YOUR ESSENTIAL 
WEDDING RING BUYERS GUIDE

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

FORWARD

This guide will help you discover what to look for in your dream wedding ring. At BWR-London, we specialise in tailor-made, bespoke designs. With our help, you can choose the perfect band, metal, colour, pattern, engraving, diamonds & gemstones, and more. Our rings come in various shapes and sizes, each one completely customisable so you can have a truly bespoke ring so stunning you’ll treasure it for a lifetime.

BWR-London has traditional plain rings starting at under £100, diamond bands starting at £360 and a shaped to fit service starting at £140. We can advise on the best designs for your tastes and whatever your budget, we always recommend looking for quality. The information you need to make the perfect choice first time can be found in this essential buyer’s guide.

If you would like to see our ring types please follow the link https://BWR-London.co.uk

To see some of the rings we’ve made for clients https://BWR-London.co.uk/portfolio

To check out our weekly blog covering all aspects of planning a wedding https://BWR-London.co.uk/blog

Enjoy reading and we look forward to hearing from you!
All the best,

Philip

BWR-London

+44 (0) 207 965 7329

Your essential wedding Ring buyer’s guide 1

personalise your wedding ring 1

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Ring sizes and weights

finding your ring size

Getting the right finger size for your ring is essential. If you’re not sure of your size don’t worry, we can help. Contact us and we’ll send you a free finger sizer in the post. You can keep this and check both you and your partners finger sizes at various times and various temperatures. If you already have an engagement ring that fits, it’s still worth checking your size as we often find a slight difference in the size of the wedding band.

wedding ring weights

The weight of your wedding ring is the way the trade describe the thickness. Even the simplest gold band can come in a variety of weights.  Here at BWR-London we create bespoke designs based on what you need. Nearly all of our traditional plain and patterned rings come in 5 weights or thicknesses.   Extra Light, Light, Medium, Heavy and extra heavy.            You can see the thickness of the 3 most popular in the picture below.

If you’re considering a plain band then check out our website page

Plain Rings Archives - Bespoke Wedding Rings London (bwr-london.co.uk)

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Patterned rings generally need thicker bands, our hand cut and laser cut patterns are only suitable for medium weight rings or heavier. Bands also need to be thick enough to support diamonds and gemstones where required. As a rule the larger the diamonds, the thicker the ring has to be.

wedding ring widths

At BWR-London we offer rings in a range of widths. We can accommodate widths of 1.5mm to 10mm. So, whatever width you would like let’s find your ideal ring together.  You can see the most popular widths in the picture below.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Engraving

Hand engraved patterns​

Hand engraved patternsFor a flourish of individuality we can hand engrave a pattern or finish on to the face of a plain ring, You can see some of our patterned rings at Patterned Rings - Bespoke Wedding Rings London (bwr-london.co.uk) and remember, as we make each ring to your specification we can mix and match elements from each pattern.

Some examples of hand engraved patterns

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Laser engraved patterns

for more intricate patterns we can also Laser engrave a pattern. If you have specific ideas for a design, we can usually create the artwork and transfer your own design onto the ring. We have some standard designs which you can see here: Laser Patterned Rings - Bespoke Wedding Rings London (bwr-london.co.uk)

some examples of laser engraved patterns

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Engraving inside the ring

We can generally engrave the inside of your wedding ring to add a beautiful, personal touch. Whether you’d like a date, little message, or symbol as a reminder of your special commitment, we can help. Simply get in touch and let us know what you’re looking for.

Special message and fingerprint

wedding ring shapes (profiles)

The shape of your wedding ring adds to its comfort and elegance. If you wear an engagement ring, it’s important to make sure both of your rings look beautiful together and depending on the shape of your engagement ring matching the shape of your engagement ring and wedding ring is a good place to start.

A wedding ring profile is the shape of the ring, as seen from its cross section. If you cut the band down the middle, it’s the shape you would see inside. There are four main types of profile available, as listed below..

