How Much Should You Pay For A Wedding Ring?
9th December 2019
The lead up to a wedding is sometimes just as stressful as the day itself. Budgeting for dresses, invites, photographers, planners and even more as the day approaches is quite a huge task in and of itself. When it comes to budgeting for wedding rings, the prices are completely dependent on you and your partner’s needs. You can expect wedding rings to start from as little £100 per ring to an upwards of £3000 which is dependent on the design of the ring, the metal used, whether or not there’s any diamonds involved. The good news is that wedding rings are not as costly as engagement rings, and so you can get a really good deal as long as you know exactly what it is what you need.
Where does the cost come from?
The majority of wedding rings will inherit their cost from which type of metal that is being used. Most people opt for precious metals for their wedding rings not just because of appearance but also because of the practicalities of wearing the same ring virtually everyday for decades. While it’s common practice for most women to take off their engagement ring for everyday situations (particularly if it can catch on fabric or something similar) most wedding rings are worn in everyday situations, so this is one the main reasons that people use expensive metal to have their wedding ring made.
You’re looking to spend this much if you would like something simple and functional. Something made in 9k white gold, for example, will suit a busy lifestyle due to the way in which white gold is harder in a lower carat weight and has virtually no difference in appearance to 18k white gold. You can even go for matching bands at this price point, and they will both be as simple and as practical as you require them to be.
The other factor you might need to consider is the thickness of the actual wedding band, owing to taste, the comfort of fit or any other reason that would affect the way the ring feels on the hand. Thicker bands will require more metal, and therefore will cost more. You can stick to a smaller, thinner ring if you are looking to stay within a smaller budget. The main thing you'll need to consider is the metal type, as that will be the biggest determinant of the final price of the ring.
The more common spend on wedding rings, spending within this bracket is much more common for those going for yellow gold, or a coloured gold such as rose gold. There’s a visible difference between 9k and 18k yellow/rose gold, since the higher proportion of gold in the 18k variations means that the colour of the ring will appear to be a little bit brighter or richer. Its also possible to even get a pair of rings at the £500 price point. You'll find that the price will increase up to £500 if you increase the quality of the gold. Anything in 18k simply means that there is 75% proportion of gold in the material, (compared to 37.5% gold in the case of white gold) which in the case of coloured gold can create a visual difference. By lowering the metal quality you may be able to fit two wedding rings into £500, the minute you raise the metal quality you will find a clear price hike due to the higher proportion of gold in the rings.
If you look really really closely, you'll notice that ring on the left-hand side is slightly richer in colour, which means that it is in 18k yellow gold. The ring on the right-hand side is made in 9k yellow gold and has a slightly duller tint to the metal, yet it is still a golden colour. As mentioned before, the gold proportion in 18k yellow gold is about 75%, compared to 37.5% for 9k yellow gold. Don't forget that carat (also spelt as karat) is a measurement of weight, and therefore the 18k yellow gold variation is noticeably heavier, giving it a much more definitive/expensive feeling when held in the hand.
Like the picture above, you'll notice a clear difference on the 18k rose gold (left-hand side) and the 9k rose gold (right-hand side). While the difference between the two types of metal is quite negligible for yellow gold, in the case of rose gold the colour tint is a lot more noticeable.
There are two main reasons why wedding rings may enter this price point; you’re either adding diamonds into the mix or you’re going for a platinum wedding ring.
A lot of people opt for diamonds by setting very small diamonds into their ring, usually only one but many people can go for a couple more, depending on their tastes. This adds an extra bit of flair to the wedding ring, which is especially really nice to have if the engagement ring won’t be worn every day. It’s common for men to have a small diamond in their ring too, which is great since men’s wedding rings tend to be a bit thicker and having the diamond to accent the ring is a nice touch.
A short selection of our full eternity rings, from the prong setting (on the left) to the channel setting (on the right}. You can browse them over here
Platinum is the best of both worlds when it comes to finding a metal for your wedding ring. Naturally hypoallergenic and incredibly durable, this is a very popular choice for men’s rings as it can withstand a lot of punishment. The metal is several times rarer than gold, which means that the cost is higher but many people will opt for the higher cost in order to have a ring that’s very durable. It has an identical appearance to white gold, but unlike white gold, it does not need to be re-plated from time to time. For this reason, platinum has been the metal of choice when it comes to men's rings since the silvery colour is quite non-descript and the durability of the material lends itself well to men who may have more active lifestyles. Of course, it goes without saying that the same also applies to women too.
Some examples of our platinum wedding ring designs.
What if I have a uniquely shaped engagement ring?
Most wedding rings are a simple round design, but if you or your partner has a specially shaped engagement ring, you would need to look at specially shaped wedding rings, such as a wishbone design. However, it is often the case that most people with uniquely shaped engagement rings will need to have their wedding ring designed completely from the ground up in order for the wedding ring to sit flush with the engagement ring. These ones take a bit more time and cost more. It's probably worth having a conversation with your partner whether you would like to go to do a bespoke design to fit the engagement ring exactly. Some people may exchange their engagement ring and buy bridal sets so that the matching up is taken care of already, and others go fully into the bespoke end and spend more time, it's really up to you.
What is considered appropriate?
This is where things can enter a bit of a grey area, as you might feel that there’s a “right” amount to spend when it comes to buying both of your wedding rings. The answer is, of course, there is no right amount, and together with your partner, you both should decide what’s appropriate according to your lifestyle. If there’s anything we’ve learnt over the years of providing people with their rings is that the cost can vary by a huge amount.
It’s a myth that what you wear on your finger is any indication of what you spend or what your lifestyle is; there’s been plenty of people who buy expensive wedding rings from different types of income levels. You should focus on what fits your lifestyle; not what other people (or the in-laws!) consider appropriate.
Have a read of our ultimate wedding ring buying guide for everything you need to consider.
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