Styles and functions
Guard rings or ring wraps Contemporary bypass diamond ring Wrap around diamond ring
Ring wraps or ‘guard’ rings
A guard ring, or ‘keeper’ ring is and was historically a close fitting ring design worn on the finger to prevent another more valuable ring from sliding off! When the diamond solitaire ring became popular in the mid eighteenth century, keeper rings were worn to protect the larger more expensive diamond ring. Today this has evolved into all sorts of meaningful and symbolic variances – such as eternity rings and wedding ring ‘jackets’. Nowadays, keeper rings are not really used to guard rings any more but to completely enhance the whole design, aesthetic and symbolic meaning that goes into this most treasured token, the engagement and wedding ring set.
You can see how the ring becomes a grander and fuller version when the two come together. There are many style options available for wrap around ring guards and it allows quite a lot of bespoke and individual ‘play’ with your wedding ring sets.
Even if worn alone, the ring guards can be great rings in their own right, using negative space as a design choice. The engagement ring can be the ring wrap, with a simpler solitaire wedding ring for the centre.
Ring wraps – or Bypass engagement rings
The ring shown above is actually a bypass ring design with a shadow wedding band, but the other reference for a wrap around ring is the varying use of the bypass shank. A bypass shank is where the two arms of the ring shank go in opposite directions to then embrace a central design or centre stone. There are a multitude of design options for bypass rings, using this feature can be very organic and it can also be very structural and contemporary.
The above example shows quite a contemporary and architectural wrap around bypass engagement ring.
In this example, you can see the bypass design being used in an organic wrap around engagement ring.
As with most bespoke engagement rings, don’t forget to consider the wedding ring and how you would like it to fit alongside your engagement ring. Some people prefer a tight matching fit, sometimes referred to as a shadow band, and others don’t mind a slight gap between rings.
– 1st dibs