“With this ring, I thee wed.” These words have preceded the giving and exchange of wedding rings in church marriage ceremonies for millions of couples. Surprisingly, though, way back in the 9th century, the Church frowned on the giving of wedding rings as, in those days, the rings were elaborately decorated with doves and heathen symbols – a far cry from the simple bands that for so long have been favoured by newly-weds.
Modern couples are once again moving away from the simple bands and court rings of plain gold to more intricate designs with embedded gemstones or engravings. Some choose matching rings for bride and groom, while others prefer wedding rings comprising more than one metal or with a band that has been worked into a complex pattern.
Before you settle on a particular wedding ring, however, you might like to consider these points:
Longevity – your wedding ring is a symbol of eternal love and commitment. In all likelihood you will never remove it, so it needs to be comfortable and durable and, if you like to wear other jewellery, it should complement the other pieces in your collection both those you have now and those you might buy in the future.
Design – for years the most common type of wedding ring was a plain yellow gold band – either flat or court style. This design was simple and unobtrusive and could be worn with most other jewellery. Plain bands are still among the most popular, but the modern era has seen a move towards individuality and this is reflected in the choice of wedding ring.
It is becoming increasingly common to see wedding rings set with gemstones, often set into grooved channels around the band. If you want your ring to be set with a stone be sure that it does not protrude – if it does, it could easily get damaged as you go about your daily activities. It is also worth remembering that the more ostentatious the ring, the harder it will be to match with your other jewellery and the more uncomfortable it is likely to be when worn for extended periods.
Metal – yellow gold is still a popular choice for wedding rings but white gold and platinum are gaining ground. Like yellow gold, the purity of white gold is measured in carats, 24ct being the most pure but virtually useless for use in rings because it is too soft. 18ct is the best purity to go for, as it retains its shape better and has greater scratch resistance. Yellow and white gold of equal carat have the same gold content, the difference is in the metals with which it is alloyed to give the colour and hardness. Platinum rings are virtually pure and are gaining in popularity because the price of platinum, which was once prohibitive, is now on a par with that of gold.
Price – beautiful wedding rings are available for very reasonable prices. So for those who have only a modest budget for their weddings, there is no need to sacrifice beauty and quality for price.
Remember – it’s your day, your life and your wedding ring. Choose what you feel comfortable with and what is right for you. Enjoy it and have a wonderful life with the one you love.