Wedding Ring Guide

Wedding ring design Guide- collage of custom made wedding ring designs.

Wedding rings are an integral part of a marriage ceremony and the ultimate symbol of commitment between two people. At Larsen Jewellery, we take pride in our role of creating beautiful wedding rings that will be cherished for a lifetime. This wedding ring guide will help you through the different considerations you should make when deciding what kind of rings will best suit you.

Which Metals Can I Choose From?

Here at Larsen, we are committed to creating high quality, durable wedding rings that last a lifetime. When it comes to choosing a metal for your wedding rings, we recommend 18ct gold and platinum for their outstanding durability, maintainability and of course enduring beauty.

Stack of custom wedding rings in white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and platinum.

Gold

18ct gold comes in three different colour varieties known as white, yellow, and rose. All 18ct gold is 75% pure gold, and the remaining 25% is made of a combination of different metals that provide additional strength and create the chosen colour.

White gold undergoes an additional process to enhance its colour, where it is plated with a white metal called rhodium to conceal yellowish tones created by the gold content. This plating wears off over time and needs to be replated every 6-18 months for optimal brightness. Rhodium plating can be reapplied at Larsen Jewellery for a minimal fee.

Rose and yellow golds are not plated because the gold content creates their respective colours.

Gold rings can also be made with lower gold content. 9ct gold is available in the same colour varieties as 18ct gold (white, yellow, and rose) and is slightly cheaper than 18ct gold due to its lower gold purity. 9ct gold can be more brittle than 18ct and is more susceptible to cracks. It is important to assess the suitability of using 9ct gold for wedding rings based on your lifestyle.

 

Platinum

Platinum is a white metal, similar in appearance to a newly plated white gold ring. It does not require any plating and will not lose its colour over time. Containing 95% pure platinum, and only 5% other metals, it is noticeably heavier than a ring made in 18ct gold. Although dearer than 18ct gold, its ability to retain brightness over time makes platinum a popular option for wedding rings. Please click here for a detailed comparison of White Gold vs Platinum.

 

Combining Metals

Some wedding ring designs incorporate two or more gold colours as design accents. Incorporating different colours together can create a striking design feature or pattern. 

Men's wedding ring featuring 18ct yellow and white gold

Alternative Metals

Titanium and zirconium are two other metals that have gained traction over recent years in the wedding ring market. Titanium is a lightweight but strong metal with a dark grey tone – often described as gunmetal grey.

Zirconium is a metal with similar properties to titanium, except exposure to high temperatures creates a blackened surface. Other “black” rings are treated with a coating or plating which sadly doesn’t last long with everyday wear, so the inherent blackening ability of zirconium makes it superior to other black ring alternatives. The black colour from zirconium is caused by an oxidisation reaction on the surface of the metal, so please be aware that deep scratches may reveal the dark grey metal underneath the surface.

Although more affordable than gold and platinum, titanium and zirconium cannot be resized and, in most cases, cannot be repaired if damaged so please consider these options with caution.

Stack of Zirconium and titanium men's wedding rings

Mokume Gane

At Larsen Jewellery we can also make wedding rings using an ancient Japanese technique called mokume gane, which is a process where different metal colours are fused together to create a marbled, rippled, or woodgrain effect. Each mokume ring has a completely unique pattern and the technique of creating them means you can never make two looking exactly the same.

An ancient Japanese technique of mixing metals to create a woodgrain appearance

Platinum and gold have different heating temperatures for melting, fusing, and soldering and therefore it is not recommended to combine platinum and gold together for a wedding band.

Metal Considerations With an Existing Engagement Ring

The choice of metal for women’s wedding rings is a somewhat easy decision to make in most cases: we always recommend matching the metal of your engagement ring. Not only is this best for matching the look of your engagement and wedding ring set, but also better for the longevity of your rings. Each metal option has a different hardness, so mismatching metals will cause the harder metal to rub into the softer of the two and wear away the ring over time.

