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How to Choose the Right Wedding Ring

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Choosing a wedding ring is an extremely personal decision with the goal of wearing the ring for decades to come. Some couples prefer matching bands but many choose rings that express their personal, individual style. The best way to choose a band is to put them right on your hand and see what speaks to you.

Here is some advice to help guide you to the right ring:

For Him

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Most men don’t wear lots of jewelry, so the wedding ring is their biggest chance to make a personal statement.  Did you know that the most popular men’s band is actually a plain band (like the one to the right)? Plain is classic and will never go out of style, but there are also hundreds of other men’s ring styles to consider.  

We suggest you think about these questions:

  • Do you want something plain or something a little more ornate? Some rings have just a little bit of detail while others are complicated works of art.
  • How wide do you want your band to be?  You can go from a thin band to a super wide band, depending on the size of your fingers and the look you want.
  • Do you want any diamonds on the ring or just metal? From a single accent diamond to a diamonds all the way around, the choice is yours.
  • What color or colors do you want the ring to be? Platinum and White Gold are the most popular. Other metal choices include Palladium, Silver and alternative metals such as Tungsten Carbide, which is a gun metal color. Gold also comes in yellow and rose/pink color. Finally, rings are available with modern accents such as Black Carbon Fiber.
  • What kind of finish do you prefer? Finishes range from high polish to brushed, hammered and more.

Here are some examples of men's wedding bands:

mens_wedding_rings

For Her

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Do you want the band to “match” the engagement ring? Your wedding ring can be the exact same style as your engagement ring or it can be complementary without being “matchy matchy”. In our experience, about half of women go for the match while half go for a different style.For women, the choices are nearly endless, so let’s walk through some of the important questions.

  • Do you want the band to sit flush against your engagement ring?  Depending on the style of your engagement ring, you might prefer the wedding band to sit tight against your diamond ring with no space between. Often flush fitting rings are available but if not, you can have one custom made to fit your engagement ring. However, the natural movement of your hand can create separation between the rings, so even a flush fitting ring isn’t always going to set perfectly.  Also consider if will you be wearing the wedding ring by itself anytime without your engagement ring, such as at work or when you travel. If yes, consider a band that looks great on its own as well as with your engagement ring.
  • If you want diamonds, do you want them to go all the way around or part of the way around? The choices again are nearly endless. You can go with an eternity band which has diamonds all the way around or you can choose a 5 or 7 stone band with diamonds along the top and metal on the bottom.  Then there’s everything in between with the most popular being diamonds ½ way or ¾ of the way around.  Fewer diamonds means a lower cost and, depending on how hard you are on your hands, better protection for the diamond.
  • What style of diamond setting do you like?  From channel set to prong set, bead set or pave, there are lots of different ways to set the diamond.
  • What color gemstones do you want in the band?  There are more choices than just diamonds. Sapphires are very popular, as are Rubies and Emeralds. Here are some examples with colored gemstones:
Colored Gemstone Wedding Bands

Additional Thoughts for His and Her Rings

You want a ring that will last a lifetime and still fit into your budget.  The metal used in the ring is a major part of the cost.  Gold and Platinum are traditional precious metals that have used in wedding bands for centuries.  Alternatives have come along and some have serious limitations.  For example, tungsten carbide is a cool looking, inexpensive metal but it cannot be sized once it is made and it can’t be fixed if it cracks.  Alternatively, Platinum and gold rings can be fixed.

If you prefer yellow then Yellow Gold is the way to go and you just need to decide if you prefer the traditional 18K (which is 75%. gold) or the newer 14K (which is 58% gold).  If you prefer white, most choose either White Gold or Platinum.  

If you are hard on your hands and you plan to wear your ring all the time, consider Platinum because it is the hardest, the most durable and its color never fades.  

White Gold is beautiful but it is a softer metal, it will yellow over time back to its natural color and it has to be rhodium plated again to bring back that bright white color.  

Palladium is a relative of Platinum that has a similar hardness but has substantially less weight and almost a paler white color.  Palladium has become somewhat popular in men’s bands over the past decade, but most still prefer the traditional Gold and Platinum choices.

Lastly, don’t wait until the wedding before ordering or buying your wedding rings if you want to leave your options open.  Jewelers will have some rings on hand that can be sized to your finger, but chances are you will have to have your wedding band custom made especially for you in your size.  This can take several weeks so plan ahead and order your rings well in advance of your wedding day!

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