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Is all white gold equal?

Is white gold all equal? – Paying the same price for lower grade metals.

There are several metals used in the creation of fine jewellery. By knowing information about the different metals, their benefits compared with each other and theirunique qualities you will be able to make a better and more informed decision about purchasing your jewellery.
The metal types commonly used to make jewellery include gold, platinum, titanium, silver and stainless steel.
Gold is the most popular choice

There are two things to consider when looking at gold. First, which gold carat to choose and second, the gold color or the combination of gold colors available.

As the color difference is due to the metal components in the alloy mix, the color of yellow gold and rose gold will not chip, fade or wear off with age.

But what about White Gold? Is white gold all equal?

The short answer is no. Regardless of the karat weight (the gold content) White gold comes in two different forms. Low grade and high grade. Interestingly you the consumer pay the same price for these but the benefits of high grade white gold can been seen for many years not only in the overal beauty of your jewellery but the price in the up keep is much less.
All gold regardless of colour is is made up of pure gold and alloys. Pure Gold is always yellow.
9ct gold contains 37.5% pure gold
18ct gold contains 75% pure gold
The difference in color between yellow, white and rose is determined by the metals used in the alloy mix that make up the rest of the % of the metal.

White Gold is not naturally occurring so to give it a white appearance it is mixed with alloys, but that’s not all. Although most people think white gold is a shiny white metal, that color is actually from the rhodium metal plating that is applied to all white gold jewelry. Without the rhodium coating, white gold might be a light gray colour, dull brown, or even pale pink depending on its alloys.
There are two different alloy mixes when creating white gold.

The lower grade – Gold, copper, zinc alloy – this can also include the use of Nickel as well however as nickel can cause skin reactions, it is often omitted. The problem with this alloy make up is that when the rhodium plating wears off this white gold can and will tarnish to either a dull brown, yellowish or slightly pink colour very quickly leaving your beautiful piece of jewellery dull and tarnished. This type of alloy will need to be rhodium plated more often to keep up its white appearance.

The higher grade – Gold, palladium, silver alloy. Hunter Valley diamonds handcrafted white gold jewellery is created with this type of alloy. The palladium (also an alloy of platinum) is extremely strong but both palladium and Silver are white in appearance so when the Rhodium plating wears from your piece of jewellery it will still remain white rather then tarinsh. This is a huge difference not only in the appearance of your jewellery but also the price in the up keep.

The lower grade alloy mix is cheaper for the jeweller becasue they are cheaper metals but because it is considered white gold its price for you is the same.

So if your paying the same price for your jewellery to be made out of either of these alloy mixes of white gold, your first question should be…. What are your alloys?

10 Tips for Finding the Perfect Wedding Ring

Hunter Valley Diamonds top 10 Tips for finding the perfect wedding ring.


Does the bride and groom need to get matching rings?

The simple answer is, No, it really just depends on the couple and what they would like. Everyone is unique and I think its wonderful when our couples design rings that suit their own personal tastes. In saying that, there are simple ways to compliment each others rings through the choices you make during the design process. i.e the way your stones are set in each ring or the metal you choose etc. Thats the one of the beauty’s of a handcrafted HVD wedding ring, we can create your perfect wedding ring right down to the finest detail.
Just as a side note: Most brides to be, will quietly let me know that their future husband doesn’t really care about what his wedding band is. But once we begin I find they are completely shocked at how involved and their partners get in the design process.


Should we get engagement rings or wedding bands or both?

I am a strong believer in both, the engagement ring and wedding bands. Each ring holds a huge significance.
The giving and wearing of your wedding rings on your wedding day represents your never ending love and the promises you make to each other on that day, that you endeavour to up hold for the rest of your life.

I believe the engagement ring represents a choice each partner has made to commit themselves to each other forever. Whether you are the one who chooses to buy the ring and ‘pop the question’ or you are the one who chooses to say yes and accept the ring, the engagement ring represents you both choosing to commit to one another.

Most people believe the most romantic part of the engagement is when the question “will you marry me” is asked and you hear the much anticipated ‘yes.’ I believe the most romantic part of this gesture is, that moment, days, weeks or months before the question is even asked when they look at their loved one and decided ‘yep your the one…. I am going to ask you to marry me’ It may have been the smallest of things that made them make one of the largest decisions of their life and I think that moment is pure romance.

