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Metals and the fickle stone

FallenRox

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
248
I'm thinking about what metal to go with for my e-ring, and while I won't decide until I have the stone in hand I do have a few questions on opinions.

Is there that much of a difference in bringing out the brightness of a stone by choosing (for example) 18K white gold versus Palladium? My budget won't allow me to consider platinum. I own many marcasite style rings and love patina finishes, so originally I thought I'd want to go with Palladium, but I hear it scratches easy and another person told me that it would make my stone appear darker. (They're not a PSer... and now I don't believe anyone unless they're on this forum.) :lol:

Anyway- I've read a lot, heard 18K white gold cracks easier than 14K white gold. And it seems like every 14K white gold piece I've ever had still seems to have a warm cast to it. I don't think I want that this time.

Rose gold would be beautiful, but I just hate it on my skin. I love it on everyone else though =)

Sketches for my ring are getting underway next week! yayyayayay and your thoughts are appreciated!
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Aug 5, 2010
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12,376
That is awesome that you are moving forward already (it probably feels like a lifetime already for you). Whenever I've thought about you and your stone, I've always assumed it would silver or argentium silver just to pick up on the cooler qualities of the stone. While I have a few platinum rings, I understand they have to redipped periodically in rhodium to maintain their shine and color. So I'd be asking about the differences between any cool-toned metals like rhodium, argentium, sterling, and palladium (and if you want to spend more, then white gold as well - but white gold seems so white to me...
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,268
minousbijoux|1309057554|2955182 said:
That is awesome that you are moving forward already (it probably feels like a lifetime already for you). Whenever I've thought about you and your stone, I've always assumed it would silver or argentium silver just to pick up on the cooler qualities of the stone. While I have a few platinum rings, I understand they have to redipped periodically in rhodium to maintain their shine and color. So I'd be asking about the differences between any cool-toned metals like rhodium, argentium, sterling, and palladium (and if you want to spend more, then white gold as well - but white gold seems so white to me...
Non plated white gold is rather dull and not that white. I would do non-plated 14K white gold if you want to save some money. Non-plated 18K white gold might be a bit too yellowish. Rhodium plating is getting quite costly these days since rhodium is more expensive than any other metal used for jewelry. Honestly, I wouldn't worry about the brittleness of white gold. Plenty of people own white gold rings, and they don't have issues. As long as you're not careless with your jewelry, and you maintain the prongs every few years, you should be okay. If you plan on wearing the stone quite often, prong maintenance is very important as gold, any alloy of gold, will wear down. Platinum may be more expensive, but you don't need to maintain the prongs with it. Platinum gets a greyish patina over time.
 

minousbijoux

Super_Ideal_Rock
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The thing I don't like about platinum is that the greyish patina looks like a brushed finish. But on the other hand, the greyish tone would go so well with your stone...
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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minousbijoux|1309058014|2955191 said:
The thing I don't like about platinum is that the greyish patina looks like a brushed finish. But on the other hand, the greyish tone would go so well with your stone...
If you want that cool look, nothing beats platinum. I love a brushed finish on platinum as well. I have a brushed finished platinum diamond scatter band. It's very very cool in color, but not overly dark (see photo). Had it for at least ten years.

burnishedbezelplat.JPG
 

FallenRox

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
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248
I'm so gonna have to second mortgage my house.

Thanks ladies for the input!
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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23,268
FallenRox|1309065764|2955260 said:
I'm so gonna have to second mortgage my house.

Thanks ladies for the input!
Considering the high price of gold these days, I think platinum is a better value actually. It's more rare, more durable, you never have to spend extra to maintain the prongs, and you do get a more pure alloy.
 

FallenRox

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
248
TL|1309092810|2955329 said:
FallenRox|1309065764|2955260 said:
I'm so gonna have to second mortgage my house.

Thanks ladies for the input!
Considering the high price of gold these days, I think platinum is a better value actually. It's more rare, more durable, you never have to spend extra to maintain the prongs, and you do get a more pure alloy.
Well..... it's almost another 1K for my ring to be made with Platinum, and we just can't do that with everything else that has unexpectedly decided to rear it's ugly head this month. The stories I could tell you guys... but since they aren't gem related, I'll just whine :) Sooooo- I'll have to figure out something else that works.
 

