Getting someone the perfect jewelry gift is an art, especially during the holiday shopping season when you’re inundated with options at every turn!

To help you prioritize your choices and simplify your holiday shopping, start by choosing the right metal. When most of us think of fine jewelry, we think of gold and platinum. These are the most well-known of the noble metals and are most commonly used in jewelry. But they’re not your only options. Alternative jewelry metals are growing in popularity and are increasingly used by contemporary designers. Consider the innate qualities of each metal to be sure that you’re selecting the one that’s right for your jewelry gift.

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“Soft gold” or “silk gold” necklace made of strands of woven 14K gold that can be worn twisted or untwisted.

Gold

A favorite of designers, gold’s durable and ductile qualities make it easy to fashion into new shapes. This also means there are endless ways to wear gold jewelry—and a wide assortment to choose from! View fabulous pieces in Gold Rush—Gold Jewelry Design for inspiration. And don’t forget, there are also white gold and rose gold to mix up your style and provide even more variety to your jewelry collection.

White Gold

Favored for its neutral appearance as a white metal, white gold is widely popular. You can find just about every design or style of jewelry available in white gold, giving you plenty of options for stylish holiday shopping. But did you know that white gold is not naturally occurring? It is made up of alloyed yellow gold or yellow gold dipped in rhodium plating. This means white gold fades over time. It is recommended you have your white gold pieces re-plated regularly to keep them bright, white, and shiny.

Rose Gold

Pink sapphire and diamond 3-stone ring set in 18K rose gold. Image courtesy of Omi Prive.

Pink sapphire and diamond 3-stone ring set in 18K rose gold. Image courtesy of Omi Prive.

Rose gold is definitely having a moment. Fans are falling for its romantic, soft pink tone and appeal. An interesting fact: like white gold, rose gold is not naturally occurring—it is made when copper is added to molten gold. This means the tone of rose gold varies depending on the amount of copper alloy in the mix. Because of this newfound popularity, many jewelry options have sprouted from the rose gold revival. You can find multiple designs paired with pastel gemstones—and even as engagement rings!

Cartier pave round and channel set diamond earrings set in platinum.

Cartier pave round and channel set diamond earrings set in platinum.

Platinum

Platinum is the most rare of the noble metals, and known for its significant weight when compared with gold or silver. It doesn’t tarnish or fade, making it well-suited for heirloom jewelry. It is also seen as the most secure setting for precious gemstones. Historically, people considered platinum a metal fit for kings. Today, it’s known for its elegance, timelessness, and endurance. If you’re choosing a piece of fine jewelry for someone who leads an active lifestyle, platinum’s durability makes it an especially good choice.

"Maze" leaf earrings, set in sterling silver and Mother of Pearl.

“Maze” leaf earrings, set in sterling silver and Mother of Pearl. Courtesy of Kara Ross.

Silver

Pliable and strong, silver withstands frequent wear and tear. One might even go so far as to say silver is a metal that shows its mettle. Contemporary jewelry designers continue to use silver in their modern silhouettes. There are many affordable and cool pieces to choose from for a versatile flair.

Alternative Jewelry Metals

Courtesy of Blue Nile Inc.

Brushed and polished ring in white tungsten carbide. Courtesy of Blue Nile Inc.

Looking for something a little different during the holiday shopping season? You’ve got plenty of options if you’re planning to shop “outside the box.” You can find tungsten carbide, cobalt, ceramic, stainless steel, and titanium ring selections. These popular men’s jewelry alternative metals deliver an edgy, masculine vibe. In fact, they broaden the scope of men’s jewelry design and provide more unique gift possibilities.

Which one of these metals will you gift for the holidays?

Main image credits; Courtesy of Omi Privé and De Beers.