If you have an engagement ring made from 18ct gold, you can still choose between rose, yellow, and white gold for your wedding ring if you like mixing and matching. Platinum is harder than gold so it’s better to complement a platinum engagement ring with a platinum wedding ring.

Width, Thickness, Profile & Finger Size

Width

The width of a ring refers to how much length of the finger will be covered by the ring when worn. For some ring designs and styles, there can be some factors that ultimately impact the width of the ring such as stone setting or patterns. We want your ring to last a lifetime, so at Larsen Jewellery the minimum width we use to create our wedding rings is 2mm. This means your ring will be more likely to retain its structural integrity over decades of wear and polishing. Most ladies’ wedding rings are 2mm-4mm wide and most men’s wedding rings are 4mm-7mm wide, but this is just a guide and you should make your choice based on your own personal preference.

Shank widths labelled

Thickness

The thickness of the ring is how thick the wall of the ring is, which can be most easily seen by resting the ring flat on a table. Wedding ring thickness is very important because a thin ring can bend easily with everyday wear. At Larsen Jewellery, we make our rings to a minimum thickness of 1.8mm to ensure they can be worn for a lifetime. If we need to factor in details such as stone depth or engraving on the side of the ring, your ring thickness may increase.

Thickness

Profile

Another consideration is the profile, or outside shape of the ring. Wedding rings can be flat across the top, rounded, pointed into a shape called knife-edge and even completely round from the top to the inside. A popular option for women is to match the profile of the wedding band to your engagement ring, which can be accurately matched by hand in our workshop. Men will usually choose their profile based on personal preference and the shape that most suits their hands.

We prefer to make the inside of the wedding ring slightly rounded instead of flat. This is called a comfort fit and, as the name suggests, makes the experience of wearing a ring more enjoyable. A comfort fit will allow the ring to roll smoother over the knuckle when being removed or put on.

Profiles labelled

Finger Size

Your wedding ring should sit snug, but not uncomfortably so. Ideally, it should slide easily onto the finger, but be met with slight resistance when being taken off. Finger sizes fluctuate due to a variety of reasons such as weather and physical activity, and therefore your finger is not necessarily going to be the same size all the time. It’s important that the ring can’t slide off when your hands are cold, which is when your finger size will be at its smallest, but likewise should not get stuck on your finger when your hands are a little swollen in summer.

Although being measured by a professional is always preferable, we understand that this isn’t always feasible. Please visit our Finger Size page to learn more about how you can determine an estimate of your finger size, and you can even download our printable Larsen ring sizer.

Ring size

Types of Gemstones

Collection of white diamonds and coloured precious gemstones

Diamonds

Like engagement rings, wedding rings are also highly customisable, and this includes options for stones. A classic row of white diamonds never goes out of fashion for a ladies’ wedding ring, but coloured stones can also be used to create a colourful statement. Diamonds also come in a range of colours apart from the traditional white, such as black, blue, yellow and pink. Of all precious stones, diamonds are most commonly used in rings due to their superior hardness which makes them resistant to scratching and wearing.

Collection of diamonds in different shapes such as round brilliant, princess, cushion, oval and pear

Sapphires and Rubies - Corundum

The next best gemstone for a pop of colour is a crystal called corundum, better known as sapphires and rubies. Although they’re mostly known for their deep blue hues, sapphires actually come in every colour! As well as their trademark blue, sapphires can be black, pink, purple, green, yellow, and orange. The red variety of sapphire is better known as ruby, so the physical properties of rubies and sapphires are exactly the same.

One of the key features we consider in a gemstone for everyday use is its hardness, or resistance to scratches, which is measured on Moh’s Scale of Hardness. Diamond, being the hardest natural material known to man, is 10 on this scale, and corundum has a hardness of 9.

A collection of sapphires and rubies displaying a range of colours including blue, red, pink, green

Typical Shapes Used in Wedding Rings

Unlike an engagement ring which typically has a large centre stone, wedding ring stones are usually small and sit in line with the wedding band. Many wedding ring styles are perfectly suited to the ever-popular round shaped stones. Square, rectangular (baguette), and marquise shapes are also commonly used in wedding rings. Square stones in particular are often chosen for men’s stone-set wedding rings.

