So what makes similar gold or platinum wedding rings vary so much in price?
We all know about a seller's markup, and that can be a big determination in how much a ring costs the buyer. But, did you know that there is a huge variation in the cost of a ring to the guy that you buy it from? You can spot those factors that determine the cost of making the ring, and then make your decision about who to buy it from. We will assume that you are purchasing a solid ring, not plated or "gold-filled", and that you are comparing similar metals. Of course, there is a increase in price as you move up from 10K to 14K and then to 18K gold, because the actual gold content goes up. Platinum has a similar situation--make sure you are comparing 950 platinum with 950, and not 900. The former is 95% platinum, the latter is 90% platinum--this can make a significant difference in cost!
One of the first considerations is the weight of the precious metal in the ring. Don't buy a ring from someone who does not give you the weight, in grams, of the ring! Otherwise, you cannot compare the raw material that makes up the bulk of the cost of the ring. After all, a platinum band that weighs 6 grams should cost considerably less than one that costs 9 grams! But, incredibly, many online and brick-and-mortar jewelry sellers do not disclose the weight of their wares. The weight of the ring is determined by the ring's width and the finger size, of course. But, there are also different styles of ring design which influence the amount of metal in a cross-section of the ring, and hence its weight. For instance, the traditional "half-round" wedding band is flat on the inside, like the inside of a pipe, and rounded on the outside; its cross-section, therefore, looks like an oval that has been cut in half across it widest dimension. Another style, the "comfort-fit" design, is likewise rounded on the outside of the ring, but the inside of the ring is also rounded, rather than flat. This makes its cross-section resemble an asymmetrical oval. Consequently, the comfort-fit design has a thicker cross-section, and thus contains more metal--it's heavier. Because of the rounded inside, the comfort-fit design is much easier to slide on and off the finger, since it passes over the knuckle more easily.
The next consideration is less obvious--you should consider the polish and the quality of the metalwork of the ring. Polishing a ring takes time and labor, so it adds to the cost. A ring with a mirror finish looks better on your wedding day! (even though the finish will become muted after only a few days of wear). But, more importantly, the metal should not be pitted, or contain any voids, either on the inside or outside of the ring. Pits are a sure sign of poor molding quality, and you can be sure that any ring that has pitted metal has been rejected by another supplier that has higher values!
If you purchase your wedding rings online, make sure the store has a satisfaction guarantee. Inspect your rings for flaws, and immediately return them if you find any problems. You should also check the assay markings to make sure, for instance, that you actually got a 950 platinum band, rather than 900! Happy shopping, and best of luck in your new life together!
William Long is the founder and president of The Viridian Gold Jewelry Store As an example of a half-round platinum band, check out our Platinum Half-Round Wedding Bands An example of a comfort-fit style would be our Yellow or White Gold Comfort Fit Light Wedding Bands Viridian was founded to provide online jewelry buyers with high-quality fine jewelry, supported with detailed information and specifications to enable an intelligent purchase.