Wedding season is almost upon us; as Canada begins to see the first signs of “not winter”. You know, that trust you slowly begin to have that Mother Nature is not about to blast us all with anymore icy, swirling, frosty surprises. In the Sapling & Flint studio, we have ventured in the past year into the wedding band business and we are now finding our inbox full of requests for shopping tips, morsels of jeweler’s advice for jewellery maintenance and just plain insight on how to have the perfect experience in wedding ring shopping. Thanks for the great question’s folks, let me walk you into our studio here, sit down for a tea and leave the advice to the professionals. Our in-house jeweller, Jesse Brant, will take it from here:
Advice #1: Visit a jeweller for sizing.
There are many great ring size charts and DIY string & paper tests online. Even the wonderful corporate diamond conglomerate People’s Jeweller’s has an online measuring chart that you can check out, but the issue with string and paper is, well, they are string and paper!! They can give you a good eyeball test, but the best advice is always to go to a jeweller as they have the tools to properly fit you, like a ring mandrel and ring sizer. Ring sizes are standard in North America, so no worries if you are measured by a store in Alberta but decide you want to go ring shopping while on that weekend excursion to Seattle you planned.
Bottom line: Have a jeweller size your finger for accuracy.
Advice #2: What you’re paying for when buying gold.
“Why do couples buy white gold when it looks exactly like silver?!”- said no professional jeweller ever. A couple of insights about silver. It is an inherently soft metal, and wedding rings are objects most couples expect to wear for life. Silver is easy to scratch, tarnishes easily (and extremely) when exposed to common household chemicals like bleach or even hard water (welcome to married life!). Also, that professional polishing that your husband will no doubt be taking your ring in for regularly (no doubt!!)? High-polish finishing disappears fast on silver. Jeweller’s work with gold because it is a harder metal, does not scratch as easily, and makes it ideal for day-to-day wear.
When it comes to gold, just go ahead and buy the good stuff (your marriage is already made up of so much of it)!
#3: Jewellery is not meant to be worn forever
Jewellery is a statement; and quality jewellery is made to last a lifetime. But unlike our fingers, your wedding ring is not a natural appendage of your body. The wear-and-tear of our lives can take a toll on our jewellery if we do not take care of it. We always recommend de-blinging when you do household work or if you work with your hands professionally (construction, firefighting, carpentry, etc.). Chemicals, hard hits, scratches, hard water, dust, sweat, it all has a toll on jewellery and removing your rings while you finish your work will prolong your polishes vitality, and keep the tarnish away for longer periods.
#4: Shop local!!
According to Stats Canada, an astounding 99.6% of the jewellery market is comprised of micro- and small- establishments, meaning they employ up to 4 people. If you want to support artists, jeweller’s, and small business in Canada (especially 100% Indigenous women-owned now that you are visiting our website!), why not consider taking your support to the alter with you too? You are also sure to find pieces that are far more one-of-a-kind this way (just like your love for each other!).
#5: Allow for time for your jeweller to complete your custom work
It is now wedding season. Jewellers benches the world over are now becoming flooded with custom wedding orders; each one a different size, cut, metal, stone and preference of the client. It is important that once you know your wedding date, that you add time for your wedding rings to be completed into your wedding planning schedule. Your jeweller will thank you for it!!
Well we hope our quick advice was enjoyable! Thanks for stopping by for a virtual teatime with us to talk jewellery, and our warm and best wishes to those of you looking forward to tying the knot soon!
~Dakota & Jesse
The Birchbark His/Her's ring set in white gold, by Mohawk Nation jeweller Jesse Brant. Designed & finished proudly at our studio in Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. Click photo to shop the ring set