popular because of its strength, durability and affordability. Shiny and strong, rings can be polished to look matte or more reflective.
How to Choose Your Wedding Band Metal
Unfortunately, there isn’t a single “best” wedding band material, as the ideal choice depends on your individual preferences, lifestyle and budget. To get the best ring for you and your partner, choose a metal with qualities that match your needs and lifestyle, while avoiding bothersome disadvantages. Are you hard on jewelry or do you lead an active lifestyle? Do you need a hypoallergenic metal? Here’s a breakdown of certain considerations to help you decide.
- Tungsten Carbide: Incredibly hard and scratch-resistant, but brittle and can shatter if dropped. Not easily resized.
- Platinum: Highly durable and scratch-resistant, but softer than tungsten and more expensive.
- Palladium: Similar to platinum in durability and appearance, but more affordable.
- Titanium: Lightweight, strong, and scratch-resistant, but can scratch other metals and is difficult to resize.
- Gold: Classic choice, available in various colors (yellow, white, rose). Scratches more easily than platinum or tungsten.
- Titanium: Lightweight and comfortable for everyday wear.
- Tungsten Carbide: Can feel heavy and cold due to its density.
- Platinum: Comfortable and slightly heavier than titanium.
- Palladium: Similar comfort to platinum.
- Gold: Comfortable in all colors, but heavier than titanium or platinum.
- Platinum: Naturally white, cool sheen.
- Palladium: Similar to platinum but with a slightly warmer hue.
- Gold: Warm and traditional, available in various colors.
- Titanium: Bright, metallic sheen. Can have a bluish tint.
- Tungsten Carbide: Available in various colors and finishes, but the natural color is dark gray.
- Hypoallergenic: Titanium, tungsten carbide, and platinum are hypoallergenic, making them good choices for those with sensitive skin.
- Cost: Tungsten carbide and titanium are generally the most affordable options, followed by palladium and gold (with 18k being the most expensive). Platinum is the most expensive choice.
- Maintenance: All metals require some cleaning, but platinum and palladium require less frequent polishing than gold.
Need some help deciding what metal to choose? If you would like to create a custom ring or have questions, please give us a call at (720) 560-3548 or click here to schedule an appointment. We’re here to help!