Wedding Ring Buying Guide
Whether you're having a lavish do or it's a more intimate affair, there's nothing more important – besides the person standing next to you – than the wedding rings. To make sure you're in love with your wedding ring when you say 'I do' we've created the ultimate wedding ring buying guide.
As the largest independent jeweller in the UK, you can rest assured we know what type of wedding band shape you should choose, how to get the wedding ring size right, and the best materials for a wedding ring.
The origin of the wedding band
As your big day approaches you may be wondering what the origin of the wedding ring is. Wedding rings have been worn to signify commitment for thousands of years. It's believed the first wedding rings were used in ancient Egypt over 6,000 years ago. The wedding band and engagement ring are placed together on the fourth finger of the left hand as the Roman's believed there was a vein that ran directly to the heart - the Vena Amoris, or 'the vein of love'. The wedding band is a symbol of everlasting love with no beginning and no end.
Wedding ring shapes and styles
Wedding rings are available in different shapes and styles, from traditional court shapes to contemporary and patterned. If you're looking for something altogether unique, we can create bespoke wedding bands too.
A traditional wedding ring is unadorned and available in a choice of profiles and widths, while a diamond wedding ring is a more contemporary choice and adds a touch of glamour. The type and size of the diamond will dictate the profile and width of the ring.
A traditional and popular choice. Classic court wedding ring shapes are slightly curved on the inside and outside.
The same wedding band shape as a classic court, but the lightweight court is made from a slightly lighter metal.
The flat court offers a flatter profile compared with the classic court. Providing a sleek look with a chunkier and thicker aesthetic.
A popular choice for both men and women. D-shape wedding rings are flat on the inside and rounded on the outside to provide a close, comfortable fit.
Opposite to a court profile, the wedding ring is concave and hollowed out on the inside. Usually extremely lightweight and suitable for smaller finger sizes only. The concave wedding ring shape is ideal for those on a tighter budget.
Usually with a flat profile on the inside and out, the very outer edges are shaped and/or bevelled slightly for a lovely modern feel and to add interest.
Rounded on the inside but with a squared outer edge, purchasing the correct size is essential. Would probably not sit well with an engagement ring.
Ideal to sit with another ring, this curved look is often described as a 'wishbone' ring and would complement a solitaire engagement ring perfectly. Available both plain and set with stones. Please note, not all 'shapes' are the same so just because a wedding band is described as 'shaped' does not automatically mean it will fit with all engagement rings.
A interesting alternative; celtic designs can be engraved into a plain wedding ring, or actually cut out (as per example). Often chosen if there is Irish heritage.
With certain styles of engagement ring, placing a flat-edged wedding band next to the ring leaves an unsightly gap between the two. To avoid this from happening, perfectly shaped wedding bands can be specially manufactured to curve precisely around the setting of the engagement ring for a match made in heaven. The effect is similar to a bridal set.
When you're choosing your rings, you should spend time trying them on with your engagement ring. You'll be able to find which wedding band shapes fit you the best and feel the most comfortable.
Patterns are often applied to wedding rings as a final touch to add detail, diamond cut sparkle or to create a distinctive look. We're able to add bespoke patterns to our plain wedding rings and can even add a matt look to our plain, polished wedding bands.
Almost any design is possible so please enquire with us if you would like to design your own bespoke patterned wedding ring. Remember that diamond cutting and engraved patterns are set deeper into the metal and so may last longer than light matt or textured looks such as a satin finish.
All patterned finishes will gradually become ‘lived-in’ over time so if you regularly handle rough materials or work in a manual environment, we recommend that you do not choose a wedding ring with a matt or satin finish. For those in these jobs, a plain wedding ring would be better suited to you and harder materials such as palladium, titanium or 9ct gold should be chosen.
Wedding ring metals
One of the most important considerations when choosing your band is deciding which wedding ring metal to choose. Not only does is need to look attractive, but it also needs to be hardwearing to deal with everyday life. We would also advise on matching the wedding ring metal type to the engagement ring to create a cohesive set. This is because different metals produce different colours and finishes.
The main difference between 9ct and 18ct gold is that 18ct gold often appears more yellow compared with 9ct gold. You will also find that white gold can look 'brighter' than platinum once it has been rhodium plated.
It's also worth remembering that some wedding ring metals are softer than others. While it would take years and years for the softer metal to wear down, generally it is advised to choose the same metal where possible.
Platinum – The rarest of all precious metals, platinum is by far the most luxurious choice. The natural white colour makes it perfect for modern brides. Platinum is the most secure setting for your diamond.
White gold – Created by mixing yellow gold with white metal alloys such as silver or platinum. White gold is plated with rhodium to give it a bright, white finish and will showcase your diamonds.
Yellow gold – One of the most precious metals, gold has long been a symbol of love, success and luxury. Yellow gold rings are a timeless classic and make a perfect backdrop if you have a diamond set engagement ring.
Rose gold – Rose gold is becoming increasingly popular for brides looking for a modern, feminine look. Created by adding a higher percentage of copper to pure gold, rose gold wedding rings are perfect for those looking for something a little different.
Multi coloured gold – Why choose between white, yellow, and rose gold when you can have a combination of all three? Our stunning multi coloured wedding rings are true statement making pieces.
Palladium – Part of the platinum group of metals, palladium is a popular wedding band choice. Usually worn by men, palladium wedding bands have a contemporary gunmetal colour. Palladium is durable, hypoallergenic and lightweight.
