Traditionally in many cultures, including the United States, wedding rings were worn by women only to show her marriage status. However, during World War II men headed for the war began wearing a ring on their left ring finger as a token of their love and devotion during long separations.
The groom was generally responsible for purchasing the wedding rings. These days, however, couples usually shop for rings together, or the girlfriend at least has an opportunity to express her preferences. After all, she'll be wearing this particular piece of jewelry for life, so she should have some kind of say in the choice.
When it comes to wedding bands, plain gold has long been the standard choice for many couples. These days, however, couples are choosing metals that are more fashionable while still remaining functional. The challenge with gold is that it can easily scratch if it is anything higher than 18-karat gold. It can also cause an allergic reaction in some wearers. Silver is another favored choice for couples, but it can also scratch or dent.
Platinum wedding rings have become en vogue in the last several years because it is a very dense and strong metal that resists tarnishing, unlike silver. In fact, according to the Platinum Guild International, nearly 40 percent of brides chose platinum last year for their wedding rings, up from 24 percent 10 years ago. Today's ring styles often combine platinum with the warmth of yellow gold for a twist on a traditional classic.
Platinum does come with a higher sticker price, so some couples choose white gold instead. White gold is actually pure gold which has been combined with zinc, nickel, silver, or some other type of white metal. While not as durable as platinum, it is more economical.
In addition to considering a variety of metal bands, couples are also expressing their personality through unique diamond settings and colored gemstones. Especially popular are channel set bands, which are small diamonds that have been set in a groove, or channel, along the band. Men's diamond channel rings are also gaining popularity.
For women, the choice of a wedding band for her intended is pretty straightforward. Most men appreciate a simple band in a metal that matches the bride's. Bands such as these are not only attractive but practical, as they're ideal for everyday wear or special occasions. However, there are men who appreciate something a bit more elaborate and the variety in today's rings provide lots of choices.
Men typically put quite a bit of thought into the bride's wedding ring, especially since a larger part of the ring budget will be spent on this. It's good to consider the woman's preference and lifestyle before choosing a ring. Is she active outdoors? Then a ring with large stones may snag easily. However, if she's someone who loves a larger stone, make sure the ring features a heavier setting with plenty of claws for the most secure hold.
Consider the following tips for choosing a wedding band:
1. Buy from a reputable jeweler who is affiliated with associations such as Jewelers of America or the American Gem Society.
2. Always consider lifestyle and preference of the wearer before purchasing jewelry.
3. Men should examine the type of jewelry your fiance wears already and if the wedding band style will complement her collection.
4. If a bride-to-be will be wearing both the engagement ring and wedding band on the same finger, make sure to choose a band that will sit comfortably against the engagement ring.
5. Keep in mind that when purchasing classic or simple or plain wedding bands, the man's ring generally costs more because it is larger and denser than the woman's.
Lewis Jewelers is proud to carry the full line of Pandora Jewelry. Pandora bracelets, Pandora charms, and Pandora beads are only a part of the collection. For more information, Lewis Jewelers, 2000 West Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor, Michigan, 48103, 877-88-LEWIS or visit the website.