Yellow gold, the most traditional precious metal option for an engagement ring, has never gone out of style. This richly colored metal has always been loved by those with an eye for the classic. However, yellow gold has been experiencing a boom in popularity lately, perhaps because we’ve recently seen yellow gold grace some famous fingers (Meghan Markle, Emily Ratajkowski, and Miley Cyrus all recently said “yes” to yellow gold engagement rings). 

If you’re considering yellow gold for your engagement ring, we have some tips that will help you select the right yellow gold ring for you. In this post, we’ll cover what you need to understand about gold karat, tips on pairing a diamond with yellow gold, which type of yellow gold might look best with your skin undertones, and which type of yellow gold is the most hypoallergenic. 

Understand Gold Karat 

Karat may sound similar to “carat,” which refers to the weight of a diamond, but it’s actually quite different. Karat is a number that can tell you how much pure gold is in the gold you’re buying. Pure gold is 24k, but you’ll rarely see 24k gold used in jewelry (and will almost never see it used as the sole metal in a ring). That’s because pure gold is rather soft, which means it’s not very durable. So, to make gold better for everyday wear, artisans mix gold with other metals to make it stronger. 

24k Gold: 100% Gold

18k Gold: 75% Gold 

14k Gold: 58.3% Gold 

Commonly, you’ll see jewelry made from either 18k gold or 14k gold. 18k gold has a richer tone, but is slightly softer than 14k gold. 14k gold is a bit lighter in color, as it’s mixed with more metals that are not gold, but is a bit stronger. There’s really no “better” option out of these two types of gold. For your yellow gold engagement ring, just choose the type of gold you prefer. 

At Chicago Bridal Jewelers, all of our yellow gold rings can be made in either 14k or 18k yellow gold to suit your tastes, including the classic four prong solitaire ring pictured above. 

Pairing a Diamond With Your Yellow Gold Engagement Ring

Most aspects of selecting a diamond are standard across all the precious metals— except for color. With a yellow diamond engagement ring, you can actually go lower with your diamond’s color grade without it being noticeable. While a more yellow diamond would be quite noticeable in a white gold or platinum setting, yellow gold helps to hide a bit of yellow coloring in a diamond. 

Many experts say that you can go as low as an L color graded diamond for a yellow engagement ring setting, which is much, much lower than you could get away with for a white setting. Of course, you can still go with the standard recommendation for color for a diamond, which is G or H, or go even higher. Whiter diamonds look especially white against yellow gold and can be a beautiful option. 

Yellow Gold and Skin Undertone 

Many people like to choose their engagement ring’s precious metal based on how it complements their skin tone. Yellow gold has a warm tone, which often looks best on those with warm or neutral undertones in their skin. 

Of course, if your skin has cool undertones, you can certainly still get a yellow gold engagement ring. There are no hard rules about who can wear yellow gold so, if you love yellow gold, you should choose it. But we have a tip for those with cool undertones: you may want to go with 14k yellow gold over 18k yellow gold. 14k yellow gold is a bit less warm in color than 18k yellow gold, which can be more flattering on those with cool undertones. Also, choosing an engagement ring with side diamonds or a halo setting (or both, as seen in the halo engagement ring pictured above) can help your yellow gold ring look whiter overall, which can be more flattering on skin with cool undertones. 

The Most Hypoallergenic Yellow Gold 

While yellow gold is not the most hypoallergenic of the precious metals (that honor goes to platinum), it is more hypoallergenic than white gold, which generally has a higher level of nickel. Among yellow gold, 18k yellow gold is more hypoallergenic than 14k yellow gold, as it will have more pure gold and fewer alloy metals.