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

D-shape

D-shaped rings are a very popular and long established style. The ring is beautifully curved on the outside and flat on the inside, each face meeting at a narrow edge. These rings often sit well with engagement rings, as the wedding ring’s edges can slip under the engagement ring stone.

Court shape

Court-shaped wedding wings or comfort fit as they are sometimes known are rounded on the outside and slightly rounded on the inside. They are typically more comfortable to wear and easier to get on and off. Although similar to a D-shape they look much chunkier as they have much thicker edges.

Flat court shape

Flat court shape rings are Flat on the outer face and softly curved on the inside. It’s a classic style for men’s rings and patterned rings, They are comfortable to wear and look chunky as they have a thick edge.

Flat shape

These rings are flat both inside and out. This shape looks fantastic on plain and patterned rings. Whether you opt for bold and chunky or sleek and elegant, the flat shape will bring out your bespoke designs.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

choosing the perfect metal

The metal you choose for your wedding ring is a big factor in its overall look. Each metal can create a stunning wedding ring and has its own benefits. All precious metals carry a government hallmark declaring the quality and authenticity. In this section, you can find guidance about:

Remember, the metals of your wedding ring and engagement ring should complement each other. This is important not just for how they look but also how they wear.  Over time, your wedding ring and engagement ring will rub together. If you choose two different metals or two different Karats of the same metal (higher Karats are softer), the harder ring may wear down the softer ring.

Platinum

Platinum is a lovely white colour and is often used in gem-set rings and men’s rings. It’s known for being durable and has 95% purity. This means it will be hard wearing and retain its beautiful colour without tarnishing. Platinum is the most expensive precious metal used in rings, but it looks stunning.

Palladium

Palladium is part of the platinum family and shares similar properties to platinum itself. Palladium doesn’t tarnish and has a very attractive gun metal grey hue which looks great on patterned rings. It’s a little lighter than Platinum and so may be preferable for larger rings.

Palladium comes in two grades, Palladium 950 and Palladium 500. Palladium 500 is less pure, but much more affordable than palladium 950. This is similar to the difference between 9 carat gold and 18 carat gold.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Gold

It’s thought that weddings rings can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. The ancient Egyptians considered gold to be fit for royalty and crafted gorgeous pieces of jewellery in all manner of designs. Today, gold wedding rings are a popular traditional choice for men and women.

Purity

Gold purity is measured in carats (ct), not to be confused with how we measure the weight of diamonds (also carats ct). Pure gold is 24ct gold, but jewellery makers usually favour gold of 9ct and 18ct. This is because pure gold is very soft and very expensive and not particularly suitable for rings.

To make it more durable and suitable for rings gold is mixed or alloyed with other metals. So, 18ct gold is 18-parts pure gold and 6 parts other metals. 9ct gold is 9 parts pure gold and 15 parts other metals…and so on.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

yellow gold

Yellow gold is a beautiful and natural colour. As the number of karats increases, meaning the purity increases, the yellow becomes richer. Yellow gold looks elegant with other jewellery of the same colour.

white gold

White gold has a luxurious sheen. It became popular in the 1920s and is very popular today particularly with ladies’ diamond engagement and wedding rings. White gold is a combination of yellow gold alloyed or mixed with other white metals and plated with another precious metal called Rhodium. It’s the plating that gives it a beautiful colour and lustre.

Rhodium is a very expensive silver-coloured metal from the platinum group that creates a polished-looking finish but remember it is only a very thin layer. Because of the chemicals our hands come into contact with on a daily basis, rhodium plating does wear away, in some cases after only a few months. This tends to reveal gold with a yellow hue that can look like it has tarnished and needs a polish. Polishing should not be done as it will just wear away more of the Rhodium plating. Rings should be re-plated as needed and will come out looking as good as new.

rose gold

The attractive warm pink tones of rose gold make it a gorgeous alternative to yellow gold. The colour is created by combining yellow gold and copper. No plating is needed, meaning rose gold retains its colour throughout its life.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Two-coloured gold

