Don't get me wrong, I like the Bling - but as I've matured, I've realized that it's not about the ring.
Your commitment is to the person, not to the ring.
Your commitment is to the act of wearing a ring - any ring.
I totally understand the process of looking at rings as if it were your last. Traditionally, you should be wearing THIS ring forever. It's a little bit like picking your mate. This person will be the last person you're with. They'll be with you forever.
I get it.
I'm sure you wouldn't be shocked to know I had a few sets of rings while I was married.
He proposed just after he graduated from college. We were broke.
He spent $50 on a fake diamond at Wal-Mart. I LOVED it. I loved it and wore it off and on the entire time we were married. He was embarrassed by the fact that it was cheap and fake. I wasn't. He made me promise not to tell anyone, but I told a few people I was close to because they all wanted to know how two broke kids could afford such a high-quality 1 ct. solitaire. When we married, I paired it with a silver wedding band from James Avery that cost $35. I still have them both and they mean more to me than the real diamonds we upgraded to over the years. They were given out of love at one of the happiest times in our lives - when we thought we couldn't live without each other. If they were ever stolen, I'd cry harder over those two rings than almost anything else I'd lose.
A few years into our marriage I got a real diamond. In a setting with smaller diamonds around it on a delicately carved band. It was beautiful.
After the kids came, I realized that both the fancy new ring and the plain solitaire ring were a bit impractical. (As evidenced by the scar on my son's face that he reminds me is my fault often.) At this point I got anniversary bands. They didn't have a setting with a stone sticking up but were 3 bands of channel set diamonds off varying sizes in an antique style. I wore those for years and years. They added sparkle without risking scratching the little ones with a protruding diamond. I liked the uniqueness of this set. No one had anything like these.
Throughout my marriage, I swapped the rings around and wore whichever I wanted based on the situation or activity we were doing.
I have all of them, still, and I let my kids look at them when they ask. I'm sure to tell them about why I got each ring and how they changed and evolved with us as our life progressed and evolved.
It's less about the ring and more about wearing the ring. It has to fit you and your lifestyle. That would be my advise to my children when they get to an age where wedding ring shopping becomes a serious topic.