Michael Spiers, formerly Leaths Jewellers, in Taunton offer advice on buying rings

Your wedding and engagement rings are possibly the most important purchases you will ever make from a jeweller’s shop.

Not only are they charged with emotional value because they mark significant events in your life, but they are also generally worn every day.

Therefore it is essential that you make the right choice for these two rings.

Normally, of course, the engagement ring comes first, sometimes bought two or three years before the wedding ring.

However, as the two things will eventually be worn together, it is a good idea to be thinking about your wedding ring when buying the engagement ring. It is as important for the two rings to be compatible as it is for the two of you as a couple.

Thankfully a lot of thought goes into this, ring designs being much cleverer than most people realise.

Engagement rings in particular will commonly have cut away or tapering settings to allow a wedding ring to sit snugly alongside. So when trying your engagement ring please ask to try some wedding rings as well; this is far better than discovering later you have an engagement ring which won’t sit happily with a wedding ring.

Wedding rings come in both traditional patterns such as the rounded ‘court’ patterns and the ‘D’ shaped with a flat inside and more recent developments designed to complement contemporary engagement ring designs.

Typical of these is a wedding ring with flat sides and a rounded top which goes well with higher set diamond rings. There is also a variety of widths available and as you can imagine it should be possible for everyone to find a comfortable fit which suits them.

There are also diamond set versions if you would like some sparkle.

Wedding rings can be made of yellow or white gold, platinum or palladium. Platinum is the current favourite due to its cool radiance, durability and the purity of the alloy, usually 95% pure in high quality UK jewellers.

Women naturally get most of the attention when it comes to wedding matters, but we mustn’t forget the men. Men today are more inclined to wear a wedding ring and generally aspire to platinum.

However, palladium, a close relation to platinum is currently enjoying a renaissance as it has a lot of the properties of platinum but is less costly. This is useful as men’s rings can be costly in platinum as they usually contain far more metal.

Palladium allows chunkier designs at a price which won’t blow the wedding budget.