At BWR-London, we love making unique and exclusive wedding rings. Designing a ring with two or three colours creates a beautiful and eye-catching pattern. It also gives you the opportunity to personalise your ring design even further. If you can imagine it, we can probably make it. Just let us know what you have in mind! You can see an example of two coloured rings here Portfolio - Bespoke Wedding Rings London (bwr-london.co.uk)

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Silver

Sterling silver is an affordable and attractive option for wedding rings. Because it’s a soft metal, silver works best with patterned and plain rings rather than gem-set designs. Silver does tarnish and can need regular polishing or we can plate it with Rhodium which will retain the shine for longer. If you’re unsure whether silver would work with your design, please get in touch and we can help you decide.

non-precious metals

At BWR-London we only make wedding rings in hallmarked precious metals. This way, you can be sure of their quality. However, it is possible to make wedding rings from non-precious metals. Popular choices include cobalt, titanium, and tungsten. These metals have little residual value and do not carry a hallmark.

Allergies

If you have an allergy that could affect your wedding ring choice, such as a nickel allergy, please let us know. We can explore your options together to find the perfect choice for your ring.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

UK Hallmarks     Your guarantee of quality​

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Shaped rings

Engagement rings come in a variety of shapes some of which can be quite unusual and difficult to match with a straight wedding band. When this happens you may want to consider a shaped band.  At BWR-London we have a selection of standard shaped rings designed to fit around many of todays popular engagement ring shapes. These rings are available as plain bands or pave set with diamonds.

In the event our standard shaped rings are not suitable we also offer a shaped to fit service. This cost a little extra but we will take your engagement ring into the workshop and make a wedding band to fit around it. Once again the shaped wedding can be either plain or set with diamonds.

Points to remember when buying 

Know your finger size and check it over a period of time at different temperatures.

You may be disappointed if you just take your size just once perhaps in a warm shop environment.

Know the metal and carat of your engagement ring and find a wedding band of a similar metal and carat

Most engagement rings are bought by the groom as a surprise however, if you have the opportunity to look for engagement rings together, try them on with various wedding bands to see how they look and feel together.

Give some thought to the choice of traditional plain band or diamond band and if you would like any coloured gemstones.

For the men again, know your finger size.

Give some thought to what metal you would like. The choice will generally be greater so consider the following.

Do you have other jewellery you would like to match.

Does your lifestyle or job involve things that may damage the ring or bring it into contact with chemicals for example a mechanic or engineer. If so consider metals that are more durable such as Palladium.

Consider what width of ring you would like. The standard width for mens bands is around

5-7mm but find what you feel comfortable with.

Consider also if you would like a plain band (high shine or with an applied finish such as brushed or hammered) or a patterned band and if you would like any diamonds or coloured gemstones.

Finally for both consider if you would like a special message engraved on the inside.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Diamonds

At BWR-London, we choose our diamonds for their sparkle and brilliance. We want your ring to be a piece that you treasure forever.  If you require a specific size, quantity, colour, or shape of diamond, please let us know. Our diamond merchant can source what you need and our professional setters will mount the stone to display its full beauty.

Diamonds have been used in traditional engagement rings for centuries. Today, diamonds are the most popular choice for wedding rings.  At BWR-London we’re proud of the high quality and stunning look of our diamond wedding rings.

Diamond set bands

Diamond wedding rings are extremely popular at the moment, and with good reason. Diamond-set rings add an extra layer of elegance and sparkle and really give your wedding ring that wow factor.

At BWR-London, we have a stunning range of diamond-set wedding bands for you to choose from and personalize. You can browse our collection of diamond bands here Diamond Rings - Bespoke Wedding Rings London (bwr-london.co.uk)

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Choosing a diamond

Diamonds are graded based on four categories: carat, colour, clarity and cut. These factors affect the price of a diamond and explain why a jeweller may value two similar looking diamonds at very different prices. At BWR-London our standard diamonds are G-H in colour and

VS-SI in clarity and they look absolutely stunning when set into our rings.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Carat

