Though they might appear unassuming, there are still multiple decisions to be made when it comes to choosing a perfect pair of wedding band. As a physical representation of the everlasting love and commitment involved when tying the knot, it’s important that your wedding ring is durable enough, no matter one’s lifestyle, to withstand the potential wear and tear of everyday use. It’s also important to choose a design that’s sufficiently versatile considering it will feature alongside all your outfits, whether casual or formal. There is no perfect, one-size-fits-all wedding band: The optimal ring is one most compatible with you and your bride’s or groom’s lifestyles! So, read on for some tips and worthwhile points of consideration as you shop for your wedding bands.
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What Metal Should My Wedding Band Be Made Of?
Of course, gold is the timeless choice for a reason. Gold rings are elegant, stylish, and often available in different shades as yellow gold, rose gold, and white gold. Gold tends to be resistant to tarnishing for long periods, though that also depends on its purity, measured in karats. 24-karat (24K) gold, or “pure,” 99% gold, can be too soft and vulnerable to scratches to take permanent residence on your ring finger. Therefore, gold rings are almost always mixed with other metals, and the higher the karat value, the less alloying metals it’s mixed with. 18K gold, for example, is 75% gold. Higher purity alloys are usually more lustrous than lower karats, so achieving the right balance between appearance and durability is key when shopping for a gold wedding band. Alternatively, you could spring for silver. Though light on the wallet, silver is soft, prone to damage, and tarnishes more easily than gold (thus requiring regular maintenance), but worth considering as a more affordable option.
Another precious metal you could consider is platinum. It is a costlier option due to the luxurious, silvery material’s rarity, but platinum rings, despite usually being 95% pure, are remarkably durable, do not tarnish, and should safely withstand all the hardships your jewellery might face on a daily basis. Platinum rings tend to also be hypoallergenic, whereas some may have allergies to the various metals used in gold alloys. If you’d like a low-maintenance wedding band that’ll keep shining bright through a little rough use, it might be worth paying the premium for a couple of platinum wedding bands. Alternatively, look for palladium rings. Though rarely stocked by jewellers, palladium is lighter, cheaper, and no less durable, but a little less shiny.
Recently, as jewellers recognise the need for wedding bands similarly durable as platinum and palladium while remaining affordable, titanium rings have risen in popularity. Titanium is the hardest natural metal; it’s very lightweight, hypoallergenic, and does not corrode nor tarnish. Therefore, it’s an extremely comfortable, practical option for a wedding band. However, its uncompromising resilience has drawbacks. Titanium rings cannot be resized, so if you anticipate your ring size changing, perhaps opt for a different material. They are also difficult to inlay and decorate, resulting in simple, minimalistic designs, which not everyone might fancy.
What Styles of Wedding Bands Are There?
Here are some common styles of wedding bands you’ll likely encounter during your search. Some of these are not necessarily mutually exclusive, and you’ll occasionally see the names used interchangeably.
Simple but no less significant, plain bands come as they are, unadorned with diamonds or other embellishments, showcasing in their full glory the sheen of your chosen material. However, they can have numerous different finishes. They can be polished, matte, brushed, or even textured in interesting patterns. Plain bands are ideal if you’d like a wedding ring that’s timeless and easy to pair with other jewellery.
Pavé wedding rings are paved with diamonds: They feature many small diamonds or other gemstones set closely together, forming a line of brilliant sparkle. The effect can vary greatly depending on the size and number of diamonds or precious stones, as well as the width of the pavé setting, but the result is certain to be dazzling. Therefore, pavé wedding bands may be a better match visually with diamond engagement rings. These rings are sometimes referred to as half eternity rings.
Another common ring style that puts front and centre the sparkle of stones, eternity wedding bands differ from pavé rings by having the shimmering array of diamonds or gemstones set completely around the band, forming a closed loop. They’re also highly aesthetically compatible with diamond engagement rings and can be a charming, romantic backdrop as your engagement ring takes the limelight. Again, the width and flair of eternity wedding band settings can differ, hinging on your personal taste.