 

Diamond shapes including, round brilliant, princess, marquise and baguette

Typical Sizes Used in Wedding Rings

Stones in wedding rings usually sit in line with a wedding band rather than sitting out like the centre stone on an engagement ring – after all, the idea is to complement your engagement ring, not compete with it. Stones can be as small as 1mm in diameter and generally no larger than 3mm, although there are designs that use larger stones if desired. You may also have a preferred width and setting style in mind and we can calculate the appropriate size to use for your favourite ring design.

Setting Styles

Below is an outline of the most popular setting styles for wedding rings. You may wish to choose the same setting as featured on your engagement ring, or something completely different.

Micro-Claw Setting

Novo Platinum Wedding Ring

Our most popular diamond-set wedding ring is our Novo design, which features diamonds in micro-claw settings. In a micro-claw set ring, claws are carved from the sides of the band to create secure settings for each individual stone. Because the settings are created from the sides of the band, there is minimal metal seen around the diamonds and this allows for a finer looking band, with a lot of sparkle. The width of this ring will be determined by the size of the diamonds used so a finer band will have smaller diamonds and if you prefer bigger diamonds the ring will need to be wider to accommodate the setting.

Grain Setting

Grain setting, also called bead setting, is achieved by drilling under each stone allowing the diamond to drop in and sit almost flush with the surface of the metal. The stones are then secured by raising a bead of metal from the ring and pushing it over the edge of the stone. This setting features heavily in accent stones for vintage designs.

A variation of grain setting, known as Pavé setting, refers to multiple rows of grain set diamonds offset from each other. Translated from French, Pavé means paved which is why the term is used when diamonds form the appearance of a paved-like surface across the band.

Stella Brilliant White Gold Wedding Ring

Channel Setting

Princess and Baguette White Gold Wedding Ring

As the name suggests, a channel setting is created when a channel is carved out of the ring and diamonds are placed side by side between the walls. The top edges of these walls are then lightly hammered securing the diamonds inside the channel. A wide range of stone shapes can be used in a channel setting; round stones are a timeless choice, but square and rectangular shapes can also be used to create a sleek, geometric design.

Claw Setting

Claw set rings like our Harmony design are very effective when used with diamonds greater than 5pt in size. Each stone is secured from below with its own seat and then two claws on either side secure the stone from above. These claws are shared between neighbouring stones and create a secure setting with very little space between each stone, resulting in a sparkly and eye-catching wedding ring.

Harmony Eternity Ring

Gypsy Setting

Dew Drop White Gold Wedding Ring

If you love the symbolism of a diamond wedding ring but prefer a more subtle sparkle, you may consider gypsy setting. A gypsy setting has stones encased flush in the ring. Gypsy-set rings can be made with a single stone as an understated centre point, or with multiple diamonds either evenly spaced apart or set in a random assortment, as if they were scattered throughout the ring.

Design Styles

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals above, it’s time to look at the fun part: ring designs.

Plain/Classic Band

Classical Ladies White Gold Wedding Ring

Arguably the most traditional and symbolic wedding ring, a plain wedding band is a simple, uninterrupted ring of your chosen metal.

2-Tone Ring

A 2-tone ring incorporates two gold colours and is particularly popular among men who want a wedding ring which is understated but more detailed than a plain ring.

Union Flat Profile Yellow Gold Wedding Ring

Mokume Gane

Stella Brilliant White Gold Wedding Ring

At Larsen Jewellery we can also craft wedding rings in our studio using an ancient Japanese technique called Mokume Gane, where different metal colours are fused together to create a marbled, rippled, or woodgrain effect. The technique of crafting a mokume ring means, like a fingerprint, there are never two rings that are exactly alike. All of our mokume gane rings have a solid gold sleeve (with your choice of rose, yellow or white) on the inside for additional strength and comfort.

