History Of Wedding Bands
History and Meaning Of Wedding Bands:
The wedding band has been worn as a symbol of marriage for many centuries. Few people know that it was not always a silver or gold wedding band that was worn, the earliest wedding bands were made of the stem from a plant. The Egyptians are credited with creating and wearing the first wedding band and this was cut out from the stem of a plant. The circular shape of the Eyptian wedding band was supposed to represent, never ending love. The Romans gave the same meaning to their wedding bands, but gave it to their lady with the aim of staking their 'claim' or 'ownership' to her. Wedding bands gained popularity in ancient Asia too and in the Middle East, puzzle ring wedding bands were worn by ladies to prove faithfulness to their husband. A puzzle wedding band is actually made up of many rings that, when worn correctly fit together to form a band ring. A lady who wore a wedding band showed to the world, that she was married and would be faithful to her husband. If she ever took the ring off her finger, it would be very difficult for her to get the puzzle rings correctly together again and the husband would know that his wife had been unfaithful. In colonial America, jewelry was considered to have no moral value and was largely prohibited. Ladies wore thimbles as engagement or promise rings, after marriage the bottom portion of the thimble was taken off leaving just the top portion on the finger. This looked quite like a wedding band and the tradition carried on for many years.
Marriage is a solemn commitment between two individuals to stay together in good times and bad. The wedding band has gradually evolved from the original plant stem and people today wear wedding bands made from precious metals like gold, silver and platinum. Extravagant wedding bands studded with precious gemstones and diamonds are now quite common. You could wear a simple wedding band made from gold or silver or go for a stunning diamond set wedding band, but the meaning and significance of your wedding band will remain the same. It requires an earnest commitment from the husband and wife to make a marriage work and the relationhip flourish, a wedding band is a symbol of marriage and just one part of the institution of marriage.
Wedding Band, Gold Options:
The gold option for wedding bands would include the consideration of 14k or 18k gold for your wedding band. Another aspect would be the selection of yellow or white gold for the ring and also include the option for a two tone wedding band that combines white and yellow gold in the same ring. The main difference between 14k and 18k gold is the gold content in the two, 14k gold has around 58% pure gold and 42% of an alloy of other metals. 18K gold has 75% of pure gold and 25% of other metal alloys. From this comparison it would appear that, 18k gold with a higher content of pure gold would always be better for making jewelry. However the important fact is that 14k gold is much harder than 18k gold and hardness is important in many jewels. For example, in the case of men's wedding bands or large rings and even wedding bands with many gemstones or diamonds, good hardness is required to make the wedding band sturdy and also keep the gemstones and diamonds firmly mounted. The choice of a 14k wedding band or an 18k wedding band would depend on the size of the ring, the frequency with which the wedding band would be worn, the number of gems and diamonds in the ring and also the conditions in which the ring would be worn.
The choice of a white gold wedding band or a wedding band in yellow gold would largely depend on personal likes and dislikes. Both yellow and white gold wedding bands will have the same degree of hardness. There is one important consideration when choosing the gold color for your wedding band, a dark colored gemstone would appear even darker when set in white gold. This is because of the stark color contrast between the white gold and the dark colored gemstone.
The two tone wedding band offers an interesting option especially in cases where plain wedding bands are made without gemstones or diamonds. You can choose to have a white gold wedding band with only the edges made in yellow gold or vice versa. Even simple diamond wedding bands can be made with the two tone gold option to add a touch of elegance to the ring.
Choosing The Finishing For Your Wedding Band:
The finishing of wedding bands can change the overall look and feel of your ring. There are three main types of finishing used in rings. The first type is the high polish finish which is also the most common. The second type is a dull or brushed finish that is produced by a process referred to as 'sand blasting'. White gold wedding bands with diamonds are quite often made with the dull finish, as this gives the ring a sophisticated and expensive look. It is also possible to combine finish types in the same wedding band. For example, a two tone wedding band could have the entire ring in a dull finish leaving just the edges with a high polish look. The third type of finish is not very common and provides a hammered look to the wedding band. The outside of the ring is created with an uneven surface and is more suited for a man wedding band.
Gemstone Wedding Bands:
Wedding bands with gemstones are getting to be quite popular and the design selections are huge. However, you need to select the right type of gemstone depending on the design of your wedding band. A large gemstone wedding band will make it necessary to create a large band width for the ring and this might not be to your liking. You can also increase the meaning and significance of a wedding band by setting a birthstone in the ring. Some gemstones need special care when jewelry is worn or stored so make sure that your jeweller keeps you well informed. Another important thing about a gem stone wedding band is the way the gem stone is set in the ring. Prong type of settings tend to stick in pockets and other places, this causes the gemstone to loosen as the prongs gradually open up. Thin prongs can also poke or scratch delicate skin. A good option for setting the gemstone in your gem stone wedding band is to border the entire gemstone with gold. If the design of your wedding band requires the gem stone to be set using prongs, ensure that the prongs are sturdy and do not include any sharp edges.
