A Guide to Precious Metals

What are precious metals?

Precious metals are rare metals with desirable characteristics that are commonly used in the creation of fine jewellery, including wedding rings. When a metal is valuable, rare, and suitable for crafting beautiful jewellery, it is considered precious. The most commonly used precious metals in wedding rings are rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.

When purchasing wedding rings, it is important to consider the sustainability of the piece. Precious metals have a high surface lustre and are resistant to rust and corrosion when properly cared for, making them durable choices. The metal also plays a significant role in the appearance and cost of wedding rings. Understanding each of the precious metals can help you make an informed decision. Additionally, these metals hold high economic value and have even been used as a form of currency in some cases.

What is metal carat?

Metal carat refers to the amount of pure gold present in a metal. The purity level is indicated by a hallmark, which is stamped on the jewellery piece. The most cost-effective metal carat is 9ct, which is hallmarked as 375, indicating that it contains 37.5% pure gold, with the rest comprising other metals. The next level is 14ct, which contains 585 (5.85%) pure gold. The highest gold content you will commonly find at high street jewellers is 18ct, providing a rich yellow or rose hue due to its high gold content. It is durable and considered ideal for engagement and wedding rings that are worn daily. The purest form of gold available is 22ct, containing 916 (91.6%) parts of pure gold.

Which metal should I choose?


Gold is renowned for its durability, non-corrosive nature, and lasting beauty. Whether you prefer yellow gold, white gold, or rose gold, this precious metal brings unparalleled beauty, timelessness, and elegance to any piece of jewellery. The most popular shade of gold is yellow gold due to its ability to resist tarnishing, retain its colour over time, and remain cost-effective. However, gold can become scratched, particularly in pieces that are worn daily like wedding and engagement rings. In the rare event of damage, gold can be easily repaired by a professional jeweller.


Among the readily available precious metals in the UK, silver is the most cost-effective option. You can find stunning silver pieces at a reasonable price. Beyond its affordability, silver is valued for its beauty, versatility, lustre, and rarity, making it an attractive choice. It consists of 92.5% pure silver mixed with other metals, such as copper, to enhance durability and prevent scratching. However, silver requires more maintenance compared to other precious metals, so it is rarely chosen for wedding rings.



Platinum has gained popularity as a metal choice for wedding bands, engagement rings, and other pieces in recent years. It is a hard-wearing metal, making it highly durable and suitable for men's wedding bands. Platinum's beauty remains unaffected even with daily wear and tear. Unlike silver, platinum is non-reactive, so it does not tarnish or lose its lustre. However, its exceptional quality as a precious metal comes with a higher price tag compared to gold or silver.


Palladium, part of the platinum family, shares many desirable qualities sought by jewellery buyers. It naturally possesses a beautiful white color, providing a luxurious appearance with a high sheen. Although it can be challenging to work with, palladium is used in simple wedding ring designs. It is strong, durable, easy to maintain, and lighter than traditional platinum. Additionally, it offers greater scratch resistance. However, like other precious metals, palladium can still scratch or dent under damaging circumstances.

Which metal is best?

Each precious metal has unique characteristics, yet they share many desirable qualities. When choosing a metal, buyers typically consider factors such as durability, affordability, style, and hypoallergenic properties for the skin. At Yorkshire Jewellery Company, we offer a range of wedding rings in Platinum, Titanium, 9ct and 18ct white, yellow, and rose gold options. If you prefer 14ct gold, we are happy to arrange it upon request.

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