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Wedding rings have been exchanged as tokens of love, affection and commitment for thousands of years. The Pharaohs of ancient Egypt are credited with being the first to use a ring in the form of a circle, a shape with no beginning and no end, as a symbol of eternal love. By Roman times, it was established custom for the ring to serve as a public pledge of the marriage contract between a man and a woman.

Traditionally, it is the groom’s responsibility to buy the wedding rings. But it makes much more sense for the groom-to-be and his fiancée to shop together - after all, this is an item that will stay on her finger for life, and she should have a say in the kind of ring she will wear.

Although many couples still opt for the plain gold band to seal their marital commitment, most modern brides and grooms want to wear something fashionable as well as functional. From the allure of platinum is its unparalleled strength; to those who like the look of platinum but are working on a lower budget there is always white gold. And for a very modern look titanium is now becoming very popular with men.

Not only can today’s brides and grooms choose from a dizzying array of fashionable solid metal bands, but they can also opt for wedding rings with diamonds. Channel set bands - rings with a line of small diamonds set in a groove, or channel, along the band - are particularly popular. An increasing number of men are choosing wedding rings with diamonds, as well.