Are you looking to immortalize your graduation with a stylish class ring, but you’re not sure which metal to choose from?
Despite common belief, silver and gold aren’t the only good options for rings. Each metal has its own properties, look, and feel – and choosing the one that matches your style is important! Well-designed and crafted rings can be an accessory you’ll wear with anything and enjoy for years to come.
This article will walk you through 15 important things you should know about ring metals, opening your eyes to the extensive list of options available to you. We’re here to help make sure your class ring is one you’ll want to wear forever!
When choosing your ring, the most important factor is this: your personal style. There are metals for every taste: classic, old-school, or ultra-modern. Knowing your metals is the vital first step to designing your perfect metal ring.
Keep reading to learn more!
1. There Are Three Precious Metals
The precious metals are gold, silver, and platinum. These are the most common metals used for rings, and some of the most valuable. They’re classic and time-proven and are often used in jewelry.
You’ll find different types of gold and silver depending on their alloys and their purity, but generally platinum is just platinum.
Men often opt for jewelry made from platinum and women for gold and silver, but both can rock either!
2. Platinum Is Extremely Durable
Gold and silver are softer metals – that means they’re more likely to get damaged. Platinum, though, is hardy and durable. During wartime, platinum jewelry wasn’t produced because it was being crafted for military use instead.
It’s rarer and more expensive than gold and is generally heavier too. Engraving on platinum rings stands out and looks incredible.
At a glance, silver and platinum might look similar – but platinum tends to be brighter and shinier, whereas silver is more matte and gray. Platinum isn’t completely scratch-proof, but you or a jeweler can buff it out with some polish.
3. You Have a Choice of Karats With Gold Rings
When we say Karats, we aren’t talking about the vegetable. Gold rings are sometimes actually mixed metal rings. Karats are a unit of measurement that tells you how much gold is in the ring.
You’ve heard of 24 Karat gold – this is pure gold, unmixed with other elements. You can also find 9K, 10K, 14K, and 18K.
The higher the Karat, the more valuable the ring will be – but a lower Karat isn’t always a bad thing. Higher Karats will look golder and fuller in color, but lower Karats will be more durable because gold is such a soft metal.
If you’re looking for an affordable middle ground, 14K is a great place to settle.
4. Gold Is Edible!
Yes, you read that right – gold is edible. It can pass through our digestive tract without bleeding anything into our systems that we’ll absorb. In fact, it’s also in our blood – it makes up about 0.02% of our blood!
However, just because gold is edible doesn’t necessarily mean you should go swallow it.
5. Tungsten Carbide Makes Striking Black Metal Rings
Tungsten carbide is a favorite with jewelers and smiths. Men’s metal rings are often made out of tungsten carbide for their wear-and-tear factor and their incredible look.
Tungsten carbide is a compound of tungsten, a rare metal element, and carbon. They’re scratch and tarnish-resistant, hypoallergenic (many people are allergic to gold and silver), and keep their polished look.
And the best part? They’re extremely affordable!
6. You Can’t Get Tungsten Rings
Don’t get caught out – you can’t buy tungsten rings, despite some people claiming to sell them!
Tungsten is a chemical element also known as wolfram. It’s hard, dense, and has a high melting point compared to some of the other metals on the periodic table.
On its own, you can’t get tungsten rings because it’s too brittle and difficult to work with – hence, the alloy tungsten carbide.
7. Silver Is the Most Affordable Precious Metal
Sterling silver has been widely used in jewelry for centuries, and once upon a time, it was even considered more valuable than gold!
Silver can scratch and show wear, but a silver ring is a timeless piece that’ll never go out of style. To class a silver ring as sterling silver, it has to contain at least 92.5% pure silver.
8. Cobalt Is Being Utilized for Jewelry
At first, you might not consider cobalt as a jewelry metal. It’s used in engineering, in tool making, and in medical areas – but there are some beautiful cobalt rings out there.
Cobalt is bright white, making it look a little like platinum. If you’d like weight to your jewelry, cobalt is perfect. It’s also hypoallergenic and extremely durable.
9. Enjoy the Industrial Look? Rings Can Be Made From All Sorts…
If you’re into the industrial look and you want something truly out there, you can find smiths that make rings from copper, brass, and pewter. While these are less common because they’re not so durable or valuable, you can get stainless steel rings.
Stainless steel rings are great for engraving, polish up beautifully, and are hardy. They’re becoming more and more common, so you never know – rings made from the same material as industrial piping might catch on too!
10. Titanium Is Super Lightweight
Titanium has been used industrially for decades for its lightness and sturdiness. It’s one of the strongest metals available for use in jewelry making.
If you want a class ring but you’re not big on jewelry, a ring that’s so lightweight you’ll forget is there is ideal.
11. Palladium Was Once a Worthless By-Product: Now, It’s Precious
When people used to mine platinum, they assumed palladium was a useless by-product with no real value. Now, it’s one of the most valuable metals out there.
It’s hypoallergenic and wear-resistant and has a similar look to platinum. It’s a great option if you’re looking for an alternative to traditional ring metals.
12. White Gold Is a Silvery-Colored Gold
White gold is a very popular choice for women’s engagement or wedding bands for its delicate color. White gold is an alloy of 75% yellow gold, and 25% white metals like silver, nickel, or even palladium. This is what gives them their color.
White gold often needs to be re-dipped after several years. The color and shine can wear off, and oxidization can also affect the color.
Gold rings are susceptible to oxidization, which works similarly to rust on metal. When moisture mixes with the oxygen and sulfur in the metal, it can cause oxidization. This will look like discoloration, tarnishing, and potentially a green mark left around your finger.
It’s a great choice for people who want a silvery, white precious metal ring but can’t wear silver because of allergies.
13. Some Stones Look Better With Certain Metals
For a touch of uniqueness and personalization, we offer birthstone class rings. Against our pure sterling silver and pure gold rings, gemstones look incredible. They’re striking in their appearance, and because of the pliability of the metal, we can make them a perfect fit.
If you know your birth gemstone, consider incorporating that into your class ring.
14. Our Class Rings Are Made From Precious Metals
Graduating from school or college is a momentous occasion, and we want to help you remember it.
We describe our rings as a “diploma you can wear.” With several designs to choose from, you can add your school emblem, logo or coat of arms, colors, initials, and your graduation year! It’s a brilliant way for people to spot which school attended, as well as it being a statement piece and a conversation starter.
15. Care for Your Ring Properly to Increase Its Longevity
Whichever metal you choose, you should know how to care for it properly to get a long life out of it. If you find it’s getting dirty, soak it in a homemade white vinegar solution for a few hours, or buy a ring soaking solution.
Use a soft toothbrush or fine brush to gently remove any dirt or buildup.
Try to remember to take it off when doing outdoor activities, going to the gym, or doing manual labor.
Whatever the Ring Metals, Choose a Class Ring!
Each of the ring metals has its own unique properties that suit an individual’s preferences and style. They’re all fantastic in their own way, and they’re smithed by expert jewelers like Class Rings, you’ll enjoy a lifetime of wear.
No matter metal has caught your eye, if you or someone you know is graduating soon, what better way to memorialize the memories and the sentiment of school or college?
Come and browse our range of class rings and find the perfect one for you.