One of the most common issues my buyers encounter is difficulty in building a set of rings that "look right" together. The most meaningful set of stacking rings most of us will ever wear is our wedding set, and many brides have a hard time figuring out how to match wedding bands to their engagement rings.
Most jewelry wearers assume that if you match the color and style of the engagement ring, it's all good, right? An advanced wearer might even consider matching the band's width (the measurement of the visible portion of the ring when worn, or the top). However, the most important and commonly overlooked factor is the band's height, which is the measurement of the profile of the band (visible when viewed from the side). This dimension may also be referred to as the band's thickness.
When reading a description from an online listing, a band's measurements will usually be written in the width x height format. For example, a ring that's "2mm x 1mm" is 2mm wide and 1mm high. A band that's designated as "full round" will only have one dimension listed, because it measures the same from any angle. While most people never consider a ring's height, I'll explain here why it's crucial to pay attention to all dimensions.
The bands below are of matching width but different heights.
With regular stacking rings sets, fashionistas can achieve an artier effect by intentionally mismatching band heights:
But apply this principle to a wedding set and things start to look really wonky! Disclaimer: I'm sorry I don't have prettier rings to show here, but since I don't carry pre-made stock, most of the rings pictured in these demonstrations are from my errata and scrap pile!
As you can see, though most of the "important" factors are matched - white color and 2mm width - the mismatched height of the bands throws things off balance. As the height gets closer to matching (right) the set looks a bit more balanced, but even a tiny difference of half a millimeter makes a visual impact.
Here's How It's Done
Even though the "important" factors - color and width - are totally mismatched here, the set still looks relatively balanced because the height of the bands match. Yay!
To drive the point home, below are some plain bands to look at without the giant stone to distract you.
Bands with Mismatched Height and Width
Bands with the Same Width, but Mismatched Height
Left: 1.5mm x .75 half-round rose gold band with 1.6mm full-round rose gold band
Center: 2mm x 1mm hammered white gold band with 2mm full-round white gold band
Right: 2mm x 1.5mm diamond platinum band with 2mm full-round white gold band
Bands with Matching Height
Left: 5mm x 1.5mm hammered matte gold band with 1.6mm full-round hammered matte gold band
Center: 2mm x 1.5 half-round white gold band with 1.6mm full-round rose gold band
Right: 1mm x 1mm palladium white gold band with 1.2mm x .8mm half-round rose gold band
I hope you've found this helpful! Feel free to email me if you need additional assistance. I'm always happy to answer questions!
Happy Thanksgiving! November 27 2014
Among the many things for which I'm thankful this year are all the people I've had the opportunity to meet and engage from all over the world through my jewelry. Being old enough to remember life before the internet and e-commerce, it never ceases to amaze me what an amazingly connected this world is! The following map illustrates the global reach of my tiny business in the last year:
This year, I created jewelry for customers for the first time in Russia, Japan, South Africa, and Brazil. I've sent hundreds of wedding bands and commitment rings all over the world, each ring containing a little story within its personal inscription.
I'm grateful that so many of you have shared your stories with me, though the most touching are probably too personal to share in a blog. From time to time, I'll be posting some of my favorite inscriptions here. While the year's not quite over yet, I'm pretty sure this one wins for 2014:
Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and may the season find you in good health, surrounded by those you love.