- Pay attention when she admires someone else’s ring
- Notice which advertisements or photographs of rings she admires
- Ask her friends and family what she likes
- Take time to notice the other jewellery she wears – whether she prefers simple designs or more intricate ones
- Note her metal choice as well – white gold, yellow gold or platinum
- Note which shape of diamond she likes, for example, round brilliant, radiant, princess, marquise, emerald, pear, oval or heart.
- Be aware of her gemstone of choice – remember that not all ladies prefer white diamonds.
We also stock a vast range of coloured diamonds and coloured gemstone engagement rings including sapphires, rubies and emeralds.
- Browse with her at a reputable jeweller or go window shopping with her.
- Learn about the 4 Cs of diamonds so that you can make an informed decision.
Wedding Rings with Meaning
By Steve Haywood
Wedding rings are purchases that you’ll wear day-in and day-out for a lifetime. Each day, your bands will remind you of your love for one another; they’ll reinforce your commitment to each other; and forever they’ll be a symbol of your devotion to one another.
It makes sense, therefore, to capture all that you feel for each other in a wedding band made just for you – something totally unique, something that’s totally for and about YOU!
A few years ago I had quite a few male customers come into my store asking “Where are all the interesting men’s wedding rings?”
This got me thinking and, with the inspiration of my Ducati Monster motorcycle, I came up with the ‘Engineered Ring’, a finalist in the National Jewellery Show Case, 2008. It features black diamonds all the way around, is set in 18ct Gold and Palladium, and shows of masculine Titanium screws. I now do a range of Engineered Jewellery which is completely customisable.
Not long after, I met with a couple who had decided that spending money on their wedding rings would be a longer lasting memory than spending money on their wedding day. They had the idea of using the bride’s fingerprint on the groom’s ring. We took an imprint from her wedding finger, took a section of it and wrapped that right around the platinum ring. It doesn’t get more personalised than that!
Recently, I had a male customer who wanted just a plain wedding band. Once we got talking, however, I discovered he had a passion for astronomy. Now, instead of that boring plain band, he proudly wears a 1ct Princess cut black diamond, set in platinum, with the Southern Cross in black diamonds on one side of the ring and the Pleiades (sometimes known as the Seven Sisters) cluster in black diamonds on the other side. We also incorporated the Golden Ratio in the design.
I love collaborating with different artists, and recently worked with Ta Moko artist, Te Rangitu Netana. Together we have created a range of jewellery that goes by the name of ‘E Nga Hau E Wha’, which means The Four Winds. The design is based on a whale’s jawbone. It is available with the additional option of a wood-turned holder by Alby Hall, which turns your ring into a sculpture when you’re not wearing it.
When choosing your wedding ring, just remember that it doesn’t cost much more to have it personalised and customised to ensure that it’s not just some worked up gold or silver, but that it carries real meaning for you. Let a very symbolic piece of jewellery become a true symbol of all that your love embodies. ♥
Steve Haywood is a master jeweller, based in Whangarei, who specialises in custom made jewellery. With a passion for quality and true inspiration, Steve creates beautiful and meaningful wedding and engagement rings, as well as exquisite pendants and other jewellery. www.masterjeweller.co.nz
- White Gold and Platinum are the most common metals used for engagement rings. Palladium is becoming more popular, as is Titanium.
- The most popular diamond shape is the round brilliant cut, closely followed by princess cut.
- December is the most popular month for engagements. Christmas tops the list for proposals, followed by Valentines and New Year.
- The average engagement ring used to cost around 2 month’s salary. Nowadays, an average of 3 week’s wages is spent.
- 38% of people tell their partner what they have spent on the ring while an amazing 3% admit that they exaggerated the real price to their partner.
- Up to 60% of brides get involved in the process of purchasing an engagement ring, often designing a custom piece. Less than 50% said their rings were exactly what they wanted!
- Engagement rings are traditionally worn on the left hand following the old tradition that a vein in the fourth finger of the hand, the vena amoris or vein of love, runs directly to the heart. Engagement rings are worn on the left hand in England, USA, France, Canada, Australia and NZ, with countries such as Germany and India wearing the ring on their right hand. In the Hindu tradition, women are given toe rings as a symbol of marriage, called bichiya.
