The most popular engagement ring metals are yellow gold, white gold, rose gold, platinum, and sterling silver. We're going to break down each one for you to help you choose the ring that best fits you.

yellow gold ring
Photo: Ferguson's Fine Jewelry

Yellow Gold

A timeless choice, yellow gold represents classic style. But with all of the different karats, you might be confused as to which ratio is best for your ring. Even though 24k gold is the purest form of gold, it's also less durable. It's going to be a little softer than 18k gold, which is 25% alloyed metals combined with 75% gold. 14k gold is a nearly 60/40 mix. Generally, we like either of those choices, and if you are looking for a place to save a little money so that you can get a higher quality stone, 14k gold is fine. Anything below 14k isn't considered high enough quality for such an important piece of jewelry.

rose gold ring
Photo: Capucinne

Rose Gold

The latest darling of engagement rings is definitely rose gold. With its pretty blush hue, this metal goes well with both diamonds and lightly colored gemstones. Just as with 18k yellow gold, rose gold is a mix of pure gold and other metal alloys. To get that blush shade, these alloys are mainly copper. Whenever anything is the hot trend in weddings, we advise that you really evaluate how much you love the look of it and how much it reflects your style. Rose gold is stunning, but also a little unconventional, so try wearing rose gold fashion jewelry first if you've never worn this rosy hue before.

white gold ring
Photo: Ben Garelick

White Gold

You wear a lot of silver jewelry and prefer the look of silver to gold. You want something stronger than sterling silver, but are hesitant to shell out the cash for platinum. White gold is an excellent compromise. Even though it isn't quite as dense as platinum, it is still fine for all diamond settings and won't knick or age as easily as sterling silver. There is some variation in color for white gold, so if you prefer a slightly warmer or cooler tint, that can be easily found.

platinum engagement ring
Photo: Blue Nile

Platinum

It's popular for a reason. Platinum is even stronger than gold and looks terrific. For those of you shopping for more opulent rings (or those with stones that sit high in the ring), you will love how reliable platinum bands and settings can be. Of course, because it is such a great metal and rarer than gold, it's also more expensive. For cool-toned brides, platinum is also an excellent choice because it doesn't have a golden tint the way that some white gold can have.

sterling silver ring
Photo: Zales

Sterling Silver

If you are on a tight budget, sterling silver is an appealing option. It's the most affordable of all of these metals, and is easy to care for. The downside? It's not as strong as the other metals on this list either. For this reason, we recommend you either reserve this for a plain wedding band, or look for secure settings for your diamond. Particularly if you lead an active lifestyle, you will want to take extra care when selecting a sterling silver engagement ring. A choice like the one above, with low-profile stones, will be your best bet.