Diamonds are measured not by their size but by their weight in carats. The heavier the diamond the greater the carat weight and the rarer and more valuable the diamond. In the trade 1ct is equal to 100 points. So, for example, a 1/2 carat diamond = 50 points or a .5 carat. At BWR-London we try to keep things simple so we will refer to a diamond by its decimal point measurement ie .5ct or .25ct

If a piece of jewellery has more than one diamond, the carat weight is often referred to by the total number of diamonds which is often the case on a diamond wedding band. This can be slightly misleading as the value of a diamond increases dramatically with its weight so given stones of the same quality a 1ct single diamond will be far more valuable than 10 x 0.1ct stones and a 10ct diamond will be far more valuable than 10 x 1ct stones.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Colour

Although we think of diamonds as colourless, they actually vary in colour. The GIA scale grades colour from D (least colour) to Z (a pale yellow). Grade D diamonds are the rarest and most valuable. Historically speaking, the most sought-after diamonds tended to be colourless (or almost colourless). But, beautifully coloured diamonds have become fashionable and can be very beautiful and very expensive. BWR-London can source any type or quality of diamond you choose, including black diamonds.

Clarity

Very few diamonds are completely perfect. Those that are flawless are extremely valuable. This is why most wedding ring diamonds have at least a few natural flaws or marks in them (known as inclusions). But, these inclusions are generally so small that you can’t see them with the naked eye and they certainly don’t affect the beauty of the ring.

Cut

A diamond’s cut refers to its proportion and finish. This affects how well it interacts with light. A well-cut diamond allows light to reflected beautifully from each of its flat, polished sides (known as facets). It takes immense skill to transform a rough diamond into a gleaming, polished diamond and If it’s cut is wrong the diamond’s brilliance will be affected.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Diamond shapes

Diamonds come in an amazing variety of shapes. The most popular choice is the round brilliant cut diamond, with its delicate symmetry. But, there are many other styles to choose from.

At BWR-London, we specialise in beautiful bespoke rings, meaning we can almost always source the perfect diamond shape for you. Other popular examples include:

If you’re not sure which shape is for you, please get in touch and we can help you make your decision.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Diamond care

Diamonds are durable, but they are susceptible to oils, soaps, cosmetics, bleach, and chips or scratches. Because of this, we recommend removing any jewellery when using hand care products or undertaking manual work. It’s also a good idea to store diamond jewellery separately from other jewellery to avoid scratches.

Conflict diamonds

BWR-London takes the issue of conflict diamonds very seriously. The origins of our diamonds are important to us, so we only sell products that come from reputable sources. We do not knowingly sell rings that include conflict diamonds.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

coloured gemstones

Coloured gemstones come in a wide range of stunning colours. Including coloured gemstones in your ring design widens the scope for creativity and creates a unique wedding ring tailored to your tastes.

what is a gemstone?

A gemstone is a naturally occurring mineral in crystal form. This is then adapted for use in jewellery. Gemstones have been treasured for their beauty and rarity since ancient times. Many civilisations believed gemstones were endowed with special powers and they are also historically linked to wealth and power. Today, gemstones are considered very valuable due to their rarity and can make a stunning addition to any wedding ring.

rating gemstones

Gemstones are typically rated against the Mohs Scale, created in 1822 by Friedrich Mohs. The Mohs scale measures the hardness and scratch resistance of various gems. The hardest gemstones, diamonds, are rated at ten on the scale, while pearls are among the softest stones at three.

Mohs scale: 1 (softest) – 10 (hardest)

Gemstone care

Gemstones vary in durability, but all need special care. It’s best to keep gemstone jewellery pieces in their own soft pouches or boxes to avoid scratches and knocks. Soaps, chemicals, and detergent cleaners are too harsh for gemstones and should be avoided.

Usually, you can clean gemstones by rinsing them with water before patting dry with a soft jewellery cloth.

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

Types of gemstone

amethyst

Amethyst is a purple gemstone whose colour includes shades of lilac, violet, and mauve. This gemstone used to be as expensive as ruby until large deposits were discovered in Brazil in the 1800s. This has made amethyst one of the more affordable gemstones. It has distinctive markings (known as inclusions) which resemble feathers.

