Wedding Band Metals - To Mix or To Match Your Engagement Ring?

Author Cristina LaPenna
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Date Aug 22, 2015

Wedding Band Metals When planning your big day, buying your wedding bands may be the last thing on your mind. Between the flowers and the photographer, many people completely forget about the wedding bands, and it ends up being a last minute task that just needs to be checked off before saying “I do.”

Because your wedding ring is one of the only things from your wedding day that is going to last your lifetime, and because you are most likely going to wear it every day, a lot of consideration needs to be put into choosing a wedding ring. While the first question people ask our jewelers is if the wedding ring needs to match the engagement ring, the next question that is asked is, “Do I need my wedding band to be the same metal as my engagement ring?”

The short answer is no, it does not need to be the same metal. But, while you are contemplating if you want a perfect match or if you like the look of combining metals to make a unique mixture, we have listed some points for you to consider before committing to either matching or mixing metals:

How The Metals Wear Over Time

Different metals wear differently over time. This is a big consideration to make when choosing a metal for your wedding band. For example, a lot of people think that because white gold and platinum metals are both white, they will look the same over time as they did the day you got them. This is not true!

While both white gold and platinum look white, white gold is not a naturally white metal. White gold is made by mixing yellow gold with other white metals such as silver or nickel, then is rhodium plated over it to make it that shiny white you see. Over time, the rhodium plating wears down and you may want to have it re-plated by a jeweler every couple of years to keep that bright white.

If you have a platinum engagement ring and are considering a white gold wedding band, just be aware that the white gold will yellow slightly over time and you will need to maintain it to keep it that same white. You also need to think about what your engagement ring will look like over time if it is white gold now and you are considering a platinum wedding band, the same applies.

Keep in mind that many people choose to mix a gold and platinum ring together for many reasons. In some cases, they choose a platinum band because they know that they will restyle their gold engagement someday in the future (and they expect their platinum wedding band to last a lifetime). In other cases, many like the idea of rings not being a perfect match or they plan to wear their wedding band without their engagement ring often.

Differences In Hardness

When going back and forth between metals for the engagement ring, you may have learned that platinum and gold have differences in hardness. Most people understand that platinum is more durable and more dense than gold. But, you may be surprised to learn that does platinum get "scratches" like gold, however in a very different way.

When gold is scratched, it is like a piece of chalk being scratched – The chalk comes off in small pieces, which is exactly what happens with gold. Every time gold is scratched, a little sliver of the gold is lost, and you are sometimes able to see the scratch on the ring. But, when platinum is scratched, it is like a piece of clay that you drag your finger across – You don’t lose any clay, but rather it is displaced, which is exactly what happens with platinum. When this occurs, the platinum actually becomes even harder and more durable, and gets a sheen that is called a ‘patina,’ which makes it look like a more vintage or worn ring.

When you are considering a different metal for your wedding band as opposed to your engagement ring, make sure you think about if you don’t mind two different metals with different reactions to daily wear, or if you want a more consistent look as time goes on.

For more information about the differences between platinum and white gold, click here.

Level Of Commitment

As mentioned above, platinum and gold have different reactions to the daily wear that the metals are exposed to. One of the most important factors to consider then is your level of commitment to updating, fixing, and adjusting your rings. Gold rings typically require more maintainance than platinum, plus you can elect to rhodium plate the gold ring periodically to keep it bright white. Introducing one platinum ring or having both rings be platinum will reduce the future maintainance needs of your rings.

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