10 Wedding Ring Commandments
Certain buying basics apply to all jewellery but when it comes to your wedding rings a different set of shopping tips apply, as you’ll both be wearing them for countless anniversaries to come. Here are our 10 commandments to finding, affording and caring for your all important wedding rings.
Narrow Your Choices
Because this is one of the few pieces of jewellery you’ll both shop for together and wear forever it’s good to make some preliminary decisions. Perhaps flip through magazines and browse jewellery stores to get ideas. What colour metal are you interested in; yellow or white? Perhaps all the jewellery you own is gold but he wants a white metal to match his watch. Compromise, look for bands that have both yellow and white metals. Are you interested in something simple or eye catching? What about a wedding band with diamonds or coloured gems?
Set a Budget
A simple gold wedding band starts from $160, plain platinum bands from $800 and diamond wedding bands from $700. Engraving a special message on the inside of the wedding band for your partner is a relatively small cost and can add a nice touch to the occasion.
Start Browsing Early
Begin looking for your wedding bands at least two months before your wedding date. This gives you time to browse and revisit rings that catch your eye. Browsing is an important part of the process, don’t skip this step and buy the first thing you see. Allow even more time if you’re interested in a custom piece. Keep in mind that engraving can take up to one month.
Keep your lifestyle in mind at all times, what’s the point of buying something pretty if it makes you uncomfortable or you have to remove it often? Remember, you’ll wear this band everyday. The idea is to choose something that becomes a part of your life seamlessly. For example, those who enjoy or pursue sports or music for a living should avoid wide, bulky bands and opt for a slimmer ring with rounded edges. Those who work with their hands a lot might want to avoid the hassle of a diamond engagement ring or wedding band and opt for something simpler that can’t trap dirt. If you’re allergic to certain metal alloys, invest in platinum. Its purity renders it hypoallergenic for most people.
Do the 20 Year Test
Don’t be afraid to be different but make sure the style you choose is something you’ll still want to wear at jobs, parent-teacher meetings and social functions for the next 20 years.
Be Smart About Size
Most people rarely take their wedding bands off, they wear them through summers, winters, menstruation, exercise and pregnancies. These are all times when your fingers swell and contract due to heat, cold, water retention and weight gain. To find the size that will best weather all these changes, do your ‘final fitting’ when you are calm and your body temperature is normal. Never finalise your ring size in the morning as you retain salt from the night before, after you’ve just exercised as your fingers swell or when you’re extremely hot or cold.
Check for Quality
This applies to all rings but it bears repeating here. Make sure wedding bands have two marks inside the ring, the first is the manufacturer’s trademark and proves they stand behind their work, and second is the quality mark e.g. 24K or PLAT. If the ring consists of two or more metals, make sure there is a quality mark for each.
Keep it Clean
Cleaning your wedding rings is easy, for a ring without stones simply rub it with a soft, lint free cloth such as a chamois. Grease can be removed by dipping the band in alcohol, tarnish can be cleaned with a solution of soap, water and a few drops of ammonia. Simply brush the ring with a soft toothbrush, rinse and dry with a soft cloth. If your wedding ring has stones, wash and soak it in warm sudsy water then brush with a soft toothbrush or eyebrow brush, then rinse and pat dry with a soft lint free cloth.
Protect Your Investment
Metals such as platinum are vulnerable. Real life will never allow your rings to be completely mark free, but avoid wearing your ring when doing rough work or sports, when working with chemicals such as chlorine or cleaning liquids as this can cause pitting or discolouration to your band. Scratches are most obvious on matte finishes and most easily affect platinum, which is softer than white or yellow gold on the surface, but more durable overall. Luckily it’s easy for your jeweller to polish up, or even change, the finish of the ring to restore its former glory.
You’d be surprised how easy it is to lose your ring. Hopefully, you’ve chosen something that you rarely have to remove. When you absolutely have to do the deed, put it in a designated place so you’ll always know where it is and never near a sink. If it doesn’t fall down the drain on its own, your cat will help it along. The most dangerous time to remove your wedding ring? When you’re away from home. That’s when rings are most likely to be lost or forgotten.