What Are the Problems of Wearing Different Types of Ring Together?

We've had several queries about concerns with different caratage gold wedding bands and engagement rings causing potential problems.

"I have a diamond 18ct white gold engagement ring and 9ct white gold wedding band. Will the 9ct ring damage my engagement ring in any way? I have read that some people had their rings damaged to the point where the diamond fell out. Is this possible?"

All gold (white, yellow or rose) jewellery is a mix of gold with other metals.  A 9ct gold item will contain 37.5% gold with the rest being a mix of metals (called an alloy), 14ct will be 58.5% gold, 18ct gold is 75.0% and 22ct is 91.6% gold. 

Gold is a soft, malleable metal so the higher the caratage gold the softer the item will be.  The concern is that the harder metal item (lower caratage) will cause damage to the higher caratage item (being the softer metal). 

Whilst over time all metal will wear away (I've seen rings worn paper thin at the back!), so long as there are no sections of either ring protruding out and actually rubbing against the other item there shouldn't be a problem. 

Always make sure the wedding ring set fits properly together as there are many unusual engagement rings which do not sit snugly next to a classic D band wedding ring.  Unfortunately a non-standard shape engagement ring often needs a bespoke wedding band made so they can slot together.

If the set doesn't fit correctly it doesn't matter about the caratage difference, as damage will be caused on one of the rings, either by scratching or rubbing.  Ask advice when deciding on the engagement ring so you will know what to expect when it comes to buying a wedding ring.  

The above query was also about white gold rings which raises another issue.  Most white gold jewellery has been rhodium-plated to give it a silvery shiny finish.  White gold alloys can come in many 'colours' but is often a yellowish-grey colour with the whiteness coming from metals such as silver or palladium.  Hence white gold is usually more expensive than yellow gold. 

Rhodium-plating gives a white gold collection a uniform look, whether it is 9ct white gold or 18ct white gold.  Especially with wedding rings, the rhodium-plating will eventually wear away and the underneath metal will show through, which can look like a stain or a mark on the ring. 

Trying to clean it off will just wear away more of the rhodium-plate and will make it look worse.  Once this starts then it's time to get both rings re-plated and checked over to make sure all the stones are secure, as well as polishing out any scratches.  If a resize is needed due to a change in the size of your finger, then this is the time to get it done.

Ask your jeweller for a quote and also bear in mind that a thicker plating of rhodium will be more expensive but in the long run maybe cheaper as it will last longer.

Lastly the customer mentioned the diamond setting.  Most diamonds are claw set as that is the safest method to show a diamond off as it allows light to refract through the sides of the diamond giving it that extra sparkle and fire. 

Often the claw tips are made from platinum as this is a harder metal and so not easily damaged. 

If you think one of the claws is damaged then don't wait to get it repaired! We've had customers who knew their ring was damaged go on to lose a stone because they didn't get it repaired in time.  This is often extremely costly as a new stone has to be sourced and may not be the exact size and shape as the original.

So to summarise, regularly check both your rings for wear and tear, especially as wedding rings are worn constantly.  If you have any concerns, take them to a jeweller and ask for advice.  

It's always better (and usually cheaper) to sort out a problem earlier than later. And don't forget, these rings are meant to be worn.  Wear and tear are life's footprints on your journey togther!

We have a huge selection of gorgeous rings in our online store, many which are specifically designed to be worn stacked together.  You can see all our rings here

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