Wednesday, March 18, 2009

ring-a-ding ding

Handscape rings by Zlda

Yesterday was the 18th of March, and it was exactly one month from the wedding. Today it is one day less. Holy frijoles, Batman.

We have been Getting Things Done. We have signed and lodged the papers. We have met with the celebrant to discuss our ceremony. And we have our wedding rings, which ended up being surprisingly painless.

Robert wanted a plain silver band. The first silver jewellery shop we went into showed us a bunch of rings, and he chose one. It was $50. The whole process took about five minutes. WIN.

My ring was a little more work. I decided that since my engagement ring has a gold band, only a gold ring would look right. I had my grandmother's wedding ring, the one which goes with the engagement ring, but it was too small. I wanted to look around and see if it would be cheaper to buy a ring or have this one melted down and remade.

Here is my advice for buying a wedding ring:
  • Know what you want. This may mean sitting down and trying on a bunch of rings until you find the material you want (white gold? yellow? platinum? silver?), the style (plain? engraved? with stones?) and the width. Oh, and find out your ring size while you're at it.
  • Once you find out what you want, you aren't obliged to buy it. Make a note of what it is and how much that shop is charging, and get some more quotes. (Letting the store know you are getting quotes is also a good way to see if they will be flexible with their prices.) This way, you can go around to different stores or even phone around, and you can quickly find out if they have what you want and what they're charging.
  • No, seriously, go and get some quotes. I was looking for a very modest ring: a 2 mm width plain 18-carat yellow gold band. One of the shops, which was beautifully fitted out and staffed with exquisite people who had been extensively trained in the art of eyebrow-raising, showed me a ring in this style for $360. The next shop, a less impressive place, showed me the exact same ring for $250.
  • If you have gold, use it instead of buying something new. This not only saves you a whole bunch of money, it is better for the environment: the mining has already been done. A wedding ring is a thing that doesn't really get thrown away; chances are that your parents (or your partner's parents) have old rings lying around from grandparents, or even jewellery such as bracelets that they never wear. After getting quotes from shops, I went to a jeweller and asked how much it would be to melt down and remake my grandmother's ring; he quoted me $180.
In the end, when I tried on my grandmother's wedding ring, it was only a few sizes too small. Not all old rings can be upsized, as they may have structural defects, but this one was in good shape. It was also exactly what I'd been looking for: a 2 mm width plain 18-carat yellow gold band.

The jeweller changed the size for $32.



Ruthie said...

Totally win! Nicely played!

Liz said...


my fiance was fabulous enough to get me a great engagement ring, and it's proven to be a bit of a problem in finding affordable wedding bands.

jewelers see me walk in with that rock, totally ignore my request for a "plain silver band," and steer me to the pricey stuff.

i've had much better luck when i've left the ring at home haha.