When you’re ready to buy a wedding ring, enlist the services of a professional jeweler to create the ring of your dreams. It’s important to be clear on your budget before you start ring shopping. And don’t be shy about sharing your budget with the jeweler; this isn’t like car shopping where you hold your cards close to your vest. A wedding ring can range in price from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the stone(s), the metal, and the design you desire. If you’re ready to put a ring on it, here are the cost factors for wedding rings.
Materials and price ranges
The stones, metals and size of your wedding ring will all impact the final cost, says John Vardis of Alithea Design in New York, New York. In his studio, Harry Markarian of Gold 'N I of Woodland Hills, California, says he’s made custom wedding rings for $700 and for $47,000; the price contrast was due to the stones and metals used in making each ring. Platinum is one of the highest-priced metals for wedding bands, while the karat of gold you select will also impact cost — 24-karat gold will cost more than 14-karat gold.
The cut, clarity and size of the stones you choose will also impact cost. Diamonds are often the most costly. The center stone can drastically change the cost of your ring, says Markarian at Gold 'N I. Even the slightest nudge up in color, size or quality can raise the price from a few hundred dollars to thousands. Sapphires, which come in a wide range of colors, are a wonderful alternative to diamonds when you prefer colored stones; moissanite is a good alternative when you want the look and brilliance of a diamond without the expense, advises Cindy Ghiglione of Custom Creations By Cindy in Hayward, California. Here are some examples of price ranges for wedding rings:
Wedding ring trends
Styles come and go, but there are some classics that are always in fashion, says Markarian with Gold 'N I. "I’ve been custom designing more single-stone cathedral-style settings lately, either with or without diamonds on the band," Markarian says. “It’s a timeless classic focusing on the center stone.” Colored stones are rising in popularity, and the halo style, while still popular, is less so than before. Also trending for Markarian’s clients are what he calls “freeform and sentimental style rings.” Couples want their special memories or exchanges of love meticulously implemented in their rings, he explains. “Matching design elements for his-and-hers wedding bands are trending for our clients,” says Vardis of Alithea Design.
Some jewelers only work in custom designs, and some have a range of options from standard items to showcase and specialty creations. "If you want a one-of-a-kind piece, always confirm with the designer if the creation you are making together will remain unique to you or if they will duplicate the design," says Ghiglione with Custom Creations By Cindy. Here are some examples of the cost of custom wedding rings:
Custom wedding rings by Gold 'N _I:
6.00-carat color-changing sapphire wedding ring: $47,000.
- Featured radiant- and asscher-cut diamonds and 18-karat plum white gold.
Handmade wedding ring featuring lava rock from Mount Kilimanjaro: $700.
- The groom climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and brought back a rock from his ascent for his fiancee’s wedding ring.
1.01-carat diamond wedding ring: $6,500.
- Custom-made 14-karat white gold ring with 0.33 carats of accent diamonds.
Custom wedding rings by Alithea Desig_n:
Diamond and sapphire eternity band: $15,000.
- Made with platinum and square-cut diamonds and custom-cut square cushion blue sapphires.
Custom design: $1,500.
- Made of 18-karat gold with accents of white gold and featuring Ethiopian opal, labradorite and abalone.
Eternity band: $3,500.
- Featuring diamonds all the way around; crafted from platinum.
How to buy a ring
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t panic. Follow these simple suggestions from Cindy Ghiglione of Custom Creations By Cindy for getting the perfect ring within your price range:
Decide on the maximum amount you want to spend, and be prepared to talk openly about your budget with your jeweler. Be cautious if a jeweler tries to upsell you.
If the ring is a surprise, you need to know your partner’s taste. Is your sweetheart casual or dressy? Do they like antiques, or are they modern? Be prepared to guide the jeweler when it comes to style.
Consider lifestyle when choosing stones. Diamonds, moissanites, sapphires and rubies rank 9 to 10 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning they won't scratch and can survive day-to-day wearing. Stones that are 8 or lower on the Mohs scale are softer and will scratch.
Ask to see a drawing or CAD design before a custom design gets created. You don’t want any unwelcome surprises.
Plan to pay a deposit. Custom Creations By Cindy typically requests 1/4 to 1/3 of the total cost prior to making a CAD drawing.