Your wedding ring is going to be the most meaningful piece of jewelry in your collection. It is the piece of jewelry that connects you emotionally, spiritually and legally to your special someone. And in purely practical terms, you’re likely to wear it every day, so it has to be comfortable as well as timeless. Follow this quick guide to help you decide what wedding band is right for you and your spouse-to-be.
A Little Bit of History
Believe it or not, the practice of exchanging wedding rings goes back as far as Ancient Egypt, when couples would exchange braided hemp rings. The fourth finger was chosen as it was believed that there was a vein that connected from this finger directly to the heart.
Over time, braided rings gave way to precious metals – and men wearing wedding bands generally fell out of fashion. Since the 20th Century, double-ring ceremonies have been gaining prominence – with a few famous exceptions. There were a few raised eyebrows when the UK’s Prince William famously chose not to wear a wedding ring.
Commonly, couples choose matching rings but have a thinner band for the bride-to-be. However, you don’t have to match rings with your partner, it is entirely up to you. Sometimes couples choose completely different styles, even choosing different metals, or sometimes they will choose a complementary theme, with different designs. It is entirely up to you.
Couples might also choose to match their wedding band with an engagement ring, if they wear one.
If you are a same sex couple, you might want to choose rings with a matching theme rather than matching bands. Many couples pick a similar gemstone or metal, but choose a design to reflect their unique personalities. Since there isn’t as much tradition surrounding same sex weddings, you can take the opportunity to throw out the rulebook and pick something that really reflects who you are.
There are a huge number of different options for wedding band materials on the market. Noble metals are the most traditional choice, including Silver, Gold, Platinum and Palladium. These are all metals that are resistant to corrosion, and are said to represent the steadfastness of marriage itself. 18K Gold and Platinum are the most popular choices.
Due to its relative softness, we don’t recommend a purity of Gold higher than 18K (pure Gold is 24K). 18K is 75% pure Gold, and it is mixed with a harder alloy, usually silver or copper, to produce various colours, and a more durable metal.
Yellow or White?
Yellow Gold is usually seen as the more traditional choice – 18 Karat is a beautiful buttery color, and has remained popular for centuries.
White Gold is the more contemporary choice – it has the advantage of being able to match any color, and is a good match for silver jewelry.
Harder and less malleable than Gold, Platinum is a great choice if you’re worried about wear and tear. It is also far rarer than Gold – it forms just 0.005 parts per million of Earth’s crust. It has been said that if you took all of the Platinum on the planet, and put it in an Olympic-sized swimming pool, it would only come up to your ankles!
There are different profiles of wedding bands available on the market. The following shapes are the most popular:
- D Shape – The more comfortable style, this wedding ring sits snugly and smoothly on the finger.
- Flat Shape – The more contemporary style, this is a bold and stylish look.
Gemstone Wedding Bands
More commonly, customers are choosing wedding bands set with gemstones. Eternity and half eternity rings are popular – creating a contemporary look alongside an engagement ring. Rings set with a single gem also create a contemporary look. Wedding bands with a hidden gem inside mean that you can wear a gem close to your skin, giving it a deep symbolism.
Shop wedding rings here.