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Precious Gems Deserve to Be Set in Precious Metals

Precious Gems Deserve to Be Set in Precious Metals
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It is said that the clothes make the man – and while that may or may not be true, certainly the setting helps make the diamond ring. Just as stone shape and cut preferences shift with the tides of fashion, so too do the choices of metal in which to set the stone. Continuing our diamond style series, here’s a look at the most popular jewellery metals.

NINETEENTH CENTURY ELEGANCE: YELLOW GOLD

For most of human history, yellow gold has had a special allure and its malleability and durability make it a good choice for diamond jewellery. Victorian-era brides were most likely to mark their matrimony with yellow gold rings.

As the 20th century dawned, white metals such as platinum and white gold made traditional gold seem a bit stuffy. But fashion is a cycle and diamond engagement rings set in yellow gold are making a comeback, regaining some of the market-share that they had lost, and bringing some classic 19th century glamour with them.

  • When Prime Minister David Cameron proposed to Samantha in 1994, he presented her with his grandmother’s ring which features a large center diamond set in yellow gold.
  • Heidi Klum paired a stunning canary diamond with a classic yellow gold setting when she married singer Seal in 2005.

THE SOPHISTICATION OF PLATINUM AND WHITE GOLD

Julius Caesar Scaliger discovered platinum in 1557, but the metal’s high melting point meant that the technology to fashion it into jewellery didn’t exist until the 19th century. The Edwardian period at the turn of the twentieth century is when platinum truly came into its own for use in engagement and wedding rings. This popularity lasted into the Art Deco period, 1915-1935 and continues to this day.

  • The Queen’s engagement ring, a relatively modest 3-carat solitaire set in platinum, is a testament to the metal’s long-standing popularity.
  • Continuing with the royal family, when Prince Charles married for the second time he turned to vintage – he gave Camilla a platinum Art Deco piece that had originally belonged to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.
  • More recently, Cheryl Cole and Amal Alamuddin both have stunning modern creations set in platinum.

An alloy of gold and nickel, silver or palladium, known as white gold, became popular in the period just before WWII, when the demand for white metal outpaced the availability of platinum. Though it began as a “poor-cousin” to platinum, it has since emerged as a popular choice in its own right.

  • Perhaps the most famous engagement ring ever – the sapphire and diamond ring given to Diana Spencer by Prince Charles, and more recently given by their son Prince William to his princess-bride Kate Middleton, is set in white gold.

 

FASHION’S RENEWED LOVE AFFAIR WITH ROSE GOLD

Rose gold, or pink gold, first became popular about 100 years ago. This alloy of gold and copper, then slipped from favour until recently. It is now a hugely popular choice for women who want something out of the ordinary in their jewellery.

As with every other facet (pun intended) of diamond jewellery, there are precious metal options for every style and taste. So be sure to give real thought to the metal of the setting when shopping. It says as much about you as does the stone itself.

Have you entered our #EternityProposal contest? You could win a gorgeous diamond eternity ring!

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