How to Shop for a Wedding Ring
Before shopping for a wedding ring, you should consider the following six factors: cost, type of metal, whether you want diamonds or other gemstones, the type of fit of the ring, daily exposure, and possible allergies to metals.
Standard wedding rings, which are produced in mass, can typically run anywhere from under $100 to as much as $5,000. At the lower end of this price range are Tungsten and Titanium wedding rings. At the higher end of the price range are Platinum wedding rings with or without diamonds. Gold rings, including 10K, 14K, and 18K can cost anywhere from as little as $100 to around $1,000. The type of production level, as well as the type of gold, will affect the price.
Type of Metal
Gold has traditionally been the most popular metal for wedding rings. However, there are a number of other metal types that wedding rings are made from and this includes Platinum, Palladium, Titanium, Tungsten, and Sterling Silver. Within the last decade, platinum has seen resurgence and become very popular again. Then there is palladium which appears like platinum but does not cost as much. And within the last few years, a new generation of “alternative” metals has hit the market and become quite popular. This includes Titanium and Tungsten. Both Titanium and Tungsten wedding rings have become very popular for two reasons. First, they are very inexpensive wedding rings which can be purchased for under $100. Second, they can take a lot of abuse. Both metals are especially popular with men who work with their hands as these rings are scratch resistant. Rounding out the metal types is Sterling Silver which still remains quite popular due to the fact that it is still one of the most attractive metals and one of the least expensive.
Diamonds or Other Gemstones
Diamond and other gemstone wedding rings come in many different styles. There are Diamond Eternity Bands which are simply wedding rings with diamonds that wrap completely around the circumference of the ring. There are Channel Set rings which are wedding rings with diamonds that are set into the center channel of the metal and typically only go one third of the way around the ring. There are various colors of diamonds which can be set in wedding rings. This includes white, yellow, pink and black. There are also various gemstones which can be set in wedding rings. This includes ruby, sapphire, emerald, and many others.
Fit of the Ring
Most wedding rings are circular inside of the ring. This helps fit most fingers. However, there are different styles of rings that have different fits to accommodate different fingers and necessities. For example, there are Comfort Fit wedding rings that have rounded edges and provide a more comfortable fit. There is a variation of this called European Comfort Fit. These wedding rings can be found with one side of the interior of the ring “flattened” so that not only does it fit more comfortably on some fingers, it also keeps the ring in a fixed position. This is very important if your ring has one or more gemstones and you always want them facing away from your hand.
Think about what you do with your hands on a daily basis. If, for example, you are a construction worker or someone who simply does manual work with their hands on a daily basis, you are not going to want to purchase a ring made from any other metal than Titanium or Tungsten. Both of these metals are extremely strong and very difficult to scratch. Compare this to 18k gold which is quite easy to scratch, scuff, and bend. If on the other hand you work in an office or simply do not expose your hands to rough elements, you can choose just about any metal type and not worry about your ring.
Allergies to Metals
It is not uncommon for people to say that they are “allergic” to some types of metals. 10k, 14, and 18k gold wedding rings all have other metals mixed with gold. This can include nickel, palladium and other metals. When people say that they are “allergic” to some metal types, this typically means that when these metal types touch their skin, their skin has a reaction which is usually characterized by a rash. Because of some people’s sensitivity to some metals, some wedding rings are considered “hypoallergenic”. Hypoallergenic wedding rings include platinum, palladium, 24k gold, titanium, and tungsten.