Top Tips for Buying a Wedding Ring
As someone who has worked in the jewellery industry for over two decades, I have assisted countless men and women in choosing a marvellous wedding ring that looks incredible, fits within their budget and is suitably durable for everyday wear. Being such an important decision to make, choosing the right wedding ring should never be rushed. Often, it can take days or even weeks to decide on a design that appeals to you.
When your quest for the ultimate ring has just begun, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer range of different styles and materials available. This guide seeks to make your decision that much easier by providing a set of top tips for purchasing spectacular new wedding ring.
The type of metal you decide on determines the wedding band’s overall durability, its price and its appearance. If you have your heart set on buying a white metal, then platinum is the ideal choice as it has a very high resistance to wear and tear and never loses its majestic grey colour and sheen. Similar in appearance is white gold, which is slightly less expensive but does require to be coated in rhodium once every couple of years to help rejuvenate its finish. This procedure will generally cost between US$50 – 100.
The cheapest metal is silver, but it’s undesirable for everyday jewellery such as wedding rings (or engagement rings), as it lacks the hardness and durability of the more expensive materials such as gold and platinum. If you do decide on gold, be sure to choose 18ct or 9ct. 24ct is pure gold, but like silver, is too ‘soft’ for everyday jewellery purposes.
Although yellow gold is the classic colour for men, rose gold (also known as red or pink gold) has been become ever more fashionable in recent times, particularly because of its ability to flatter every shade of skin. White metals on the other hand, exude a distinctly modern look with their neutral hue that has far-reaching appeal. Over three quarters of all couples that are engaged to be married, now choose a white metal band.
There are three main wedding band shapes:
- Court shaped
- D shaped
Court shaped – the conventional wedding band shape. Court shaped rings have rounded outer and inner edges, ensuring a snug fit regardless of the thickness of the band.
D shaped – the ‘D shape’ refers to the flat interior but rounded exterior of the band.
Shaped – these refer to wedding band shapes that are more innovative and progressive in style.
Time-honoured or Decorative?
Although it’s perfectly fine to choose a wedding ring that strays from more traditional designs, it’s important to remember that it is a romantic item of jewellery with deep meaning and is not required to be overtly stylish. As time progresses, your taste in jewellery may edge towards a more classical piece and you may resent having opted for a design that was considered avant-garde at the time.
Like metals, careful consideration must be given to the type of gemstone you choose. While there are a near infinite number of stunning gems to choose from, not all of them can withstand the rigours of daily wear. Diamonds represent the ultimate in durability, with a hardness rating on the Mohs scale of 10 out of 10. Other stones that are suitable include sapphires, rubies, topaz, garnet and amethyst.
With a hardness rating of 8, one could easily assume that emerald would be durable enough to wear as a wedding ring, however, its crystalline structure typically contains microscopic fractures which weaken it considerably. That said, emerald can still be used on a wedding ring but special care must be taken.
While women are normally aware of their finger size, men aren’t so certain. As a rule, you should be able to put the wedding ring on with little effort, but it should be slightly harder to remove, particularly as it passes over your knuckles. It’s also important to note that fingers do enlarge during the summer or when exercising and reduce in size during colder conditions. For this reason, it’s a good idea to ensure that the ring still feels comfortable while being in ambient temperature.
Don’t leave it till the last minute
As with all wedding planning, you must begin shopping for your wedding ring well in advance of the actual wedding date. Anywhere between 2 and 3 months is advised, to allow for any unforeseen hiccups along the way.
If you need professional advice on selecting a wedding ring or engagement ring for your momentous day, consult your local jeweller.
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