Style is a big way in how we define who we are.
Fashion is one of the most obvious - our clothing choices and preferences show everyone who we wish to identify as. Even wearing a different pair of glasses can make you seem like an entirely different person to some people, while others may think nothing of it.
Jewellery is a major game-changer when it comes to style, for both men and women. Earrings have been a symbol of status, bracelets can be used as a charm, necklaces show off gems in a confident way… But rings are without a doubt the most powerful and influential of all.
Rings come in so many different types and provide so many different meanings. Even the simple placement of a ring on a different finger creates a whole other sense of purpose and comes with its own meaning, varying from culture.
Rings in this day and age are almost always associated with marriage or engagement. Since ancient times, we have used rings as a sign of love and commitment. During all this time, thousands of different rings have been created and adapted. Most are unique to either the cultures or individuals.
With the ways of the modern jeweller and custom engagement ring designers, there will never be a shortage of new styles of rings.
Starting off is probably the most common of all. Gold rings are simple, plain, timeless and elegant. There are a couple of reasons why gold rings are so universally used as wedding rings.
Firstly is the obvious fact that gold is a highly valuable material. Entranced with its qualities for millennia, humans find gold a scarce and precious metal that has a bright golden shine. Gold is associated with wealth and riches, as many items and possessions being made from gold have been created exclusively for royalty. Gold has been harder to find than many other metals and always will be.
Secondly, gold is such a perfect material for a ring because it has everlasting properties. Gold’s pure form will never tarnish or rust, and is easy to keep in a shiny state.
Gold is often used in making most engagement rings in one way or another, providing the base of the ring for any gem or jewel to be on top.
Silver rings come in many different types. On its own and in its pure form, silver is just far too soft to be used when trying to craft a wedding ring.
This is why many people go for the option of “sterling silver” which is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper.
“Flashing” is the name of the process used to treat the silver. Bands will get plated with a thin amount of silver which is extremely pure, giving the ring a noticeable shine. This process is well known to lose shine over time - pretty quickly too.
Sterling rings can be also treated with a Rhodium Plate, which makes it more shiny and durable compared to other materials. This plating doesn’t scratch, dent, or corrode and keeps its shine pretty well.
Silver is a great choice for those who don’t like the repetitive choice of gold, and prefer a clean, minimal and shiny look. Silver is also generally going to be much less expensive than gold.
Using sterling silver makes it extremely easy for engagement ring designers to create custom engagement rings. This is because silver is naturally so malleable and fun to work with. Many different unique designs with all sorts of shapes, loops, bends and effects can be made with silver.
In the grand scheme of the history of rings, eternity rings are quite new. Around the 1960s the diamond merchant De Beers came up with the whole concept of an eternity ring.
The American journalist Edward Jay Epstein said that De Beers had an agreement that was kept secret with the Soviet Union. At the time, it was common for women to have a ring with a single large gem like a diamond.
The Russians produced diamonds that were so much smaller, often less than 0.25 carats. So, De Beers created rings that contained lots of small diamonds. They were originally marketed at older married women.
“She married you for richer or poorer. Let her know how it’s going." was the slogan at the time.
Now, eternity rings are associated with high levels of creativity and craftsmanship as bespoke engagement rings. The intricate, feminine look appeals to a lot of women. To be symbolic of eternal and never-ending love, an eternity ring is given by a husband to their wife on a big anniversary, for example on the 20th anniversary of marriage.
Although not as widely recognised as diamond rings, sapphires are often underrated when it comes to being a precious gem for a ring.
Sapphire is a highly valuable gem, with its most famous variant coming in blue. There are also other colours of sapphire like pink, orange, green and purple. A lot of people do not know that sapphire is also the traditional gift for a 45th wedding anniversary, and the blue colour of the gem signifies commitment.
Sapphires are also second to diamonds when it comes to durability. Because of this, sapphires make a great alternative to a diamond ring. Sapphires have also been associated with royalty for centuries. Kings of the middle ages would wear sapphires and lots of them believed that the precious jewels would protect them during a battle.
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge has a 12-carat engagement ring that features a sapphire. It originally belonged to Princess Diana.
These rings are definitely a more modern trend. Silicone rings are rings that are much cheaper and flexible, and are usually targeted toward men who live an active life. The rubber is flexible and is very durable. These rings can be designed in an almost unlimited amount of colours and textures.
Men wearing regular rings who engaged in heavy-duty tasks like firefighting, weight lifting, mining, etc. had the risk of the ring damaging their hand or getting the ring scuffed. There have been numerous instances in which rings have been the culprit to many disastrous injuries.
Silicone rings can come in awesome designs too, some even replicating traditional metallic rings. They are also widely approved in lots of different workplaces and professions - even more than any other ring. They prevent things like blistering, ring avulsion and degloving. This is because if it gets caught, the silicone simply breaks before causing damage to the finger. It is hypoallergenic and non-conductive.
If you have decided to “put a ring on it” it is completely understandable if you happen to be feeling a little bit overwhelmed when it comes to picking a ring. This is not surprising, as this is going to be the ring that you hope to wear for the rest of your life right?
For those of you who want a traditional ring that lasts forever and requires low maintenance, then go with gold. Gold has and always will have a high value and remains timeless.
For those who want a pristine, shiny appearance, it may be a good idea to go with a silver ring. Silver is best for people who want custom engagement rings, as the metal is easily able to be shaped the way a bespoke engagement ring designer wants.
Eternity rings are for those who want an especially unique and modern appearance, and sapphire rings are for those looking to stand out with the famous beautiful blue gem on their hand and feel like royalty.
Finally, silicone rings are perfect for people who live an active lifestyle and do not want to risk any damage to their hands or their ring.