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Swimming with White Gold

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Cehrabehra

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Ugh... I''ve been doing some research specifically on chlorine and gold and it turns out there is a lot of talk about it on the internet. (just type gold chlorine on any search engine)

A few things I''ve found are....

Pure yellow gold and plat are highly resistant.
The copper in yellow gold makes it somewhat vulnerable.
The nickel in white gold makes it VERY vulnerable.
Rhodium plating helps to protect the white gold.
Paladium white gold seems to be resistant as well.
Silver is also somewhat vulnerable.

Much of what I find is anecdotal in the sense that they don''t offer up studies to back their claims... but one site did mention a controlled study. So basically if I swim for an hour a day in a chlorinated pool I have about a year before my white gold prongs fail. Now, all of this is primarily targeted to prongs that hold diamonds, though it does seem to destroy the nickel in bands of gold, so you need to watch for porosity.

I''ve mentioned a bunch of times I want white gold because I like the *color* of it... on this site, http://antiqueengagementrings.com/shopping/shopdisplayproducts.asp?page=3 the fifth ring down to me is THE perfect color.

My exercise of choice is..... swimming. I log 3-5 miles a week and spend 5 hours a week in the pool plus probably another 2 or more in the jacuzzi... if I left my ring at home I''d never be able to wear it during the day... and I''m not leaving it in the locker.

so.... my question is I guess... (though this is more of a PSA than anything)

What types of white gold are available?

Nickel
Paladium
.....and???
I want it to be creamy yellowish white.
 

Apocalypse

Rough_Rock
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Mar 10, 2007
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63
linky no worky.

As for your choices, geez that''s a hard one. It seems you are attracted to the warmth of the WG. Something that platinum and palladium lack since they are a very cool white.

What about WG that is mixed with palladium? Might work
 

decodelighted

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Five hours of swimming/ 2 hrs hot tub sounds like more action than MOST rings could take. What about getting a magnetic "key" box & leaving it hidden in your car?

Don''t think I''d trust a lesser used/experimental metal concoction for such an important ring either. *shrug*
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/23/2007 11:15:45 PM
Author: Apocalypse
linky no worky.

As for your choices, geez that''s a hard one. It seems you are attracted to the warmth of the WG. Something that platinum and palladium lack since they are a very cool white.

What about WG that is mixed with palladium? Might work
I''m sorry - I didn''t mean palladium, I meant palladium white gold.... sorry about the busted link... here: http://antiqueengagementrings.com/Default.aspx engagement rings page 3 :)
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/23/2007 11:24:29 PM
Author: decodelighted
Five hours of swimming/ 2 hrs hot tub sounds like more action than MOST rings could take. What about getting a magnetic ''key'' box & leaving it hidden in your car?

Don''t think I''d trust a lesser used/experimental metal concoction for such an important ring either. *shrug*
well I could leave my arm out during the hot tub easily.... but not the swimming. I dunno about leaving it in the car... maybe... I''m just wondering what options there are besides platinum that don''t have nickel. From what I''ve read nickel and copper are the two most vulnerable. I think I agree with you on the last part though...
 

iheartscience

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My first thought was "I wouldn''t wear that gorgeous rock into a pool no matter what!"

But I see your point about not being able to wear it all day if you go out without it...I don''t know.

Can you possibly get platinum prongs and just hope for the best on the band? I''m not very familiar with what type of setting you decided on, so not sure if the prongs are a big part of the design or if platinum prongs with white gold would look funny.

Are you dead set against platinum? (I prefer white gold as well, so I understand if you are, but for the activities you describe platinum seems like it would be your best option practically speaking.)
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/24/2007 1:21:51 AM
Author: thing2of2
My first thought was ''I wouldn''t wear that gorgeous rock into a pool no matter what!''

But I see your point about not being able to wear it all day if you go out without it...I don''t know.

Can you possibly get platinum prongs and just hope for the best on the band? I''m not very familiar with what type of setting you decided on, so not sure if the prongs are a big part of the design or if platinum prongs with white gold would look funny.

