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Wedding Ring Sets: Does the Wedding Ring Have to be the Same Metal as the Engagement Ring?

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Here at Wedding Rings Direct we take great pride in helping couples to find the perfect jewellery with which to say "I do". One of the most common questions we answer on a daily basis is how to match wedding ring sets and whether or not the metal has to be the same.

The short answer to this question is yes, matching the metal of your wedding ring to your engagement ring is advised if you want to preserve the longevity of the pieces. But why is this? Read on to find out!

Are you new to jewellery? Find our guide to metals here.

Why Does the Alloy Make a Difference?

Wedding ring sets are available in a large variety of materials to suit every taste and lifestyle. With materials ranging from 18k gold to platinum, and tungsten to titanium, every material has vastly different properties which make a huge difference in how they wear and what care they require.

The importance of matching your metal goes a lot deeper than the visual impact. Different alloys of the same metal can possess very different properties, particularly hardness and tensile strength. This can have a huge impact on how your jewellery wears. For example, 9k gold scores between 90-120 on the Vickers hardness scale, while 18k gold scores between 135-165. This means that 9k is less hard than 18k gold, however it is more prone to scratching and more brittle.

But why does this make a difference when it comes to wedding ring sets? When you are matching a wedding band to an engagement ring, you have to bear in mind how one will affect the other after years of rubbing up against each other. If one metal is significantly harder or more scratch prone than the other, then damage is likely to occur.

Engagement rings often have diamonds or other jewels set in prongs which are comprised of very thin pieces of metal. These prongs can take the brunt of damage if worn beside a harder alloy. Damaged prongs will eventually result in the loss of a stone which is a costly mistake!

wedding ring sets platinum and diamond

Rubover set engagement ring (above) available here.

Struggling to find a shaped band to fit your engagement ring? Here is our how-to guide.

Which Alloys Can You Safely Mix?

There are plenty of reasons why you may wish to mix alloys in your wedding ring sets. Maybe you are the lucky recipient of an heirloom engagement ring made in a metal that is out of your budget. Perhaps you are a fan of the mixed metals look. Either way, there are some options that you can consider.

9K gold and platinum are similar levels of hardness. If your engagement ring has platinum prongs holding your diamond and a golden shank, the best choice for a gold wedding band would be 9k.

Platinum and palladium are from the same group of metals and as such possess very similar properties. The purest of the precious metal alloys, these can be worn together with minimal damage.

For a two-tone look it is best to opt for two colours of the same karat gold. This way, they will be similar levels of hardness. White gold is slightly harder than rose or yellow gold due to being rhodium plated to retain the silvery white colour. Over time your white gold will become more yellow and require further rhodium plating. For this reason, we do not recommend pairing white gold with platinum or silver as the colours will not match over time.

Stack of engagement rings in mixed metals. Wedding ring sets.

Stuck on choosing an engagement ring? Here is our handy guide!

Solutions for Mixed Metal Wedding Ring Sets

If you are set on mixing metals, why not consider a mixed metal ring? This way you can get the best of both worlds and have a shank that is compatible with your engagement ring with an inlay or second metal in the colour of your choice.

Some brides decide to have their rings soldered together after the big day. This way the set always sits together perfectly and do not bump into each other. The drawback to this is that you cannot wear your rings separately or change up the look. You could also consider moving your engagement ring to your right hand after you get married. It is up to your personal choice if this would feel right for you!

Choosing to not wear your engagement ring every day will always extend its lifespan and keep it from getting damaged, whether you mix metals in your wedding set or not.

tri-coloured ring for wedding ring sets

Tri-coloured gold wedding ring (above) available here.