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Although the sparkle, shimmer, and ethics of choosing a lab-grown diamond are always interesting to discuss, the setting of your engagement ring or other fine jewelry is just as important. This guide will help break down the different types of precious metals that we offer and where they are sourced.
The Different Types of Precious Metals
Although there are various pros and cons of all the different types of metals, the one you or your partner chooses for an engagement ring really boils down to your personal preference. However, there are some small nunancs that are important to understand before you make a purchase.
Before we get into the four different colors (white, yellow, and rose gold, and platinum) let’s quickly touch on karat. You’ll notice that most of our rings come in 14k white, yellow, and rose gold, 18k white, and yellow gold. Our platinum is created with 90% pure platinum.
The only difference between 14k and 18k gold is how much true gold is present. Now you might be asking yourself, “isn’t the whole ring gold?”, but that’s not quite the case. 24k = 100% gold, so 18k = 75% gold, and 14k = 58.3% gold. To achieve other colors, pure gold is mixed with other metals and thus creates white, yellow, rose gold, or platinum.
However, since gold is a soft metal, the more true gold that is present, the softer the jewelry will actually be. So, since 14k has less karats of gold, it will be a bit more durable. This is good to know if you’re someone who is extremely active or works with their hands quite a bit, as you’ll likely want something that’s less likely to be damaged. Now, let’s break down each type of metal that we offer.
As mentioned above, most of our engagement rings are offered in both 14 and 18k white gold. This is a wonderful, classic option for someone who tends to wear silver jewelry or wants a timeless piece that will look good for years to come.
White gold is made of pure gold, along with a mix of other metals such as silver, palladium, and nickel. It’s common for white gold to have a rhodium coating.
Right now, white gold is the most popular color for engagement rings. The cost of a white gold setting will really vary from ring to ring. A simple solitaire, for example, could be around $550, while a more intricately designed ring could be up to $2,000 (depending on accent diamonds and karat).
Although it’s coming back in style again, yellow gold really had its peak popularity in the 90s, particularly with a single solitary stone.
Yellow gold is made of gold (in our case, 14 or 18k), along with alloy metals such as zinc and copper. Since it is closest to the true color of gold, it is the purest out of white, yellow, and rose gold.
In most cases, at Clean Origin, we price our 14k white and yellow gold equally, along with our 18k white and yellow gold settings.
Rose gold is by far the new kid on the block when it comes to metal colors. Although the color in general has been around for a very long time, it has just recently become popular for 21st century engagement rings.
Rose gold is made up of pure gold with silver and copper alloys. We only offer 14k rose gold at Clean Origin.
This metal color has become especially popular with the millennial generation, as more and more couples are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from generations past. This is yet another reason why lab-grown diamonds are also gaining so much popularity and attention.
Platinum is a wonderful choice if you’re looking for your ring to have great strength. Although it has a similar color to white gold, platinum is a bit more muted and less shiny.
Platinum contains no pure gold; it is a material all on its own, although often mixed with small amounts of other metals like copper or palladium.
Since it is created with a higher percentage of precious metal (90%), platinum can be anywhere from 40-50% more expensive than white gold. You might find the same solitaire ring mentioned above for closer to $1,000 and the same vintage ring for closer to $3,000. However, it can be well worth it if you or your partner lives an active lifestyle.
One of the most important things to note about our metals is that they are all recycled — white, yellow, and rose gold, as well as platinum.
Similar to diamond mines, gold mines have their own dark secrets, environmental impact, and unethical practices. At Clean Origin, we are doing everything we can to stay away from supporting these types of activities.
All of our precious metal is certified by the Responsible Jewelry Council to be recycled. This ensures that the quality behind our metal is just as high as what would be originally sourced from the earth — just without the negative impact.
“The Responsible Jewellery Council helps companies of all sizes, throughout the jewellery supply chain, meet the rising ethical demands of peers, consumers, financial institutions and civil society.”
The Clean Origin jewelry that you purchase could be manufactured from many different origins, such as other jewelry, industrial and manufacturing metals, and even electronics.
Although we aim to provide 100% recycled precious metals, there are smaller parts of our products that cannot be made this way due to limited supply. This includes findings, peg heads, chains, and other small components.