Are you dead set against platinum? (I prefer white gold as well, so I understand if you are, but for the activities you describe platinum seems like it would be your best option practically speaking.)
LOL well the *diamond* is safe from the pool, I just have to find a really good cage for it. If I *have* to go platinum I will but I really don''t want to. I''ve already gone way over budget.... the whole ring was supposed to be 15k for 15 years... and I''m already over that on the stone LOL BUT I also really really love the color of matte white gold... I possibly cold do inlays but... I''m just wondering my options... I cannot have a ring I cannot wear during routine daily activities. I''m not the type to have a precious ring really... I am ending up with one but I have to do everything I can to make it truly livable. So yeah maybe there is a dual metal option... I dunno, just want to see what the other white gold blends are that don''t have nickel or palladium... pal seems new and nickel was removed mostly because of allergies.

I''m also bringing this up because I''ve participated in several of these threads and the general consensous was always that gold was safe... so I''m very curious about this new turn of events.... and think it''s good info to have known.
 

TheDoctor

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It seems as though you are answering your own question. You have done your research into the various metals, and your understanding of the vulnerabilities of the white gold alloys is relatively clear.
You have spent a considerable amount of money on the diamond. You want to wear it all the time. You also want to spend a great deal of time soaking up chlorine at the pool.
You therefore have limited choices of metal for your ring. Well, not really. You CAN choose to go with your preferred colour, but you''ll be forever paranoid (rightfully) about degrading the metal by swimming.
If you go by your preferred colour and have it rhodium plated, it''s no longer your preferred colour....but given 6 months, it will be again...as the rhodium wears away....and once again, it is vulnerable to the chlorine. Depending on the manufacturer and their methods, 18 karat palladium white gold that is nickel and copper free is a practical alternative to platinum or 950 palladium, but honestly, the colour is pretty gross, and the manufacturer probably won''t let it out the door in that state.

The short route is 950 platinum, or 950 palladium. Stay away from the lightweight mountings, they distort too easily....claws bend, shanks buckle...if you want to keep your 15 grand diamond, it needs to be with you at all times, not in a locker or your car or at home, and you are obligated by your good sense to spend the necessary funds to have it set into a serious mounting that will not fail while you are enjoying it and your activities. Buy it once, and you can stop worrying.
 

crown1

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when i first started playing on the internet i found the same info about cholorine and wg. i would have to say it sounds like the doctor has given good advise. good luck.
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/24/2007 8:24:49 AM
Author: TheDoctor
It seems as though you are answering your own question. You have done your research into the various metals, and your understanding of the vulnerabilities of the white gold alloys is relatively clear.
You have spent a considerable amount of money on the diamond. You want to wear it all the time. You also want to spend a great deal of time soaking up chlorine at the pool.
You therefore have limited choices of metal for your ring. Well, not really. You CAN choose to go with your preferred colour, but you''ll be forever paranoid (rightfully) about degrading the metal by swimming.
If you go by your preferred colour and have it rhodium plated, it''s no longer your preferred colour....but given 6 months, it will be again...as the rhodium wears away....and once again, it is vulnerable to the chlorine. Depending on the manufacturer and their methods, 18 karat palladium white gold that is nickel and copper free is a practical alternative to platinum or 950 palladium, but honestly, the colour is pretty gross, and the manufacturer probably won''t let it out the door in that state.

The short route is 950 platinum, or 950 palladium. Stay away from the lightweight mountings, they distort too easily....claws bend, shanks buckle...if you want to keep your 15 grand diamond, it needs to be with you at all times, not in a locker or your car or at home, and you are obligated by your good sense to spend the necessary funds to have it set into a serious mounting that will not fail while you are enjoying it and your activities. Buy it once, and you can stop worrying.
Thank you for your bluntness. Seriously. I totally agree with you that it needs to be on me or it will end up lost somewhere. And if there is no other option, I will take the one that fits my lifestyle over my style, definitely. I was hoping someone would tell me of a white gold alloy that would do what I needed.

Out of curiosity, which were you saying the color was gross on, the 950 palladium or the 18k palladium white gold and what is gross about it?
 