Clogau Welsh gold – Containing rare Welsh gold mined from Snowdonia, Clogau Welsh gold wedding rings are beautifully crafted.
Titanium – Perfect for those looking for a hardwearing wedding ring metal. Titanium rings are not only strong but extremely lightweight and affordable.
Wedding ring weights and widths
Wedding rings are traditionally simple bands of gold, but even these simpler designs are available in a variety of weights. Usually men wear heavier rings, while women wear lighter, thinner ones.
The width of a wedding ring is measured in millimetres. Standard wedding band widths range from 2mm to 6mm, but if you require a larger width we'd be more than happy to make a bespoke order for you.
We would recommend between 2mm and 4mm for women and 4mm to 6mm for men.
Wedding ring sizes
It's important to get the wedding ring size right in order to feel comfortable and confident when wearing the ring.
Our standard range of sizes for narrow wedding rings is J-S and for wider wedding bands we can supply in sizes R-Z. Of course, if you require sizes outside of these ranges please get in touch.
If you wear a smaller wedding ring size, a narrow band tends to look the best. If you wear a larger wedding ring size, a wider band would suit. But, of course, this is down to personal choice.
When ordering wedding bands, please make sure you have been properly measured by us or another jeweller using a wedding ring gauge of a similar width to that of the wedding ring you are looking at purchasing.
It's important to be properly measured before purchasing as it is often impossible to re-size patterned wedding bands and some wedding ring materials (such as palladium and titanium) once they have been made.
We can adjust most plain wedding rings and can even exchange them if they are still in pristine condition, but some patterned styles and metals cannot be adjusted. Specially ordered wedding rings cannot be exchanged.
For extra advice and to find out more about wedding ring sizes, read our ring size guide.
Matching wedding rings
There is no strict rule regarding wearing matching wedding rings and is of course it is totally down to personal choice, although we do stock a range of wide and narrow complementary styles.
For example, we offer a 4mm wide patterned wedding ring that is also available with the exact same pattern but in a 6mm width. This gives couples the flexibility to wear pretty much the same style while also tailoring to finger sizes. It would not be sensible for a large Z+2 finger size to wear a 2mm wide wedding ring and, similarly, small finger sizes do not generally suit very wide wedding bands.
More often than not if there is an engagement ring involved, the matching wedding ring required would usually be slim (or the same width as the engagement ring) with a more elaborate and/or shaped style to suit. The partner’s wedding ring, however, would be wider and plainer as this is the only ring worn. This essentially means the two wedding rings can still match in terms of metal and finish.
Bridal sets are not only a great way to save money, time and research, but because both the wedding and engagement ring are designed to fit seamlessly together you know they'll look amazing, creating one stunning piece of jewellery.
Some engagement rings have large or intricately shaped clusters and settings and finding a suitable wedding ring on the high street is simply not possible.
We have a whole host of stunning bridal sets for you to choose from in 9ct and 18ct white gold. Of course, if you're looking for a more bespoke bridal set, our in-house designers can craft a set that is truly unique to you.
Wedding ring costs
When it comes to how much money you should spend on a wedding ring there are no real rules. We would, however, always recommend going for the same metal as your engagement ring to help avoid any tarnish, so it's important to keep this in mind.
We do of course cater for all budgets and you can often find heavily discounted wedding rings in our wedding ring sale for those on a tighter budget.
Buying wedding bands
If you're wondering who buys the wedding rings, traditionally the bride would buy the groom's wedding ring and the groom buys the bride's ring. Of course, now many couples choose to buy their rings at the same time and together.
Booking an appointment with us is a great way for you to find your rings, whether you choose to match or not!
Men's wedding ring advice
The most common men's wedding bands feature a court profile. Most men tend to opt for a 4mm band or wider, while men's thin band rings are also gaining in popularity.
After finding the right size and profile you like, you can choose which metal you want to go with. If you want to match your partner you could choose the same metal type or maybe a contrasting band is more to your style. It's important you sit down together and discuss what you both want, but that's where an appointment with a jeweller is essential.
Like bridal wedding rings, there are plain and patterned types of men's wedding rings available. We have a number of styles, shapes, and patterns to choose from, so your best option is to try on a selection of ones that catch your eye.
Taking care of your wedding rings
It's important that you take care of your engagement and wedding ring – not only because they'll be more sparkly!
Your wedding jewellery is made to be enjoyed and a little extra care will help extend that enjoyment for a lifetime.
You should take your rings to a jeweller annually for inspection and cleaning. They'll check loose settings, worn prongs and other potential problems.
Clean your rings
In between check-ups, you should learn how to clean your wedding rings. Use warm water and a baby soft toothbrush to gently remove dirt. Remember to stay away from sinks and drains when you're cleaning it.
When you're not wearing your wedding rings you should place each item in a separate soft compartment or container. Storing your rings together can cause scratches.
Ordering your wedding rings
Once you've chosen the types of wedding rings you want, there is usually a lead time of between 6-8 weeks if specially ordered.
If you're choosing a standard stock line in a standard size, then we will probably have it in stock. If not, we can order it directly from our supplier within a couple of weeks.
If you're having a bespoke wedding ring made to fit around your engagement ring, we require the engagement ring for the entire process. Both will be returned to you in about 3–4 weeks (from the proceed date).
F.Hinds wedding rings
For nearly 200 years we've been helping happy couples with their happy ever after. We have wedding rings for him and her to suit all tastes and budgets. And of course, if you're a couple who likes to be unique, we can create bespoke pieces just for you too.