I just received another iteration of an e-mail that pops up frequently in my inbox:
“I only see engagement rings on your website… do you also sell wedding rings by any chance?”
The short answer would be a simple yes. But it’s trickier than that. Beneath the skin the real question actually differs depending on who’s asking...
It’s Probably The Same Ring (On Different Occasions)
In 50% of cases people use the term “wedding ring” and “engagement ring” interchangeably. Both are the “main” ring worn on a woman’s ring finger that steers off most men from trying to pick her up at some snazzy party. If that makes sense. The ring screams "there's a guy". These rings usually have a centre stone (diamond, ruby etc) and more often than not some fine detail to accentuate the centre stone.
The only difference here would be the distinction around when the lady receives the ring. Some couples choose to wait and only exchange rings on the day of the wedding. In the majority of cases though the lady receives this “main” ring during the proposal of marriage.
It’s Often A Cultural Issue
Although I’m ignorant of a lot of cultures I respect the fact that we all see things differently. Espescially age old wedding traditions.
Certain cultures call for two distinctive rings to be presented to the bride; one at the time of proposal and a secondary ring at the wedding ceremony. Sometimes the secondary ring is complementary to the engagement ring - other times it’s completely a jewellery piece on it’s own. It differs from couple to couple and culture to culture.
For interest’s sake; certain religions even dictate that the the wedding band should be a super plain band in a high purity metal (75%). No diamonds or detail. Exciting, aint it?
We’ve only had a single case where we couldn’t cater to the needs of a specific religion. The gentleman insisted that we manufacture a 24ct (100%) pure gold band in white gold. I tried my best to explain that pure gold is yellow and manufacturing an item in 100% pure gold will always turn out yellow. To whiten the colour you need to add white metals like palladium and therefore decrease the purity to the benchmark 18ct (75%). Words weren't enough that day.
How We See It
Let’s use this photo of the rings on a traditional South African couple’s wedding day...
#1 Engagement/Wedding Ring: The main ring worn on the lady’s ring finger. Most commonly presented at the time of proposal.
#2 Wedding Band: A simpler complementary band that is worn next to the engagement ring. Most commonly presented on the day of the wedding. The significance and appearance of this band is largely influenced by culture and religion.
#3 Men’s Wedding Band/Ring: The ring presented by the bride to her groom on the day of the wedding to seal the deal.