Rings are one of the way that straight and gay weddings and differ. For straight couples there's no particular reason why rings need to match. Men's and women's jewelry are often quite different looking.
Generally for a wedding they are both made at the same type of metal but after that there's a great deal of leeway. Gay couples on the other hand, generally want rings that are quite similar if not an out and out match. Remember most rings are rarely seen right together. From a distance of several feet away rings that are similar may look like an exact match. This can give you a little bit of wiggle room that is freeing for most shoppers.
There are also different ring issues for male couples than female couples. Men's jewelry in general tends to be less showy and more tailored. A simple gold band maybe comfortable for a man wishing to make a statement about marriage but not about fashion. Many women like to have to rings that do make a fashion statement. Women of your grandmother's generation may have competed to see who had the most diamonds. But there are no hard rules today, for same-sex or straight couples. If you like the look, go for it.
Where should you buy a rings? If you love jewelry, you probably already have some place in mind. A good relationship with a jeweler can be valuable in getting things right. But for the rest of us let's cover the basic options. Goldsmith/designer, retail, secondary market and on line.
Finding someone to design and custom make fine jewelry may be quite difficult outside of large metropolitan areas. Their work is beautiful, highly unique and depending on the artist, can demand a premium price. Custom jewelry designing and creation takes a little longer lead time and is comparable with ordering a wedding dress. On the downside, it can take a little work to find someone who is designing jewelry. Many people describe themselves as making custom jewelry when what they're really doing is customizing jewelry. Customize jewelry is taking a basic ring sizing, adding stones and an inscription. Often the work is sent out. This may be what you want and it does give you a individualized product but not the unique product of a Goldsmith. Designing fine jewelry and is considered an art form, so check in with art organizations, galleries and art schools in your area. Look for members of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG).
Sounds simple, go to the mall pick out a ring, get it sized, comeback and done. The good news is this saves time, you have good selection, and you generally work with knowledgeable staff. You can look for sales and special events. Stores which mostly sell wedding rings have obvious advantages. This is the "no brainer" rote.
Antique shops, estate jewelers and pawn shops are all great places to look for wedding rings. You really can find a ring that looks just like moms. The Victorian, art deco and contemporary jewelry is all available. Wide selection and the fun of looking make this an ideal opportunity for people who love antique shopping. Some people do not like previously owned jewelry. For them it may have a secondhand feeling. (The having been a antique dealer for seven years I just can't relate. A cut stone or metal from the earth are truly products that should be thought of with a geologic time perspective.) Antique shops offer beautiful older pieces but not all can offer sizing. Selection is truly a hit or miss situation and fine jewelry is often mixed with costume. Estate jewelers offer impressive selections as well as full jewelry shop services. They are a good source of higher end pieces. Their knowledge of style is impressive. The jewelry often comes with guarantees that antique shops cannot offer. And while their prices are quite fair they are not typically a place for bargain hunters. Pawn shops that specialize in jewelry are a bargain hunters dream. They offer a wide selection and many have full jewelry services in house. Pawn shops often offer the single best value of any that we have mentioned. On the down side, most of the styles tend to be from the recent past. Which is fine if you don't need the latest style. Sense wedding rings are warned for decades most people don't care if they were a few years at a date to start with.
Internet shopping gives you the world at all its possibilities. This includes and some amazingly low cost items. The biggest down side for any item that needs to fit is inability to try it on. So you will need to know your ring size. So start at the mall trying on a few rings you will find out both what you like and don't like as well as you ring size. Do this at a minimum of two shops. Some jewelers are better at sizing than others. Armed with this information you can get some very nice looking rings.. At the low end, Tugstun and Titanium rings offer the look of silver in many beautiful and masculine styles, in prices that any one can afford. This makes it easy to get matching rings. On line auction sites can also offer you some of the thrill of the hunt.
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