Couples should stick to a few hard and fast rules when searching for a wedding ring
Romantic symbol of love and eternal union marks the beginning of a new page of life that newly-weds will embark on together
Engagement rings may steal the spotlight with their breathtaking tales of proposals and “will you?” stories, but wedding rings are what seal the deal and symbolise the start of married life.
“Wedding bands are a romantic symbol of love and eternal union,” says Arnaud Bastien, president and chief executive of Graff Asia. “They mark the beginning of a new page of life that the newly-weds will embark on together.”
However, with wedding ring designs and styles numbering in the thousands, couples quickly find themselves feeling overwhelmed. To avoid getting stressed out, it’s best to stick to a few hard and fast rules to help you on your search.
As wedding rings are meant to be worn for the remainder of your life, it’s best to think long-term when deciding on a design.
Your ring should be comfortable and its design should match your personal style so it remains as relevant on your golden anniversary as it did on your wedding day.
“We believe personal preference, comfort and lifestyle are the keys to choosing an engagement or wedding ring,” says Stephanie Rault, managing director of Van Cleef & Arpels, Hong Kong and Macau. Rault stresses the need for couples to understand that a wedding ring is essentially “a daily companion for the rest of their life”.
Bastien agrees. “It is important [the couple] find a style that they feel comfortable wearing every day and that matches their personality.”
This is where the design of the ring becomes crucial. Wellendorff, for example, has rings in vibrant colours which will suit a more contemporary and outgoing couple. On the other hand, Graff’s, Cartier’s and Van Cleef & Arpels’ stunners may be more suitable for couples who are after a classic look. Boucheron’s signature Quatre wedding bands, made out of ceramic and PVD, offer an alternative to couples who want something different from the usual gold or platinum bands.
It is also important to consider a ring that will complement your engagement ring, to avoid having one ring overpowering the other.
And while size might be important to some people, quality should matter more. A golden standard to abide by when buying a ring with a diamond is the 4Cs: colour, clarity, carat and cut. Van Cleef & Arpels takes it a step further by adding
a fifth C – character. Rault explains that character is dependent on whether the stone intrinsically possesses the quality to “make the gemologists’ heart beat faster”.
Another good rule of thumb is to look for stones that have been graded according to Gemological Institute of America’s stringent standards to
ensure you’re buying a quality piece. Graff, for example, only uses diamonds graded by the GIA.
Those wanting to give their rings a personal touch can do so by either commissioning a unique piece or going down the customisation route. Some brands, such as Wellendorff, offer personalisation services to give your ring a personal touch. “You could choose to engrave personal messages or words that are meaningful to you in the inner ring,” suggests Cecilia Fong, managing director Greater China, for Wellendorff. “You could also personalise your rings by switching
the colours of cold enamel to the colour of your choice or adding a row of diamonds that add sparkle to your ring.”
As Facebook aggressively reminds its users, no proposal is complete without a photo of a stunning engagement ring for your post. However, lovers planning on popping the question and putting a ring on their post should refrain from whipping out their plastic for the biggest sparkly they find.
“I have always believed that jewellery should be perceived as an emotional investment rather than a monetary one,” says Nirav Modi, founder of Nirav Modi.
“It should be an extension of the personality of the lady who adorns it. It should be something she can wear as often as she likes, not something she has to keep only in her safe.”
For the girl whose best friend is a diamond, this means a ring designed by a maison which understands how to best bring out the lustre and shine of the stone. Jewellery brands that do this exceptionally well include industry heavyweights Nirav Modi and Graff. Nirav Modi’s Tulip rings,
for example, feature minimal use of metals to allow the diamond to shine at its brightest, while Graff puts the diamond at the centre of all of its designs.
“The aesthetic of Graff design is ‘we design around the stone’. We study the shape and cut of a diamond and dedicate a design that best amplifies its natural beauty,” Bastien says. “[As such, every piece] is created by hand to cradle the unique silhouette of a diamond.”
And while the saying“diamonds are a girl’s best friend” might ring true for the majority of women, one should not feel like their options are in any
way limited as engagement rings with coloured stones and even pearls are all the rage these days. Just ask any girl sporting a blue stunner, Kate Middleton-style.
Brides-to-be who want something different can look to brands such as Mikimoto for inspiration. The brand boasts a high-jewellery line starring natural conch and melo pearls in feminine shades of pink, pale violet red and even papaya orange.
“In ancient society, pearls were associated with love and marriage,” says Mamoru Nakagawa, senior marketing manager for Mikimoto, maker of rare natural pearls, the perfect medium
to propose with.