JohnQuixote

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Date: 3/24/2007 8:24:49 AM
Author: TheDoctor

It seems as though you are answering your own question. You have done your research into the various metals, and your understanding of the vulnerabilities of the white gold alloys is relatively clear.
You have spent a considerable amount of money on the diamond. You want to wear it all the time. You also want to spend a great deal of time soaking up chlorine at the pool.
You therefore have limited choices of metal for your ring. Well, not really. You CAN choose to go with your preferred colour, but you'll be forever paranoid (rightfully) about degrading the metal by swimming.
If you go by your preferred colour and have it rhodium plated, it's no longer your preferred colour....but given 6 months, it will be again...as the rhodium wears away....and once again, it is vulnerable to the chlorine. Depending on the manufacturer and their methods, 18 karat palladium white gold that is nickel and copper free is a practical alternative to platinum or 950 palladium, but honestly, the colour is pretty gross, and the manufacturer probably won't let it out the door in that state.

The short route is 950 platinum, or 950 palladium. Stay away from the lightweight mountings, they distort too easily....claws bend, shanks buckle...if you want to keep your 15 grand diamond, it needs to be with you at all times, not in a locker or your car or at home, and you are obligated by your good sense to spend the necessary funds to have it set into a serious mounting that will not fail while you are enjoying it and your activities. Buy it once, and you can stop worrying.
What a nice overview.

I think David was referring to unplated 18K palladium WG. It finishes grayer than rhodium plating and many high-polished 950 platinum alloys. We choose to rhodium-plate our 18K palladium for this reason. Opinions vary; some people are fine with it.

Here is a photo of (1) 18K yellow gold (2) 18K rhodium-plated WG (3) 18K palladium WG-unplated.

With the above said, I worry about always-wearable - for you or anyone Cehra. Occasions might arise where one is simply not comfortable keeping valuables on their person. For the gung-ho I thought I'd share this security box. A number of my friends have installed it under a car seat (requires 3.5" vertical room). It's not cheap, but compared to what it might protect it's not a bad investment if you think you'll use it. Other pricescopers may have solutions to offer as well.
 

mrssalvo

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cehra, I know you''re not a fan of platinum but I used to be and aquatics directer and wore my plat. rings in the pool, hot tub, around all the chemical''s daily and never had one problem. that was pre-pricescope and both my mom and grandmothers always wore their rings 24/7 so i never thought anything of it. Now, i won''t wear my new set the same way but completely understand wanting a setting that you can. anyway, good luck, i know how much you love the yellowing of WG and I''m sorry if you have to give that up. that lock box thing John posted is very interesting, do you think you''d use it?
 

kcoursolle

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Why risk it though? You are getting such a nice ring made, why shorten the life of it?
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/24/2007 4:38:22 PM
Author: kcoursolle
Why risk it though? You are getting such a nice ring made, why shorten the life of it?
Yeah... this is extra quandry for me because *technically* I could get away with this perhaps because my gym pool *just* converted to some salt water mix instead of chlorine (I''m going to have to talk to the pool guy and find out the exact chemical composition to see what risk THAT may play) and when we move to CA I''m *insisting* on a pool but I''ll be at home and can remove my rings. But what about all of the times over the years when I am in chlorine... I''d really not want to deal with the risk. I am seriously bumming and I''m going to ask john a bit more about the paladium wg, but even the dh is willing to throw another couple grand at the situation to make it permanent solution. Its hard for me to give up though... almost makes me want to just go to yellow gold.

Are nickel and paladium white golds the ONLY white gold alloys??
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/24/2007 1:45:31 PM
Author: JohnQuixote

What a nice overview.

I think David was referring to unplated 18K palladium WG. It finishes grayer than rhodium plating and many high-polished 950 platinum alloys. We choose to rhodium-plate our 18K palladium for this reason. Opinions vary; some people are fine with it.

Here is a photo of (1) 18K yellow gold (2) 18K rhodium-plated WG (3) 18K palladium WG-unplated.

