Considerations When Shopping for a Wedding Ring
In order to purchase the wedding ring that best meets your desires and needs you should first understand the unique differences between wedding rings and engagement rings. Please remember that wedding rings are not the same as engagement rings. Buyers often confuse these terms setting off a stream of misconceptions regarding the preparation, cost, and gemstones used to create these two distinct types of jewelry. By focusing on these differences, you can better refine your search to find the best ring for you.
Gemstones & Wedding Rings
Unlike engagement rings, wedding rings are primarily sold with preset gemstones. The buyer can rarely, if ever, alter the gemstone(s) set in a wedding ring. This is because most wedding ring manufacturers produce wedding rings with specific types of gemstones. The gemstones, whether they be diamonds, emeralds, sapphires or other precious gemstones, are not intended to be changed. If a buyer wishes to purchase a wedding ring with one or more specific gemstones, they do have the option of purchasing a custom ring. Unfortunately, buying custom wedding rings can be very expensive and are less common than custom engagement rings. Don’t worry, jewelers take this into consideration. Today, wedding rings come in a large variety of metals, shapes, and sizes in order to accommodate a variety of lifestyles and tastes.
The Perfect Ring to Match Your Lifestyle
At first glance, wedding rings are a purely aesthetic experience. People often spend the majority of their time selecting what ring looks best. While outward appearance is very important, sometimes the best looking ring is not the best type of ring for your particular lifestyle. Take into consideration your own occupation and tastes when selecting the perfect ring to last a lifetime. Here are some important factors that reach beyond the mere look of a wedding ring:
Do you work with your hands often?
If so, perhaps a stronger metal or weaker gold might suit you better. Remember that lower karat gold is sturdier than purer gold because it is combined with metal alloys such as: nickel, copper, and steel. If you do not wish to have a gold wedding ring, there are metals that are substantially stronger than gold. Some examples of stronger metals include: platinum, titanium, and tungsten carbide. For more information about individual metals, please see our metal breakdown at What Metals Are Wedding Rings Made Of?
Strength is not only an important factor for metals, it also pertains to gemstones. In today’s rising trend to add different gems other than the traditional diamond, it is important to note which gems will hold up over time. Some of the strongest gemstones include: rubies, sapphires, and emeralds.
Many people like the security of a heavier ring. Others prefer a lighter ring that doesn’t weigh down their hand too much. Choose a material that fits your own personal preferences and lifestyle when it comes to weight.
Some heavier metals are:
- Platinum: 21400 kg/cu.m
- Tungsten: 19600 kg/cu.m
- Gold (24 kt.): 19320 kg/cu.m
- Some lighter metals include:
- Titanium: 4500 kg/cu.m
- Tungsten: 19600 kg/cu.m
- Silver: 10490 kg/cu.m
Men’s rings are generally heavier than women’s rings. That is not to say that men need to opt for the heaviest style of ring available. On the contrary, some of the newer styles such as Tungsten and Titanium rings can be both fashionable and incredibly masculine. These are better suited for men and women in labor intensive occupations that require constant use of the hands each day.
When it comes to weight, gemstones are not as large a factor as their metal counterparts. Weight is usually measured according to the way the gem is cut. Check out the carat measurement (or gem size) when determining the weight of your ring. If you don’t feel like doing heavy math equations and simply want a lighter ring, there is no substitute for trying on a ring and seeing how it feels. Sometimes, you might not have that option if you’re buying a ring online. Understanding the weight and size of both gemstones and metals can help take the mystery out of the online shopping process. Besides, most online websites allow you to return the ring if it is not satisfactory to your taste.
Strength does not necessarily mean durability. For those of us who work at a computer, lead active lifestyles, or simply work with our hands, durability should be a consideration. Check to see if your metal is particularly scratch resistant. Some of the most scratch resistant metals are: tungsten, titanium, and platinum. For more details on durability and scratch-proof metals please read Are Any Wedding Rings Scratch Resistant?
Durability is also a significant factor when it comes to gemstones. Some softer gemstones such as amber, coral, and opal, might not hold up as well as other stones. For a stronger, more scratch resistant stone, you might fare better with a diamond. Other durable stones include: emerald, jade, and aquamarine.
Whatever your particular lifestyle, occupation, or taste, your wedding ring should last a lifetime. This is no place to merely settle on a decision. Find which ring feels the most comfortable and represents your own unique personality.