When it comes to buying a gold wedding band, things can get confusing fast. What color gold do you want? What karat will suit your lifestyle?
Gold is the most popular choice for wedding bands, and very popular in dress rings, bracelets, necklaces, and watches. Gold is easy to accessorize with, and it is durable. There are three things to consider when looking at gold wedding rings.
First, you should look at the karat number. A karat measures the proportion of pure gold mixed with another metal alloy to make up the final metal. There are several karats available for gold, but most men’s wedding bands employ 9-karat, 14-karat and 18-karat. Since an 18-karat ring has a higher proportion of gold than a 14-karat, the 18- karat will be more expensive. Although there are higher karats than an 18-karat ring, it is generally agreed that 22-karat and 24-karat gold is too soft to make men’s wedding rings.
Karat stamps do not indicate the durability and hardness of gold, however. When choosing your wedding band, it is important to consider your own lifestyle. How often will you wear a ring? Do you work with your hands? Could your ring be easily scratched or bent?
Metal hardness is measured by what is called the Vickers scale. The higher the Vickers score, the harder the metal. A 9-karat ring has a Vickers score of 120 and an 18-karat has a score of 125. The difference is so slight that 9-karat and 18-karat rings are much the same in terms of hardness.
Next, you should consider the color of the gold. Gold comes in several colors: yellow, white, rose, bronze, and lime. Wedding bands can also be made using two or three different tones of gold, creating a unique color.
Adding an alloy to the gold creates different colors. For example, rose gold is made using a mix of pure gold with alloys including copper. The copper provides the reddish color. Yellow gold forms from a mixture of pure gold and alloy metals such as copper and zinc, while white gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals (silver and palladium.)
Natural white gold has a gray tinge to it, which is covered up by adding a plating of rhodium. The rhodium also serves to make the jewelry harder, but it does wear off after about 12 to 18 months. You can get your jewelry re-rhodium plated at your local jeweler.
There are many options when it comes to choosing a wedding band, but ultimately you should be certain that the ring you choose is right for you and your lifestyle. After all, the ring is a symbol of your love and marriage, so it should suit you perfectly.