Wedding and engagement rings: the buyer's guide
Find out how to choose the right engagement and wedding rings...
We’ve got the Romans to thank for introducing wedding rings to Britain. Later the Cromwellians rejected these symbols of the marriage contract as ‘Popish’, but the custom soon made a comeback with the reestablishment of the Royalists in 1660 and has been with us ever since.
Rings aren’t just for women or for weddings. Men can wear them too, and some couples exchange rings on engagement, usually a signet ring for the prospective groom, in the same metal as his fiancé’s ring.
The engagement ring originally served a double purpose. It was partial payment for the bride and a symbol of the groom's honourable intentions. The diamond first appeared in medieval Italy, a stone that symbolised enduring love because of its hardness. A diamond, being more expensive than gold, was also seen as a firmer promise as it offered greater security.
Traditionally, the man pays for the engagement ring. One popular guideline (largely perpetrated by the diamond industry!) is that it should cost him a month’s salary. If this is beyond your budget, don’t feel pressured: buying jewellery you can’t really afford is not necessarily the best start to married life...
Traditionally, if the engagement is called off by the bride-to-be, the engagement ring should be returned. If the man calls it off, she gets to keep it and, if she’s got any sense, to flog it to the highest bidder!
The question is: how to choose the right rings? Our buyer’s guide will tell you what you need to know...
The choice of wedding ring is a crucial decision given that it is intended to be worn for the rest of your life, please find below some hints and tips for purchasing your wedding ring so that it will last and complement your engagement ring.
The first thing to consider is what type of metal do you want. The main features of each type of metal used in our wedding rings is given below, but probably the choice for you will have been made already by the choice of metal used in your engagement ring. We would not advocate generally mixing metals as firstly it could look a bit odd and secondly one may cause a disproportionate wear on the other meaning you will need to replace either your wedding ring or your engagement ring at some point much earlier that you would have liked.
Wedding ring metals
Yellow Gold is still a very popular long lasting precious metal for wedding rings and capable of being altered easily as finger sizes alter, but don’t mix 9ct and 18ct gold as they look different and the 9ct gold will wear down the 18ct gold.
White Gold is an increasingly popular alternative which again is easily altered. White gold is generally rhodium plated to enhance the whiteness but this can need redoing every couple of years or so.
Platinum is the most precious of the metals used in wedding rings and is the most durable, its also the most expensive to alter should you need to later on. No plating is required your ring will be a beautiful colour as it is.
Buyng a Palladium Wedding Ring is the most like platinum, actually its’ from the same family, but is a fraction of the cost so it makes for a much cheaper alternative as a wedding ring than the others and especially platinum. It is also a very similar colour to platinum.
Titanium and Zirconium are also one of the cheaper alternatives to the more precious metals for wedding rings and they can come plain patterned or inlaid with precious metals such as gold and platinum. Titanium & Zirconium Wedding Rings cannot however be resized
To each of the above one or more diamonds can be added to suit your taste and a diamond wedding ring is certainly the thing to impress at your wedding.
How to Buy a Wedding Ring
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11 November 2013
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