Shopping for any type of jewelry is a process. However, when shopping for wedding ring sets, a whole different set of guidelines will apply. Here are the "10 commandments" for to finding, affording and caring for your wedding rings.
- Narrow down your choices. Make some preliminary decisions by looking through magazines or browsing through jewelry stores to find ideas. What color metal are you interested in? Do you want a plain metal band or one with diamonds or colored gems?
- Determine your budget. Generally a simple set of gold bands will cost anywhere from $125 to $200 each. Platinum can cost up to $600 each. If you want diamonds, the wedding bands will average around $750. If you want engraving, that will add to the cost.
- Start shopping early. You should begin shopping for your wedding bands at least 2 months in advance of your wedding. This will give you plenty of time to browse around and revisit any rings that you were especially interested in. Don't buy the first thing you see. Be sure the rings are the ones you want. You will be wearing them a very long time.
- Be practical. You should keep your lifestyle in mind when you are shopping for your rings. You want them to be comfortable since you will most likely be wearing them every day. Consider things such as the type of work you do and what type of sports or activities you engage in. You also need to consider if you have any metal allergies.
- The 20 year test. It's okay to be different. However, you will want to choose a style that will stand the test of time and won't go out of style. You will most likely be wearing this ring for the rest of your life and want it to fit into any style even in 20 years.
- Size matters. Most people rarely, if ever, take off their wedding bands. They are worn when its hot, cold, during pregnancy and exercise. Your fingers will swell and contract depending on heat, cold, weight gain and water retention. Be sure to do your "final fitting" when your body temperature is normal and you are calm. NEVER have your final fitting in the morning, directly after exercising or when you are extremely cold or hot.
- Quality counts. Each ring should have two marks on the inside. One is the manufacturers mark (meaning they stand behind their product) and the second is a quality mark (14K or PLAT). This proves the ring is what it is said to be (gold or platinum).
- Keep the rings clean. Cleaning your rings is a breeze. If your ring has no stones, all you need to do is rub it with a lint free cloth. If your ring does have stones, it can be washed in warm, sudsy water, brushed with a soft toothbrush, rinsed and patted dry.
- Take care of your investment. Most metals, even platinum, can be scratched or dented. Be careful about wearing your ring when you are playing rough sports, engaging in rough work or working with harsh chemicals (which can pit and discolor your ring).
- Safety always comes first. You would be surprised at how easily you can lose your ring. Hopefully you will very rarely remove your ring. However, if it is absolutely necessary, be sure to put it in a place specially designated to house it. NEVER put it in a pocket or near a sink. The worst time to remove your wedding ring is when you are away from home. This is the time when most wedding rings will be lost or set down and then forgotten.
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