A guide to choosing your wedding rings
Many couples choose to symbolise their partnership by wearing wedding rings. With the huge amount of different options available, finding the right rings for you and/or your partner can feel a bit daunting at first. Dipples the Jewellers have kindly put together a quick guide to explain the different choices available.
The first question you will most likely be asked by the salesperson is which metal you prefer to have your wedding rings made from. This is generally an aesthetic choice. Although if the ring is to be worn next to another ring, it would ideally need to be made from a material of equal hardness (9 carat gold is harder than 18 carat gold for example). This is by no means essential, but given that wedding rings are generally expected to last a lifetime, it is worth considering. Broadly speaking, the options are:
- Gold (sometimes referred to as ’yellow gold’). A very traditional choice. It is available in 9 carat (37.5% purity), 14 carat (58.5% purity), 18 carat (75% purity) and 22 carat (91.6% purity). Of these, 9 carat and 18 carat are the most popular. The purer the gold, the richer the colour (100% pure gold is a very warm, deep yellow). Conversely, the more alloy used in the gold, the harder it becomes.
- White Gold is exactly the same as yellow gold, except it is made using different alloys which cause it to turn white. It is then coated with a layer of rhodium plating, to ensure it stays white. It is available in the same options as its yellow counterpart with the exception of 22 carat.
- Rose gold is alloyed with copper (and various other metals) in order to produce a beautiful pink colour. It is available in all purities.
- Platinum is a rare dense white metal, and is considered the highest quality metal available for jewellery. It is naturally white in colour and does not need to be rhodium plated.
- Palladium is a metal similar to platinum, although slightly less dense. Due to it being far less rare, its cost is significantly lower, even though it shares many of the same benefits as platinum, making it good value for money. It is available in 95% or 50% purity.
- Titanium is an extremely hard, grey metal, ideal for withstanding heavy wear. It is also exceptionally strong, very affordable and deceptively light in weight.
- Zirconium is very similar to Titanium in strength, hardness and weight, but its natural colour is slightly darker. It can be heat treated which forms a super hard black layer on the surface of the metal, at which point it becomes ‘Black Zirconium’.
Of course, if you can’t decide, don’t forget it’s possible to have more than one metal in the same ring!
Traditional, contemporary or somewhere inbetween?
The traditional image of wedding rings is a plain band of gold. While this is still immensely popular, there are quite literally endless possibilities when it comes to design. These range all the way from a simple pattern engraved on the band to highly elaborate pieces featuring diamonds and other precious stones.
This 18 carat gold ring is known as a ‘Court’ ring. This means that the band is curved on the inside and the outside for maximum comfort. It is probably the most popular style of wedding ring worn today.
This 9 carat gold ring features Celtic knotwork around the band,. This gives it a degree of individuality while retaining a traditional feel.
This two-tone ring is made from platinum and 18 carat gold, and is a very striking modern design. The ring can be made with the two metals (either way around), with the white metal being either white gold, platinum or palladium. It can also be made using all one metal.
This platinum diamond set wedding ring features subtle beading around the edges. The diamonds can be set as far around the band as you wish. Diamond bands can work well to accentuate the sparkle of a beautiful diamond engagement ring.
His and hers (or hers and his, or his and his, or hers and hers…!)
It is a common misconception that both partners’ wedding rings have to be the same style. In actual fact this happens quite rarely. Although obviously if you both like the same style then there’s nothing stopping you! A ring which reflects your personality, feels comfortable and symbolises the commitment which it represents is a far better idea than just going for the ring that matches your partner’s.