Friday, August 12, 2011

Gold or Silver, Real or Fake

In this struggling economy, it can be too expensive to purchase an engagement ring or wedding band set. With gold prices skyrocketing just as they always do every recession, the average Joe can't afford to propose to his best gal anymore. There are some beautiful alternatives.

Gold vs. Silver

Yellow Gold

If your woman is a gold lover, as in the traditional yellow gold, you're in for a fight. The price of gold has gone up. So a simple 1/4 carat diamond solitaire can cost a few hundred dollars more than usual. So what can you do? If your woman is inflexible in the color of her gold, be flexible in the stone. Cubic Zirconia is easily mistaken for a diamond. The fact is that most people cannot distinguish between a high grade cubic zirconia or a diamond with the naked eye. The key is to buy a high quality cubic zirconia and to keep it clean at all times. Another tip is not to purchase it in a large size. The larger the size, the more obvious it is that it is fake. Believe it or not, it's not the size of the stone that is causing this realization but actually it is the person wearing it. If you are the couple that can never go anywhere because you are living paycheck to paycheck then you probably can't afford a 5 carat diamond. So that large stone is probably a cz and not a diamond.

If she doesn't want a cz because of the social stigma then try the lab created diamond. Again, the differences are indistinguishable by the naked eye. You will be able to say it is a diamond and not a cz. If your woman is still picky about the fact that her diamond isn't real, remind her that the band is yellow gold and therefore the stone can be removed and replaced with a real diamond without an issue when you can afford to do so. Of course there is also the option of skipping the diamond altogether. Be original and put her birthstone or the stone from the month you met, proposed, or plan to be married in the ring instead. The stone will be real, and no matter what it is, it's cheaper than a diamond. By changing the stone choice, you reduce the cost of having paid more for the yellow gold band in the first place.

White Gold

This is purely a personal opinion. Never buy white gold. White gold was invented to replicate silver or platinum. When people couldn't afford the price of silver they took yellow gold and plated it with nickel to make it appear silver. Today, white gold is maximum 18k gold (75%) and the rest is rhodium. This is why the rings are regularly sent into the jeweler to be replated every so often. If you haven't noticed, the price of gold is usually higher than silver. So white gold is typically equally priced with yellow gold. Why buy imitation silver when you could simply buy a true silver ring that costs less? The other issue with white gold is the resale. Jewelers pay more for yellow gold jewelry and silver jewelry because they aren't conglomerate metals like white gold. Save your money and buy the silver.


There are two types of silver sold in the stores, sterling silver and silver. Sterling silver is typically so cheap it is usually less than $50 in price. It needs to be replated just like a white gold ring. A silver ring does not need to be replated or dipped. Silver rings only need to be cleaned at home with soap and water or with an ammonia based cleaner. Then you polish it it a high gloss shine. Your precious ring stays with you at all times. Silver acts like gold in that it can hold a diamond as well. Silver is much cheaper than yellow gold, so you won't have to go cheap on the stone. In my personal opinion, any stone that is not green, brown, yellow, or red looks better on silver rings. For my birthday, I received a pink sapphire ring on silver. When I saw a young lady with a similar ring in yellow gold, the sapphire seemed to be muted by the yellow gold. I was glad my husband saved the money by buying the silver and taking me to dinner instead.


Save money by substituting yellow gold with silver or substituting the stones. You can always add a real diamond later. Gold is worth more than silver but silver doesn't need to be sent in for replating and refinishing.

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