Platinum or Palladium Wedding Ring?

Palladium is the new kid on the block, and for that reason many people are unfamiliar with it as a choice of metal when choosing a wedding ring. In this blog post, we discuss the pros and cons of choosing a palladium wedding ring or a platinum wedding ring to help you make an informed decision on a piece of jewellery that you will wear for a lifetime.

Most of our customers  in the market for an engagement or wedding ring don’t know what palladium is, but it’s one of our favorite metals to use for wedding jewelry for many reasons. Palladium rings are often presented as an alternative to platinum rings. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two.

Palladium vs Platinum Appearance

Both platinum and palladium are naturally white metals and, unlike white gold, will stay white forever. Both metals will look the same, although palladium will have a very slightly darker hue as it is one shade darker than platinum. However, when highly polished, the difference in appearance of both metals would not be noticeable.

Because gold in its natural state is yellow, we need to rhodium plate white gold wedding rings to prevent the yellow tinge showing through. Platinum and palladium rings on the other hand have a naturally bright white colour. This is a real advantage over white gold as they need far less maintenance. In fact, both palladium and platinum develop a patina finish over time that requires even less maintenance.

What is Patina?

Patina refers to the look that platinum and palladium rings develop over time. When a white gold ring is scratched the gold actually is removed from the ring and over time the ring develops a scratched surface. On the other hand, when palladium and platinum rings get scratched, the metal moves around on the surface. Over time, this gives the ring a matte-finish appearance known as patina.

Most people are excited for their ring to develop a patina finish because of the beautiful look it gives to a ring. However, if you don’t like the look of the patina, you can always have both a platinum or palladium ring re-polished which will bring it back to its original shiny state. Alternatively, you can opt for a white gold ring which doesn’t develop patina.

palladium wedding ring with matt finish

Palladium wedding rings are available in a range of contemporary styles.

 Palladium vs Platinum – Durability, Hardness & Strength

Palladium is a harder metal than platinum, which means a palladium ring is harder to scratch compared to a platinum ring. However, a wedding ring will be worn everyday, so regardless of what metal you choose, your ring will pick up scratches from general wear and tear, so this should not be a deciding factor.  Additionally, as mentioned above, both palladium and platinum rings will develop a patina finish. If you don’t like the patina finish, just like a gold wedding ring, you can get it  re-polishing every now and then to restore it to shiny new. Platinum and palladium are very strong metals suitable for wedding rings to be worn everyday.

Weight of a Palladium Ring vs a Platinum Ring

Platinum is more dense than palladium, making it almost twice as heavy . A palladium wedding ring weighs about the same as a 14k gold ring, so weight should not be considered a major deciding factor. Some people love the heavier weight platinum rings, but some find the lightness of palladium rings to be more comfortable.  So it really comes down to a personal preference.

palladium and gold wedding ring

Today’s wedding rings are available in a whole range of metals and finishes

Is Palladium or Platinum Better for Allergies?

Platinum and palladium are known as hypoallergenic metals, which means that they will not cause skin irritation. If you notice an allergic reaction to gold or silver jewellery, then one of these white metals should be a good option. Also, none of our palladium or platinum rings have any nickel in the alloy, which is generally the main main culprit of allergies in engagement rings and wedding rings.

Palladium vs Platinum Cost

The primary reason platinum rings are more expensive than palladium rings is because platinum is much more dense than palladium (almost twice as dense)! This means to make the same ring, we need to use more grams of platinum than grams of palladium. However, this is not the only determinant of price. Really, the jewellery industry is a secondary market for both platinum and palladium. Both metals are used by the car industry as a component of catalytic converters. So, the price of the metals is driven by the perceived demand from that industry. If the financial industry thinks that Chinese are going to build a lot of cars, then the price goes up.

Over the past five years or so, we have seen a surge in popularity of palladium wedding rings over platinum because if its cheaper price relative to platinum. Traditionally, a palladium ring costs half of what a platinum ring would cost. However, since 2016 the price of palladium has doubled, so we are beginning to see this significant price change being reflected in shop windows. When making your decision on what metal to choose for your wedding ring, bear in mind that just because one metal is cheaper that the other does not mean that one is inferior in any way.