Fitted Band

If your engagement ring sits wide at the base of its setting, you may need to wear a wedding ring that curves to sit around the engagement ring. A wedding ring that is made specially to sit around an engagement ring is called a fitted wedding ring and there are a number of creative ways to fit a wedding ring around an engagement ring.

A fitted ring may have a soft curve to hug around the engagement ring’s setting, or it may be a straight band with a notch cut into the top so it retains the appearance of a straight band. It may also have a pinching or cross-over feature incorporated into it which serves to create a space for the engagement ring to sit comfortably. Like straight bands, fitted rings can also be plain, patterned or set with stones.

Curve White Gold Wedding Ring

Stackable Rings

Stella White Gold Wedding Ring

Gaining traction recently is the concept of stacker-style rings – rings with a non-traditional form that tends to follow the outline of the diamonds or gemstones set into the band, often in alternating shapes. Rather than sitting against the engagement ring with the sides butted together, a stacker ring will create deliberate spaces between the two rings to emphasise the distinction between the engagement ring and wedding ring.

Vintage

Vintage inspired wedding rings draw upon certain design elements to create a detailed ring that invokes timeless beauty. Delicate milgrain edges, grain set diamonds, and hand-engraved patterns are all design elements to be considered for vintage-themed wedding rings.

Inscription White Gold Wedding Ring

Finishing Touches

Wedding rings can be customised in a wide variety of ways and some of our finishing touches can be used to truly personalise your bands.

Metal Finish

The finish refers to the method in which a ring has been finished on the bench to reflect light. A polished finish leaves the ring with a shiny, reflective surface. A matte finish has a softer and less reflective finish which is a result of a light emery applied over the surface. Please note that the finish of a ring does not last forever as tiny everyday scratches will wear off the finish on a ring and therefore a polished ring will become less polished, and a matte ring will become less matte. The finish on your ring can be redone for a small fee when you bring your ring in for a clean and inspection.

Wedding ring Metal finish options including polished, matte and satin

Millgrain

Milgrain refers to a technique of adding a row of tiny dots along an edge of a ring and can be added on an otherwise plain band and also looks particularly effective on grain set bands. This stippled effect creates a vintage-inspired finish on wedding rings.

Ladies Millgrain White Gold Wedding Ring

Engraving Detail

A delicate engraved pattern can be applied by hand to the outside of the ring as a unique addition to your ring. Our master engraver can also add a bold inscription across your band, such as initials or your wedding date.

Inscription White Gold Wedding Ring

Fingerprint Engraving

For a truly personal ring that connects you with your significant other, Larsen Jewellery offers our customers the opportunity to have your partner’s fingerprint engraved on your ring – either inside your ring as a secret touch or on the outside of the ring as a unique design feature.

Fingerprint Mens White Gold Wedding Ring

Message Inscription

Inscriptions don’t have to be bold and for everyone to see; if you prefer your personalised touches to be more discrete, you can have your chosen message applied to the inside of your wedding ring instead. Common choices for personal inscriptions include your wedding date, initials, nicknames, or a small message to each other. Keep in mind, however, that space is limited inside your ring so we would need to make sure it’s not going to be too long to fit!

Inscription II White Gold Wedding Ring

Grooves and Edge Details

Adding details to the edge of a wedding ring is particularly useful for wide rings. The addition of edge details breaks up the solid form of a plain wedding band while keeping the desired width.

Bevelled edges are a subtle detail where the edges of the ring are filed at around 45˚ to the surface of the ring. This is also considered a type of ring profile.

Grooves can also be added to the sides of a wedding ring to add detail to a wide wedding band. As the name suggests, a groove is a carved section parallel to the side of the ring.

Polished Cut Lines White Gold Wedding Ring

Special Considerations for Women

Matching to Your Engagement Ring

Many of the wedding ring design aspects will be based on the design of your engagement ring.

It is always recommended that you choose the same metal that your engagement ring was made from. We recommend this because the differing properties of various metals means that the ring made from a harder metal will wear away the softer metal. If your engagement ring is 18ct gold, you can choose between the 3 different gold tones – rose, white, and yellow.

