The Wedding Rings are one of the simplest types of jewellery, however there are details of which the average jewellery buyer is not aware of. These details are important markings, if one is comparing prices, hunting for the best value for money wedding ring. The price forming segments here are precious metal type and amount, labour intensity, stones (if any) and of course profit. As 3 dimensional piece, the wedding ring has width, which is the height of the band placed on a flat surface, thickness and diameter.
Thickness, sometimes referred to as gauge, is the distance between the inner and outer wall of the band, while the diameter is actually the finger size. These three measurements determine the amount of precious metal involved. A classic wedding ring is not a labour intensive piece. A skilled goldsmith will make one in less than an hour. The major contributor to the price is the metal content. This is why the cost of two seemingly identical bands could be very different.
Let’s look first at the width. Standard men’s bands width starts at 4mm going to 7mm and by request sometime 10 and more. But what is the difference in metal content with one mm difference in width? Well, it is all question of volume and if a standard gauge 4mm band has volume of 450mm3, the 5mm wide one will be 600mm3 or 25%.
The finger size has similar impact to the weight. While negligent in delicate ladies ring and bands, the finger size contributes considerably to the weight of the wedding band. How much it is difficult to say, since the factors are too many (metal type, thickness, width etc.). A 7mm wide standard gauge fillet band in platinum for example will add almost a gram for every two sizes up.
The final and least noticeable segment is the thickness. It is however the one determining the quality of the band. I am not talking here about finish but wearability and longevity. A classic band from Cartier or Tiffany & Co. is made from the same quality of metal than the ones in most mass manufacturing facilities. The difference is in the thickness and the shape. The extra thickness in high end wedding bands is the reason why they last many generations and the well-designed shape makes them feel so good on and off the finger.
High end wedding bands always have comfort fit inner wall, which is possible only by adding thickness. Of course there is a reason for the low end, budget bands to have their place in the market. It is obviously the budget. This is why I offer most of my classic wedding bands in 3 different gauges, light, standard and heavy. The heavy gauge is the one consistent with the high end brand standards, while the standard one is the most popular.
The average thickness of a light gauge wedding band is 1.5-1.6mm and the same model in heavy gauge is around 2.2-2.3mm.
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