Types of Wedding Rings and Their Meaning

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A wedding ring is a physical representation of the eternal love and commitment between two people. Choosing a ring is one of the most important parts of wedding planning and often the most time-consuming! If you’re getting lost in the sea of information out there, don’t worry, as we have carefully prepared a guide to help you learn about the different types of wedding rings. From simple gold wedding bands to elaborate vintage rings, you’re sure to find the perfect fit for your big day!

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What Are the Different Styles of Wedding Rings and What Do They Mean?

From simple wedding bands to thoughtful vintage and unique rings, numerous options are available for your big day. Let’s go through the different alternatives and the meaning they carry.

Simple Wedding Bands

This is the traditional yellow gold band exchanged during a marriage ceremony. It has a pure, simple design because, in ancient times, it was initially meant to be the man’s companion to the woman’s engagement ring. However, as times evolved, couples started exchanging rings, and the designs got more intricate. This simple band might be the right choice for you if you’re a fan of a more minimalistic, sleek look. Some precious metal options include creamy rose gold, white gold, stunning platinum, or refined yellow gold. The clear advantage of these simple bands is that they are easy to clean and maintain and have a timeless look.

Vintage Wedding Rings

Vintage wedding rings are rings with intricate metalwork rather than a simpler design. They are typically made to look older. Vintage wedding ring settings come in a wide range of styles. For example, Art Deco involves symmetry and recurring geometric patterns, while the Edwardian style involves intricate filigree and floral design.

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Unique Bands

Unique wedding bands are the perfect option for non-traditional couples who want to stand out with their ring choice. These bands use an unusual diamond color, such as pink diamonds, or offer a distinctive and unique style.

If you’re looking for an original wedding band, you might consider investing in a cocktail ring or birthstone ring. Cocktail rings originated in the 1920s as a symbol of wealth and are extravagant, luxurious jewels. Birthstone rings represent your birth month with a unique gemstone for each month:

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MonthStoneColor
JanuaryGarnetDark red
FebruaryAmethystPurple
MarchAquamarineLight blue
AprilDiamondClear
MayEmeraldGreen
JunePearlWhite
JulyRubyRed
AugustPeridotLight green
SeptemberSapphireDark blue
OctoberOpalPink or mix
NovemberCitrineYellow
DecemberBlue TopazBlue
Birthstone Color Chart

Eternity band

Another interesting ring style is the eternity band or eternity ring. This ring has diamonds set into the band that wraps around all the way to symbolize eternal love. An eternity band often features round diamonds, but other cuts and stones can also be used.

Traditionally, these rings are most often gifted on special occasions, such as when a couple has a child or for an anniversary. So wouldn’t it be an incredibly unique choice for a wedding ring?

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What Are the Types of Ring Settings?

In a nutshell:

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If you’re considering a bridal set or looking for a wedding ring that fits flush against your engagement ring, it is important to learn about different ring settings. The four most popular are halo, classic, solitaire, and vintage.

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Solitaire rings are one of the most popular styles. They consist of one gem, usually, a diamond, set high in the ring, enhancing its brilliance by maximizing its exposure to light.

The halo setting has a large diamond surrounded by several small diamonds. This halo of smaller diamonds makes the larger one shine brighter and appear bigger in comparison.

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Classic rings are traditional rings, as they usually have a center stone with a pavé-style band to add some extra brilliance to the ring.

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Finally, the vintage setting makes new rings look older than they are. This will satisfy lovers of antique jewelry with a contemporary twist.

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Other Types of Rings

It’s always interesting to discover different types and styles of rings. From engagement rings given for special occasions to signet rings and anniversary rings, here are a few fascinating kinds of rings to read about.

Engagement Ring

The engagement ring is the ring that is traditionally given during a marriage proposal. There are many different engagement ring styles, although vintage engagement rings are one of the most popular. The custom of offering a ring during an engagement dates back to Roman antiquity. At the time, an iron ring was fitted to the left ring finger as it was thought that a vein connected this finger directly to the heart.