With the above said, I worry about always-wearable - for you or anyone Cehra. Occasions might arise where one is simply not comfortable keeping valuables on their person. For the gung-ho I thought I''d share this security box. A number of my friends have installed it under a car seat (requires 3.5'' vertical room). It''s not cheap, but compared to what it might protect it''s not a bad investment if you think you''ll use it. Other pricescopers may have solutions to offer as well.
I''d rather not have to deal with rhodium plating either... but I''d like to know more about that 18k palladium wg that is unplated... you say it is *greyer*? Not yellower..? It looks yellower in that pic... but we all know pics can be deceptive. I asked a question above about the wg alloys and I shoulda asked it of you... are palladium and nickel the only 2 wg alloys? Thanks for the lockbox idea... I''ll go check it out :)
 

Cehrabehra

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saw this article and thought it was pretty easy and fun to read... numbers aside LOL
http://www.du.edu/~jcalvert/phys/platinum.htm
and particularly thought this part was funny because it is exactly how I feel LOL Sorry to the plat lovers hehe ;-)

It is a sad commentary on human nature that platinum is used in jewellery, simply because it is rare. Metallic platinum has all the charm of zinc. It is not, as stated in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, "a beautiful silvery-white metal," as anyone who has seen a platinum crucible knows. The image in the title shows a tasteful diamond-platinum ring, and will give an idea of the appearance of platinum. It is a dull-grey metal that does not even look as good as stainless steel. Its beauty is solely in the cupidity of the beholder.
 

boston_jeff

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Messages
623
Hey Cehra,

Saw this, did not know if it was helpful or new...

Alternative white gold alloys

In the European Union especially, there is a demand for cheaper alternatives to white golds than the palladium whites which are ''nickel-free''. Many new alloys are coming to market, most of which rely on manganese additions as the main whitener. Some are palladium-free and others are low palladium alloys. Chromium and iron are also be used as whiteners. They tend to be hard and more difficult to process. Many of these alloys are not a good white colour, requiring rhodium plating, and many suffer cracking problems and tarnishing.
We recently tried to anneal a batch of white gold from Italy. It was so unmalliable we had to contact the manufacturer, and whilst the solution was simple, a high street working jeweller would find the new metals difficult, if not impossible to process.

Platinum, chromium, cobalt, zinc, tin and silver are all used as whiteners. Silver has excellent working properties but is poor as a whitener. Copper is also added to improve the ductility of most white alloys.
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/24/2007 8:03:47 PM
Author: boston_jeff
Hey Cehra,

Saw this, did not know if it was helpful or new...

Alternative white gold alloys

In the European Union especially, there is a demand for cheaper alternatives to white golds than the palladium whites which are ''nickel-free''. Many new alloys are coming to market, most of which rely on manganese additions as the main whitener. Some are palladium-free and others are low palladium alloys. Chromium and iron are also be used as whiteners. They tend to be hard and more difficult to process. Many of these alloys are not a good white colour, requiring rhodium plating, and many suffer cracking problems and tarnishing.
We recently tried to anneal a batch of white gold from Italy. It was so unmalliable we had to contact the manufacturer, and whilst the solution was simple, a high street working jeweller would find the new metals difficult, if not impossible to process.

Platinum, chromium, cobalt, zinc, tin and silver are all used as whiteners. Silver has excellent working properties but is poor as a whitener. Copper is also added to improve the ductility of most white alloys.
ugh - copper is also vulnerable to chlorine... COBALT is what I was thinking of... I couldn''t put my finger on it. Thanks Jeff... I''m not an elitist or a purist so I really don''t care what is in it as long as it is truly durable and I can swim in it and it is attractive. If I go platinum I might have to rethink my design though because much of my last design is built around a wide strip of matte white gold and I definitely don''t like matte platinum. Maybe it''s just cause I miss california and I''m sooooooo sick of these grey skies here in oregon!!!!! I thought for about one second I would love to paint the walls in my LR a light slate blue and then quickly went oh heck no I can''t live with that here...

So if I did the head and the melee strips in platinum... and had white gold inlay for the matte part... I wonder how durable that would be in the water? it seems most of the focus is on PRONGS but several articles mention looking for porosity in bands as well.
 

lumpkin

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2,491
My advice is simply not to swim wearing your ring. You know my really pretty, really expensive 18k yg setting that I just swapped out? It all started with a 45 minute swim in the pool. When I got out the underneath of the diamonds turned black. I always thought 18k yellow gold would be okay, because I wore my 14k yg setting in the pool with no problem, 14k earrings, etc. Not only do you have to think of the metal, but the solder, and other things that might get into the water via other people''s bodies -- lotion, fragrance, ointments, etc.