Most often, the width of your engagement ring will also match your wedding band to create a matching set however this is not necessarily the case. Regardless, your engagement ring’s width will be used to guide your choice for width. This choice may also relate to diamond setting options, where the width is determined by the size of the stones in your wedding band, which may or may not match your engagement ring.

Likewise, the profile of your ring will typically match your engagement ring as the simplest way to tie your rings together, regardless of other chosen ring factors.

Special Considerations for Men

Design Options

Men more or less have the same options in regards to all the above factors as women, except without the engagement ring to coordinate. Width and profile are the primary starting points for men’s wedding rings, with men typically choosing wider wedding bands than women to suit the proportion of their hand.

Men can also elect to include a diamond or gemstone in their wedding ring. This is commonly incorporated as a single stone or a row of stones. Popular stone choices for men’s wedding rings are white diamonds and black diamonds.

Men’s wedding rings are often wider than ladies’ and may incorporate a groove or edge detail to break up the width and draw the eye into separate design features.

Occupational Considerations

We often see men during wedding ring consultations who are concerned about what rings are suitable for their work. Many jobs don’t give specific requirements regarding wearing a wedding ring, but the few that do may suggest a hardwearing metal that can sustain hard knocks or not wearing a ring at all.

Zirconium and platinum are great options for rings that need to tolerate knocks and force throughout the day. Zirconium is highly resistant to scratching and is lightweight and inexpensive. Platinum is the most expensive ring option, however it can be resized which is a great bonus. Scratches will be more apparent on a platinum ring, but due to the way scratches and knocks interact with the surface of platinum you will find that it will eventually develop its own surface texture similar to a satin finish which is unique to platinum. This finish is often referred to as a Patina.

If you are advised against wearing a ring at work, but would still prefer a classic ring that you can wear at other times, we may recommend 9ct gold as the best option to suit your needs. 9ct gold can be made in rose, yellow, and white colour varieties.

Matching to Partner’s Ring or Not?

One very common question we are asked is: “Should we get the same rings to match each other?” The answer is: it’s completely up to you and what you decide as a couple.

On one hand (pardon the pun), matched wedding rings can be a very sweet way to link your rings to each other as a couple. Matched rings are often the same metal and style but different widths to suit each partner’s hands.

On the other hand, everyone is different and the style that suits one person may not suit another and therefore it may be better to decide on each ring based on what best suits the respective wearer.

A set of mens and womens wedding rings in white gold with diamonds

The Wedding Ring Experience

Larsen Jewellery proudly offers couples the opportunity to make each other’s wedding rings under the guidance of your own personal jeweller. This is a uniquely special experience – what could be more romantic than having your wedding ring made by the person who will be putting it on your finger during your ceremony?

Our Wedding Ring Experience includes lunch, and champagne at the end to celebrate the completion of your rings.

You can learn more about our wedding ring experience here.

Wedding ring experience

Quality Considerations

At Larsen Jewellery, we believe in creating personalised and unique pieces that can be cherished for a lifetime. Ensuring your jewellery can stand the test of time with everyday wear means paying special attention to the structural integrity of every piece we make. We design and create rings that adhere to our strict quality standards without compromising on their strength or beauty. All of our pieces come with a lifetime guarantee so you can feel confident in the knowledge that your piece has been made with the highest quality materials and is designed to last. The outcome is elegant, expertly made rings that will be proudly worn for years to come. We encourage you to visit us every year to have your ring inspected and cleaned, ensuring it is kept in great condition.

Not sure where to start?

Get in touch and one of our jewellers will be happy to answer your questions, or browse our wedding ring galleries to get inspired.

Talk to an expert

Sydney: (02) 9223 2006

Melbourne: (03) 9662 3005

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Please enter your details below to ask us a question or to schedule an appointment with one of our jewellers. SYD (02) 9223 2006 MELB (03) 9662 3005
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