After getting married, you’ll be wearing both a wedding band and an engagement ring together on the same finger which can sometimes be a little inconvenient. This is why many choose to have their rings soldered together for convenience and security.
However, soldering your most sentimental pieces of jewelry is a big decision to make, so you might want to do a little research first. In this article, we’ve got all the information you need to know about ring soldering and the pros and cons which could help you decide.
What Is Ring Soldering?
Basically, ring soldering involves connecting the metal of both your wedding and engagement bands together, so they’ll be worn as one. The process is called ‘soldering’ because it uses a ‘solder’—a metal alloy that melts at very low temperature.
Ring soldering is often confused with the welding process, but the two are actually very different. The welding process melts the base metal of the jewelry piece (which means melting the work piece) whereas in the soldering process, only the filler metal is melted to act like a glue. Therefore, your rings won’t be altered or damaged in any way.
However, not all rings can be soldered, especially if one of them has domed or heavily decorated sides. Ideally, both rings should have flat sides, so that the details won’t vanish if another ring is placed on top. Also, both rings need to be sized up before soldering, since soldered rings will always fit a little tighter. In case you’re wondering, soldering will not decrease the value of your jewelry pieces.
While rings of the same metal are easier to solder, those of different colors might need fusing (heating two metals to join them into one piece) instead of soldering. Depending on the type of metal and ring design, fusing will usually leave a “melted” look where the pieces are joined together. Some metals are impossible to solder, especially titanium and tungsten, so if your rings are made of these metals, soldering is not for you.
Pros and Cons of Soldering Wedding Rings
Soldering a wedding band and an engagement ring may not work for everyone, especially for women with active lifestyles. If you just got married, take some time before you make the decision, as many women find that they don’t have to wear both rings at all times.
You’ll reduce wear and tear.
Any time you wear two rings on one finger, they will constantly rub against each other. This creates friction that corrodes the rings over time. By soldering them, you’ll be able to eliminate the movement between the rings, lessening wear and tear on the shanks where they rub together.
You’ll need less metal maintenance.
Once friction is eliminated, you don’t have to worry too much about wearing down the gold and breaking the shank, which means less maintenance and more money saved in the long run. If your rings are made of white gold, you’ll likely need to get them re-plated more often, which makes soldering the best option for you.
Typically, soldering costs as low as $45, which is much less than the amount you would spend on maintaining two separate rings every 6 months or so.
The rings won’t slide around.
If you want your engagement ring stone to stay at the center and both rings to always line up perfectly, soldering would be the best solution for you. It’s the most practical fix, especially if you prefer not to wear your wedding band without the engagement ring. Soldering will also prevent the rings from spinning and twisting on your finger.
They’ll have a more comfortable, effortless fit.
Most of the time, wearing two unsoldered rings leads to that uncomfortable pinching sensation you might be familiar with. Once they’re soldered, they move and feel as one, eliminating the discomfort and the hassle of wearing two separate rings.
You have to wear both rings all the time.
When you get your rings soldered, you won’t be able to wear one without the other. Therefore, you might want to think twice before soldering, especially if your lifestyle requires you to remove one of your rings frequently. For example, if you often work out in the gym, you might find it difficult to wear your soldered rings, especially when lifting weights.
Sometimes, the large center stone of an engagement ring can get in the way at work or when you’re engaging in physical activities. If you travel a lot, you might want to take off your diamond ring from time to time for safety reasons and you won’t be able to wear your other ring without it.
You aren’t able to mix and match.
If you love mixing and matching your jewelry, soldering your rings won’t allow you to do this. This is especially true if your engagement ring has a vibrant colored stone that doesn’t match your outfit, or if both rings are unique on their own and you want to flaunt them individually.
If they go perfectly together, soldering your rings won’t be an issue. Still, some women like the idea of adding different bands to their rings throughout the years. Having versatile jewelry pieces matters to fashion-forward women, but at the end of the day, these rings are more than just a style statement.
There’s a potential damage to soldered rings if you decide to separate them later.
Depending on the design of the rings, soldering can be difficult to reverse. Jewelers typically cut them apart and polish the sides so the damaged area won’t be very visible. However, separating some rings with more complicated designs might require repair changes and they might not look the same as they did before.
Passing down soldered rings as an heirloom can be more difficult.
If you want to pass down your engagement ring as a family heirloom, having it soldered with your wedding band might be an issue. In case you haven’t thought of it before, you might want to consider this before making the decision to solder your rings.
How to Keep Rings Together without Soldering?
As a temporary fix to keep your rings together or from spinning, you can wrap a ring wire or connector around your engagement ring and wedding band to hold them together. This is very easy and convenient since you can easily separate them when needed. The diameter of each ring can also be narrowed, so they’ll both stay in place and won’t rub against each other.
You might also want to consider a ring guard (or ‘ring enhancer’) that functions as a wedding band. This is a curved ring or ring wrap that was originally designed to act as a guard or buffer, protecting the engagement ring from impact. However, ring enhancers are now widely used as an alternative to a regular wedding band.
Curved Diamond Guard by Blue Nile. See it here.
There are several types of ring guard, but the most practical is the insert ring guard. This has two connected bands with a gap in the center, where you can insert your wedding or engagement ring.
Insert ring guards are commonly decorated with gemstones in a channel or pavé setting, making them ideal as wedding bands. The plus point about having a ring guard as your wedding ring is that it makes everything look more cohesive.
There are several pros and cons to soldering your wedding rings and it all depends on your lifestyle and preferences. If you constantly work with your hands, you might need to leave your rings as they are so that you can take one off whenever necessary.
However, if you’re certain you wouldn’t wear your wedding band without the engagement ring, soldering can be the best option to protect them and make them more comfortable to wear.