Wedding season is entering the 7th Inning Stretch, and so there’s a practical decision looming on the horizon for brides coming back from their honeymoons. Or maybe your wedding is coming up in the last half of this year; this is a question you’ll eventually have to answer, as well.
“Should I get my wedding rings soldered together?”
Well, it all boils down to one simple question: are you ever going to wear them separately?
Do you travel outside the US often? Are you active every day or almost every day in sports or otherwise in the outdoors? What kinds of hobbies do you have? What kind of work do you do? Your answers to those questions will reveal how often you should wear your wedding band separately from your engagement ring, and when you should take your jewelry off altogether.
Generally speaking, soldering your engagement ring to your wedding band is a very good idea simply because it reduces wear and tear. Separated rings worn together will grind against one another. This can undercut prongs and heads, break into channels, and chip exposed stones. It is exacerbated by sleeping in your wedding rings, so if you insist on not taking them off at night, please get them soldered together.
One of the best examples I’ve ever seen was a wedding set that had an engagement ring with pinch-prong set diamonds on the shoulders, and a pair of shared-prong sapphire bands on either side. This customer rarely took her rings off, and after fifteen years, the diamonds were all chipped up, but the round sapphires were worn perfectly smooth and flat on the sides adjacent to the diamonds. It was pretty interesting from an observational standpoint, but it was a very costly repair.
Basically, I recommend soldering rings together unless you travel outside the country regularly, or if you are involved in hands-on activities (gardening, contact sports, carpentry, rebuilding engines, etc.) more than four days a week.
If you travel often, it’s inadvisable to wear an expensive piece of jewelry when out and about. Wedding bands are often less expensive and easier to replace, so leave your engagement ring at home and just wear your wedding band. You’ll still have a ring on your finger, but you won’t be such a walking target.
If you’re especially active, wearing your jewelry during handiwork isn’t the best choice. But if you’re rings are not soldered together, at least you can remove your engagement ring, which is usually more vulnerable to damage. If your wedding band has lots of stones in it, though, I’d recommend taking that off, too, while getting your hands dirty. Plain gold and platinum can always be reshaped and repolished; broken or lost gemstones are much costlier.
Other than those exceptions, soldering your rings together is an excellent choice. Whether you’re a diesel mechanic, an office worker, or a stay-at-home spouse/parent, your hands move around a lot and take a great deal of abuse over the course of a day. If your rings are not soldered together, all you’re doing is grinding away years of life from your rings and stacking up repair costs faster than necessary.