Wedding rings: all about love

The young ringbearer at the wedding of Grant and Jacinta Pellow at Wanaka Station Park in November last year. Photo: Aspiring Photography
The young ringbearer at the wedding of Grant and Jacinta Pellow at Wanaka Station Park in November last year. Photo: Aspiring Photography
Love continues in good times and bad, as do all the traditions that surround it.

Among these traditions are the engagement and wedding rings.

Couples committed to a long-lasting relationship will celebrate this tradition even in tough economic times.

Decisions on the style of ring may be made in light of the available budget, but couples continue to place significance in both the engagement and wedding rings and what they represent.

While most New Zealand couples plan the bride's engagement ring design and purchase in advance there are still those romantic fiances who present the ring as a surprise to the bride-to-be.

This is not usually done without sufficient surreptitious research!

Today the stone that continues to rate highest for the engagement ring is the diamond.

Incidentally, the first well-documented use of a diamond ring to signify engagement was by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in the imperial court of Vienna in 1477, when he and Mary of Burgundy decided on wedding bliss.

The wedding rings of Nicole Kunzmann and Matthew Humphery who were married at Arthur's Point, Queenstown in April. Photo: Carmen Hancock Photography
The wedding rings of Nicole Kunzmann and Matthew Humphery who were married at Arthur's Point, Queenstown in April. Photo: Carmen Hancock Photography
Of the many cuts available, the round 57-faceted "brilliant" cut continues to be a major player.

The square "princess" cut remains popular, as do the square or rectangular-shaped "aleya".

The "baguette" and "emerald" cuts are also among the top 10.

Diamonds are not only beautiful but practical, their toughness ideal for New Zealand women who tend to wear their rings all the time, be they in the kitchen, up mountains or out to dinner.

While the engagement ring symbolises romance, the wedding rings, often worn by both the bride and groom, are seals of long-lasting relationships.

Yellow and white gold remain popular.

Interestingly, the low-maintenance palladium - also a white metal - is returning to the spotlight, while the world's most expensive metal, platinum, continues to have a large following.

At the ceremony of Melanie Sharp and James Rowcroft at Larnach Castle in February.  Photo by Moira Clark
At the ceremony of Melanie Sharp and James Rowcroft at Larnach Castle in February. Photo by Moira Clark
OTAGO DESIGN NOUS

Whether revamping existing rings or custom-designing and making engagement rings and wedding bands for clients, the many top craftsmen jewellers living and working in Otago are invaluable.

Many operate from small studios in Dunedin and other centres.

These are the talents who can create individuality in rings for couples seeking a potent difference.

Today's heightened awareness of fashion is also resulting in engagement rings that have been worn for 20 and 30 years and more in an enduring relationship, being taken in to manufacturing jewellers to be revamped into contemporary styles.

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