How much should I budget for wedding rings?
If you are looking at buying a ladies & a gents wedding ring the surprising thing is it is often the let's say 'less enthusiastic' jewellery shopper (the man) that can make or break the budget. The reason for this is that a man's wedding ring is usually a larger finger size & is wider. These two things mean that, in simple terms, the gents band is a bigger piece of metal. This, in turn, means that the metal the man chooses for his wedding ring can make a massive difference to the combined budget.
So what are the choices of metals? Well, if you prefer a warm colour of metal there is yellow gold & rose gold. Both of these gold's come in 9ct & 18ct. 18ct gold costs more than double the price of 9ct gold. This is due to there being double the pure gold & this higher purity (75% pure gold) makes the finished ring heavier in 18ct. Already you can see the carat choice makes a big difference.
If you prefer a white metal the choices are as follows: Titanium, 9ct White Gold, Palladium, 18ct White Gold, Platinum. Here's a quite startling example of how the metal choice of the gents wedding ring can affect the budget.....Just by changing the metal alone, the price of the ring below would vary as follows: Titanium - £195, 9ct white gold - £395, Palladium - £555, 18ct white gold - £995, Platinum - £1795 (prices correct at the time of writing this blog).
You can find out more about the choice of metals in our metal guide: http://www.ringjewellery.co.uk/guide-metals.htm
When it comes to the ladies wedding band the important question is will it be worn up against an engagement ring in the traditional manner. If the answer is yes then the ladies wedding ring should always be made from the same metal as the engagement ring (with one exception platinum & palladium can be worn together because they look & wear the same). As the engagement ring will often determine the metal of the ladies band there is less flexibility when it comes to budget although there is still the choice to bling or not to bling? If the ladies wedding ring is not being worn against an engagement ring then she can go for any metal just like the gents band.
Traditionally wedding rings were usually a plain, D-shape (domed) yellow god band. Nowadays with so much choice there is a good range of metals & more ladies go for diamond set wedding rings to add detail without detracting from their engagement ring. See below for some examples (all wedding rings pictured with their matching engagement rings):[gallery]
So in conclusion, if there going to be a ladies band worn against an engagement ring make this the first ring you get quotes for. Then, once you have decided this you can help your remaining budget determine the metal for the gents wedding ring. If you do things the other way around in some metals the mans wedding band could eat up the whole budget first leaving you both with a compromise. This way the gents ring design does not have to change but what it is made from might if you are on a tight budget.