What are the Different Styles of Wedding Rings?

Niki Foster
Niki Foster

Since the 1940s, it has become common in the United States and other countries for both men and women to wear wedding rings as a symbol of their union, and both genders can choose from a wide variety of models. In general, wedding rings are made of precious metal and worn on the ring finger, the finger next to the pinky. While a simple, plain gold band may be the most popular, the choice of styles available for wedding rings can be staggering.

Some couples prefer an heirloom wedding ring that has sentimental value.
Some couples prefer an heirloom wedding ring that has sentimental value.

For nearly any style of wedding rings, the man's ring is traditionally wider than the woman's. Many couples choose wedding rings that match or complement each other. Plain bands may be made of anything from gold or platinum to stainless steel. Metals that tarnish are not popular choices. Some couples choose titanium or tungsten because of their hardness, which can symbolize the durability and eternity of their love.

Many wedding or engagement rings feature a diamond.
Many wedding or engagement rings feature a diamond.

Some wedding rings are patterned bands, incorporating a braid design or Celtic symbols, for instance. One very popular Celtic design for wedding rings is the Claddagh, which consists of a heart held by two hands and topped by a crown. This design symbolizes love, loyalty, and friendship. Patterned wedding rings are also available in vintage styles such as Art Deco. A popular wedding ring style in French-speaking cultures consists of three separate but interwoven bands, symbolizing faith, hope, and love.

Some women wear wedding rings with precious stones. One of the most popular models in this category is the diamond solitaire, a ring with a single diamond as its centerpiece. Others reserve this style for the engagement ring. Wedding rings may also feature a diamond complemented by other, smaller precious stones, known as accents. Alternatively, they may include only precious stones that are not diamonds.

There are many unique designer models of wedding rings available, so each bride and groom can choose styles that really suit them. Some couples use heirloom wedding rings that have been in the family for generations. Others create their own heirlooms by engraving wedding rings with their names and the date of the wedding.

Wedding and engagement ring trends change, just as the popular clothing styles change as time goes by.
Wedding and engagement ring trends change, just as the popular clothing styles change as time goes by.
Niki Foster
Niki Foster

In addition to her role as a wiseGEEK editor, Niki enjoys educating herself about interesting and unusual topics in order to get ideas for her own articles. She is a graduate of UCLA, where she majored in Linguistics and Anthropology.

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Discussion Comments

PelesTears

@ GlassAxe- You might want to look into a Mokume Gane ring if you are in the market for something a little different from the standard white gold or gold wedding ring. Mokume Gane rings are made by layering different metals together and then etching them to expose these layers. The effect is the look of Damascus steel, except that they can be had in a multitude of colors.

GlassAxe

One of the most unique wedding rings I have seen are wood inlay rings. Koa wood inlay rings have always caught my eye, but I worry that they will look a little odd next to my engagement ring. They are also a little bulky for my taste.

I have a solitaire engagement ring, so I think I will end up sticking with a more traditional ring. I have been looking at antique engraved comfort bands.

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