Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ring Bling

Picture this: five jewelry stores, two starry-eyed impressionable twenty-somethings, one budget.

This past weekend Mike and I went wedding ring shopping. 

If only more opportunities to shop for my own bling, of worthy value, exist.  I enjoy the respect commanded when you walk into a jeweler and ask to see their wedding rings.  Immediately they show you the way and ask what you want in a ring.  They also glance at the woman's left hand, to get an idea of your price range, I'm sure.  Not as enjoyable.  However it did lure great complements, and a free cleaning.  I also saw my diamond under a magnifier. Shiny

A few things learned:

Men's rings:  The selection of materials boils down to four main metals:  titanium, tungsten, gold, and the platinum family (to include palladium).
-Stainless steel is also available, lower on the price scale.
-Above that, tungsten falls as the rarity of the metal becomes more scarce, but the price is still competitive. Warning: you cannot cut tungsten.  If it gets stuck, then you're stuck.
-Titanium is slightly more expensive, but still on a affordable scale.  Recently, titanium rose in popularity for it's durability, cost, and dark gray coloring. The same 'no-cut' warning applies to titanium.
-In gold, the higher the karat the higher the value (24K is pure gold, as the numbers reduce, the gold parts reduce - as signified by the number preceding the K).
-Platinum runs the most expensive.
 There are many styles. Mike prefers a simple, brushed band with satin edging.  Also in considering the life of the ring, getting it stuck on your finger presents cause for worry when you physically cannot cut it off!  We will most likely choose a gold ring for this reason. (please don't cut my future husband's finger off to save his life if the ring gets stuck!)

For women, the metals listed above are available for plain rings.  Most wedding bands for women come in gold and platinum, though.  The design possibilities are endless.  Plain bands can be dome or flat. Dome bands are raised, flat are, uh, not raised (like the one pictured above).  Stones can be added by prong set (prongs grab and display stones) or channel set (the band holds the stones inside it, like a channel).  The total carat weight of the stones (tw = total weight) is listed.

There is also the "wrap" option where a band wraps around your current engagement ring, giving the illusion of one ring.  The two rings come together and can even be soldered.  In this case, wearing your wedding band without the engagement ring then looks odd, as there is no engagement ring in the center. 

After looking at many bands, I found the technical term for what I like: a channel set, 1/2 carat total weight of stones, alternating sapphires and diamonds, in white gold.  My birthstone is the sapphire, which I love (understatement).


We found a jeweler who said they could make both items for us at exactly our price point!  The cost of gold right now is high, so she could only guarantee the price for one month.  We had her write it down, just to be safe.

We also plan on visiting the jeweler who made my engagement ring, to see what he can do for us.  Plus we like him and want to give him our money, I mean business.  Hopefully he likes us as much and wants to go below our price point.

We have a direction and a promising jeweler already. (And we are ahead of schedule!) 

What does your ring look like, or what would you design your ring to look like?


  1. I have that exact ring, only with emeralds instead of sapphires. It was an anniversary gift, and we got married in May, so that's why the emeralds. Anyway, it's beautiful and I get tons of compliments on it - great choice for a wedding band!

  2. Stopping by from SITS.

    Congrats on your upcoming nuptials! PS I love your blog title.

  3. We got my husband a Tungsten. It never occurred to me that we wouldn't be able to cut it off. That's probably only because his fingers are UBER skinny. So we only worry about it falling off. ;) His ring has a teeny tiny diamond in the middle. I was always against diamonds in men's rings because I thought it looked gay. But SMALL solitary diamonds are okay.

    My ring, on the other hand, has a big old diamond and 100 little ones surrounding it. Like, seriously. I love me some bling.

  4. I love your choice Vicki!
    One other thing to consider (especially for Mike's ring) is the maintenance. We went with palladium for my husband's ring because it was similar in price to white gold at the time and it requires no maintenance. Most guys I know don't want to clean their rings or take them in to get re-brushed. We were also told the brushed white gold would wear off and need to be brushed again every few years and at some point might not be possible to do again as the gold gets thinner and thinner after having this done. Check it out, it's been a few years so who knows what advances have happened since then (or we may have just been those impressionable folks jewelers love...)

  5. Yay for another sapphire lady! My engagement ring is a 3 stone ring with a sapphire as the mail stone and my wedding band is alternate diamonds and sapphires. Makes me so happy!

  6. I have a 1/2 carat channel set wedding band in white gold and I LOVE it.

  7. Congrats on ring shopping, so much fun! And it's great you might be going the custom route, I've heard that's a big savings.

  8. ok sooo I know you'd want to see it all in person and all that but I have a friend in Orlando who makes/designs jewelry. She can probably make what you want for cheaper than retail. She was gonna do my engagement ring (when my ex and I thought about getting married after I got pregnant) anyways, let me know if you want her info :)

    this is her etsy shop http://www.etsy.com/shop/Rayvenwoodmanor :)


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