August 20, 2015

Metal Choices


YELLOW GOLD:  (AVERAGE $100-$700 PER BAND PLUS WORKSHOP FEE)

Yellow gold is a classic choice for your wedding bands.  Pure gold is naturally a rich yellow color and very soft. 24k gold is 100% pure gold and far too soft to hold up to the daily wear of a wedding ring. To create more durable options pure gold is alloyed (mixed) with silver and copper, resulting in the different karats of gold. I recommend working with 14kt or 18kt for their strength and quality. 18kt gold is 75% pure gold and very strong, 14kt gold is even more durable containing 58% pure gold.

(Hand fabricated, 14k yellow gold bands by Kim and Leif with a polished finish.)


ROSE GOLD & PEACH GOLD: (AVERAGE $100-$700 PER BAND PLUS WORKSHOP FEE)

Alloying can also create different colors of gold. Yellow and red golds are both mixed with silver and copper, but subtle shifts to the amounts used will result in a range of colors. Rose and red golds use  higher levels of copper and less silver, but still contain the same amount of pure gold per karat as yellow gold.

Peach gold is another color option and falls in between rose gold and yellow gold. I have found that it can be a great color match to vintage European rose gold engagement rings, which are less copper in color then today’s rose gold.

(Hand carved and cast wedding bands by Laura and Scott. Left: rose gold with a brushed finished, right: peach gold with a polished finish.)


PALLADIUM WHITE GOLD & STANDARD WHITE GOLD: (AVERAGE $100-$1,000 PER BAND PLUS WORKSHOP FEE)

White gold tends to be the most popular alloys of gold for wedding bands. For white gold there are two options, standard white gold and palladium white gold. Standard white gold is alloyed with nickel to give it its white color, which has a yellow cast to it. Nickel makes the gold incredibly durable, but it also makes the gold more brittle to work with, so we can only use this option in the hand carving and casting process. It is also important to note that nickel is the most common metal allergy and the cause of why many people are allergic to white gold.  Palladium white gold tends to be the safer bet for sensitive skin. This option is slightly grayer in color than nickel bearing white gold. Palladium white gold is available for both fabrication and hand carving workshops.

(Hand fabricated 14k palladium white gold bands by Kristina and Ryan)

Most of the white gold found in US jewelry stores is rhodium plated to give it a bright white, platinum color.  This is a temporary finish and needs to be reapplied every 6 months or so.  We work with metal in its natural state and do not offer rhodium plating in house. For this reason neither standard white gold nor palladium white gold will be a perfect color match to a rhodium plated engagement ring.  If an exact color match is important to you, the most cost effective solution would be to take your bands in with your engagement ring the next time you have the plating touched up.


PALLADIUM (AVERAGE $100-$8,000 PER BAND PLUS WORKSHOP FEE)

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Palladium is the most durable options for your wedding rings, it hold up to daily wear for years and will not wear away like other metals. Palladium is a member of the platinum family and shares many of the same characteristics with its cousin platinum, including its “liquid surface” and durability. Palladium is not as rare and is also less dense than platinum, resulting in a very similar metal at a fraction of the cost. Palladium is slightly darker in color than platinum but can be very versatile, with a brushed finish it appears more grey in color, but can also be polished up to whiter silver color.  Due to the strength and durability that makes this a great metal to wear, it also makes it more difficult to work in. Because of this we cannot fabricate in palladium, it can only be used in the hand carving and casting method.

(Hand carved and cast palladium bands by Katie and Chris. Left: brushed finish, Right: polished)


SILVER ($50-$90 PER BAND PLUS WORKSHOP FEE)

Known for its bright white silver color and common use in jewelry, sterling silver is a beautiful material to work with. It is easy to form, texture and polish. Many couples choose to work with sterling because its price is substantially lower than other precious metals. It is important to note that while sterling silver is strong enough to be worn daily, it is a very soft metal and prone to scratches and changing shape over time. Many people, including myself, appreciate the way that silver wears and ages. But if you want a ring that will keep its original finish longer, I would not recommend silver. Be sure to consider the pros and cons on silver wedding bands.

(Flat palladium sterling silver bands by Amanda and Declan with a polished finish )


All metals used are sourced from an  eco conscious refinery that uses 100% recycled metals.

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