The Band of Love, choosing a wedding ring
Where there are weddings, there are wedding rings ~ beautiful, unending circles of love and commitment. While gold still reigns as the most popular metal, silver and platinum run as close seconds, with titanium, tungsten carbide and ceramic the new kids on the block. Start shopping early, so you can evaluate many different options in several price ranges.
Personal preference and cost will guide your choices. Wide bands are more easily noticed, while thin bands are more comfortable. Some wedding rings are flat on both sides, while others are domed on the outside or have grooves, designs, beveled edges and/or inlay. Most couples choose matching bands, but there's nothing set in stone that makes that imperative. Since this is something that might be worn every day for the rest of your life, the material deserves serious scrutiny.
Gold Wedding Ring
Yellow gold is most popular. 22ct gold is soft; 18ct or less is blended with stronger metals for durability. White gold is often plated with rhodium, which will wear off and can be re-plated to look like new. Rose gold has a subtle, pink tone. Moderately priced.
Silver Wedding Ring
Soft metal; scratches and bends easily. Can be finished to a shiny or soft satin look which will quickly alter in appearance. High conductivity to heat and electricity. Jeweler favorite for ease of filigree work and engraving. Long lasting with care. Relatively inexpensive.
Platinum Wedding Ring
Natural, white, strong, corrosion-resistant, precious metal. Usually mixed with other metals for added strength. Color doesn't fade, but the shine dulls over time. It can be professionally buffed to its original luster. Pricey.
Titanium Wedding Ring
Very durable, long-lasting, silver color, lightweight. Hard to resize, repair or incorporate intricate designs because of its strength. Choose only Commercially Pure titanium Grade 2-4 metals. Real black titanium is not a coating, but an entire treatment process; many on the market are merely coated. Inexpensive.
Tungsten Carbide Wedding Ring
Scratch resistant, 10x harder than 18K gold, very stylish in gray, platinum white or black, breakable. Inlaid with everything from boa snake skin inlay look and military desert camouflage to dinosaur bone, black walnut, zebra wood, oak and gear teeth designs. Inexpensive.
Ceramic Wedding Ring
Durable and scratch resistant with elegant shine. Consistency of color in black, white or pink; not coated. Hypo-allergenic. Cannot be resized and may shatter if broken on a hard surface. Very affordable.
Cobalt Chrome Wedding Ring
This is the most white contemporary metal; scratch proof; permanent luster; shatterproof. Cannot be resized and may scratch, but can be polished if showing signs of wear and tear. Inexpensive.
Palladium Wedding Ring
This rare metal is like a sibling to platinum belonging in the same group of "noble metals", so called for their superior resistance to oxidation or corrosion. It is naturally white, hypoallergenic and never tarnishes. Moderately expensive.
Try on rings when your body temperature and stress levels are normal, preferably not in the morning or after exercising. Look for two marks inside every wedding band: one is the manufacturer's trademark and the other for the material like 24K or PLAT.
Buying wedding bands is akin to buying a house or a steak ~ purchase the best that you can afford. If you are getting married on a modest budget, and the commitment in your hearts is strong, then consider inexpensive wedding bands with the plan to hold a ring replacement party every 10 years. You can renew your vows at the same time!