A yellow gold engagement ring is one of the most classic symbols of enduring commitment, and can be one of the most important jewelry purchases of a lifetime. Obviously, this isn’t a purchase anyone would want to make without doing some research ahead of time.
So what are the factors to consider when choosing a yellow gold engagement ring? The top considerations should be:
Budget -- most important is center stone
The perfect yellow gold engagement ring is a balance of budget, style, and design, all working together to complement the lucky person who will wear it.
Gold purity is signified by the “K” sign you may have seen on gold, which stands for karats. Karats indicate just how pure the gold is. 24 karat gold is the gold with the highest karat, but pure 24k gold is not made into jewelry in the U.S. It’s very soft, and very easily scratched, dinged, or bent out of shape, so there's just no market or demand for it. Besides, most people find its color too bright, and prefer the paler yellow of lesser karat gold.
In order to make the gold more durable, alloys are mixed into the pure gold, changing its color and strength. The less pure the gold is, the more alloy metals it contains, which also means it’s stronger. The purity of gold doesn’t necessarily mean better; it simply means more pure, and more expensive.
Typically then, yellow gold engagement rings are made of either 18 karat or 14 karat gold. It’s a good idea to learn about the important differences between the two so that you can make the best choice for your needs.
18 Karat gold
Because of the high gold content, 18k gold is the more expensive than 14k gold. 18 Karat yellow gold is mixed with copper, silver, zinc, nickel, and/or palladium. The mixture of the alloys will affect the color of the gold.
Since 18k gold is mostly real gold, it can be fairly easily scratched. Generally, it's still strong enough for daily wear, but those with an active lifestyle might want to choose something more durable.
14 Karat gold
With a beautiful, rich yellow luster that's not overly yellow, 14k gold offers a great balance of price, quality, and appearance.
Because of its higher percentage of alloyed metals, 14k gold offers more resistance to wear and tear. This makes it ideal for everyday use, and therefore the most popular choice for engagement rings and simple wedding bands.
For those with an active lifestyle, a 14K gold engagement ring is practical, as its strength will protect any jewels it supports, and it will endure the abuse of sports, or gardening, and other rigorous, regular activities.
So now that you have a sense of the choices in gold, the next step is to consider style choices.
How do I get a sense of the style preferences of the person I’m buying for?
When choosing a yellow gold engagement ring, consider your love’s favorite places to shop. Would you say those places are:
Those who love elegance are typically prone toward classic ring styles, often a simply elegant solitaire princess or a bias cut stone. A yellow gold solitaire engagement ring is the most iconic and timeless style of engagement ring, and therefore often the number one choice for a woman whose style is elegant and refined.
Bohemian and free spirited?
Often found in flowers and flowy dresses, Bohemian chic types love intricacies and unique details. A perfect engagement ring for her will likely include swirls and soft edges -- maybe a halo-set round diamond with milgrain detail.
Does she love to bring back fashions from bygone eras and give them her own contemporary twist? If so, consider a vintage-inspired engagement ring featuring delicate and romantic designs. Vintage-style yellow gold engagement rings, with their intricate details and filigree designs, are an ideal choice for those seeking a one-of-a-kind original design reminiscent of the past.
Of course, these are only a few of the many fashion possibilities, but you get the point. Knowing the style preference of the person who will wear the ring is a key to making an educated guess about the style of ring they’ll love to wear.
But with so many possibilities to consider, it’s always best to try a number of rings on so that you can see for yourself how the ring looks on the finger it will grace. If you’re interested in a complimentary ring selection appointment, call us at (415) 875-9438, or stop by our showroom. We’ll be happy to help.