Are Gold Rings Better Than Diamond Rings?

Choosing between different precious metals and stones can be challenging when purchasing a ring. Many consumers opt for simple gold bands, thanks to their timeless elegance, whereas others select brilliant diamonds set in silver or platinum, eliminating gold altogether. This begs the question: Are gold rings better than diamond rings?

Gold rings are better than diamond rings in terms of intrinsic value and ethics. Diamonds almost always resell at a loss, and suppliers have mining practices that infringe upon human rights. However, diamonds have more design options with color, cut, and settings. Gold and diamonds may be combined.

This article examines the difference between gold and diamond rings regarding return investment, style preferences, and ethics. It also discusses combining gold and diamonds to create a ring. Read on to learn more!

Gold Rings vs. Diamond Rings: How To Make the Right Choice

Gold and diamond rings each offer timeless, classic beauty, but they have different qualities that make them unique.

Diamonds are valuable gemstones, while gold is a precious metal. Both are difficult to mine, which contributes to some of their worth. Each requires skilled craftsmanship to create stunning rings. Still, there are many differences between these two materials concerning style and intrinsic value.

I’ll discuss this in more detail below: 

Style Preferences

When purchasing a ring based on style and design preferences, diamonds win out over gold. With diamonds, you can choose from various settings, including (but not limited to):

  • Bar
  • Bezel
  • Channel
  • Cluster
  • Illusion
  • Prong

There are also multiple diamond cuts, including:

  • Round 
  • Princess 
  • Emerald 
  • Radiant
  • Marquise

Finally, although most people are familiar with only transparent diamonds, various natural colors are available. However, it’s important to note that diamond colors other than crystal clear are due to structural defects and/or impurities in the stone.

Gold rings are more limited when it comes to style and design. Different shapes and formations exist on the market, including filigree, chunky, signet, and simple bands, among others. Consumers can also choose to have the metal engraved with intricate patterns. Gold bands may also be set with stones other than diamonds. However, these stones can never achieve the same sparkle and luster diamonds offer.

Investment and Intrinsic Value

When purchasing a ring for investment purposes, gold is the champion. Although they cost more than gold by weight, the resale value of diamonds is incredibly low.

A one-carat diamond weighs 0.2 grams (0.007 oz) and sells between $2,000 to $20,000 (€1,876 to €18,760) as of January 2023. Compare the cost to 0.2 grams (0.007 oz) of solid gold (24 karats), which in January 2023 sells for roughly $12 (€11). That is a substantial difference in cost. Needless to say, you’re going to pay a significantly higher price for diamonds versus gold

So, why would anyone buy a gold ring over a diamond ring?

Well, it often comes down to resale value. Despite paying thousands of dollars for that shimmering one-carat diamond, you’re not going to receive the same amount if you were to turn around and sell it to a jeweler. On the contrary, you could purchase 0.2 grams (0.007 oz)  of gold at $12 and see the value of that gold rise over time, giving you a profitable return.

Gold has withstood the test of time as a profitable investment, but diamonds have not. Diamond values are market-driven only and rely on supply and demand. Demand for diamonds is high because advertising is based on aesthetics alone. Appraisal of diamonds is done based on technical evaluation, but the appraised value is strictly arbitrary.

Gold, however, is and has been easy to buy and sell for thousands of years and regularly provides a positive return on investment if you’re smart. Diamonds are almost always sold at a loss.


Another factor that may influence your decision to buy a gold or diamond ring is ethics and human rights. Not only are diamonds primarily used for aesthetic purposes, but slave and child labor are heavily involved in the mining of diamonds, and many of the profits support insurgencies and warlords. Miners often work in extremely dangerous conditions, and deaths are common.

Fortunately, as consumers become more aware of the conflict involved in diamond mining, ethical diamonds have become more in demand than ever. It’s important that consumers maintain awareness when purchasing diamond rings and look into ethical retailers.

If you’re concerned about where your diamonds come from, ask your retailer where they source their gems. Jewelry companies are morally obligated to ensure that their jewelry doesn’t infringe upon human rights.

It’s important to note that gold isn’t without its controversy, either. Hard labor and child labor are also involved in gold mining, though it seems to be on a much larger scale with diamonds.

Combining Gold and Diamonds

When struggling to choose between a gold or diamond ring, rest assured that you don’t necessarily have to decide between the two. You can combine a gold band with a diamond stone to create a beautiful ring, using a diamond for style purposes and gold for investment. It can’t be ignored, however, that if you opted to use the weight of the diamond for gold instead, you’d greatly increase the ring’s intrinsic value.

That said, it’s understandable that some people prefer their jewelry to look a specific way, which is precisely why diamonds remain a popular choice in rings. They can be cut in different designs, and they maintain a sparkle that cannot be imitated using other stones, no matter how they’re cut and how often they’re polished.


In terms of financial value and ethics, the winner is gold rings, as they offer a secure investment that you can feel comfortable with. A diamond may better suit your tastes for a conversation piece or something with a specific cut or design. These stones make a wonderful first impression. Still, you can’t deny the timeless elegance of gold.

You can combine the precious metal and gemstone in a ring, of course, but it’s important to consider style, investment, and ethics to ensure you make the right choice.

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