Wedding Ring Guide
Traditional Western Wedding Rings-A History of Love
Wedding rings represent a symbol of eternal love and devotion that should be worn with pride. Early Egyptians thought wedding bands created a never-ending circle of love that carried over to the afterlife. The tradition of wearing a band on the third finger started with the ancient Greeks, who thought a vein linked that finger directly to the heart.
Key Purchasing Decisions
To purchase the perfect wedding ring, you should consider a number of key questions:
- Do you want a matching wedding ring or do you want a ring that reflects your personal styles?
- Do you want your wedding ring to match the engagement ring?
- What type of wedding ring would look best on your hand in terms of metal color and width of the band?
Gold Wedding Bands
The most popular metal selected for wedding bands is yellow or white gold. The decision as to which color gold to choose can depend on if you want to match the engagement ring or how the color works with your skin tone. Yellow gold's warm glow can enhance darker skin tones while rings made of platinum or white gold are well-suited for fair skin tones.
Gold in its purest form is very soft and not well-suited for wedding band use. To make pure gold more strong and durable, jewelry manufacturers mix gold with other metals, such as copper and nickel. The simplest way to know how much gold a piece of jewelry contains is by looking at the karat weight. The higher the karat weight, the less durable the ring will be.
- 14-karat (14k) gold wedding bands are known for their durability and lower cost.
- 18-karat (18k) gold is 75-percent pure and offers more durability than 24K
- Pure 24-karat (24k) gold has a rich color, but bends easily with daily wear
Platinum Wedding Bands
Platinum wedding bands are gaining in popularity due to the high durability of this strong precious metal. Platinum is more expensive than gold and weighs about 60 percent more than gold, making it more difficult to bend or break. Platinum also typically retains its luster longer than gold.
Selecting a Wedding Ring Setting
A diamond or gemstone encrusted wedding ring can be a beautiful complement to your engagement ring. Before purchasing this type of wedding ring, you will want to consider your budget, type of metal desired, design of the ring as well as shape, weight and quality of diamonds and/or gemstones. A ring may use prongs to hold a single gemstone, or several gemstones, in place on top of the ring. For eternity bands, you'll need to decide the want gemstones to appear around the entire band.
Types of Wedding Ring Settings
Shared Prong Settings: Shared prong settings use grooved metal wire to hold gemstones in place side by side.
Channel Settings: Diamonds or gemstones in a channel setting appear to be set side-by-side directly into the metal. No metal shows between the stones.
Bar Channel: Diamonds or gemstones appear to be set side-by-side into the ring with some metal visible on the sides of the stones.
Pavé settings: Holes are drilled into the ring to create a pavé setting. Then, small jewels (usually diamonds) are set into the holes. The entire surface of the ring sparkles with a "paving" of gemstones.