Choosing your metal

Find the right metal for you!

Personal preference

Metal types are a personal preference and with so much choice, it’s important to choose something you will be happy to wear for many years to come; especially when it comes to those all-important engagement and wedding rings.

To help you along the way, we have put together a handy guide on the metal types available at Drakes, Plymouth. If you would like any more advice on choosing the right metal for you, pop in store and our knowledgeable team will be on hand to help. 

yellow gold

Yellow Gold

Yellow gold can be a popular metal choice when it comes to wedding and engagement rings.

This gold is usually combined with other metals, or alloys to make it stronger and hard-wearing. The more alloys in the metal, the lower the carat. Yellow gold is available in 9ct, 18ct and in some cases 24ct. 18ct yellow gold is more hard wearing than 9ct but both make a good choice for everyday wear. The exact yellow hue depends on the type of metal alloys that have been used.

Gold is one of the easiest metals for jewellers to manipulate so it can be used to create stunning jewellery designs without putting any stress on the metal. This makes it a good choice for rings that may need to be resized at a later date.
Yellow gold is a classic metal choice and will suit everyone.
Yellow gold will scratch with everyday wear so it is important to have your jewellery cleaned and polished regularly to keep it looking as shiny as the day you purchased it.

white gold

White Gold

There is no such thing as white gold, as naturally it is an off white greyey/yellowy colour. White gold is combined with other metals such as silver and palladium to make it appear more white. The more alloys in the metal, the lower the carat. White gold is available in 9ct and 18ct.

White gold rings are coated in Rhodium which makes the metal look whiter. The natural colour of white gold is a light grey colour so the rhodium plating really adds that sparkle. Rhodium is a hard metal but over time it will wear. To keep the ring looking as sparkly as the day you bought it you will need to have your ring re-rhodium plated. For more information and advice on this, please pop into store where one of our team can help you. We’d advise getting your ring checked every 6-12 months whereby our team can recommend whether a re-rhodium will be required.
If you purchase your white gold ring from Drakes, the first 3 times are free and then £35 thereafter.

White gold is a popular choice today especially when it comes to engagement and wedding rings. 
Like with yellow gold, white gold will scratch so it is important to have your jewellery cleaned and polished regularly to keep it looking as shiny as the day you purchased it. Please do note that any work you have completed on your white gold item will require it to be re-rhodiumed.



Platinum is always a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings due to its aesthetically pleasing colour and its’ practical properties too. Platinum is hard wearing and resistant to tarnishing which makes it perfect for everyday wear. If you have particularly sensitive skin, it’s also a great choice as its purity makes it hypoallergenic and non-reactive.

Although durable, platinum will scratch with wear however, these minor imperfections are easily polished out and maintained. Over time, platinum develops its own beautiful sheen (patina) which means it will stay looking bright for many years to come.
Did you know… platinum is one of the rarest metals. In fact, if all the pure platinum in the world was melted down, there would only be enough to cover an average sized football pitch.

rose gold

Rose Gold

Rose gold is alloyed with copper which gives it the beautiful rose colour. The more copper that is added, the redder the gold becomes.  Rose gold is available in 9ct and 18ct.  The copper in rose gold makes it tougher than yellow and white gold.


Due to its pinky-red colour, this metal is considered by many as the most romantic metal. It compliments all skin tones and is growing in popularity.



Palladium has a similar appearance to platinum and is from the same family. It is described as a eco friendly metal because the metal is reused within certain industries on machinery.

There are two options when it choosing palladium; 500 or 950. Palladium 500 contains 50% palladium and 50% other alloys. Palladium 950 contains 95% palladium and 5% other alloys. Palladium 500 is greyer in colour whereas palladium 950 is whiter.

Palladium does not tarnish, is hard wearing and light in weight. It is also recommended if you are looking for a hypo-allergenic metal. Please do be aware that Palladium, although it is hard-wearing, will scratch and mark like everything else.



Titanium is grey in colour and one of the hardest metals you can buy. This makes it a good choice for someone who has a very physically demanding job.

This lightweight metal is hypo-allergenic so it will not react with your skin. One thing to consider when choosing a Titanium ring is that it cannot be resized. This is due to how the ring is cast in production.



Zirconium is often thought of in the same way as Titanium in that it is extremely strong.
Zirconium in its original form is grey-white in colour but it is also available in black which is growing in popularity. The black look of Zirconium is created using a heat treatment.

Like Titanium, Zirconium cannot be sized.