A wedding band is the most symbolic piece of bridal jewelery most people wear. It represents the union of two people, joined by the ring finger. Romantics claim that the ring finger has an artery that leads straight to the heart. This is how the ring finger became endowed with the important duty of wearing wedding rings. Once married, most people seldom take off their wedding rings, which also symbolize their faithfulness for each other. And the plain traditional half dome band continues to be the most popular style in the midst of bridal jewelery because it captures the essence of love in its purest form.
The tradition of a man proposing with a gold ring dates as far back as 860 AD, when Pope Nicholas I stated that a man should give his bride a gold ring to show his personal financial sacrifice for her hand in marriage. This tradition has lasted until today, except marketers have stated a requirement of two months’ salary, including the diamond! Other people thought that wedding rings and bridal jewelry ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. Non-romantics would probably argue that the band and other bridal jewelery were invented to tag married women. (Men did not start wearing bands until early 1900s.)
With new technology in manufacturing wedding rings, there are more styles than ever. Finding the perfect ring and bridal jewelery for you may be harder than you think.
Types of Wedding Rings:
- Traditional Half Round Wedding Bands
These bands are plain and classic in design. They are available in 14k and 18k yellow or white gold and platinum. A new process called comfort fit makes the inside of the rings slightly round, which makes the rings more comfortable for wear.
- Two Tone Rings
A two tone wedding ring combines yellow and white gold, or yellow and rose gold for a unique, artistic look. Since gold comes in a number of assorted hues, there are many combinations of multiple colored designs available for those who fancy colorful jewelery.
- Designer Bands
A designer band usually has a more ornate look and they come in a variety of different finishes, such as brushed, matte, polished, and Florentine. For those who enjoys more decorative looks, designer bands may be the best choice.
- Titanium Bands
Titanium is increasing in popularity because this affordable metal is extremely light and durable. Wearing bands made from titanium is extra comfortable due to its weightless feel, so people who are not used to wearing jewelery may find this a good alternative to gold or platinum. One downside is that they cannot be re-sized.
- Diamond Rings
Diamond wedding rings are among the highest class of wedding jewelery for those who crave the best and most expensive jewelery. The ring and the band can be purchased separately or as a matching set with an engagement ring.
- Platinum Bands
Platinum bands usually comes with a polished, mirror finish to accentuate the material’s best qualities. It’s a better option for people who prefers white gold because, unlike white gold, platinum doesn’t need to be re-rhodiumed twice a year to maintain it’s brightness. However, those who wishes to indulge in the luxury of platinum bands will have to be prepared to yield much from their wallets, as it is currently the priciest among all precious metals in jewelery making.
When considering precious gems for a ring, remember that you will likely wear this ring every day for the rest of your life. Therefore, while softer stones can be beautiful, they aren’t the best choices for an engagement or wedding ring. The Mohs scale registers a stone’s ability to resist abrasion; 10 (diamonds) is the strongest and 1 (talc) is the weakest. Anything less than a Mohs scale 7 is not recommended for an engagement ring. If you are a person who does a lot of activity with their hands (how long does a manicure last on you?) then I would advise limiting your selection to rubies, sapphires and diamonds.
To help you out, here’s a list of common stones, and their hardness level:
Aquamarine 7.5 to 8
Garnet 6.5 to 7.5
You should also know that a general rule of thumb is the darker the color, the more expensive the stone.