- Around 70% of grooms-to-be still ask the parents for the bride’s hand in marriage.
- Around 60% of proposals take place in private, with close to 80% of grooms saying “Will You” on bended knee.
- It is thought that engagement rings first came from the caveman, who tied cords made of braided grass around his chosen mate’s wrists, ankles, and waist. The modern engagement ring was introduced in the 1400’s by Archduke Maximillian of Austria who gave Mary of Burgundy a gold ring set with a diamond as a token of his love.
It’s no surprise, therefore, that it’s proving popular in jewellery manufacture, and even less surprising that it’s making an impact when it comes to wedding rings … something you really want to last a lifetime.
Artifact in Dunedin specialise in titanium crafted rings. Ted Daniels perfected his craft in The Netherlands at a distinguished and highly regarded technical school for gold and silversmiths. He initially experimented with titanium in 1982 at a time when there was very little information about its use in jewellery.
The metal, which is a natural element and not an alloy, excited him immensely. “I like the challenge of working with titanium. It is not the easiest metal to work with, but the end result is worth the effort.”
Artifact employ three artisans who have all mastered the skills to create titanium rings to the highest standard of workmanship. “They can now create a seamless ring, with or without inlays or stones, to a client’s specifications,” says Ted. ??Their quality is subliminal and fastidious, while their designs are clean and modern, yet often minimalist, allowing the metal to showcase itself to perfection.
What’s interesting is that, although specialising in titanium, Ted and his team have not limited themselves to this metal – they inlay platinum and various golds, as well as diamonds and other precious stones into the titanium, sometimes in bands of varying breadth, sometimes in swirls or gracious arcs.
Of note is the blue Ti Series, where the titanium has been oxidised by heat. This heating process results in a range of hues, from purple or light blue to an electric or dark blue. The oxidisation is within a groove to protect it from wear and tear.
Grooms will have a hard time deciding between a polished platinum inlay, a gold inlay with a brushed finish, or a concave band in a satin finish. Brides will face even more dilemma …. inset diamonds or sapphires, inlays of silver, gold (yellow-, white- or rose-), perhaps an engraved design … where to start?!
Artifact is a small but busy business, providing individual attention to each and every client. It really doesn’t surprise me that they’re shipping their rings all over the world! ?
Visit their website and read some of the many references to be convinced of their integrity and workman ship.
In fact, a circular band has been a token of eternity since the days of the Pharaohs.
While some may still opt for a plain gold, silver or platinum band, we’re certainly no longer limited when it comes to shape, style and inset gems.
These days, the humble wedding band can be just as glitzy and glamorous as your engagement ring. Even men are opting for bands with an edge; a little more style and panache.
Peter W Beck is a name you should get to know when you’re searching out a wedding ring. The company carries the largest range of wedding rings in Australia and beautiful examples of their work, both traditional and contemporary, can now be purchased at selected outlets right here in New Zealand.
Cultural, classical, international and modern styling has been incorporated into their extensive range. Traditional wedding rings are manufactured with a straight inner surface. Peter W Beck have developed rings that utilise inner curves, improving comfort, fit and wearability.
There are beveled edges and patterned edges; high domes, half round, and flat. You’ll discover dynamic intertwining ribbons of golds that make up the Russian and Crossover collection; the purity and strength of platinum; the sensitivity and smoky Hughes of titanium; the artistic interlacing and patterns of Celtic rings.
The patterned rings range from classically understated to pronounced and contemporary. Perhaps you aspire to the timeless quality of a band inset with diamonds, or the modern appeal of multi-toned beauties that blend acombination of white, yellow and pink golds n wonderfully bold finishes.
There are also styles that curve to fit around an engagement ring, either patterned or plain, or set with diamonds.
With over 3,000 styles to choose from, there’s no doubt you’ll find a matching his and hers set to your liking.
I suggest you ask your jewellery store to specifically show you the Peter W Beck range. You cannot buy direct, but you can contact them to find a stockist near you. ?
NZ: 0800 443 991 / Australia: +61 8 8447 1133