Does my wedding ring have to be plain gold or can it be a diamond band instead?

Customarily, a Jewish wedding band is made of metal that is unadorned by diamonds or other precious stones. In earlier times (and in some Jewish communities today), the wedding band was a gift from the groom to the bride, and her acceptance of it (as an object of value), indicated her agreement to their marriage contract. For that reason, it was critical that the value of the ring be easily determined, which could be done simply by weighing it. It also was essential that the groom actually own the ring, which gave him the right to give it as a gift. If the groom wished to give his bride an heirloom ring that belonged to his grandmother, for example, he first would have to purchase it from the owner.  

Modern Jewish weddings tend to be egalitarian, so the spouses typically give each other a ring. Many partners choose unadorned metal bands both to adhere to Jewish custom and because an unbroken band can symbolize an unbroken, pure bond between two people.

It not unusual for engagement rings – as opposed to wedding bands – to be adorned with diamonds or other precious gems, and some couples choose to give one another a second, more elaborate wedding ring that can be worn after the ceremony concludes.

If you have a wedding ring in mind that you’d like to use in lieu of a solid gold or silver band, you should speak with your officiant about choosing the type of ring (or rings) that best suit you, your relationship, and your custom.