Lastly, I think another truely romantic gesture is designing and creating a unique and individual ring for the one you love. Creating a ring that is just for them, from you. Where you have not only chosen the specific diamond but designed every aspect of the ring.
One thing I hear every time I go through the design process with my clients is, “Wow, I never knew how much was involved in creating a ring, but it was so much easier then I thought and Im so glad I got to design such a special ring just for them” and thats what we are all about at Hunter Valley Diamonds ensuring that we create your perfect ring for your perfect someone.


What hand do we wear our rings on?

There are no hard and fast rules, it really depends on each couples personal choice. However, my preference is left hand for both engagement ring and wedding bands. Wedding band first and then the engagement ring.
One question I do get a lot is ‘what do I do with my engagement ring on my wedding day?‘ To this I suggest a few things;

* Wear your engagement ring on your right hand that day until after the wedding ring is on, then move it across either before the signing of the registry (for those up close signature photos) or after the ceremony before the photos begin.

* Give your engagement ring to your maid of honor or one of your bridesmaid and then slip it on afterwards.

* Have your partner put the wedding ring on over the engagement ring, and just switch them before the photos.

Some people may choose to include it in the wedding. So use the ritual in which the best man holds both the wedding and engagement rings until the ring ceremony. After the officiant/priest first directs the groom to put the wedding ring onto the bride’s finger. they then say something like, “The engagement ring is the promise of a commitment, and the wedding ring is the fulfillment of that promise. Please place the engagement ring on the bride’s finger, over the wedding ring, to remind you to keep that promise the rest of your lives.”


Do the rings have to be Gold? Silver? Platinum?

The short answer is gold or platinum.

Surprisingly, this is quite a complex question and without the right knowledge behind you, you can not only cost yourself economically but also physically as well. There are several metals used in the creation of fine jewellery. By knowing information about the different metals, their benefits compared with each other and their unique qualities you will be able to make a better and more informed decision about purchasing your jewellery. At Hunter Valley Diamonds we believe knowledge is power, so intern, we educate our clients on each available option so that they can make the right choice for them.

For Brides it’s usually pretty straight forward. 18ct Gold or Platinum. The wedding band metal is dictated by the metal used in the engagement ring.

However, when it comes to White Gold of any carat, the alloys make all the difference.

Is all white gold equal?

The answer is simply no. Poor metal quality, resulting from the manufacture using cheaper alloys, can cause issues ranging from simple unattractive metal colours through to sever allergic reactions. At Hunter Valley Diamonds our handcrafted jewellery is created from top quality white gold that is hypo allergenic and wont discolour to an ugly yellow, rusty tarnished colour, once the rhodium plating wears off.

Looking at Mens wedding rings, there are many options when it comes to metal but if your looking for the short answer its 18ct Gold and platinum. “Im going to be really rough on my ring, I just want a cheap one.” I hear this all the time from guys and while I completely understand some times the cheaper option isn’t the cheaper option at all.

Myth buster -9ct gold is cheaper and harder and therefore is more durable and better wearing than 18 carat gold, making it a better choice for guys rings. This is the opinion held of many, including many of those in the jewellery trade, and it simply isn’t true.
Pure gold is soft and so the assumption is that the less amount of gold in the mix makes it a lot hardier. This is not the case as 18ct alloys are almost completely resistant to corrosion in typical everyday use. So in practical terms, 18ct gold generally holds up to everyday wear better than 9ct and tends to look better than 9ct as it ages over the years, hopefully becoming heirloom jewellery for future generations.

Other metals such as tungsten, titanium and silver may be a cheaper option at the initial outlay and seem to have other major benefits however may end up costing you more in the long run and may not be a suitable choice for you upon further research. I think the key is to purchase your rings from someone you trust and who knows their stuff.


Should we shop together or surprise each other?

For wedding bands definitely shop together. Its a nice bonding moment and great to bounce ideas off of each other.

If you do want to surprise each other, Hunter Valley Diamonds offers all of our couples a free inscription on the inside of their wedding rings from each other as a wedding gift. Most of our clients like to keep it a secret until the day and share a special moment to read each others messages. Its becomes a very a special moment for just you two and, just quietly, makes for some fantastic photos. Just make sure you give your photographer a heads up about it before hand.


