Today, the terms ‘wedding ring’ and ‘wedding band’ have come to mean the same thing, and while they do both serve the same purpose, there, once upon a time, was a distinction.
In the past, while women received a family ring or colored gemstone to mark a man’s intention, it was the men who historically wore wedding bands. And at that time, wedding bands consisted of a plan circle of metal, devoid of diamonds or any ornamentation that we might see today.
For a visual to go with this description, there is the VW 5017 from Verragio’s men’s collection, which exemplifies the idea of a clean band of metal. Although there are more and more men who have come to embrace a more ornate style of ring, the classics are always considered in style.
However, as times changed, so did tradition. And when women began to wear wedding bands, designs slowly began to morph into something more decorative, feminine, and detail intensive, creating what is now known as a wedding ring.
The wedding ring is much more stylized than a plain wedding band. For example, there is the Eterna 4017 from Verragio, which is an example of how far the modern wedding ring has evolved today. Featuring a delicate twisted shank adorned with pave’ set diamonds all the way around the band; it is distinctly feminine in design.
Men’s bands have also evolved throughout the years, sparking entire lines of men’s rings, rather than plain bands. The idea being that, while some men prefer to sport diamonds, there is still a way to combine decoration and masculinity. The most common trend among men’s wedding rings is the idea of two tones, mixing metals, or in the case of Verragio’s RU 6070, which incorporates a thin line of black enamel around the band at both edges.
The distinction between the two meanings may very well be obsolete or irrelevant in this modern age of elaborate, trend driven, celebrity influenced bridal industry. However traditions endure for a reason, and it is not too out of left field to believe that a simple, understated trend will come back around.