A wedding ring is forever, so you cannot afford to make a decision about your ring lightly. It is something that you will wear every day for the rest of your life, so you will want it to look good not only on your wedding day but also for years to come. So what are your options?
The wedding band
Wedding bands are normally made from a precious metal formed into a continuous circle. When choosing the type of metal for your ring you should consider how well it will match your other jewellery, particularly your engagement ring. Of course, you can always choose a bi-coloured ring composed of yellow and white gold that will probably match all your jewellery. There are several metals to choose from:
- Yellow gold – the classic and still extremely popular metal for wedding bands. Usually 9ct, 14ct or 18ct gold is used, as pure 24ct gold is far too soft and malleable for use in quality jewellery.
- White gold – becoming more popular, this is the same purity as yellow gold but is white because it is alloyed with different metals. White gold gives a modern look that matches silver and platinum jewellery.
- Platinum – another white metal that is gaining in popularity. It is used almost pure and is extremely hardwearing. Platinum has historically been far more expensive than gold but has become more attractive as gold prices have risen in recent times.
- Titanium – inexpensive and long lasting, titanium is very light and has become a popular metal for use in men’s wedding rings.
- Palladium – yet another of the white metals, palladium has come down in price and is therefore becoming used more frequently in wedding bands.
It is the modern fashion for people to express their individuality, so although the traditional style of wedding band is still enormously popular, an almost unlimited array of designs is now on the market. These new designs are gaining greater acceptance and are seen more commonly than in the past. Among the most popular of today’s styles are:
- Court rings – these are traditional–style bands that, though plain, are still hugely popular for their timeless elegance and comfort. Men often prefer them, especially if they are unused to wearing rings, as they are simple and unobtrusive.
- Decorated bands – plain bands that are embellished either with beaded edges or a hammered finish to add a little more interest to the ring. Some are diamond cut to give extra sparkle.
- Two-tone bands – usually a combination of white and yellow gold, these rings are eye-catching and can be worn with almost any jewellery.
- Solitaires – these bands have a single gemstone set into the metal. Some have gem surrounds to highlight the solitaire.
- Gem-set channels – these have gems set in channels around the upper half of the ring. Most commonly there are one or two channels.
- Kiss wedding bands - almost like a stretched figure-of-eight in appearance, these have gemstones set on opposite sides separated by a strand of metal.
- Celtic bands – these are metal bands in an open weave-like design that is now becoming very popular.
If you decide on a ring that has gemstones, then easily the best choice is to use diamonds. These are the hardest of the gems and will easily stand up to the rigours of daily wear. They are also extremely beautiful. Sapphires and rubies are the next hardest followed by emeralds; these can be used but cannot really compare with diamonds for looks and durability. The quartz stones, like amethyst and topaz, are entirely unsuitable, as they are too soft to be worn daily.
Comfort is key
You are sure to fall in love with many of the rings you try but make sure that you keep within your budget. And once you have chosen your ring ensure that it fits properly and is comfortable – a great looking ring is fine but if it not comfortable you will soon become reluctant to wear it. There are so many stunning styles of wedding rings that you will certainly be able to find the right one for you.