Many people, especially Westerners, can’t recognize the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding band. You will be surprised if I tell you that it can be significant in both symbolism and the appearance of these two jewelry pieces.
In most cases, the engagement ring is more expensive, with a large diamond, that men buy to propose their girlfriends. It is a symbol that you belong to someone but are not married yet.
On the other hand, the wedding band is much more modest, usually without jewels, and symbolizes the lifelong commitment. There are several types of wedding rings you can exchange during the wedding ceremony. Let’s consider your options.
The Best Metal for Wedding Bands
Once you decide to buy a wedding band, you should choose the one made of harder metals, such as pricy platinum, traditional yellow gold, extravagant rose gold, elegant white gold, or timeless silver.
Whichever option you choose, make sure that the band matches your engagement ring. The combination of the gold diamond ring and silver wedding band can look a bit kitschy.
Earlier, couples tried to find the bride and groom rings that match. However, modern men often choose fashionable and durable bands made of tungsten, titanium, palladium, or stainless steel.
Nowadays, couples often pick out bands made of unusual materials, such as titanium carbide (super strong ceramic) and corrosion-resistant zirconium. Believe it or not, the new trend is to have wedding bands made of wood. They look pretty elegant since the piece of wood is integrated into the metal frame.
Types of Wedding Rings
1. Classic wedding band
In most cases, a classic wedding ring is made of yellow gold, but these days, white gold and platinum models are becoming increasingly popular. Most couples still choose a traditional metal band that represents eternal love and devotion.
The classic plain wedding band designed of precious metals is smooth, with a clean, reflective finish. Its surface features various finishes, and the most common include satin, matte, brushed, hammered, and textured.
Such a ring offers a classic and stylish look. It is comfortable, won’t interfere with daily activities, and fits most fashion styles. Plus, it is more affordable than a diamond model.
It will depend on your preferences to choose the ring in one of the available widths. In most jewelry shops, you can find models ranging from 0.08 to 0.3 inches (2 – 8 mm), so you can pick out the desired model depending on your preferences.
When you have a large and wide engagement ring, it is more convenient and comfortable to choose a narrower band. If you appropriately match them, you will get an appealing and elegant combination. You should pay about $70 to $250 for the average gold wedding band, while the ring made of platinum cost approximately $500 to $1,500.
2. Eternity wedding band
Thanks to its beauty and obvious symbolism, this model is highly popular for years. It typically features diamonds along the entire ring circumference, but you can pick out a half-eternity ring if you prefer that way. You can also find a model with other gemstones instead of diamonds.
The most popular diamond cut is a sophisticated round, but contemporary models can also contain different ones. Some jewelers use various settings and set the diamonds as prong, pave, or channel.
Be careful when choosing this ring since it is often impossible resizing it. Plus, it can be inconvenient to wear. The average cost of such a band is between $5,000 to $25,000. However, it will depend on the diamond size and metal the ring is made of.
3. Channel wedding band
It is basically a variation of an eternity wedding band with princess cut diamonds. Since gems are placed in a channel below the ring surface level, it is more practical and secure for wearing.
4. Pave wedding band
The pave setting includes a metal band with a line of gemstones on half of the wedding ring. Most models feature diamonds, but you can choose a model with other gems or a combination of two.
There are two primary types of this setting including:
- Scalloped pave diamond band – In such a case, diamonds are set in a rounded base, which minimizes the surface of visible metal. That design increases the diamond sparkle and brilliance.
- French pave diamond band – The diamond setting is made the way that maximizes their sparkle, primarily thanks to the V shape precious metal creates.
The average price for this diamond ring type is approximately $700 to $1,500. The overall cost will depend on the gemstones you choose.
5. 5-stone wedding band
The band created of yellow or rose gold with five diamonds or some other gems is a sophisticated and unique choice you should consider. All gemstones equal in size, so it looks like a half-eternity band. The difference is in the stones that are more prominent and larger in this case.
There are a few different meanings of this band type. So, the five stones can represent:
- Love, trust, empathy, commitment, and excellent communication between spouses
- Eternal love
- The first five years of marriage
- Personal symbols
The primary disadvantage of this choice is a quite annoying necessity of rotating the ring when it spins the wrong way. Plus, large stones can hurt your finger in such a situation.
6. Infinity wedding band
A series of eights placed in a circle features the infinity symbol, well known since the mid-1600s. It represents a never-ending line, and you can find it in a wide range of styles and designs. Eights can be made of gold or contain diamonds, depending on your preferences, wishes, and budget.
7. Twisted wedding band
It is an attractive modern ring made of two twisted metal bands that form an elegant curving design. It symbolizes two people who share their lives forever.
You can choose two identical bands or the ones made of different metals, colors, or ornaments. One of the most popular models includes one plain golden ring while the other features diamonds or other gemstones.
8. Curved wedding band
If you have an appealing diamond engagement ring, you will want to highlight it. Therefore, you should pick out the wedding band that can complement it properly.
An adequate shape of the chosen wedding ring model should allow the engagement ring to take the primary position on your hand. In such a case, a matching curved wedding band can be an excellent option.
You can find this ring type in several shapes and styles, so it won’t be too complicated to choose the one that fits your wishes the best. I prefer channel and prong sets, but the choices you have at your disposal are endless.
Traditionally, jewelers make this band type in wishbone or V shape. It is believed that the wishbone-shaped ring represents hope, wealth, fortune, and good luck. If you choose a model with diamonds representing love, strength, and integrity, you will get the full package of happiness for a lifetime.
9. Carved wedding band
Unlike classic wedding bands, this striking model features elegant and stylish carvings over the entire surface. It is an excellent choice for you if your engagement ring is simple without an accentuated diamond.
You can now select this ring made of yellow or white gold or platinum, depending on your preferences and budget.
10. Vintage wedding band
I adore these wedding rings since they are always unique, well-workmanship, and stylish with all that patina. Any ring between the ages of 30 and 99 is considered vintage. Those older than a century are both vintage and antique.
You can proudly choose your grandma’s ring for your wedding or purchase an old model or its replica inspired by your favorite historical period. The most desired vintage wedding ring types include:
- Georgian wedding band – This Greek-inspired design features beautiful natural motifs like birds, wheat stalks, leaves, and flowers.
- Victorian wedding band – This elegant ring in vivid style is the right choice for you if you are a romantic soul. This period includes bold design, bright colors, and gemstones incorporated into the band. If you find this ring made of silver or platinum with an embedded diamond, you can be sure that it comes from a later Victorian period.
- Edwardian wedding band – This ring is exceptionally feminine and delicate. It is always made of gold with characteristic sophisticated filigree and milgrain, typical for that Era.
- Art nouveau wedding band – I adore the symmetrical lines, richly crafted wrought metalwork, and elegant natural motifs of this ring.
- Art deco wedding band – This beautiful piece of jewelry is well-known for its geometric pattern, linear design, and neutral hues.
You can also pick out the Claddagh or gimmel ring. Both are not really vintage but are connected with ancient Irish design highly fashionable nowadays.
11. Solitaire wedding ring
Even though a wedding ring is a plain band, you can pick out a model with a single gemstone, including a diamond. This solitaire model usually contains a center gemstone with or without small precious stones on both sides.
Such an option is popular among brides who don’t want to wear a separate engagement ring and a wedding band but choose only one instead.