18kt Yellow Gold
This is the classic, timeless choice for an engagement ring and if you take a look around you, you will see that many people before you have opted for yellow gold. In its most pure form, 24kt, yellow gold is too soft to be worn every day without becoming damaged by the rigours of daily life. For engagement rings especially, therefore, it is usually alloyed with other, stronger metals such as copper, silver, zinc and nickel to give it added strength and durability. Nickel is used rather less often these days as many suffer an allergic reaction to this alloy. It is advisable to mention the fact to your jeweller if you are aware of any such intolerance.
The amount of alloy added in proportion to the gold used not only determines the gold’s purity and carat weight, it also defines its colour. 18kt gold is an ideal combination of 75% gold to 25% alloy metals, balancing strength and resilience against the purity of the precious metal. It also preserves the rich and deep yellow colour of the gold. 14kt contains a higher percentage of alloy and, while this makes it more durable, can look a little whiter by comparison.
The colour can also be a deciding factor when selecting a metal for your engagement ring. If your fiancée already owns and wears a lot of jewellery made from yellow gold, then this is a wise choice as it will complement and supplement her existing pieces.
Overall, 18kt yellow gold it is a highly attractive and popular choice for both wedding and engagement rings. This is a metal that will deepen in colour as time goes by, developing a pleasing patina. While you can expect it to become a little scratched and tarnished over the years, it is a simple matter for a jeweller to give it a quick polish and have it looking as good as new.