Guide To Buying Wedding Rings
According to some historians wedding bands date back to the Egyptian civilization where simple rings made out of river reeds and grass were woven together and exchanged by the married couple on their wedding day to celebrate eternal love.
In ancient Rome, betrothal rings were known as Annulus Pronubus and were traditionally made out of iron, the strongest metal during that time. The ring symbolized a man’s power over their woman and a promise of protection.
With the rise of Christianity the rings evolved even further. Early Christian betrothal rings were highly decorated and elaborate until the Church proclaimed them to be “heathenish”. For a while European betrothal rings were simple bands that symbolized spiritual connection between the two people.
Today, wedding bands can be as simple or as elaborate as the couple wants them to be. There are virtually no rules governing the selection, pricing, or the design of the ring. So, how to you choose the right on with so many options to choose from?
Ask yourself, are you the couple that wears wedding band? Some women are satisfied with just their engagement ring and some men, especially those that don’t like to wear jewelry may not feel comfortable wearing a ring. Talk to each other and decide whether you are the couple that wants to invest into a set of wedding bands.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU SPEND
If you have decided that you want to purchase a set of bands, the next step is to set a budget. Traditionally, wedding bands should be 3% of your wedding budget. That means that if your wedding budget is 60K you should plan to spend roughly 1800$ on a set of wedding bands. But let me ask you this question: why play by the rules? If you can find a set of rings that are cheaper and of better quality for next to nothing, why would you not purchase them? Is the 3% really an iron clad rule? No.
Easiest way to save a lot of money on your wedding band purchase is to turn to the used market. Purchasing a pre-owned ring will give that ring a second chance to be loved and treasured by someone who truly deserves it and allow you to allocate more funds to the wedding budget.
Ermitage Jewelers has hundreds of great quality, pre-owned wedding bands that will fit almost any budget and style. We offer matching rings sets, diamond set rings, and rings in a variety of precious metal alloys.
Another great way to save time and money is to purchase a bridal set. The sets usually include an engagement ring and two matching wedding bands. This is a great option for those couples that want matching wedding bands and can save you hundreds of dollars not to mention the time it will take to find another set of rings.
Here, at Ermitage Jewelers we offer new, pre-owned, and custom made bridal sets to save you time and money.
VINTAGE AND NONSPECIFIC RINGS
Some couples choose to go a more nontraditional route and choose vintage or non specific rings instead. There are a few advantages:
Vintage rings don’t need to be specifically designed as wedding rings. In fact, rings that are not labeled as wedding rings will likely be cheaper and at times of better quality.
Going the vintage route allows you to impart more personality and character into the rings.
Vintage rings make great heirloom pieces.
As it is the case with vintage rings, jewelry that is not labeled as “wedding” often times will have a lower price tag. Some vendors will have a high markup on products that are wedding specific knowing that newly engaged couples will spend hundreds of dollars just to make the occasion special. Don’t fall into the trap! If you are on a budget and opted out of purchasing a bridal set, take a peek in the regular jewelry section. Often times you will find rings that look like wedding bands that are not labeled as such and cost hundreds less. Going off the beaten path will also allow you to get more creative with your set and truly express yourselves as a couple.
DIAMOND SET RINGS
Do your research before buying wedding bands set with diamonds! Make sure that you are well educated on the four C’s of diamonds: color, clarity, carat, and cut. Occasionally couples buy diamond wedding bands that do not match the color, cut, or clarity of the engagement ring making it impossible to wear the rings as a set. To learn more about these important factors click here.
To avoid this potentially costly mistake consider the following:
Always look at the ring in person before purchasing it.
If you are buying online check the vendor's return policy in case the description was wrong or you misunderstood something. Sometimes the smallest difference in color can stand out like a sore thumb.
Try to buy the engagement and the wedding ring from the same jeweler.
Always deal with knowledgeable and reputable retailers who can explain in detail what you are purchasing.
PRECIOUS METAL CHOICE
Platinum is one of the most popular metal choices for wedding bands today. However, if you can’t afford a platinum ring, do not despair. Choosing gold, titanium, palladium, or tungsten can save you hundreds without sacrificing beauty, character or style.
When choosing a metal for your wedding band, take into consideration the fact that the ring will gets lots of wear and tear. Men’s rings in particular take a lot of abuse and should be made out of denser materials. Titanium and 10 karat gold are popular choices for men’s wedding bands. However, remember that 10 karat gold tends to be considerably more pale than 14k or 18k band.
Before making any decision, talk to your jeweler. Ask to see rings side by side so you have a better idea of the color difference between 10 karat gold and 18 karat gold.
Wearing a wedding ring is one of the oldest, time tested traditions that defines the institution of marriage for many couples. With this guide you will be able to make an informed decision before purchasing your wedding bands.
Ermitage Jewelers would like to congratulate you on your engagement and pending nuptials! We invite you to browse our online catalogue of bridal jewelry, vintage rings, wedding bands, and more to pick a ring that will commemorate your special occasion.
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