Circles of Love - wedding ring advice

01 Aug 2011

Circles of Love - wedding ring advice

Award-winning goldsmith Ian Hall outlines the benefits of going bespoke.

 

 

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Image gallery

Few symbols are more romantic than the wedding ring, and when it comes to ‘pledging our troth’, the key is to find a ring that is not only beautiful but which is also of the finest possible quality. After all, the wedding rings are a lasting reminder of your special day and will be worn everyday for the rest of your lives together, so they are certainly worth the investment.

Prior to that all-important marriage proposal, meet together with the goldsmith to discuss the options for both engagement and wedding rings, as the style of engagement ring will dictate somewhat the style and budget of the wedding ring, and whether the wedding ring will need to be a bespoke piece to sit beside the choice of engagement ring.

Wedding rings are a lasting reminder of your special day and will be worn everyday for the rest of your lives together.

A bespoke piece will be made to your exacting requirements to fit perfectly next to or around your engagement ring. Some clients choose a bespoke piece to take advantage of certain fabrication techniques that allow the metal to be highly polished before assembly, which provides an altogether superior finish and fit, resulting in extreme comfort for the wearer. The piece created is totally individual, as well as having been made by a craftsperson with whom you’ve had direct contact.

The first decision involves your choice of metal. The purest, rarest and most durable is platinum: 30 times rarer than gold and needing 40% more metal to make a comparable ring of the same form, platinum is the most popular and aspirational of precious metals when it comes to bridal rings. Platinum requires more skill and time to produce a piece than other metals but the benefits to the wearer are well worth it. All precious metals will scratch with normal everyday wear but when platinum scratches there is no measurable loss and the piece maintains its integrity and mass; no other precious metal survives generations of wear like this. Over time, larger scratches will ‘heal’ themselves due to the metal’s density and its semi-fluid surface; rather than wearing away, the metal is merely displaced to another part of the ring. In addition, its purity means that it is hypoallergenic, and it is the only precious metal that will not tarnish over time.

Ensure that you buy from a reputable source and look out for members of the British Jewellers’ Association or the National Association of Goldsmiths.

If you prefer the appearance of gold, then there are several options. The greater the proportion of pure gold that a piece of jewellery contains, the more valuable (and expensive) it will be. In the UK, gold content is measured in carats; pure gold (which contains no other metals) has 24 carats. However, most jewellery in Britain is available in 22ct, 18ct or 9ct gold (the latter two being the most popular and available in different alloy colours). All these are suitable for wedding rings, and comprehensive tests by gold refiners have now proven that, despite the old wives’ tale, 9ct gold is no more hardwearing than 18ct gold.

Whatever you decide on, it is vital to choose a goldsmith/platinumsmith with excellent product knowledge, who can impart years of experience for what will be one of the most important purchases of your life. Ensure that you buy from a reputable source and look out for members of the British Jewellers’ Association or the National Association of Goldsmiths; if purchasing platinum, look for a Platinum Guild International Accredited Recommended Retailer.

 

 

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