There is a lot of pressure to not underspend on wedding bands. However, when the engagement ring costs an arm and a leg, purchasing the additional band can be intimidating.
Why are wedding bands so expensive in the first place?
Because wedding bands are made out of precious stones and metals, they are often sold for a higher price. Other factors that may affect the price of a wedding band include adding personal engravings, how the stones are set, and where the band is being sold.
Weddings are already expensive enough without having to factor in the price of wedding bands.
However, this is an important purchase that you will keep forever.
Learn about everything that affects the price of a wedding band and how much you should spend on yours below!
Common Wedding Band Metals
The most common metals used in wedding bands are white gold, yellow gold, sterling silver, and platinum.
The type of metal you choose depends on the look, feel, and lifestyle you live.
These precious/semi-precious metals can cost a pretty penny!
Yellow gold is the metal traditionally used in wedding bands.
A 24 karat ring will be pure gold and have an illustrious look; however, pure gold rings are flexible and therefore less durable than other metals.
For a more durable (and less expensive) ring, opt for a gold alloy ring.
White gold is becoming increasingly popular as more people search for wedding rings with more sparkle.
White gold wedding bands cost around $100 to $300 each.
When purchasing a gold ring, remember if it is anything less than 10 karats, it is not actually considered a gold ring.
Sterling silver is a more affordable wedding band metal of choice.
Rings made from sterling silver costs around $90 to $200.
Silver rings can come in different colors and finishes, giving you a few more options to choose from.
However, because silver is a softer metal, these rings are easier to scratch. Even a paper towel could scratch a sterling silver ring!
Platinum is another popular choice for wedding bands. This metal is much more durable, and actually more rare, than gold.
However, because of these qualities, a platinum wedding band costs about $500 to $1,000 or more.
If you want a ring that is sure to last the length of the marriage unscathed, then platinum is the metal of choice.
Other metals used in wedding bands include cobalt, stainless steel, titanium, and tungsten.
For those looking for a wedding band not made out of metal, there are both wooden and silicon options.
Learn more about these metals from Jewelry Wise.
Wooden wedding bands cost about $100 to $500 on average and offer a subtler look than precious metals.
Silicone wedding rings are the perfect option for laborers who find it to be dangerous to wear a metal ring at work.
These wedding bands are by far the least expensive choice. A package of silicon rings costs about $30.
There are even some shinier options for those looking for an imitation metal ring.
Although matching wedding rings is stylish, it is not necessary.
If the bride prefers a shinier, metal ring, it is perfectly okay for the groom to wear a different metal or even a silicone ring.
Remember, your rings are supposed to be a symbol of your love for each other, not of the size of your wallet.
Common Wedding Band Stones
Just as there are plenty of different metals to choose from, there are also a variety of stones to put on your wedding band.
In addition to the types of stones, there are different types of settings you can choose from as well.
Before we discuss the cost of the different settings, let’s first discuss the different stones and what they cost.
There are dozens of stones to choose from, however, the most common stones used in wedding bands are diamonds.
Although diamonds are the most common, they are also extremely expensive. A 1 carat round cut diamond costs around $6,000.
However, a diamond of the same size in a different cut could cost half the price.
Check out Diamonds.pro to calculate what your diamond of choice could cost.
If you like the look of a diamond, but do not want to spend thousands of dollars on one, a good alternative is cubic zirconia.
Although not a perfect match, cubic zirconia resembles diamonds for a fraction of the price. One carat of cubic zirconia costs about $20.
Another diamond look-alike to put in your wedding band is moissanite.
Moissanite was discovered in a crater where a meteor struck the earth, making this stone truly out of this world.
A wedding band set with moissanite will cost about $400 to $700.
Although more expensive than cubic zirconia, moissanite is nearly identical to diamonds in both look and durability.
Other stones used in wedding bands include morganite, onyx, garnet, opal, and many more.
You can learn about all the setting stones from American Tungsten.
When it comes to custom rings, the sky is the limit, and you can really choose any type of gemstone you want.
Moonstones and sapphires are popular choices for custom rings.
Just make sure the gemstone is durable enough to withstand the pressures of everyday wear and tear.
Once you have chosen the stone you want to use, you then need to choose the setting pattern.
For a fancier set, the ring will quickly rise in price.
How Much Should You Spend
There is no set price on what you should spend on a wedding band.
Ultimately how much you spend will depend on the style you prefer and the lifestyle you live.
Although it is not necessary to match the bride and groom’s wedding bands, each wedding band should at least match the engagement ring it’s paired with.
This means if you purchased a white gold, diamond-set engagement ring, you should choose the same metal and style for the wedding band.
If you purchased your engagement ring directly from a jeweler, they may offer you a discount on the wedding band.
Ask your jeweler if they offer this deal and save a bit on your wedding bands!
Some choose to set a separate budget for the wedding bands and the wedding itself.
However, you should include the price of the bands in the actual wedding budget.
Budget about 3% of your wedding’s total budget for wedding bands.
If 3% does not work for the rings you want to buy, you can expand your band budget and shrink another portion of the wedding’s budget.