Gone are the days of the thin yellow bands. Today’s wedding rings can be anything your heart desires: a half-eternity ring set with coloured stones, a chunky platinum ring in a brushed finish, or a bespoke design that curves around your engagement ring. The only rule you need to abide by is good quality. This ring is supposed to last you a lifetime, so it should be strong enough to withstand decades of chafing, knocking and handling without wearing away. For this reason, it is best to choose a hard metal base (either gold or platinum) with a minimum width of 2.5 mm.
Yellow gold is the classic choice for a wedding band, but it’s not for everyone. While it is a favourite with traditionalists, this colour works best against skin that has yellow undertones. White gold looks best against very pale or very dark skin with blue undertones, while rose gold tends to complement skin with pink-ish hues.
When it comes to the carat, less is more. Pure gold (24 ct gold) may be more expensive, but it is actually less hard wearing than 18 ct or 9 ct options. The lower the carat, the more alloys have been added to the metal, strengthening the gold while maintaining its colour. As a result, 9 ct gold may appear paler than 18 ct, 22 ct or 24 ct options.
Platinum is even harder than gold, and the most non-reactive of all metals. This means that it will not fade over time, and it will not wear away at the edges. It is slightly darker than white gold with a dark grey lustre, so it works best against most skin tones.
The only catch is the cost. A solid platinum ring is not cheap, but it will last. Unlike gold, the purer the platinum, the tougher it is. Before buying, check the purity of the ring, 95% is the optimum level or purity, and anything less than 80% should be avoided.
If you are pairing a diamond wedding ring with an engagement ring, make sure you match up the ‘4 Cs’: carat, colour, clarity, and cut. This may not seem like a big deal, but when worn side-by-side, contrasting shapes and shades can attract attention for the wrong reasons.
Be wary of choosing a band with diamonds the whole way around. Depending on the setting used, these can chafe against your fingers, and the diamonds on the back will gather dirt much more quickly than those on the front, requiring regular professional cleaning. Our fingers change shape as we get older, and you will probably have to get your ring expanded at some point. When diamonds are involved, this can prove extremely costly.