TristanC

Brilliant_Rock
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Jun 6, 2011
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995
Whether you get 14K or 18K white, you'll probably want it to be Rhodium plated to ensure its "whiteness" won't you? Save some $$ and get 14K plated then? It is the plating that you'll see anyway... I never understood the difference if it was going to be plated anyway.

We are always saying on PS that one should stop at VS2 or above as long as it is eye clean... well with a loupe you can MAYBE tell what clarity a diamond is, but with plated rings, if you redip them from time to time I'm fairly certain nobody can even tell what is below the plating right? If I'm not wrong plated 14K and 18K colours look remarkably similar.

There was a thread on metals for rings on PS that had multiple rings side by side for comparison... but somehow I can't find that link sorry
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
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37,494
I'm surprised that you've been quoted an additional $1K for platinum. Does anybody know the current going rate for gold vs platinum? The last I checked, the pricing is so close that one might as well get platinum over gold lately.
 

petit_bijou

Shiny_Rock
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Jun 22, 2011
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234
[URL='https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/found-a-setting-platinum-vs-palladium.57173/']https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/found-a-setting-platinum-vs-palladium.57173/[/URL] Scroll down to John and Yosef's replies- they are clearly well versed in matters related to this question, and the thread contains a bunch of useful links to articles and photos.

IMHO, if you can't afford platinum, I'd say see if 950 palladium works well. Even though it might scratch easily, my impression is that it will eventually wear to a brushed-like finish which could be beautiful, and the durability is pretty near the same as platinum. If you really want a super white high-polish finish, a 18K/palladium alloy might be a better alt to plat (which will be more gray than un-plated wg and you hopefully wouldn't have to deal with as many prong issues as have been pointed out as a disadvantage to wg).

In terms of affecting your stone... would it be possible to do the head in platinum and the rest in palladium (or any other less expensive alloy) to help with affordability? I imagine it would be best for prong durability, as well as showcasing your stone. The white cool-ness of the platinum will reflect the most light back through your stone, but your stone will look extra delicate and sparkly next to the slightly more grey palladium of the shank (best of both worlds in terms of contrast and "stone surround" effects). I don't know if it would actually work that way, but it could be worth getting a more experienced opinion on that option...

The only other factor to consider is where you will be wearing your rings- I have some chemist friends for whom exposure to harsh acids that affect palladium of wg is actually an issue... even though they would never intentionally expose their rings to their work environment in the lab.
 

FallenRox

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2011
Messages
248
TristanC- Thanks for that :) I can't see myself being fussed over having my ring dipped. I know me, and when it's done, it's done, aside from checking prongs and cleaning and such, so I'm not a huge fan of plating.

Gempassion That is what I'm considering and the vendor I'm working with does have that ability. I'm checking more into it but from what I've read from owners of this metal, they like it quite well, so that's good. thank you!

Chrono I've checked with a few vendors and it's anywhere from 600-1000 extra to go platinum. If it was more along the cost of gold, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

Petit Thank you for the link info- I'll definitely read up. I had considered platinum heads regardless. Still deciding between the 14K +1 white Stuller and palladium. The ring design is very ummm... well kind of ornate and I can't even see where scratching would be an issue because it's not a smooth ring except the very underside of the shank. So.... still thinking. If it were just a couple hundred to do platinum, I wouldn't have even started this thread, but alas, it's quite a bit more.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Joined
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Messages
23,268
Chrono|1309262330|2956927 said:
I'm surprised that you've been quoted an additional $1K for platinum. Does anybody know the current going rate for gold vs platinum? The last I checked, the pricing is so close that one might as well get platinum over gold lately.
Come to think of it, although the pricing may be similar per ounce for the raw metals, platinum is probably more costly because it is a more pure alloy (90 to 95% pure) and it is typically alloyed with other very expensive metals like iridium (cobalt platinum alloys :knockout: ). It is also more dense than gold, so you need more of it for the same amount of volume, and there are more labor costs involved with platinum (higher melting point, not as easy to work with). The expense with white gold is in the maintenance. Replating with rhodium is expensive these days an has to be done on a regular basis, as well as prong maintenance. With platinum, you don't have to worry about replating or prong maintenance.
 
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