Diamond Wedding Band:
Wedding bands with diamonds can be made with a diamond as the main stone of the ring or with diamonds as the side stones. Diamonds are quite expensive especially in larger sizes and this causes the price tag of a diamond wedding band to be quite stiff. There is one important aspect that you should know before buying diamond wedding bands and that is about the appearance of the diamonds. Cheap quality diamonds are available but look awful, these diamonds will be opaque and have a powdery look. When you think of a diamond wedding band you will imagine the glitter and glamour of diamonds on your finger, so make sure that the diamonds in the ring will look gorgeous at least to the naked eye. Such diamonds will not be the best quality but a wedding band with these would look awesome and yet not cost you a fortune. Most jewellers will not want to tell you this as, all they wait want is to push the best diamond at a massive price and reap huge profit margins from a single sale! Diamond wedding bands are generally made in white gold and combined with a dull finish look simply stunning.
Round diamonds are the most common shape and wedding bands with round diamonds are therefore very popular. Next is the square or princess cut diamond that is a good choice for a diamond wedding band. Fancy shaped diamonds include heart shape diamonds, pear shaped diamonds and even trillion shaped diamonds. A wedding band with a fancy shape diamond would carry a premium price tag as fancy shaped diamonds are quite rare and therefore quite expensive.
Most diamonds that we talk of are white diamonds which are actually colorless. You will however notice that quite a few diamond wedding bands have diamonds that are yellow, blue, green or a few other colors. For colored diamonds you have two options, the first option is to use natural colored diamonds which are terribly expensive. The next option is more affordable as, white diamonds are treated to enhance and change color and then available as colored diamonds. You should remember that a diamond that is color enhanced has the same hardness as compared to a naturally white diamond. Colored diamonds are a good choice for wedding bands where diamonds are used as side stones to add accent to the center gem stone. For example, a blue sapphire wedding band could have a prominent blue sapphire in the center with small blue diamonds on either side.
Wedding Band Pair:
Since marriage is a commitment of two individuals staying together for the rest of their lives, a pair of wedding bands symbolises the feeling of togetherness and unity. A wedding band pair is basically two wedding bands with a similar design, one for the bride and the other for the bridegroom. The difference between the rings could be just the size of the wedding band or a difference in gemstones set in the pair of wedding bands. In general, it is expected that, the men's wedding band would have a slightly wider band width as compared to the wedding band worn by the lady. In cases where a wedding band pair is made with birthstones, each ring could have the birthstone of the person wearing the ring. It is now becoming a popular trend to wear wedding band pairs where, the husband and wife exchange their birthstone in each others rings. These rings can be worn as white gold wedding band pairs or as as a pair of wedding bands in yellow gold.
Wedding Bands and Long Term Durability:
This is perhaps the most important issue concerning wedding bands, it is also the issue that is down played the most by sellers and jewellers. As a symbol of life long commitment for two individuals to live together forever, a wedding band should be strong and long lasting. This would mean that wedding bands would be made with good gold weight, good design and gemstones that are durable and well mounted. As expected, buyers are impressed by the design of wedding bands and the price tag! Sellers are aware of this and flood markets with merchandise that is light and flimsy and bearing a 'friendly' price tag. The main point to understand is that these low priced wedding bands are cheap only in the short term. In the long run, you will end up paying expensive repairs and modification costs and this will add up to the final cost of owning the wedding band. In some cases, low gold weight could also mean badly mounted gemstones and diamonds, this could result in the stones dropping off! For stones like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds and even tanzanite, the cost of gemstone could easily exceed the value of the gold in your wedding band. Replacing such a stone would burn ! a deep hole in your wallet.
Custom Wedding Band:
It is not very difficult to find readymade wedding bands as most jewellers would stock a selection of these rings. However, given the meaning and significance of a wedding band, most buyers would like to have a wedding band that is personalized to their liking and preference. You might come across a wedding band with a stunning design, but the gemstone might not be what you wanted. The gemstone that you prefer may be set in a wedding band that has a lousy design! A custom wedding band can be made with a design of your choice and include the gemstone or diamond that you need. The gold color, ring size, finish type can all be handled as you please. Another important thing to note is that, most readymade wedding bands would be made with the intention of attracting mass markets. This also means that they will compromise on gold weight and also gemstone quality inorder to keep the price tag attractive. For a ring that is as important as a wedding band, you will be better off ordering a custom wedding band where you are not expected to compromise on anything.