Can You Wear An Anniversary Band As A Wedding Band?

Many young couples in love start off broke but happy; one of the surest memories of those early, lean years being your very own wedding band. You wanted to get married, you couldn't wait to start your life together, and you didn't care if you did it with a simple band and a vow. That's all you needed, after all! Now, though, when you have a little more in the bank, you might be eyeing new rings at the jewelry store. An anniversary ring sounds nice, and maybe it could be a nice upgrade for your tired old ring, but can you just switch rings like that? We've found the answer for you.
Many people choose to use an anniversary band as a replacement for their old wedding band. As styles, interests, and resources change, there's nothing wrong with picking a new ring that reflects your current personality. Alternative ways to wear an anniversary band include:
  • Wearing it with the wedding and engagement rings, stacking all three rings on one finger.
  • Using the original wedding band, and upgrading it - for example, with more or bigger stones.
  • Wearing the anniversary band independently, on another finger.

But is it really okay to make changes to your wedding band like that? Isn't that bad luck or something? And what kind of changes are tasteful and appropriate? It's not just a ring, after all - it's a symbol of commitment. So there's gotta be some sort of etiquette, right? Read on to learn all about what you need to consider before you get a new ring and give up the old one.

The bride and groom hold hands together with wedding rings, Can You Wear An Anniversary Band As A Wedding Band?

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How To Replace Your Wedding Band With An Anniversary Band

When you first got married, you made a vow and commitment to your partner. You can stand by that original promise without necessarily standing by the ring. But don't be too hasty. There are a few things to consider before making any major changes:

  • Get your old ring appraised. You'll want to know, from a jeweler, exactly what the ring is worth before you begin altering things.  And knowing what your ring cost when you bought it years ago doesn't mean the value hasn't changed.
  • Don't surprise your partner with any unexpected changes. Don't assume you know the sentimental value of the ring to them - be sure that your plan is clear and spelled out before doing anything that you can't un-d0.

White gold wedding rings on fabric

Is It Bad Luck To Upgrade Your Wedding Ring?

Diamonds might be forever but tastes still change. Or, perhaps, you couldn't afford the ring of your dreams when you first tied the knot. If you're more stable now, financially, why not celebrate that with your life partner by investing in a new symbol of your ever-changing relationship?

Some people might argue that the wedding ring was a symbol of commitment, but that's exactly the point. Any new symbol can work just as well. The actual commitment to your partner is enough - if your heart is still in it, you can wrap your intent in any jewelry that makes you happy.

In this modern age, there are fewer mandates and rules controlling marriage than there have ever been. This is an exciting change, so take advantage of it! Marriage is between you and your partner, and the two of you are the only opinions that really matter.

Conversely, if one of you feels strongly about sticking by the original ring, that's valid too. Since the idea of the ring is largely symbolic and shrouded in superstition, it's really only bad luck for people who believe it to be. If you convince yourself that changing the ring will bring problems, it will, as you'll begin to see problems anywhere you look. Do what pleases the two people in the marriage, and don't worry about any other opinions.

Ideas For Changing Your Wedding Band

If you aren't quite comfortable giving up the old ring entirely but still want to make some changes, there are several great ideas. You can use elements from the old ring as part of the new design, carrying over the original ring's symbolism.

Wedding rings and engagement ring with blue gemstones on natural linen background

  • Add side stones. You can add several gemstones or small diamonds to the original band.
  • Use the original stone as a side stone. Have the stone reset elsewhere in the ring, and put a new, larger stone in the center position. Need help picking the cut for a new center stone? Read this guide.
  • Get a new band. You can use the old stones in a new band, made with a more modern style or material.
  • Engrave the ring. A simple but sentimental addition that brings a special touch without changing the original feel of the ring.
  • If you really don't want to change the old ring, consider an enhancer ring. Pick a brand new anniversary band that matches the old ring in style and material. Wearing it with the first ring can make both look much more glamorous without altering the original in any way.

Where Does An Anniversary Band Go?

Most people wear their anniversary band on their ring finger, either in place of the wedding band or in addition to it. If you plan to keep the old wedding band, the tradition is to put the wedding ring, engagement ring, and then anniversary ring on the left-hand ring finger. If the anniversary band replaces the wedding ring, then it should go on first, with the engagement ring on top.

Some people, however, like leaving their original jewelry alone on their wedding ring finger. While they love their anniversary band, they prefer to wear it as a separate piece of jewelry. If this is your choice, you can wear the ring on any finger you choose - even the right hand. It doesn't have to be on the wedding finger, after all - your ring will be beautiful any way you wear it.

In non-western cultures, other ring placement might be more traditional. For example, in many Eastern European countries, the wedding rings go on the right hand instead.

What Kind Of Ring Is For An Anniversary?

Since many people wear the anniversary band with the original engagement and/or wedding rings, the band coordinates with them. For this reason, typically, buyers pick a metal that matches whatever the original rings are made of. Anniversary bands also tend to feature diamonds, the stone on most engagement rings.

Wedding rings in a bouquet of pink roses

However, this isn't a hard and fast rule. If you plan to wear the ring separate from the wedding rings, it doesn't have to coordinate at all. This is a perfect chance to pick something modern and match your exact tastes, with no rules.

If you want to wear your wedding ring, engagement ring, and anniversary band together for a sandwich effect, you'll want to pick something that works well together. But it doesn't have to be only diamonds. Gemstones or moissanite (a stone that resembles diamond but is lab-created and more affordable) are popular choices as well.

How Much Should You Spend on An Anniversary Band?

There's no official policy for an anniversary band, unlike the engagement ring. The three-month rule that says a man should spend the equivalent of three months salary on an engagement ring has been around for a long time. In fact, it's been around so long that many people now find it dated or ridiculous. It's hard to say what the new rule for engagement ring buying might be when the three-month rule fades out of use entirely.

However, an anniversary band doesn't live under the same rule, anyhow. After all, the commitment is already made - if the ring buyer has to prove their commitment and strain their finances every time they purchase a ring, the obvious answer is to stop buying jewelry altogether!

So, instead, the more practical solution is to wait to buy an anniversary band until you can afford the desired ring. If this ring stands in for the ring of your dreams that you couldn't afford for the first wedding, there's really no point in rushing into another ring that isn't quite the ring of your dreams, either. Identify and talk with your partner. What would be the ultimate, perfect ring? Once you know that, you'll also know how much to spend - after all, to paraphrase Dolly Parton, who wants to spend a lot of money on a ring that still looks cheap?

To Conclude

Wearing an anniversary band to replace your wedding band is not uncommon or in bad taste. Many people choose to upgrade or replace their old wedding bands, especially if their finances can afford something nicer than they could at their wedding. Tastes change, and jewelry styles evolve. Even if your ring was the height of fashion at one point, it doesn't necessarily reflect your current likes. There's nothing wrong with updating the ring that symbolizes your commitment - after all, you promised to love your partner forever. You said no such thing about the ring!


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