For the best part of two decades, white metals like platinum and palladium have been the go-to choice for couples wanting to tie the knot. 

But in the world of jewellery, a contemporary look can often outshine its traditional counterpart – when done right. 

In the last year or so, interest in white metal engagement rings has tailed off. Instead, millennials are on the hunt for something bolder, which has led to a resurgence in one of the most popular precious metals of the twentieth century: yellow gold.

Why is yellow gold back in vogue?

There are probably several reasons why yellow gold has seen a jump in popularity. It could be that yellow gold represents a divergence from the styles that permeated the noughties — which by today’s standards can seem unimaginative — while embracing a timeless aesthetic.

One influence, however, is undeniable: Meghan Markle.

In 2017, Prince Harry presented Meghan with a yellow-gold, three-stone engagement ring that had been described as priceless by jewellery experts because of its link to Princess Diana. To top it all off, Queen Elizabeth presented the new Duchess of Sussex with a yellow gold wedding band.

Prince Harry has even told the press that yellow gold is his wife’s favourite style — and it’s triggered a sensational return for yellow gold throughout the UK.

The best aesthetic qualities of yellow gold

Aside from finding favour in the Royal family, yellow gold has plenty to offer. 

Unlike white metals, yellow gold possesses an unrivalled warmth in its aesthetic. It’s extensive heritage in popular culture throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries means that it achieves the vintage look with an authenticity that other metals lack.

For retro fashionistas with a penchant for all things eye-catching, there simply is no contest — yellow gold is the clear winner.

Choosing the right yellow-gold engagement ring

Once you know that yellow gold is the best choice for you or your fiancee, there are a few key factors you need to look out for in order to find that perfect engagement ring.

1. Finding the right Carat

The first thing you might notice when looking at gold rings is that they’re marked with a number followed by a ‘ct’ (e.g. 14ct). 

The ‘ct’ here refers to a measurement called carats. Unlike ‘carats’ — which are used to measure the size of a diamond — the carat value of a piece of gold jewellery tells you what percentage of the metal is real gold. 18ct gold may also be stamped 750 to show that 750 parts in every 1000 are pure gold.

The highest rating you can get is 24ct gold. However, pure gold is quite soft, so it’s easily scratched and bent. For this reason, most gold rings are mixed with metal alloys to make them strong enough for regular wear.

Which carat should you choose?

The right carat will depend on your needs and your budget. However, we would encourage those looking for quality to ring to invest in an 18ct yellow gold ring.

18ct gold possesses a brighter, bolder colour than less pure 14ct gold rings. It’s weightier, too, thanks to the increased amount of gold it contains. 

Plus, because 18ct gold rings are made with a smaller concentration of alloys, they won’t trigger allergic reactions to certain metals like nickel, which can occasionally happen with rings of 10ct or lower.

2. Getting the right style

The good news about yellow gold is that it complements a diverse array of styles. It works with both diamonds and gemstones, and its distinct colour complements pretty much every type of setting, be it classic or modern.

We’ve tried to keep things simple by splitting these styles into three categories, depending on your or your fiancee’s particular tastes.

  • Classic — Yellow gold is at the centre of many classic designs, perhaps none more so than the solitaire ring. In fact, the most popular engagement ring style over the last century is a round solitaire diamond set on a simple yellow-gold band
  • Quirky — Part of yellow gold’s recent popularity is that it goes against the grain. For many, it’s only natural to fully exploit that striking colour in an unorthodox design. Contemporary designs with yellow-gold bands are increasingly popular, as are three-stone or Trilogy rings
  • Vintage — Because it’s more malleable than other metals, yellow gold is excellent for ornate filigree designs. The complexity of the metalwork is a callback to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries — perfect for lovers of vintage jewellery.

3. Practical considerations

While yellow gold and platinum are virtually the same price at the moment, yellow gold doesn’t possess the same toughness, so certain practical aspects of the design you choose — especially if you want a high-carat ring — need to be considered. Platinum is also a more difficult metal to work with, which can sometimes push the price up, so there are a few things to consider when choosing your dream ring. 

Here are a couple of tips to help you choose.

  • Avoid thin bands — Though 18ct and 14ct gold is fairly sturdy, you can still risk it bending if shaped into a band that’s too thin. If you’re deadset on an ultra-thin band, you need a accept the fact that it may become misshapen over time (whatever metal you choose). 
  • Look at the style of setting — Claw settings on rings with solitaire or trilogy designs will wear down a little faster than a platinum setting. Thankfully, many yellow-gold rings today have claw settings that is made from platinum to ensure that the stone doesn’t become loose.

Final thoughts

The revival of yellow gold is the start of an exciting trend, one that embraces a return to classic, vibrant jewellery design. 

Choosing yellow gold is the perfect way to get that special someone a ring that’s as bold and as beautiful as they are. 

Take a look at all of our stunning engagement rings — including our range of yellow-gold bands — by viewing our collection online.