I was seriously heart sick when I saw what had happened to my ring. I will never get into a pool with anything valuable again.
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/24/2007 11:24:48 PM
Author: lumpkin
My advice is simply not to swim wearing your ring. You know my really pretty, really expensive 18k yg setting that I just swapped out? It all started with a 45 minute swim in the pool. When I got out the underneath of the diamonds turned black. I always thought 18k yellow gold would be okay, because I wore my 14k yg setting in the pool with no problem, 14k earrings, etc. Not only do you have to think of the metal, but the solder, and other things that might get into the water via other people''s bodies -- lotion, fragrance, ointments, etc.

I was seriously heart sick when I saw what had happened to my ring. I will never get into a pool with anything valuable again.
I''ve always swum, swam um... I always have swum... uh... Swimming in all of my jewelry is something I''ve always done. There! LOL My diamond stud earrings I''ve worn in the pool for over 7 years now. My amethyst and yellow gold ring... my gold band... my yellow gold bracelets... I''ve NEVER had any issue... even my yellow gold and channel set diamond band. My earrings are cheap and they''ve never even had a loose prong in all these years. If I hadn''t just been doing my due diligence before making final decisions on the white gold and did a search to double check, I never would have imagined that there was a difference between white gold and yellow gold in relation to swimming. I had white gold earrings as a kid I wore constantly in the pool with no issues... maybe it''s all just hype. Maybe the study is exaggerated. I dunno... I''ve got some soul searching to do. I told my husband earlier that having a ring that fit my lifestyle was more important than a ring that fit my style. I need a ring I can wear during all of my activities... I don''t want a ring I have to baby. All of this is definitely going on the table with the designer though.
 

JohnQuixote

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Date: 3/24/2007 6:11:26 PM
Author: Cehrabehra
saw this article and thought it was pretty easy and fun to read... numbers aside LOL
http://www.du.edu/~jcalvert/phys/platinum.htm
and particularly thought this part was funny because it is exactly how I feel LOL Sorry to the plat lovers hehe ;-)

It is a sad commentary on human nature that platinum is used in jewellery, simply because it is rare. Metallic platinum has all the charm of zinc. It is not, as stated in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, ''a beautiful silvery-white metal,'' as anyone who has seen a platinum crucible knows. The image in the title shows a tasteful diamond-platinum ring, and will give an idea of the appearance of platinum. It is a dull-grey metal that does not even look as good as stainless steel. Its beauty is solely in the cupidity of the beholder.
It is a funny paragraph, but it''s also "codswallop."
Platinum is used because it is hypoallergenic.It’s almost indestructible.It doesn’t wear out over time.It’s also far superior for setting soft stones (platinum is the stone setter’s choice by a mile). It’s also somewhat recent... We would have used platinum long ago if we could, but for centuries we didn’t have torches to melt it or machines capable of milling, rolling and pulling it.Once we developed the means to work it, platinum came into use.Now we have the tools and machinery, but platinumsmithing still takes different laborer skill sets and equipment than goldsmithing, which contributes to why finished platinum jewelry costs more (it’s not tied simply to the different costs of precious metals).

We can relate this to diamond cutting.It is similar to the advent of the rotary saw in the late 1800s which gave us the ability to saw rough and ushered in the brilliant style of diamond cutting.Today lasers are being used to saw which has stepped up our efficiency and accuracy.

There is nothing wrong with gold alloys and nothing wrong with platinum. Different equipment (more expensive) and a different skill set (more extensive) is required to work in platinum/palladium. This is why some may ''poo-poo'' it, as above, but the ultimate choice should be up to the customer. New alloys are constantly being developed. The variety of offerings and options available reflects the wide variety of taste among enthusiasts.
 

JohnQuixote

Ideal_Rock
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I heard this from one of the top minds at GIA re; chlorine.