Last but not least, if you’d like a wedding ring that flaunts diamonds or gemstones while keeping them extra secure, consider channel wedding bands, which set any precious stones in a trough (the channel in question) that’s “dug” into the band. The channel can span the circumference of the band or only a portion of it. Channel wedding rings ensure your diamonds are kept out of harm’s way no matter how many hard knocks your hands might endure.
How Do I Pick A Wedding Band That Matches My Engagement Ring?
Naturally, considering how much wear both your wedding band and engagement ring will likely see, it is important to select a set of wedding rings that complements the engagement ring as well as possible. Here are a few factors to bear in mind.
Firstly, the metals used should match harmoniously. For example, the cool tones of silver, platinum, palladium, titanium, and white gold rings would complement one another. It is possible to successfully create contrast by throwing the warmer tones of gold or rose gold into the mix, depending on the rest of your outfit and specifically how warm the gold rings in question are, but it is more difficult than simply sticking to each category.
Understanding Engagement Ring Shapes and Styles
Secondly, think about how the shapes of your engagement ring and wedding band will fit with each other. For example, if having a plain wedding band would create gaps between it and your engagement ring, you might prefer a more rounded, stylish design that curves around the engagement ring for a sleek and seamless aesthetic. Thinking about shapes includes not only the shapes of the rings themselves, but the silhouettes of any diamonds or gems involved. For example, if your engagement ring features a square or rectangular silhouette like a princess- or cushion-cut diamond, you might prefer that any diamonds on your wedding band be round to provide contrast, or continue to pursue the structured, edgy look of squarish diamonds. If you’d like to brush up on your knowledge of diamond shapes, check out our summary here.
Paying Attention To Sizing
Thirdly, also take into account the width and size of each ring, which will greatly impact the proportions of your jewellery selection. If you’d like any one element to take centre stage, you might prefer to have the others be relatively unassuming. For example, a simple, plain, wedding band would draw further attention to the scintillating diamond on your engagement ring. Alternatively, have all elements merge seamlessly by choosing rings of similar proportions. A large round diamond would proportionately stand out less when framed by a wide pavé ring, for example.
How Do I Care For My Wedding Band?
Have you purchased your wedding band and want to make sure it stays in tip-top shape for as long as possible? Tips for general care include taking it off for activities that risk harm to it (such as sports) and taking it for regular maintenance if provided by your jeweller, particularly if there are diamonds. Here are specific care tips for gold, silver, and platinum wedding rings.
|Since gold is soft and prone to scratching, especially at higher karats, it warrants repeating that you should be particularly aware as to taking your ring off, such as before cleaning. It’s easy to forget or simply not bother due to how inconvenient this can sometimes be, but you wouldn’t want to regret any damage to it after! Also avoid exposing your wedding band to chemicals (e.g., cleaning agents) wherever possible. You can clean your gold wedding ring with a mild soap (one with a low pH level and no harsh chemicals that could cause damage, such as baby soap or glycerine soap).
|Aside from the risk of scratches since it’s also a soft metal, silver jewellery tends to tarnish more easily than gold. You can slow the process by storing your silver wedding band in a cool, dry place when you aren’t wearing it, such as a Ziploc bag or jewellery box. Regularly polishing it with a soft cloth also helps prevent oxidation. Be wary of cleaning silver jewellery with baking soda since it’s an abrasive substance; it might be safer to just stick with a mild soap or commercial silver cleaner.
|Although platinum neither tarnishes nor corrodes, it can develop a patina over the years. That can aesthetically be a nice effect, but if you favour the clean elegance of your platinum wedding band when it was brand new, have it polished by a professional to return it to its former glory.
There is quite a bit of experimentation involved, but the process of finding a suitably practical wedding band that also matches your engagement ring can be a fun, creative journey. As for where you should visit to start the search, save yourself the hassle and check out our list of wedding band retailers in KL.