Much like a diamond solitaire engagement ring, there’s nothing more classic than a gold wedding band. For centuries, gold bands have been adorning both wedding sets and ring fingers as a symbol of eternal love and promise. It’s a timeless choice for any bride or groom considering you can choose from a variety of sizes, styles, etchings, and engravings to truly make it your own. Simply put, the classic gold wedding band will never go out of style.
Exchanging rings to signify your love and devotion has been a tradition for thousands of years, but gold bands (arguably the most popular band style in history) found their groove in the Victorian era of 1830 to 1899. “During the Victorian period, mass-producing jewelry really gained momentum,” says Catherine Thies. “Using a lower percentage of gold—nine or ten karat gold—made it very affordable and more accessible to the masses. Wedding bands and engagement rings became the status quo at a wedding ceremony.”
Pros and Cons of Gold Bands
Like a little black dress, gold pairs well with anything and is incredibly versatile. “Pretty much every gemstone looks great paired with a classic gold band,” Thies says. “Having a classic gold band in your collection is the perfect alternative solution to wear alone when traveling or when you have a softer gemstone engagement ring like morganite, opal, and emerald gemstone rings. Those particular gemstones can get damaged easily due to their lack of strength. Having a gold band that you can wear all the time is the perfect solution.”
Thies says that many setting styles work with the classic gold band and calls it a “staple in anyone’s collection,” so the sky is truly the limit for your unique ring stack or vibe.
However, if you’re captivated by the idea of wearing a vintage ring, there are a few details you should consider. She explains, “You want to make sure they still have a lifespan for daily wear. Look for signs of deterioration. Pitting and thinning are a couple obvious signs that the gold is breaking down.” Thin and worn bands can crack and break.
What to Look for in a Gold Band
- What kind of gold should I choose? According to Thies, 14K is the “American standard” for gold, while 18K is the European standard. “18K yellow gold is richer in color and considered finer quality as it has a larger percentage of gold,” she says. 20K, 22K, and 24K gold are softer and will bend and form to the finger, so Thies advises choosing 14K or 18K for an everyday ring with optimal strength and durability.
- Should I purchase a solid or hollow gold band? Solid gold is key for a durable piece that will literally last forever. “When looking for a gold band, make sure it is a solid gold band, not hollow,” advises Thies. “The purity of the gold will also indicate quality.”
- How much does a 14K solid gold ring cost? A quality 14K solid gold yellow band will start around $400 and will raise in price depending on the width and size, though you can find options to suit any budget both online and in-store. Many direct-to-consumer jewelry sites offer classic gold bands at extremely accessible and affordable price points if you’re interested in going that route for your ring.
- Are gold bands gender-neutral? Classic gold bands are unisex and can be worn in a variety of ways, as well as resized to fit a smaller size if you fall for a men’s-sized ring. Their versatility also allows you to create a wedding set that suits your personal style and allows you to play with trends—or start new ones.
- What engagement ring styles pair best with gold bands? “We are seeing a current trend of wider gold wedding bands paired with traditional style engagement rings—think a classic 5mm men’s wedding band paired with a traditional diamond solitaire,” says Thies. “There is something unexpected and unique about it. We love an unusual pairing!”
How to Care for a Gold Band
Gold is also extremely durable and doesn’t tarnish, making it a great choice for any lifestyle. Your gold band can be worn all day, every day, though Thies recommends removing any gemstone rings before working out, gardening, and the like. Your gold band can be cleaned by soaking it in a mix of gentle dish soap and warm water. It’s truly a great choice for anyone, especially if you want to wear your ring 24/7 and don’t want to worry about daily maintenance.
If you’ve decided that a classic gold band is for you and you’re ready to invest in a piece you’ll have and love forever, see some of our favorites below.
Cartier 1895 Yellow Gold Wedding Band
Can you get more classic than Cartier? This simple and stunning gold band has it all—polish, elegance, and the rich history of love birds who have exchanged Cartier rings on their special day.
