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How to Pair a Unique Estate Ring with a Wedding Band

This week, jewelry specialist Mary Newcomb tells her personal story of finding a wedding band to complement her antique engagement ring, and shares advice on how you can do the same:

 

Our antique ring collection, which is comprised of one-of-a-kind pieces dating from the late 1800’s through the late 1900’s, presents many incredible options for a stunning engagement ring. These rings were historically worn alone, so the shape and design of them is often both whimsical and adventuresome. Their distinctive designs can present interesting challenges when choosing a wedding band; the rings stylistically can take up more space on the finger, are often set with custom gemstones in interesting patterns, have detailed engraving, and a myriad of other attributes that  make them both uniquely beautiful and challenging to pair with just any standard wedding band. There are a few ways that you can pair a wedding band with an estate ring, each of which I personally had to explore when I fell in love with an Art Deco ring from the 1920’s. Once I tried on wedding bands, I felt a bit overwhelmed about what to do next- to my dismay, nothing looked like it “matched” my ring! I explored all of my options, and this is what I found.

 The Tonya Ring    The Mariel Ring    The Julianne Ring

 

Embrace the Gap!

 

Many people are surprised to realize that the tradition of pairing an engagement ring and a wedding band with one another in a completely flush style is a modern one. Some of the world’s most famous engagement rings have been cutting edge with avant-garde shapes; Queen Victoria’s snake ring, Jackie Kennedy’s split shank emerald ring, Princess Diana’s Sapphire Halo, and Audrey Hepburn’s stacked set of bezel rings are some of fashion’s best known engagement rings, and none of these would sit flush with a wedding band! The gap that will sometimes exist between the two rings is actually more common than not- even a standard six prong setting will have a gap with a wedding band, so why fight it? Go with the flow. It’s just showing the world that you are flexible, and certainly makes selecting a wedding band easier.  For a unified look, you can choose a wedding ring that shares similar design elements with your engagement ring, such as diamonds of the same scale or special details like milgrain or engraving. Everyone will be so dazzled by your amazing rings that the fact that they are 2mm apart from one another will not even cross their minds, or yours for that matter.

 

Customize a Wedding Band

 

Utilizing the custom process to create a wedding band to accompany our clients’ estate rings is one of the most rewarding challenges we face as designers. Brilliant Earth’s team of custom design experts can create a wedding band that is custom contoured to fit with your estate ring in such a way that the two look like a matched pair! With your estate ring in hand through the process, they will use either CAD imaging or hand carved wax techniques to ensure that your antique engagement ring and wedding ring will sit perfectly flush.  Our jewelers can add an incredible amount of vintage detail to your custom designed wedding ring with hand finishing and by revisiting old world techniques, so you can keep adding to the history of your one-of-a-kind design!

 Contoured Antique Inspired Wedding Band

Wearing Your Rings on Different Hands

 

This is the route I eventually chose, and is historically how an engagement and wedding band were worn when these antique pieces were created. For me, this choice allowed the most flexibility with my wedding band options and alleviated the gap that would have existed with any non-custom ring. I wanted to still be able to wear the wedding band alone, something I did not feel I could do with a customized ring due to the contour, and found that wearing the rings on different hands solved all of my problems. It also allowed for me to choose whatever I liked, and didn’t take anything away from my engagement ring.

 

No matter which route you choose, I found that an antique engagement ring and wedding ring can be worn together in harmony. Contact Brilliant Earth’s jewelry experts for more information on the gorgeous options available, and guidance to help you choose the right look for your fashion sense and lifestyle!

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Comments:

Kelsey Says:
October 5th, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I’m looking for a wedding band to go with a 1930s antique engagement ring. I’ve been told it would either need to be custom made or at least shaped so it would fit snugly against my uniquely shaped engagement ring. Is that something you would do? And if so, could you give me a price range? Thank you so much!


B. Earth Says:
October 7th, 2013 at 9:36 am

Hi Kelsey! We can absolutely design a custom wedding band to fit with your engagement ring. Our jewelry specialists would be happy to provide a quote and explain how the process works! You can reach them at 1.800.691.0952. Thanks for your inquiry!


Bethany Says:
January 6th, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Thanks for this, you know what… I’m going to embrace the gap! I wasn’t even thinking of that, but I love it. And now I’m really excited. (He picked out a 1920′s engagement ring that couldn’t be more perfect).


Stacie Says:
January 25th, 2014 at 1:27 pm

I would love to “embrace the gap” with my art-deco style deep-set stone (and thusly curvy) ring, but I’m worried about the wedding band eventually wearing away my 14k white gold engagement band… Is that not really something to worry about?

Thanks!


B. Earth Says:
January 28th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

Hi Stacie, great question! Wearing two bands next to each other where they are moving against each other can cause metal to erode on both rings and is certainly a consideration when selecting a band to wear with your antique ring. If you’re willing to “embrace the gap”, ensuring that you are having your rings regularly inspected for damage is important. Preventative maintenance and repairs in this case are always a safer option for your ring, and more economical, than restorative maintenance! If you have any more questions, our expert jewelry specialists would be happy to help! You can reach them at 1.800.691.0952.


Beth Says:
March 17th, 2014 at 1:33 pm

I ultimately decided that my engagement ring would simply also be my wedding ring. My biggest concern when I first decided to go that route was that people would think I was engaged, but not married. This turned out to be a complete non-issue. Anyone who knows me knows I’m married and strangers don’t seem to notice or care. I’ve actually started to see more women with vintage rings who’ve decided to forego the band altogether.

For the purposes of the wedding ceremony, I purchased a simple titanium band. I use the titanium ring when I don’t want to worry about losing or damaging my treasured vintage ring (such as international travel, camping, etc).


Andrea Says:
May 7th, 2014 at 8:47 am

Some jewelry store do get estate pieces in. I have a Vintage 1930′s Art Deco ring and the jeweler had an estate piece come in that complimented it perfectly. They were both affordable.


Diana Klingenberg Says:
May 11th, 2014 at 8:19 pm

I have a 6 prong platinum solitaire 3/4 diamond and a platinum ertainty ring. Both are our Grandmother’s rings. Would these look funny being worn as is without any resetting? I love all the settings the way they are, but my Husband wants to add baguettes to the sides of the solitaire.


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