Choosing an engagement ring is enough pressure as it is, meaning oftentimes, women get too caught up in the karat size, style, and price to even think about their wedding band. This, my friends, is a huge mistake. Wedding bands can make or break the look of your actual engagement ring and therefore should never be overlooked. We will humbly admit that we are no jewelry experts, which is why we reached out to jewelry designer Octavia Zamagias of Octavia Elizabeth jewelry to educate us on wedding band best practices and guidelines. Below, she dives into her personal tips and tricks for creating the absolute perfect ring pairing.
I get so many questions from brides-to-be about their wedding bands. More often than not, the bride wasn't fully a part of the engagement ring process, and now this is her turn to really influence the design. The biggest concern is that their wedding rings won't match their engagement rings—but they don't want the traditional matchy-matchy situation that so many of their mothers or grandmothers have.
The first (and important!) reminder is that in today's world, anything goes—truly! One of the key principles I maintain with Octavia Elizabeth is the notion that each client has a different aesthetic and style. As a designer, my responsibility when creating custom pieces is to reflect the wearer in the most elegant and subtle way, emphasizing that sense of uniqueness is key when designing something so memorable.
Below I’ve included some of my tips and guidelines for some popular ideas based on the bride-to-be's engagement ring.
Solitaire Engagement Band
So your partner went with a super-traditional solitaire engagement ring that you love—but you want a wedding band that feels more modern and current? You can use your wedding band to make your engagement ring feel more current. Simple solitaire engagement rings are really having a moment now, and I love the simplicity and elegance of their design. A great way to add personality to your ring finger is to have your wedding band set in a different gold color, like rose gold or yellow gold. You can even play around with texture doing a hammered or satin finish on your plain gold wedding band to contrast a high-shine platinum solitaire engagement ring. I really love doing a wider wedding band with offset diamonds with a hammer finish for brides-to-be. It's one of the most original looks and is amazing next to a simple solitaire (see our Etoile Diamond Ring).
A simple solitaire engagement ring is also a great opportunity to do a killer eternity band. The shape of the stones on the eternity band are a great chance to contrast the engagement ring—for instance, if you have an emerald-cut engagement ring, try out a baguette or round-cut eternity bands. I even love to mix the metal colors! The one thing I highly recommend is making sure the diamonds on the wedding band match the color of the engagement ring's center stone (e.g., if your center stone is an F, then don't get an eternity band of J diamonds, because their yellowness will reflect poorly on the pure whiteness of your gorgeous engagement ring). If there is big of a discrepancy in the quality of the stones, I recommend passing.
Custom Octavia Elizabeth Solitaire Engagement Ring with Diamond Nesting Gem Eternity Ring
Product Details: Engagement Ring is made of platinum and features just under a 2 carat diamond. The Wedding Ring is 18K Yellow gold, .54 carats.
Product Details: 18K yellow gold, 0.54 carats
Product Details: 18K yellow gold, 0.35 carats
Product Details: 18K yellow gold, 2.1 carats
Diamond Engagement Ring With a Pavé Band
I love the look of thin pavé bands stacked alongside your pavé diamond engagement band. Your center stone remains the focal point, but you can really show your style by adding in thin stack rings with different-color stones. If you want to remain all diamond and all within your gold color, then I love the look of mixing setting styles. For instance, most engagement rings are prong set, so you could do an eternity band that is bezel set. A diamond engagement ring with a pavé band is a great opportunity to build a stack. It may not be traditional, but I am seeing a lot of woman gravitate toward a series of thin pave bands rather than just a single one. Whether you start with one (your wedding ring) or a few, it's a great look to build up a stack. I have a client who plans to buy their wife a band at all the milestones—babies, birthdays, etc. for the first few years so she can get the look she wants while remaining sentimental about each ring.
Three-Stone Engagement Band
Ah, the ever classic. Whether he went for the traditional three-stone engagement ring or not, almost every girl can appreciate its beauty. Use your wedding ring to express your personal style. To really bling out, an eternity band is a great option. If you want to add some color, sapphires are my most requested, second to diamond. If an eternity band isn't in your budget or not your style, this is another time when you can do a simple plain stack ring. As I said before, I love the look of mixing metals (rose, yellow, and white) or getting creative with the texture. A good jeweler should be able to show you his or her textures—I love hand hammered, but there are a lot to choose from.
Colored-Stone Engagement Band
A lot of clients are asking for alternatives to diamonds as the center stone to their engagements bands. I always suggest we look at sapphires, emeralds, and rubies—they hold their value and are appreciating just like diamonds, but are unique. With an engagement ring like this, I recommend not mixing metals and not mixing stones in most cases, but of course, there are exceptions. My concern is that the bride-to-be's ring finger may end up looking like a patriotic Fourth of July homage—red (ruby), white (diamond), and blue (sapphire). For a traditional three-stone with a sapphire center stone and two white diamonds on either side, I recommend keeping the same metal (usually white or platinum with this style) and doing an eternity band in either all diamonds or rotating sapphires and diamonds. Feel free to mix shapes! I love round-cut diamonds alternating teardrop sapphires!
Product Details: 18K yYellow gold, 0.12 carats
Product Details: 18K yellow gold, 1.90 carats
Product Details: 18K gold emerald ring, 0.12 carats
Unusually Shaped Engagement Band
I have been getting more and more questions about how to work with a uniquely shaped engagement ring. A good jeweler will be able to mirror the engagement ring into a wedding ring so that they fit together like a puzzle piece. It’s really not much extra effort for the jeweler and will make your ring finger look that much cooler.
Interested in learning more? Feel free to inquire about tailoring your own wedding ring personally by emailing Octavia Elizabeth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additionally, shop a curation of Octavia Elizabeth products on Moda Operandi, and be sure to keep an eye out for new product launches come August.