Help me put a ring on it.
July 7, 2012 4:16 AM   Subscribe

Need help shopping for wedding bands in Melbourne. Does it make sense to pay more for plain bands?

Because of an unexpected development (not pregnancy), my fiancé and I are planning a very quick wedding in a few weeks -- probably not enough time to get rings online or from Etsy, as shipping to Australia can be very, very slow.

We found bands today at a fancy jewelrer for about AU$2000. They are basically just very nice plain bands in 14k yellow gold.

I know we could get these cheaper elsewhere. When buying a plain band, does more money mean better quality? Are they essentially the same thing we could buy from a mall jewelrer for half the price?
posted by third word on a random page to Shopping (9 answers total)
Are they essentially the same thing we could buy from a mall jewelrer for half the price?

Yes, they are exactly the same - 14k yellow gold is 14k yellow gold. (I bought my band from a pawn shop for £12. It perfectly matches and wears exactly the same as my custom designed, handmade engagement ring.)
posted by DarlingBri at 4:29 AM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Check prices in the Sydney Road jewellers (Brunswick, Coburg etc). I know people who found exactly what they wanted at good prices, it is a competitive weddingware precinct.
posted by Trivia Newton John at 4:52 AM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

Get plain silver for the wedding and order your real bands from wherever! You could do a nice dinner for two when the real bands show up, even.
posted by fluffy battle kitten at 5:39 AM on July 7, 2012 [1 favorite]

My SO and I found our plain yellow gold bands for a few hundred USD - his was less than $100 USD. (Mine was comfort-fitted and this has much more metal - but was still less than $300 USD.)
posted by jb at 6:01 AM on July 7, 2012

My wedding ring is a plain 9K yellow gold 4mm band, and cost less than £100. 9K is 38% gold, while 14K is 58%; add to that the fact that I bought mine 5 years ago and the price of gold has gone up a lot, and adjust expectations accordingly.

You'll undoubtedly have to pay more than I paid for mine, but thousands of dollars just seems excessive for plain rings. I second the recommendation to go to an area where there are lots of jewellers; local competition is what you want.
posted by altolinguistic at 7:25 AM on July 7, 2012

It is ansolutely worth it to pay a little more for comfort fit (round on the inside), but so long as you're getting the grade and type of metal you want, I don't believe it's worth it to pay more than you have to. I think many places get people to pay over the odds who don't want to feel "cheap" around such a big romantic thing.
posted by crabintheocean at 7:51 AM on July 7, 2012

We found bands today at a fancy jewelrer for about AU$2000

Holy jesus fuck is that expensive for plain 14k gold band. You could get plan 14k bands made for you by an indie jewellery in AU - probably in Melbourne - and shipped express - for less than that. Check out Etsy by restricting the search to Australia. Ask any artist or artsy friends you might have, have a walk around, I dunno, Sydney Rd as mentioned above, and other "artsy" like Brunswick and see if there's some smaller jewellers on or off street. Also worth having a look at the members of Craft Victoria, you might find something there.

Also have a look at stores selling used or antique jewellery - even pawn brokers. You may be surprised. Jewellery has terrible resale value so you can get some really nice stuff if you're discriminating. Be prepared to look at a few stores, and bargain, hard. The sticker prices typically bear little relation to reality in pawn brokers - antique jewelery resellers can be a bit more realistic but price is still usually negotiable.

I mean, pay the 2k if you want, but you can definitely find plain 14k bands for less.
posted by smoke at 5:42 PM on July 7, 2012

Update: we found someone on Etsy who was able to make the bands in under a week, including shipping. We paid about $200 for both, and are very happy with them :)
posted by third word on a random page at 6:13 PM on December 31, 2012 [1 favorite]

Congratulations! May your marriage wear as well and as economically :)
posted by DarlingBri at 5:50 AM on January 1, 2013

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