 

William and Kate’s 5th Anniversary

Imagine a marriage to a Prince. An unlimited budget, Westminster Abbey for the ceremony and back to the Palace for the Reception. In our latest infographic, we look back at William and Kate’s wedding – 5 years ago this month!

A royal wedding is an extravagant affair.

The Most Engaging Time of The Year

Did you get engaged over Christmas? If so, you are not the only ones. In our latest infographic we look at the facts and figures behind engagements in Ireland.

Christmas is the most popular time to 'pop the question'

Christmas is the most popular time to ‘pop the question’

View our stunning range of engagement rings on our website or at our showroom on Fitzwilliam Street.

Tips For Buying An Engagement Ring

1. For any couple, buying an engagement is one of the biggest investments of your lives, so it is worth spending the time to do your research to get the ring that you want. The stone, usually a diamond, is the feature piece of any engagement ring. Familiarise yourself with the 4 C’s; these are the carat, colour, clarity and cut of the gemstone. You will need to balance the qualities of these factors to get the diamond that is right for you at an affordable price.

2. If you are working with a small budget, you should consider the 5th C; cubic zirconia. A cubic zirconia stone is indistinguishable from a real diamond except by an expert, but is a fraction of the cost. You could always plan on replacing the c.z. stone with a real diamond later in life when finances improve. Make sure that you receive your certificate with your diamond, the two go together.

3. Shop around. There are plenty of options available. High street stores are a good place to start as you will get a good idea of what styles are available and a good indication of price. If you are looking for vintage, there are plenty of shops in and around the Powerscourt Centre that stock a good range of upcycled rings. In recent years, a number of boutique diamond retailers have popped up off the high street. Certainly, they are worth meeting as they can offer value. However, don’t feel pressured to buy just because they have invested time in you.

4. Internet retailers, are very competitive on price, but just remember that the price you see is not necessarily the price you pay. Bank charges, duties and taxes, if the ring is being shipped into Ireland, can really add to the cost. Also, be aware that the image of the ring you are viewing is not necessarily the image of the ring you are buying. If you choose to buy online, remember you can always get all your money back if you decide to return the ring.

Handmade 18k Gold Irish Engagement Ring

5. Some couples choose to go to Antwerp or New York to purchase their ring. There are good deals to be got there, but just be aware that the guys you meet at the stores there are very good sales people who know that you are there for the weekend to buy and will price accordingly. Drive a hard bargain.

6. Don’t forget the most important factor for you to consider when purchasing your engagement ring is price. Decide on how much you are willing to spend and stick to your budget. Good Luck!

A to Z of Weddings

Our infographic below covers weddings from A-Z. There is so much involved in a wedding and this infographic has most of what you need to be mindful of when organising one. A wedding is a momentous occasion in a person’s life so it’s important that it runs smoothly. This infographic will help you be organised!

A-Z of Weddings

How to Clean Your Engagement Ring

Getting Engaged

The day a couple get engaged is of course a huge occasion. It is something that will live long in the memories of one’s mind and the engagement ring is a significant part of the experience. Sometimes one partner surprises the other, even choosing the ring themselves. Others choose to select a ring together once the proposal has happened, it depends on the couple – some people like less fuss than others.

Cleaning my engagement ring at home

Taking Care of the Engagement Ring

Showing off your engagement ring to family and friends is an exciting part of getting engaged and in the beginning your engagement ring is shiny, new and sparkles with the amazing diamonds that it holds. It is possible to keep this ‘sheen’ just by exercising some care with your jewellery. This will ensure that it always stands out and will help to make the piece stand the test of time.

 Tips for Taking Care of your Engagement Ring

Once  you get your engagement ring, you should immediately get into the habit of caring for it. Take it off and place it back into its cushioned box when you are cleaning it or at night, basically anytime when you are doing manual work etc. it should be removed to prevent damage and dirt build up.

