Is sterling silver a terrible idea? Or, what is the best metal for a ring?

posted 6 years ago in Rings
Post # 3
Member
10367 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

White gold needs to be redipped, but yellow gold doesn’t. Sterling silver is one of the worst metals you could choose – it scratches and is very maleable! I just went on a 6 month trip in Asia, and wore a sterling silver “fake ring” – it was so scratched in those 6 months that it looked like brushed nickel! Platinum is very durable, but obviously more expensive. Gold can be very delicate if you get a ring that is very pure (18k gold is much softer than 10k, for example). I had to get 18k gold because I am allergic to gold alloys and to platinum. That’s why I had a stand in ring for the trip…but I would choose gold over sterling silver for my permanent ring!

Post # 4
Member
4511 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

My e-ring was sterling silver (my Fiance replaced it with a different ring later). I didn’t notice scratching so much, but it really tarnished very quickly. Like I was polishing it all the time. It also would react to tap water negatively, depending on what the water was like. I was in an area where the tap water was sort of suplphuric (but not crazily so — it was still potable), and after I washed my hands once, my ring turned black. Instantly. It came off with polish, but the point is, the ring was kind of a pain to keep in top form! I’d look into a less reactive metal. 

Post # 5
Member
724 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

White gold is definitely more durable and higher quality than sterling silver but platinum is the best quality metal for a ring. My ring is white gold and yes, they do need to be redipped but it’s not very expensive and they only need to be done every couple of years! 

Post # 5
Member
2254 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I would recommend gold over silver and stainless steel for the reasons mentioned above. Though white gold has to be redipped in rhodium, many stores offer lifetime warranty and services included in your ring cost or that can be purchased in addition that will cover the redipping. Redipping shouldn’t be a frequent thing though some rings will have it done more than others depending on the wear and tear. Platinum is another option but know that though it doesn’t have to be redipped it does seem to lose the brilliance of the metal after time. Plus you can’t buff nicks and scratches out of platinum (from what I heard, my rings are gold so I’m not sure on platinum).

Post # 6
Member
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Strirling silver is the weakest metal you could pick. You cannot have any stones supported by prongs- they will bend and your stone will fall out. It will also tarnish constantly and scratch easily.

Many jewelers sell alloys like palladium and chromium that are stronger than gold on some ways and weaker than platinum. Platinum prices are at an all-time low right now.

Post # 7
Member
216 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Chiming in on the platinum topic since my ering is platinum…

Platinum doesn’t need to be redipped since it’s not plated. Platinum will patina over time (5+years) due to scratches. That being said, you can pay to have platinum professionally polished. I’ve been wearing my ering for a year now and I do have quite a few scratches on the underside but I’m also left handed so my ring gets banged up on door handles and whatnot more than most rings. My mother in law has a 14K white gold ring and even right after she had her ring redipped my ring was super white next to hers. 

I would say if you have the money go platinum because it looks great and no need to redip every year. 

Post # 8
Member
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

If you’re willing/able to get a custom ring you can just go on ahead and get a more expensive metal.  Getting something custom made is not cheap!

Post # 9
Member
302 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’d like to suggest Titanium.

It’s less expensive than platinum and is very scratch, dent, and corrosive resistant.

I suggest you google iweddingband and take a look at all teh rings. They have a bunch of titanium rings.

My Fiance and I are planning on buying our bands from there.

Post # 11
Member
4478 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

I agree w/the other ladies.

 

You see silver used a lot because it’s a soft metal and easy to work with.  This softness, though, means it gets bent out of shape easily and can wear away.  Metals like stainless steel and titanium are very tough, but because of that it will be hard to find a detailed setting, if that’s what you’re going for.  I’ve seen them used most commonly for solitaires, and sometimes as channel settings.

 

White gold only has to be redipped if you want it to be a pure silver color.  My mom’s got some white gold rings that don’t have their rhodium plating anymore, and though they’re not a pure silver color, they’ve got a lovely warmth to them.

Post # 12
Member
269 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Chiming in that silver isn’t durable at all and won’t be able to hold a prong-set stone. Also, as a jeweler I should tell you that a lot of “uncommon” stones are uncommon in engagement rings because they are much softer than common precious stones and won’t stand up to the daily wear of an engagement ring. If you let me know what stones you are considering I can try to help you select the one that will wear the best. 

Post # 13
Member
327 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

My engagement ring is sterling silver. When I got it had a brushed surface to it, but it’s been smoothed out slowly in the eight months I’ve been wearing it. Now it has this lovely glow to it.

That being said, it’s probably not the best choice if you want something that’s going to be glass-smooth for the rest of your life. My ring has teeny-tiny little scratches and divots in it, but I sort of love how it reminds me that every marriage is imperfect and shaped by experience. If you DON’T love that, I’d consider something more durable.

Post # 14
Member
2697 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Stainless steel. Inexpensive, durable, and a very low environmental impact.

EDIT: I read somewhere that stainless can be hand formed, so the more independent the artist, the more likely to find an interesting ring. I’d go with custom there. Maybe email someone on etsy on a design in stainless and pick their brain about it?

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