By Tony Cruz, Senior Manager
The unending circle of a wedding band is an outward symbol of a couple’s inward bond, and the crowning moment of the ceremony is the exchange of the rings. When starting the search for wedding bands, couples are usually surprised by the myriad of choices available. Design is one aspect to consider, and grades and cuts of stones in the bands are important details up to personal preference.
Speaking of stones, diamonds are certainly the most popular and most traditional stone used in wedding bands. However, we encourage brides and grooms to consider personalizing their bands with not just diamonds but other stones as well.
A customer should be aware that just because a stone is pretty or it is his/her favorite color, it may not be suitable for a wedding band. Many stones are durable, but have an increased risk of scratches, chipping and breakage. Our trained staff will be able to guide you through the many stone selections available.
A couple’s lifestyle will have the greatest impact on the choice of stone and material in which the bands are crafted. Most customers are amazed at the variety of materials available for their wedding bands. Basically there are two major groups: Precious metals and Alternative materials.
Precious metal wedding bands of gold, platinum and palladium can be passed on for generations because they can be straightened, polished, repaired, and sized throughout years of wear.
Gold bands can be 10, 14, or 18 Karats in white, yellow or even rose. The variety of colors in gold is achieved by adding other metal alloys to create the desired hue. Platinum is naturally white and non-allergic, as is palladium, a lesser known metal that has been used by jewelers for over a century.
In recent decades, alternative materials have gained popularity due to their durability, unique designs and reasonable price. Titanium is a lightweight grayish metal. It is very light and strong. Cobalt chrome is stronger than titanium and looks more like white gold.
Zirconium is a hard white metal that is anodized black. A design can be laser engraved through the top layers to reveal the white metal inside, creating a stunning contrast of black and white.
Tungsten carbide is the most durable of all the alternative metals. Resembling platinum and harder than stainless steel, it can resist scratching, bending and breaking more than any other material. A non-metal alternative band material is ceramic. It can be made in a variety of colors and is lightweight as well as durable.
Sorting through all of these options and making the right choice can be confusing. Knowing some important facts about alternative metal bands will make the decision easier.
They can never be sized, polished or repaired; however, most manufacturers offer a warranty and a band exchange when a sizing or repair is needed, usually for a fee. It is important to ask about sizing and repair options before choosing an alternative material band.
One myth we would like to dispel is that alternative rings cannot be cut off if stuck on the finger. Titanium, cobalt and zirconium rings can, in fact, be cut off by your jeweler or in a hospital. Although tungsten carbide and ceramic rings cannot be cut, they can be safely removed by a technique designed to break the ring without injuring the finger.
Precious Metal Bands:
1. If you scratch it, we can buff it.
2. If you bend it, we can straighten it.
3. If you break it, we can fix it.
4. If you need it sized, we can size it.
5. If you want to pass it down to future generations, we can do the same things so they can wear it and enjoy it as well.
1. These materials are stronger and more durable than precious metal bands.
2. There are more designs available than in precious metal bands.
3. They cost less.
4. Although they cannot be buffed, repaired, or sized, many are covered under a lifetime warranty that allows the wearer to replace the band with one that they can wear.
JWR Jewelers carries a wide selection of wedding bands for men and women. We are able to answer your questions and eliminate the confusion behind choosing the perfect band.
Graduated UGA with a BBA in Management and a Juris Doctorate (JD) from UGA School of Law. Practiced law for 9 years. Have been in the jewelry industry for over twenty years and over fifteen of those years full time. I have worked for JWR Jewelers for over 9 years as Store Manager. I am a GIA Diamond Graduate and I am currently working on completing my GIA Graduate Gemologist degree.