Cleaning my engagement ring at home

Other Tips:

  • You should always pick up engagement rings by their band, not by the diamond. Natural oils and dirt from your fingers can move onto the diamonds.
  • Items such as cosmetics and creams, soap residue, shampoo, sunscreen, hairspray can cause a build up of residue that may result in clogging up the diamond or taking from the sparkle.
  • When cleaning or using any chemical products it is advisable to use gloves or to remove the ring altogether. Even hairspray is damaging to diamonds.
  • Soak your engagement ring in a small container of vodka to bring up its sparkle, rinse gently afterward with a mild detergent.
  • Soak the ring in a bowl that contains four parts warm water and one part household ammonia for no more than ten minutes.  Brush the ring very gently with a brush (e.g. a child’s or soft toothbrush). Move it around the solution once more, rinse well with water and leave to dry on a towel.

Mixing metals – the hottest wedding ring trend of 2014

The number one rule when choosing your wedding ring is simple – there are no rules.

When picking out a wedding ring brides traditionally sought a band that would ‘match’ the accompanying engagement ring, these days however the mixed metal look is the hottest trend.

Pairing a white gold or platinum engagement ring with a yellow or rose gold wedding band is an emerging style choice amongst trendsetters. Mixed metal sets allow brides to express their own sense of style and fashion.

Just because you and your fiancé are a perfect match, doesn’t mean your wedding set should be!

Kate Middleton

When it comes to setting trends there is nobody more prolific than the Duchess of Cambridge. While on official Royal Tour to Australia last week, Kate stepped out in a printed Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress which sold out in eight minutes after being spotted on the glamorous royal.

When William and Kate became engaged in 2010 he proposed with his mother’s stunning diamond and sapphire engagement ring set in 18ct white gold but when they tied the knot Kate went with Royal tradition choosing a simple, yellow gold wedding band fashioned from a nugget of Welsh gold.

Keira Knightley

When Keira Knightley married British rocker James Righton last summer she turned heads with her unusual choice of bridal gown and her beautiful wedding ring set. The starlet walked down in aisle in a recycled Chanel dress she had worn to an event five years previously, and the following week she stepped out in London sporting a stunning mixed metal wedding ring set.

The Pride and Prejudice star’s engagement ring features a two-carat solitaire diamond set on a platinum band, while her wedding ring is a simple yellow gold wedding band. Keira, as the face of Chanel, is no stranger to what is in-vogue, and her choice of mismatched metals for her wedding ring set is right on trend.

Kaley Cuoco

Kaley Cuoco

Photo credit: TLC Bride Day

She’s the star of the most popular comedy show on American TV, and this year Kaley Cuoco married tennis pro Ryan Sweeting after a whirlwind romance. Her athlete husband proposed with a $65,000 ring featuring a huge square-cut diamond in a reported platinum halo setting.

When the two tied the knot on New Year’s Eve the bride opted for not one, but two, yellow gold wedding rings. Not only did the Big Bang star choose the rising mixed metal trend, she also opted for the emerging ‘ring guard’ trend.

Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana

Photo credit: TLC Bride Day

Sci-fi star Zoe Saldana wed in secret this summer, and when the star finally announced that she and artist Marco Perego were married she wowed us with her gorgeous mismatched wedding ring set.

Zoe is following in the footsteps of other trendsetting celebrities by choosing a coloured gemstone in her engagement ring. Her stunning pear-shaped emerald and diamond ring set in platinum is contrasted by a simple yellow gold wedding band.

Two tone wedding bands

Mixing metals - the hottest wedding ring trend of 2014

A simple and elegant way to try the mixed metal look is to combine metals in your wedding ring itself. If your engagement ring is set in rose gold, why not try a wedding ring with a rose gold accent and another precious metal? Our range of two tone rings features a number of different metals and styles to help you achieve the mixed metal look.

Choosing a wedding ring is an important part of planning your wedding, but it is crucial you choose the ring that suits your style and your personality.

With so many options out there don’t let yourself be limited – be true to you and be on trend.