I'm very thankful for the European tradition of wedding rings being just plain gold bands. (Engagement rings are traditionally just plain gold bands as well, but in that case De Beers et al have conned us into converting to the American tradition.) Here's what I did: My great-grandfather prospected for gold around Nome in Alaska around 1900, along with Seppala
(they grew up together) and Lindeberg
. He actually found a good little bit of it before he returned to Norway and started a business with the proceeds. However, he kept enough Alaskan gold to furnish himself and his six children with wedding rings, and also a bit of jewelry etc. My grandmother has a pendant which is just a big (say, half-inch long) nugget with a loop attached. Just a couple of weeks before the wedding, my mum gave me great-grandfather's wedding ring, along with a broken watch-chain and tie-pin with nuggets and some golddigger's tool regalia on it. I had it melted down and made into a ring for my wife, and kept the old one for myself:
This cost me all of ~$120 for the work, and I still have a little lump left for whatever use, probably enough for another ring or so.