What Impacts Wedding Ring Prices?
Wedding ring prices can be impacted by so many different factors. You must take into consideration the price of your chosen materials, the depth of design you are looking for, and whether or not your ring needs to pair with an engagement ring. These are all factors which may impact your chosen budget.
The question of how much you should spend is a tricky one to answer, and it really depends on you. The wedding ring is a classic symbol of commitment and fidelity, and is the one piece of jewellery you will expect to wear for the rest of your life. For these reasons, you will want to ensure you purchase a quality piece of jewellery. However, we do not recommend stretching your purse strings to get something beyond your financial means. Wedding rings come in all price brackets, and there will certainly be one for you no matter how much you are able to spend.
There are three main factors which can impact the price of a wedding ring. The first of these is the materials used, followed by the design itself and then finally the workmanship involved. Read on to learn more about these three main factors.
Wedding rings can be made of many different materials, ranging from precious metals such as gold and platinum, to functional materials like titanium and tungsten.
Precious metal prices change twice a day, and throughout the year depending on the economy, trade routes and labour availability. Jewellers’ prices do not tend to change as regularly, but you can usually expect annual fluctuations. A good example of this fluctuation is the current boom in the cost of palladium. Palladium has skyrocketed over the past few years due to increased demand and slow response of supply. You can read our in depth blog post about this here.
The benefit of spending your money on precious metals is that they are a good investment and usually increase in value. They are also desirable to look at, and easy to mend and resize.
Non-precious metals like Tungsten and Titanium have less inherent costs associated with them so tend to be less expensive than precious metals. However, the manufacturing process involved in making them into jewellery is more complicated and usually increases their price.
You may choose a functional material for its durability, particularly if you have a physically demanding daily life.
Adding precious stones to your ring will also increase the price. Unsurprisingly, famously expensive stones like diamonds add the most cost. Having said that, the process of setting stones into a ring is an extremely skilled job. A lot of the added cost associated with stone set rings comes from the labour.
WRD tip: look for a jeweller that prices rings based on size. This way you can ensure you are only paying for the metal and stones needed to make your size ring, and not an average cost of all ring sizes.
After materials, the next thing to consider when pricing a wedding ring is the design process. For example, a bespoke ring requires a CAD design and a custom casting mould. Depending on the complexity of the design these stages can take many hours of precise calculations and carving.
Working one on one with a jeweller to ensure your wedding ring fits snugly around your engagement ring is the best way to ensure a perfect fit. This is a great option for those with a low profile engagement ring, or one with an unusual shape. It is also the best way to get a unique piece of jewellery.
Mixed metal rings are more complex to craft due to the different melting points of each material. As such, mixed metal or inlay rings can end up costing more than their plain counterparts. This also applies to rings with wooden inlays.
The final piece of the puzzle that is wedding ring prices is the workmanship. It takes many years of training to become a jeweller, and even then it takes years of practice to hone your craft.
Certain materials are more difficult to work with than others. A good example of this is platinum, which has a more complicated annealing process than other precious metals. Functional materials like tungsten carbide can only be cast in a factory setting due to their complexity.
As I have already touched on, stone setting is a complicated and specialised skill. There are hundreds of different ways a single stone can be set, all of which result in a different look and feel for the final piece of jewellery.
Specialised finishes such as traditional hand engraving, millgrain, laser engraved designs, or diamond cut bevelled edges all require specialist equipment to achieve. These can really make the difference in making a ring your own, and contribute to a truly original look. You may want to opt for a specialised finish if you have other jewellery you want to match. Some people simply have a clear vision in their head of what their wedding ring should look like.
How Much Should You Spend?
As with anything you can buy, there is an almost infinite price range for wedding rings. There is absolutely no expectation for the “ideal” wedding ring budget, and what you choose to spend will be impacted by all of the factors discussed above. The best way to decide on your budget is to look at your overall wedding budget and figure out what is realistic for you. Remember that you need to budget for both rings, but you do not have to split the budget equally if you do not want to.
Take into account some necessities such as whether or not you require a shaped wedding ring, and if you need to ensure the metal matches that of your engagement ring. Consider your lifestyle, work needs, and any allergies you may have to some materials. Consider if things like oxidisation would bother you.
Try out some samples to ensure that your dream width and depth of ring is actually comfortable for you to wear. Lots of people think that they want a 10mm heavy depth ring, until it is on their finger and feels bulky and awkward. Samples are also a great way to check your size, and avoid costly resizes later.
You may be able to lessen the cost of your dream ring by trading in some old unwanted jewellery as scrap. Check with your chosen jeweller beforehand to see if this is something they offer.
Most importantly, remember that the material things are the least important aspect of your wedding day and subsequent marriage. If you do not have much budget, do not let it deter you from saying your vows. You can always buy a ring later down the line, or upgrade your original one if you want to.