Mohs scale hardness: 7

aquamarine

Aquamarine is a blue gemstone that can be treated to enhance its sky or dark blue tones. Depending on the angle you view it from, aquamarine can also appear colourless. For this reason, it’s known as a two-tone stone.

Mohs scale hardness : 7.5

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia is a colourless, synthetic gemstone. It’s made to resemble a diamond (they are used to replicate diamonds in our display rings) but they are also available in almost any colour. Because they are manufactured stones, cubic zirconia do not have inclusions.

Mohs scale hardness: 8

emerald

Emerald is a timeless and classic choice. This vibrant green gemstone is oiled to strengthen it and enhance the colour. The most sought-after emeralds have a beautiful hue and good transparency.

Mohs scale hardness: 7.5

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

morganite

Natural morganite colours vary between pink, rose, and peach. Like aquamarine, morganite is diachronic (two-tone). This means you can see different colours in the stone if you look at it from different angles.

Mohs scale hardness: 7.5

Opal

Opals were used as far back as Roman times when they were known as the queen of gems. Opals fall into two categories, precious and common. Precious opals have bursts of radiant colour, while common opals are lovely milky pastel colours.

Mohs scale hardness: 5.5-6.5

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

onyx

Onyx is a stunning and unique gemstone. It comes from the quartz family and is usually black or brown. Onyx can be traced back to ancient Egypt, when it was used in pottery. Today, the stone gives jewellery a minimalist look.

Mohs scale hardness: 7

ruby

Ruby is known to be a stunning red gemstone, but its colours range from dark pink to brown-red. Ruby is second to diamond for its hardwiring qualities and looks very elegant when set in wedding rings.

Mohs scale hardness: 9

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

sapphire

Sapphire is the name given to any non-red gem in the corundum family. As such, it comes in many colours, including the very popular blue. Other popular colours are pink and yellow. Sapphires that aren’t blue are sometimes known as fancy sapphires.

Mohs scale hardness: 9

tanzanite

Tanzanite is named after Tanzania, where it was discovered in the 1960s. In its natural form, the stone is brown or clear but after heat treatment Tanzanite ranges from vibrant purple to a deep blue. Tanzanite is soft and should be protected from the sun to prevent discolouration.

Mohs scale hardness: 6.5

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

topaz

Topaz is a durable and extremely pretty stone. It most commonly comes in light blue, but can be found in a variety of other colours. Red is the rarest tone. Because it’s such a heard-wearing gemstone, Topaz is a good choice for use in rings.

Mohs scale hardness: 8

Wedding Ring Buyers Guide

BWR-London

At BWR-London, we create bespoke wedding rings in beautiful designs. Every ring is carefully made to order, based on your specifications. You choose the perfect band, metal, colour, pattern, engraving, diamonds/gemstones, and more.

We believe your wedding ring should be crafted with you in mind. That’s why we offer personal on-line consultations, just for you. Here’s how we work:

1. Simply browse our website and choose the rings you like.

   2. Then, add them to your list of favourites and send them to us for a quote

   3. We’ll get back to you shortly with a quote.

   4. If you accept the quote and want to proceed, we will send you a PayPal invoice

   5. Once we receive the deposit your rings will be put into production (usually 4-5 weeks)

   6. Once ready we will let you know and arrange final payment and delivery

   7. You receive your beautiful wedding rings.

We hope this guide helps to answer some of the questions you may have. Please feel free to contact us any time if you have any queries.

We always understand the importance of these pieces of jewellery and we want your experience in choosing and buying your rings to be a very special and memorable one. We understand how stressful planning a wedding can be and we want to make this part of the process stress free so we will be with you every step of the way. If you have any queries or worries at any time during the process, we are here, and you can call or message any time.

For your wedding you deserve the perfect ring, and we’re here to help you make it happen.

              BWR - London  is the trading name of Bespoke Wedding Rings Ltd  registered in England Company number 12120291