Different jewelers use different alloys for soldering heads, making repairs, etc. When doing this they often like to use lower temperature alloys which are susceptible to chlorine. When the chlorine attacks it dissolves the alloys out leaving only the gold - which is quite vulnerable to snapping off since the joint is now greatly weakened.
 

Lynn B

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Cehra,
I think you are overthinking this. The answer seems obvious (and easy) to me. Get the setting you were planning on and leave the ring in the car! John gave you a great link to a security box, although, honestly, I''d be OK leaving it (insured, of course!) in a regular little cardboard ring box in the glove compartment, in a locked car.
But that''s just me!

Lynn
 

ladykemma

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Date: 3/25/2007 8:40:05 AM
Author: Lynn B
Cehra,
I think you are overthinking this. The answer seems obvious (and easy) to me. Get the setting you were planning on and leave the ring in the car! John gave you a great link to a security box, although, honestly, I'd be OK leaving it (insured, of course!) in a regular little cardboard ring box in the glove compartment, in a locked car.
But that's just me!

Lynn
added to this: or just be like me-- consider settings "disposable" . replace 'em every five years or so.

for example talk about chloride. I was working with concentrated hydrochloric acid in a fume hood yesterday. i couild feel the vapors of the acid on my hands (and i was mindful i was wearing my rings.)
 

ladykemma

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Date: 3/24/2007 6:11:26 PM
Author: Cehrabehra
saw this article and thought it was pretty easy and fun to read... numbers aside LOL
http://www.du.edu/~jcalvert/phys/platinum.htm
and particularly thought this part was funny because it is exactly how I feel LOL Sorry to the plat lovers hehe ;-)

It is a sad commentary on human nature that platinum is used in jewellery, simply because it is rare. Metallic platinum has all the charm of zinc. It is not, as stated in the Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, ''a beautiful silvery-white metal,'' as anyone who has seen a platinum crucible knows. The image in the title shows a tasteful diamond-platinum ring, and will give an idea of the appearance of platinum. It is a dull-grey metal that does not even look as good as stainless steel. Its beauty is solely in the cupidity of the beholder.
so true! platinum crucibles ain''t purdy! i thought i was the only one who didn''t like platinum, having worked with the crucibles

get the white gold you love! loupe it everyday. make sure you have insurance. stop worrying.
 

ladykemma

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Messages
2,194
this vendor works in the buttery yellow alloy you like. I don't think your cushion will get lost in a setting ike this:

Vintage Sapphire Filigree Wedding/Engagement Ring Set
Antique Style Natural .85ct Sapphire and 14K White Gold Item number: 230108110989

 

Ellen

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Jan 13, 2006
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24,426
I''d go with the WG like you want, insure, and get the box John posted.
 

Cehrabehra

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Messages
11,071
Date: 3/25/2007 8:48:28 AM
Author: ladykemma
added to this: or just be like me-- consider settings ''disposable'' . replace ''em every five years or so.
See.... this is just absolutely not my mindset at all. The longer I have something the more I *don''t* want to change it. I have to go into this knowing this about me. I would not be going custom - let alone designer - if I was just going to toss it in a couple years.
 

Cehrabehra

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Date: 3/25/2007 8:40:05 AM
Author: Lynn B
Cehra,
I think you are overthinking this. The answer seems obvious (and easy) to me. Get the setting you were planning on and leave the ring in the car! John gave you a great link to a security box, although, honestly, I''d be OK leaving it (insured, of course!) in a regular little cardboard ring box in the glove compartment, in a locked car.
But that''s just me!

Lynn
I don''t think I''m overthinking this, I think I''m appropriately and responsibly thinking about this. I want certain things from my ring - ie livability - and since I would prefer the color of white gold I think it is a GOOD thing I''m turning over all of the options before I make a decision. The security box is one idea, but I really would like to not be taking my ring off at all let alone leaving it in the car. What if I''m in my husband''s car? I have to consider what I know about myself.

Not that these aren''t fine ideas, but I definitely don''t think I''m overthinking this. If me working this issue out on the board is irritating to you just ignore it LOL
 
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