The exchange of rings between partners who have decided to commit to each other for a lifetime and beyond is an act that’s steeped in tradition. So, are engagement rings, and wedding rings the same?
While an engagement ring expresses unwavering love and a future together, a wedding band officially symbolizes the marriage union; it is a vow that you’ll keep your promises to each other, in sickness and in health. Here’s why you should opt for a classic combination of the two - a stunning engagement ring paired with a sleek yet elegant wedding band.
Engagement Rings and Wedding Rings: Same? Different?
An engagement ring is exchanged between the happy couple soon after a proposal or when they mutually agree to take the next big step in their relationship. Traditionally, an engagement ring features a dominant stone, which can either be a stand-alone solitaire or surrounded by smaller stones. Modern ring designs have extended into stunning cluster-rings and gorgeous three-stone rings.
If you are wondering, “are engagement rings and promise rings the same” then the answer is no, they are not. While they can look pretty similar, their intended meanings are entirely different.
While the former symbolizes your commitment to getting married to your partner, the latter can mean a broad spectrum of things. These include an intention to get married, chastity, a token of unconditional love between your family member or friend and you, and religious commitments.
Wedding Band or Wedding Ring
A wedding ring or wedding band is typically exchanged at the wedding ceremony. It is often more simple as compared to an engagement ring. It can be a plain classic band of a metal like gold, silver, or platinum in different settings or more intricate with details like milgrain or pave.
Apart from the time when they are exchanged, another significant difference between a wedding band and an engagement ring is their price. Since a wedding ring has a far lower carat weight compared to the latter, even if it is encrusted with gemstones, its price is lower.
Can engagement rings be used as wedding rings?
Now that we’ve answered “are proposal rings, and wedding rings the same” let’s see if an engagement ring can be used as a wedding ring. If you consider tradition, then both rings are important. An engagement ring and wedding ring are worn together on the ring finger of the left hand.
The wedding ring is placed first, symbolically closer to your heart, whereas the engagement ring is placed above it. While many people may opt for a single ring as it will be less expensive, there are alternative engagement rings that feature diamonds, like moissanite and cubic zirconia. While tradition dictates two rings, you should make the choice you and your partner are the most comfortable with. So yes, you can opt for only an engagement ring, if that’s what you prefer.
Things to Remember While Buying Your Wedding and Engagement Rings
Now that the answer to ‘is the engagement ring and wedding ring the same” is covered, here are some pointers to keep in mind before buying them.
1. Settings and Diamonds Can be Bought Separately
When buying a diamond engagement ring, you can consider purchasing the setting and the diamond separately. While picking a ring with a preset stone is much simpler, especially if you’re short on time, buying the two elements of the ring separately has its advantages.
For example, you can select the clarity, color, cut, and carat of your preferred stone and choose a ring design that best represents your story. This option is more personal, and can also help you stay within budget.
2. Evaluate the Diamond Cut
The cut of a diamond is perhaps the most important of the 4C’s that determine the stone. The diamond-cut predicts its shimmer factor; that is, the better the cut of the diamond, the more the light that’s reflected and the more brilliant it appears.
Cutting a diamond is an art in itself; it involves a lot of science too, to not damage its integrity. The range of cuts we have today is unlimited; we have princess, pear, oval, cushion cuts, and many more. The cuts are usually classified on a five-point scale, so choose your stone from a reliable vendor.
3. Try to book in advance
Even if you’re opting for a preset ring, it’s a good idea to book it in advance. Your jeweler will need some time to get the size of the ring right or even make the ring and any other alterations.
Booking in advance is vital especially if you're going for a customized ring. An urgent order may drive the price up and you may not get a fair deal. A good rule of thumb is to order the ring about six weeks before you’re proposing to your partner, or getting married.
4. Know the difference between jewelry insurance and warranty.
A warranty covers minor repairs that are needed from wear and tear damage. Removing scratches, re-tipping, and cleaning are covered under warranty. Your jewelry insurance will either replace your ring or reimburse you for it in case of theft, loss, or damages from fires, floods, and hurricanes.
Insurance is, of course, more expensive, and most people are satisfied with warranties. Still, when it comes to something as invaluable as an engagement ring, it’s better to be safe than sorry!
5. Check the return policy
In most cases, the engagement ring is intended as a wonderful surprise. In case your partner doesn’t like the ring or has other plans in mind, consider going through the return policies of your jeweler, thoroughly.