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A short time ago I blogged about how supportive I am of men selecting an engagement before popping the big question.

I know it can be a risk, but a very gallant one at that, and as a fond admirer of good old fashioned romance, it is a risk I definitely think is most worth taking.

Victorian picture of a man proposing, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

Last time I talked about how to secretly obtain the finger size (without getting sprung!) and what type of ring your future fiance would like the most.

Today I wanted to touch on selecting the right metal.  As you are probably aware, there are quite a few to select from…

The question is, what precious metal should you select for your custom made engagement ring?

Here is a summary of some of the most popular metals, and my recommendations for each:

Sterling silver – Sterling silver is an alloy of silver, stamped ‘925’, and containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals (usually copper).  Although an excellent option for dress jewellery, I don’t recommend sterling silver for engagement rings, as gold is more durable and better for a lifetime of everyday wear – particularly if your choice of stone is a diamond.

The Infinity Ring by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Sterling silver is a great choice for dress rings, such as The Infinity Ring, however not recommended for engagement or diamond rings.

Yellow gold – Yellow gold is generally available in 9 carats (9ct), 14 carats (14ct), 18 carats (18ct) and 24 carats (24ct).

Carats contain the following percentages of gold: 9 carat: 37.5%; 14 carat: 58.5%; 18 carat: 75%

Pure gold is often referred to as 24ct, and the lower carats (9ct, 14ct and 18ct) have a certain amount of alloy combined.

The higher carats are richer in colour, are more hard wearing, and are therefore more likely to last longer.  For this reason, I recommend a minimum of 14 carats for engagement rings.

The Cirrus Ring in Yellow Gold by Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

White gold – White gold is created from yellow gold and a mixture of alloys.  The scale of carats is the same for white as it is for yellow gold, and as with yellow gold, I also recommend a minimum of 14 carats for engagement or diamond rings.

The higher the carats, the deeper the colour is.

Platinum – Platinum is the strongest of all metals, and is therefore the most durable.

It has a lustrous silvery colour, and is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust.

A platinum nugget, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths.

A platinum nugget.

If you are looking for the optimum choice of metal, and a ring made to the highest calibre, then platinum is the ultimate choice.  Also, if the style of ring you want is a tension set ring, then your ring will need to be created with platinum, due to it’s strength – the last thing you want is your magnificent diamond to fall out!

For more information about the different types of metals, check out my precious metals guide.

And if you’re looking at proposing soon, hopefully you are now one step closer.

– Benjamin