For the past 100 years the majority of people have chosen a wedding ring which matches their engagement ring, but it has not always been the case…
During the last century, engagement and wedding rings have become much more industrialized with many high street chains churning out diamond engagement and wedding rings to meet the demand of a wealthier world. Lovely, but lacking any true individualism. Go back a few hundred years though, and rings would be made by artisan craftsmen to individual and bespoke designs created in conjunction with the buyer. Larger cities would have jewellery quarters, such as Hatton Garden in London, to facilitate this trade. Engagement rings were more likely to be individual works of art or family heirlooms than they are today and the wedding rings would have been made and purchased as a distinct process to the engagement rings. The result was that wedding and engagement rings invariably were non-matching.
Through the latter half of the twentieth century the trend was matching, but nowadays there is a strong movement away from matching and to pick the two rings on their own individual merit. This often allows for a more expressive choice of wedding ring than the traditional gold band that was simply a match to the metal of the engagement ring.
The advent of the internet has been the driving force for allowing couples to be more involved in the actual design of their rings, allowing specific selections of metals, diamond sizes and settings from the comfort of their home. Now you can even decide on which aspect of the ring to focus your budget on – is size the most important aspect, or clarity?
When it comes to matching wedding rings, the same is true – it is fine to go for more individualistic choices rather than a matching pair. There may be practical reasons: you may both have very different sized hands and are finding it difficult to select a design that looks equally good on both of you. You may find that one of you prefers a very delicate and feminine wedding ring whereas the other wants something more bold and masculine; that’s OK! You have to wear the ring for the rest of your life so choose what you love.
If you are selecting a wedding ring that isn’t going to match your engagement ring, here are a couple of things to keep in mind:
1. Look at the two rings and make sure they “go” together (rather than actually match).
2. The bands of wedding and engagement rings do not necessarily need to touch each other.
3. Try to get two designs which are both beautiful in their own right – they don’t even need to be the same shape.
4. Choose what you love, not necessarily what matches!