Bad Buys: Our Wedding Rings

Our wedding rings might well be the worst purchase we’ve ever made together.


Before we got married, we lived five hours away from each other (I was in London, he was in Lancashire) and so only had weekend visits to shop together. On top of this, we were both keenly aware of our particular pecuniary challenges – that is to say, driving up and down for months was going to leave us a bit skint, even before having to plan a wedding. After a few fruitless shopping trips thrown at finding our wedding rings, we were getting fed up.


On my turn to visit we went around all of Burnley’s jewellery stores, or so it felt. Reeling from some of the prices, we ended up in Warren James, a chain of stores that has the appearance of being on the brink of closure but miraculously never manages it. We were happy to find a pair of rings that we could afford, and parted with our cash, happy to get one more wedding-thing out of the way.

It didn’t take very long before we realised we’d made a mistake… Lord Balders had managed to dent his ring after climbing a listed building he really shouldn’t have been larking about on (serves him right, you might say) but that was only the first of many. His ring got a battering at work (window cleaning) and whilst he was doing his favourite things – rock climbing, mountain biking, weightlifting, etc. Despite taking it off most of the time it didn’t seem to help. Eventually it became dinged, dented and scratched all over.


The final straw

Mine was doing much better, apart from taking on a reddish tint from time to time. That was until I was using a wall staple gun to stretch some screens at work, and my ring simply cracked. I couldn’t believe it – just from the pressure of pulling the staple gun handle.


The member of staff we spoke to at Warren James was no help – we were out of our warranty period and besides, they advise customers to take their jewellery off at night before going to bed. Surely a wedding ring should be able to stand up to a night’s sleep?


Buy cheap, buy twice

We ended up taking my cracked ring to an independent jeweller’s in Burnley. They were appalled at the condition of both, and amazed that any mugs would have paid as much as we did for a couple of hollow rings. Yep, because they were hollow, they couldn’t be fixed, and they definitely weren’t worth what we’d paid. I put my cracked ring towards the price of a solid gold secondhand wedding band, which still looks and feels fantastic despite being worn every day.


Lord Balders’ ring has practically collapsed in on itself, and we’ll have to do the same soon. We’ll have paid twice for our wedding rings, just because of wanting to save money. The lesson here is that the cheapest option isn’t always best, and isn’t always cheapest in the long run. Sometimes you’ve got to pay for a higher-quality item that will last – and that’s a lesson we’ll never forget!


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