Catbird Classic 1MM Wedding Band
Catbird jewelry is the go-to for "it girls" and style icons, and the price point on their classic wedding band can’t be denied. If you’re looking for a sleek, slim gold band, their unisex half-round band will check all your boxes. It’s also available in rose gold, white gold, and platinum!
James Allen 14K Gold 3mm Low Dome Wedding Ring
Pure tradition at a great price point—that’s the beauty of this James Allen piece, which retails for $260. The low dome makes it an easy addition to any existing ring stack.
Anna Sheffield Brushed Soft Square Band
Customize this 4mm Anna Sheffield piece to your liking, including adding engraving if you so choose. It’s available in brushed 14K recycled white, yellow, or rose gold and every ring is made to order.
Tiffany Forever 3mm Classic Wedding Band Ring
Nothing says “wedding” like Tiffany. Their classic 3mm wedding band in 18K gold looks as gorgeous and iconic on its own as it would with a stack of diamonds or a gemstone engagement ring.
Tiffany Forever 6mm Classic Wedding Band Ring
For a slightly thicker option to make a bold statement, we love this 6mm version from Tiffany. It adds a subtle and unique vibe to a ring stack but also looks fabulous as a stand-alone piece.
Filigree Jewelers Vintage 18K Gold Victorian Wedding Band
If you want a vintage Victorian gold band, you won’t find one more classic than this 18K yellow gold piece. Its sheer simplicity and beauty make it gorgeous on its own, but even better when paired with a diamond, sapphire, or ruby stone.
Filigree Jewelers Vintage Tiffany & Co. 18K Gold Bamboo Wedding Band
We love the fun twist on a classic Tiffany band. This 18K gold piece features a bamboo motif and is perfect for the bride who wants a mix of classic, funky, and a bit retro.
Holden Hammered 14K Yellow Band
To add interest and texture to your wedding set, consider adding a hammered gold band like this 14K yellow gold piece from Holden. It’s also available in rose gold, white gold, and platinum, plus 10K and 18K gold.
Filigree Jewelers Antique Edwardian 14K Gold Wedding Band
This sweet, minimalist 14K yellow gold piece from the Edwardian era actually has its original engraving on the inside of the band! You’ll be able to carry someone else’s love story alongside yours every day—what is more romantic than that?
David Yurman Unity Cable Wedding Band in 18K Gold
If you can’t get enough Yurman in your life, you’ll love this 18K cable band. It’s definitely a recognizable Yurman piece, but is also versatile enough to pair with any gemstone ring.
Mejuri Bold Stacker Ring
For a budget-friendly choice, Mejuri’s Bold Stacker Ring in 14K gold fits the bill with its simple, but never boring, silhouette and size. You could also consider snapping up a few to wear alongside your wedding band for a fun layered look.
Blue Nile Classic Wedding Ring in 14K Yellow Gold
Slim. Simple. Sophisticated. This delicate 2mm yellow gold band checks all the boxes for a minimalistic look.
Van Cleef & Arpels Tendrement Wedding Band
Go for the glamour with a classic 3mm gold band from legendary jeweler Van Cleef & Arpels. The Tendrement band is a luminous piece inspired by the love story of the brand’s founders.
Heirloom by Doyle & Doyle Fleur Patterned Gold Wedding Band
Up the romance with a beautiful floral patterned gold band like this heirloom-worthy piece in 18K yellow gold. It lends a sweet vintage vibe to any ring look.
Shane Co. Merritt 14k Yellow Gold Wedding Band
For a pretty, delicate moment, try a hand-engraved option like this 2mm band from Shane Co. The engraving makes it look like a family heirloom that’s been passed down for decades, but you’ll be able to start your own traditions with it.
Meet the Expert
Catherine Thies is a third-generation jeweler and co-owner of Filigree Jewelers in Minneapolis, Minnesota.