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Nowadays, wedding rings symbolise not only the love but also the trust that two people have for each other but it was not always so! One of the earliest eastern wedding rings was in fact a complex puzzle which took an expert to put together before slipping it on to a ladies finger; if she ever took it off again in order to indulge in some extra-marital tomfoolery or other she would find it pretty near impossible to ever get it back on again and her husband would have every right to throw her out of the family home! Happily we are a more trusting race altogether nowadays and although puritanical, religious or even economic considerations have meant that baser metals or even the roots of plants have been used for wedding rings in the past, it is now generally accepted that gold is the accepted material for them to be made out of, usually of either 9, 14 or 18 carat. Gemstones or diamonds are sometimes set into the rings but it is often considered better to set these into the harder, i.e. lower carat alloys in order to protect the stones and keep them firmly affixed. Diamond wedding rings are usually made from white gold which tends to show them off to their fullest advantage and sometimes coloured diamonds can be used; naturally coloured diamonds are extremely expensive but it is possible to treat white (in other words, clear) diamonds in order to colour them and whilst these are not exactly cheap they are far more economical to buy than the natural alternative.
It is very fashionable nowadays for both the bride and groom to wear a wedding ring. Sometimes these rings are identical apart from their size, sometimes they differ just by having different gemstones set into them but more often than not the ring for the male is wider and so more suited to the rigours that it would be expected to bear without damage.
Since a wedding ring is a symbol of undying love between two people it is essential that it is strong and durable, and able to survive long past the normal human lifespan! This is one of the reasons (apart from cost) that alloys are used instead of pure gold which is extremely soft and would wear away quite quickly. It is essential however that the ring is not made too thin, particularly if it holds gemstones because there is a great risk of it failing at some stage and this could be very distressing to either or both of the partners. Cutting down on the amount of metal can be extremely poor economics, particularly when gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, sapphires or rubies are set in the ring because the cost of these stones can greatly exceed the cost of the gold and much of the price of the ring goes to the manufacturer and the retailer anyhow. Buying a cheap ring can prove a very expensive mistake in the long term if because of normal wear and tear a precious gemstone is lost or expensive repairs have to be carried out.
At the lower end of the market most people will go to their local jewellery shop and select a ring or rings from the display in the window. It is highly propable of course that these rings have been manufactured for the mass market and since price is everything these days they are not likely to be as well-made or to contain as much gold as most of us would like them to. Having a ring specially made by a manufacturing jeweller costs more of course but in comparison to the costs of a wedding their charges are normally extremely reasonable indeed and if you bought a ring in this way you could be certain that it was a unique ring, designed to your own individual taste, containing the amount of gold that you consider sufficient.