Based on the way people often refer to engagement rings and wedding rings as interchangeable names for the same piece of jewellery, you may have been given the impression that they are one and the same. This is actually not the case. A wedding ring and an engagement ring are really quite different in a number of ways. From the way they are given to the actual design and even how they are worn, wedding rings and engagement rings are quite different from one another. To help you learn the specific differences, and how they may apply to your plans for your engagement and wedding, we have prepared a brief guide below. So, are engagement rings and wedding rings the same? We divided our article into 3 main categories:

  • Background
  • Design
  • Timing

Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Rings: Background

Wedding rings are part of a very old tradition that actually dates back to ancient Roman times. The ring is placed on a specific ‘ring finger’ which was originally thought to be directly connected to the heart, thus binding the couple together at their hearts. This romantic tradition has continued to endure right up until the present day, but not without being influenced by other factors. The concept of the engagement ring is a far more recently developed tradition, especially in the case of the diamond engagement ring. Many experts attribute the rise in popularity of diamond engagement rings at the start of the 20th century to the major increase in the global availability of diamonds at that time. The origins of these traditional symbols of love and connection have greatly influenced the way they are designed and presented today.

Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Rings: Design

In general, an engagement ring is far more ornate in its design than a wedding ring. Usually, a diamond is found at the centre of the ring, likely surrounded by clusters of other small diamonds or precious stones that make the design eye-catching and unique. In contrast, a wedding ring is usually a plain band made of a precious metal, sometimes with a special inscription engraved inside the band to commemorate the occasion. As a rule, wedding rings and engagement rings are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand as a call back to ancient symbolic traditions of love, connection and commitment.

Engagement Rings vs. Wedding Rings: Timing

Since these rings are so different, the times that they are presented and exchanged also differ greatly. An engagement ring is almost always given as part of the proposal made from one partner to the other. When the proposal is accepted, the engagement ring is worn until the wedding, and more often than not, it is worn with the wedding ring as a set. Wedding rings are exchanged and worn at the actual wedding ceremony by both partners and are usually made to match one another in terms of colour and finish.

When considering the timing for each ring, you may also wonder when exactly is the best time to purchase each ring. While this will differ for everyone, there are some basic guidelines to follow that will make the process easier and enjoyable. As a rule, you will want to buy your partner’s engagement ring first. When it comes to selecting and purchasing wedding rings, the design of the engagement ring may influence the way your wedding rings will look. Many couples who are already committed to marriage before their engagement is official will often design and purchase both rings together. In cases where proposals truly hinge on one partner’s answer, it is usually best to hold off on buying the wedding rings until you get a ‘yes’ from your partner.

Do You Need Both?

While traditions are very nice to uphold and be a part of, there is no specific rule that requires couples to purchase an engagement ring and a set of wedding bands. Every couple is unique, and your preferences should reflect that. If you would rather save time and money, buying one ring for each partner is a great way to share the experience together. If one partner isn’t into jewellery at all, you can always go with one engagement ring as well. This can give you the more financial freedom to make design choices you otherwise couldn’t afford, and it saves you both from having to worry about making your ring designs match one another. It’s entirely up to you and your partner. The important thing is to enjoy the process together and choose something you’ll be happy with for the future.

At Adamar Diamonds, customers can greatly benefit from our private consultations where we can address any questions you have and provide helpful advice like this in a stress-free setting. We look forward to assisting you in designing the custom engagement and wedding rings that reflect your love perfectly.