How long before a wedding should we be shopping for rings?

It depends on if you know what you want or how close to the wedding you want them organised. I always like to say to start thinking about your wedding ring about a month or two before your wedding. If you know what you want, it takes two weeks to create our handcrafted wedding rings. However, we can do rush jobs. We’ve even been asked to make a ring on Monday for a wedding on Saturday! Just be aware that some places may give you a one to six week waiting time.

Regardless of how long before the wedding you choose to organise your exclusive Hunter Valley Diamonds wedding rings, we always like to take your engagement ring during the week before the wedding to clean, polish and rhodium plate it. This is to ensure its as bright and sparkly as your brand new wedding ring for your big day.


What if I do not know his (or her) finger size?

Usually this isn’t so much of a problem for wedding rings as it is for when you are purchasing an engagement ring in secret for your loved one. Most couples will shop together for their wedding bands they discuss their ideas and plans ahead of time, make decisions together and get their rings at the same time and we size them for their rings then.

However if you need to try and figure out a ring size there are a few methods we can try. Ring sizes can be modified fairly easily but is it is always a great idea to get as close as possible to their desired size.
* Borrow a ring they wont miss for the day and we can use it to size her.
* Have a friend or family member of theirs to help. A sneaky shopping trip where they try rings on may reveal the size your after.
We’ve even had someone bring in a cut piece of string that he used to measure her ring finger while his loved one slept.

A few things to keep in mind when choosing your ring size.
*The wider the ring the larger your ring size will need to go. If you are being sized with a small ring sizer you’ll need to go up a few sizes for it to fit perfectly.

A lot of our grooms have ‘knuckle problems’ where their knuckles are very large but their finger size is smaller. This problem is overcome by ensuring the ring is large enough to get over the knuckle and we place small beads of metal on the inside of the ring to minimise the ring twist. It wont stop it completely but will minimise it a lot. We also do this for our brides wedding rings three months after the wedding so to minimise twisting and wearing against your engagement ring.
Lastly one piece of advice we give all of our clients before their big day is place a tiny amount of vaseline or moisturiser on their knuckles (especially your grooms) to avoid any awkward moments at the alter and ensure a smooth slide into marriage.


Does it have to be rings or can it be another piece of jewellery?

Rings are traditionally the symbol of everlasting love and commitment to each other however it really is personal choice and what means the most to you. Hunter Valley Diamonds offer everything from gorgeous earrings and bracelets to stunning pendants and dress rings for all of our clients so there are many options for those looking to go a little less traditional.


Are there certain things that we should consider when choosing a style of ring?

There are several things to consider when choosing a style of ring. The type of metal, the way you want your diamonds to be set and whether you want to match your engagement ring or create a stand alone wedding ring.
When we create our bespoke Hunter Valley Diamonds engagement rings for our clients, we always create them so that they are able to have a straight wedding ring fit flush against them. However not all engagement rings are created in this way. For those who have an engagement ring that wont allow a wedding ring to fit flush against it, a handcrafted HVD wedding ring is the perfect solution. We take your engagement ring and mould your handcrafted wedding ring around it so they sit as flush as possible.

With grooms rings, the design and width of a ring is all personal choice, but all of our Hunter Valley Diamonds wedding rings come with luxury fit for a smooth comfortable wear and all are 1.8mm thick ensuring your ring lasts a lifetime.


What should be the budget?

Budget is naturally a personnel decision and there are wedding rings to fit all kinds of budgets. The most important thing is to be well informed, buy from someone you trust so that just like your love, your rings will last forever and be treasured for life.

For more information visit www.huntervalleydiamonds.com or stalk us at www.facebook.com/huntervalleydiamonds

For taking the time to read our first ever post on the blog, Hunter Valley Diamonds would like offer two free consultations with our diamond expert and the use of our design team where we can address your design needs and any further questions or queries you may have. We hold client meetings from the Gold Coast to Newcastle so to find your perfect wedding ring call Hunter Valley Diamonds on 0410583559 or email us at bec@huntervalleydiamonds.com.