Wedding Ring Buyer's Guide

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Choosing a wedding ring does not have to be as challenging as finding the perfect engagement ring. This guide details all you'll need to know about choosing women's and men's wedding bands.

A Perfect Match


Some rings are designed to fit together, side-by-side. Many women like the symmetry of two matching rings, with diamonds of the same size and shape, or just the same type of metal. See related items on your choice of engagement ring for matching wedding bands.
A Unique Combination

She may choose a ring other than the one designed to match her engagement ring. This creates a unique look that is becoming popular. To explore all the options, view all of our plain and diamond wedding rings.
Women's Platinum and 18k Gold Rings

Consider the classic. Both 18k gold and platinum rings will last a lifetime. View all our 18ct gold and platinum wedding rings.
Men's Wedding Rings

Men have a few simple choices. He can select a ring thickness, choose between platinum and 18k gold, and choose a ring set with diamonds or one with a unique design. Some couples choose matching men's and women's wedding rings. To be sure you'll enjoy your rings for years to come, just choose rings that you love.

Men's Platinum and 18k Gold Rings


Our most popular men's wedding rings are plain metal bands. For an element of design choose a ring with a subtle design like millgrain or a diamond set ring.

Gold or Platinum?


If you're unsure what ring metal to choose, consider the differences between 18k gold and platinum:

Platinum: the strongest, most pure metal. It will last a lifetime.

    * More expensive
    * Platinum jewellery is composed of 90-95% pure platinum. It is more rare than gold
    * Strongest jewellery metal
    * Resistant to damage
    * Won't wear away
    * Develops a satin finish
    * Difficult to polish, repair
    * Won't tarnish

Platinum is a white metal (looking similar to silver), but unlike gold it is used in jewellery in almost its pure form (approximately 95% pure). The other 5% is usually made from other metals such as gold, nickel, iridium, palladium, rhodium, or ruthenium. Platinum does not need to be Rhodium plated like white gold, as it is extremely resilient. In fact, its durability is what makes Platinum so popular. It is so strong that it doesn't splinter or whittle away like other metals, and will not need to be reinforced to make it stronger.

While it is the strongest of jewellery metals, platinum can still scratch with everyday wear. This produces sheen unique to platinum, called a patina. Many people prefer this finish. Those who prefer the shiny reflective look need only polish their jewellery to return it to its original lustre.

Care


Platinum requires little care - a soft bristled brush with a solution of soap and water is all that is needed to maintain the metal's lustre.

Price


Platinum usually costs roughly 2-4 times as much as the same piece of jewellery made in gold. This is due to the extreme heat and techniques necessary for its manufacture, as well as its density. The specific gravity of platinum is 21.5, which is somewhat heavier than gold, and so a platinum ring will feel heavier than an 18ct gold ring.

Gold: the most common engagement ring setting.

    * Less expensive
    * Mixed with metal alloys to give it strength
    * Softer, malleable metal
    * More easily damaged
    * Will wear away over years
    * Easy to polish, repair
    * Won't tarnish

Gold is naturally yellow in colour and will not tarnish, corrode or rust and is the most malleable of all metals. Pure gold is defined as 24 carat, and is too soft for most jewellery uses, so it is alloyed (mixed) with other metals to alter its properties, strength and colour.

The purity of gold is measured in carats, which are expressed in 24ths. Therefore, 24-carat gold is pure while 12-carat gold 50% gold and 50% alloy.

24 Carat: This is pure gold and is too soft for jewellery
22 Carat: 91.7% gold and too soft for jewellery
18 Carat: 75% gold and used for fine jewellery
14 Carat: 58.3% gold and used for good quality jewellery
12 Carat: 50% gold and used for jewellery of a fair quality
9 Carat: 37.5% gold, most commonly used metal in UK.

NB: Do not confuse metal carat with diamond carat; diamond carat refers to the weight of a diamond, while metal carat means the purity of the gold.
Care

Keep gold jewellery away from chemicals and cleaning fluids to reduce daily scratches and prolong its lustre. Wash the jewellery gently with a soft-bristled brush using a solution of detergent-free soap and warm water. Store gold pieces separately in their original boxes or soft cloth bags to protect them from the elements.

Pricing


A point to remember is that the higher the percentage of gold, the higher the price.

White Gold

White gold is an alloy of gold and some white metals such as nickel, silver and palladium. Yellow gold and white gold are very similar and tend to have the same alloy percentages. The only difference is the other metals use

An example:
18-carat yellow gold and 18-carat white gold are both made from 75% gold and 25% other metals. The difference between the two metals lies only in the alloy. The yellow gold is alloyed with coloured metals such as copper and zinc. The white gold is alloyed with white metals such as nickel and silver.

White Gold is then Rhodium plated to give it its final shine. Although this is very effective it will eventually rub off and need re-plating.

Bespoke Diamonds only uses Platinum and 18ct Gold in its jewellery manufacture.
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