An engagement ring is, above all, the symbol of a commitment, that of getting married very soon and sharing the life of your spouse on a daily basis. But it is also a strong symbol of love: The engagement ring is the ring that we offer to the great love of our life.

Promise Ring

A promise ring is given from one person to another in a romantic relationship as a symbol of fidelity, love, and commitment. It is sometimes given before an engagement. The promise ring is a physical manifestation of devotion to the relationship between both people.

Modern promise rings are becoming more mainstream with celebrity promise rings, such as the Jonas Brothers and celebrity couple Miley Cyrus and Liam Hemsworth.

Photo by Jasmine Carter

Signet Ring

A signet ring has a pattern or letters carved into it. Signet rings are a classic band becoming increasingly popular in modern times. Traditionally adorned with the family coat of arms or initials, the signet ring is a strong symbol of belonging and connection. It can also be worn as a trendier accessory when modernized. The signet ring is now worn by men or women with strong personalities looking for a modern and daring accessory.

It can be made in white or yellow gold and silver or gold-plated. Sometimes simple, sometimes set with a stone, it leaves room for all styles and desires. In addition, it lends itself wonderfully to personalization thanks to the addition of an engraving, as you can have the text of your choice written on it and transform your signet ring into a unique and original jewel.

Photo from Pamono

Anniversary Ring

An anniversary ring is a symbol of a milestone reached in a marriage. Usually given on a wedding anniversary, these rings are often stacked with your wedding and engagement ring. These beautiful rings represent the time two people have spent married and the many years to come.

The anniversary ring changes depending on how many years a couple has been married. For a first anniversary, it’s traditional to exchange gold rings. After that, most couples choose a simple gold stacking ring or a matching set. For the fifth anniversary, it is recommended to get a sapphire ring, as the blue gemstone symbolizes truth and loyalty. For the tenth anniversary, a diamond ring is essential to celebrate this incredible milestone. Finally, the fifteenth anniversary is marked with a ruby ring, and the twentieth with an emerald ring, as this stone is one of the rarest and most stunning gemstones in the world.

For the 25th anniversary, known as the “silver jubilee,” invest in a silver ring. The thirtieth anniversary is the “pearl jubilee,” So make sure to gift your partner a ring adorned with a beautiful pearl. Finally, invest in a gold ring with a fiery, passionate ruby to celebrate forty years of marriage.

Antique Ring

A ring is described as “antique” when it is over 100 years old. That means it must have been created in the 1920s or earlier. Antique rings are very rare and, therefore, precious. They make great gifts, especially for lovers of history or older ring designs.

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What Is the Difference Between a Wedding Ring and an Engagement Ring?

Usually, an engagement ring is received during a marriage proposal. It is often quite lavish, and diamond engagement rings are a popular choice. The wedding ring is given during the wedding ceremony. Traditionally, they are meant to be quite simple, in juxtaposition to the engagement ring. However, it is common today for couples to decide on more stylish wedding rings to showcase their affection for each other.

These two rings are meant to be worn together on the left hand’s ring finger, as this hand is closer to the heart. Therefore, choosing a wedding ring that will suit your engagement ring is important.

Why Do We Wear Wedding Rings?

This tradition started thousands of years ago in ancient Egypt, where people often wore a gold band on their little fingers to showcase their commitment. Similarly, Ancient Romans exchanged rings during marriage ceremonies.

Throughout the ages, the tradition evolved, and so did the wedding ring styles. For example, during the medieval ages, wedding rings started being more lavish, decorated with precious stones such as rubies, sapphires, and diamonds. During this time, couples also began to wear a band during their engagement as an engagement ring.

Did you know? The first engagement ring in history was given in 1477 by Archduke Maximillian of Austria to his fiancée, Mary of Burgundy. This diamond ring started the trend that still survives today.

Final Thoughts

You are now equipped with expert knowledge to pick a wedding ring that will make your big day absolutely perfect! Remember the different wedding ring types and settings and the meaning associated with each ring. More importantly, however, you should choose a ring you love. Let your uniqueness shine through, and don’t forget to have fun and celebrate this special occasion accordingly!

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Types of Wedding Rings and Their Meaning