Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Bands

Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Bands

Starting from the proposal all the way to the “I do,” the rings are essential to any engagement. However, picking out the right ring can be a daunting task because most people do not know the difference between an engagement ring and a wedding band. As soon as you know the basics, your ring shopping experience can be simplified instantly!

Engagement Rings

During the proposal, an engagement ring is given. The proposal is usually a surprise for the woman, and therefore, traditionally, only the woman wears an engagement ring as a symbol that she is off the market and awaiting an upcoming marriage. These engagement rings typically have a silver or gold band with a diamond or gemstone in the center. Years ago, the engagement ring used to be a way for the man to show off his wealth, but nowadays, that tradition is outdated, and the ring is simply seen as a beautiful reminder of the wedding that is to come.

Wearing engagement rings

Women may choose to wear only the engagement ring after marriage, as it is usually more extravagant than the wedding ring. For same sex marriages, it is likely to see both men or both women wearing engagement rings. For diamond engagement rings, popular cuts tend to be the round brilliant cut, the princess cut, the emerald cut, and the oval cut.

Wedding Rings

Wedding rings are given during the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom exchange these typically diamond-less bands as a symbol of their marriage. Usually, the groom wears his wedding ring, while the bride may wear both her wedding ring and her engagement ring. Traditionally, the wedding ring is worn under the engagement ring in order to be closer to the heart.

Difference Between Engagement Rings and Wedding Bands

Throughout the years, wedding ring and wedding band have become practically synonymous. However, these rings have slightly different characteristics. A wedding ring is a band paved with diamonds or gemstones, while a wedding band is made up of a plain, simple band. The main difference between the two is preference. There are options of his and hers wedding bands in order to keep the rings simple during the ceremony, but there are many other options when it comes to picking out the wedding ring. On the one hand, the groom may choose a simpler wedding band to complement the bride’s expensive and extravagant engagement ring, but on the other hand, the groom may choose a more lavish wedding ring if the engagement ring is less flashy.

Engagement and Wedding Jewelry Traditions

The tradition of rings has existed for thousands of years. Many believe the Egyptians were the first to craft the idea of a ring symbolizing eternity and “immortal love”, but it was not until Roman times that wearing a ring became common. Although the rings used the likes of sapphires and rubies, the diamond remained the most sought after stone. The diamond, the hardest stone on Earth, symbolized invincibility, thereby symbolizing an eternal marriage through its indestructibility. However, an eternal marriage was not the only enticing feature of the diamond. The stone was thought to provide a shield against misfortune and a way to ward off evil spirits. Today, diamonds remain the most popular choice in ring style, but many women opt for a more colorful choice. Jessica Simpson, for example, sports a red ruby, Halle Berry wears her emerald ring, and Penelope Cruz shows off her blue sapphire.

Ring placement/wearing origin

Where the ring is worn can also be traced back to the Romans. They believed that the “vein of love” ran from the heart to the fourth finger on the left hand, making this finger an obvious choice for ring placement. Although everyone would love to believe this romantic idea, it is just simply untrue. Despite the falsity of the Romans’ thinking, the tradition of the left hand still continues in the United States today.

Engagement rings: exchange of rings origin

As time progressed, diamond engagement rings became the most desirable way to represent one’s love, shown by Archduke Maximilian of Austria in his presentation of a diamond engagement ring to Mary of Burgundy. This exchange of rings sparked an interest within other wealthy people to also give diamond engagement rings to their brides-to-be. Although both the bride and the groom have both been wearing rings in Eastern cultures since the 1300’s, the tradition did not catch on in America until World War II. Soldiers abroad insisted on wearing rings when they were separated from their wives, in fear that they would never see their wives again.

Traditionally, the presentation of the ring was a way to represent ownership of a lady after a groom sought out her father’s blessing. However, that connotation has since subsided, and the rings now represent an equal desire of marriage for both the bride and the groom.

Whether it's worn as a set or on it's own, having a wedding band that matches your engagement ring will make it easy to wear alone or together. At With Clarity, we take extra care to ensure that the wedding band fits perfectly with the engagement ring in terms of metal silhouette. We also ensure that the wedding band has the same sizes and quality of accent diamonds to make the two look like a perfect fit. Find your matching wedding band that pairs with your With Clarity ring.


How to wear an engagement ring and a wedding band together?

According to tradition, an engagement ring and a wedding band can be worn together on the fourth finger of the left hand with the wedding band first and then the engagement ring on top.

How to wear an engagement ring with a wedding band and an anniversary band?

You can wear an engagement ring with a wedding band and an anniversary band by stacking them together elegantly. Worn on the fourth finger of the left hand, the wedding band goes first, followed by the engagement ring and then the anniversary band. Some may also choose to wear the anniversary band above the wedding ring and then stack the engagement ring on top for an added sparkle. If you don’t want to overcrowd one finger, you can also wear the anniversary band on the fourth finger of the right hand.

At With Clarity, we offer a matching wedding band to every engagement ring on-site and even have beautiful anniversary bands to complete the look.

Do wedding bands generally have diamonds on them?

Not all wedding bands have diamonds. Plain metal wedding bands in various designs are also available.

Who buys the wedding bands?

According to tradition, the bride or her family pays for the groom's ring while the groom's side pays for the bride's band. Some couples prefer to pay for their own ring, while some make these decisions and purchases together.

What is the difference between a wedding band and a wedding ring?

There is no significant difference between a wedding band and a wedding ring except for minor characteristics. While a wedding ring is a band paved with diamonds or gemstones, a wedding band is typically, a more simple band made of metal. It boils down to personal choice, and the two terms can be used interchangeably.

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