Women’s engagement rings draw the spotlight with their gorgeous gemstones and wide-ranging designs. But anyone who has ever shopped for a man’s wedding band knows that the options can be overwhelming.
Women create Pinterest boards cluttered with engagement rings, and magazines feature full-page, up-close photos of gorgeous designs. Many men, on the other hand, don’t think much about their wedding bands until it’s time to go out and buy one.
That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate guide to men’s wedding bands. Narrowing down your options can save you an overwhelming decision at the jewellery store. Let’s take a look at the metal options, widths, fit, detailing, and engraving to help you create a suitable and stylish wedding band.
Traditionally, jewellers have crafted men’s wedding rings from platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and palladium, but a few newcomers have recently broken into the scene. Let’s take a closer look at the old favourites as well as cobalt, titanium, tungsten and Mokume Gane (which is actually a mixture of metals).
One of the rarest elements on earth, platinum is extremely durable. Its warm-white lustre is classic and elegant, and platinum also has the benefit of being hypoallergenic. You’ll pay a premium for platinum because it’s so rare, but the luxury and beauty of this metal is incomparable.
White gold shares platinum’s brilliant white colouring, but it comes in at a lower price point. This metal is yellow gold plated with rhodium, and because it’s plated, it may need to be re-coated in the future, especially if it experiences rough handling. For this reason, white gold may not be the best choice for a man who works with his hands in his occupation.
Although the popularity of yellow gold has been eclipsed by white gold in recent years, we’re seeing a resurgence in its demand--and for good reason. Yellow gold has traditionally been a symbol of royalty, and its golden lustre complements every skin tone. If you love classic looks, yellow gold may be the right choice for you.
Less famous but definitely distinctive, rose gold gains its pinkish colouring by the addition of copper in the gold alloy. As of late, men’s luxury watches and other accessories have featured this unique metal. It offers a vintage flair, perfect for men who have a style all their own.
A member of the platinum family, palladium resembles platinum and white gold, but it costs less than either one. It’s durable and hard, but it’s lighter weight than many other metals. Some people prefer a lighter weight band, while others love the heavy presence of platinum. You’ll have fewer design options with palladium, but its benefits are many, including its hypoallergenic nature.
A pure element, cobalt is typically alloyed with other metals when used in jewellery. Most cobalt alloys also include chromium, tungsten and a small amount of molybdenum, carbon, iron, manganese and silicon. Men’s cobalt wedding bands have a similar appearance to white gold or platinum. They’re nickel-free and hypoallergenic. Cobalt is so durable and wear-resistant that it’s commonly used in knee-replacement surgery. Therefore, it will withstand rigorous wear-and-tear; it’s perfect for an active lifestyle.
Lightweight and comfortable, titanium comes in a variety of colours, from white and grey to deepest black. Even though it feels light on your finger, titanium is an incredibly strong metal. Like cobalt, it’s a perfect choice for men who don’t want to worry about scratches and dents.
Here’s another great scratch-resistant option: tungsten carbide. Like titanium, tungsten wedding bands span the colour spectrum from light grey to onyx black. They’re virtually indestructible and available in multiple finishes.
The Japanese term Mokume Gane translates as “woodgrain metal.” By using several different metals, jewellers create a wood-like appearance. It appears modern and organic at the same time, and the technique is making a splash. Traditionally, jewellers used copper, silver and gold alloys, but in the 1990s, innovators started adding space-age metals like titanium, niobium, and tantalum to the mix.
What width feels most comfortable to you? Fuller wedding bands tend to be more expensive because of the additional metal, but you can balance out your budgetary requirements by choosing a less-costly metal if you love a full band. A wide palladium band, for instance, could be a strategic alternative to a thin platinum ring.
Most bands range between 2mm and 7mm. Try on a range of widths and consider the visual impact, the way the rings feel and your range of motion in each width. Weight can be an issue, as well. Heavier metals like platinum may feel burdensome in wider rings, but lighter metals like titanium might feel just right.
As you explore the selection of men’s wedding bands, you’ll probably come across “comfort fit” bands. This term describes a rounded surface on the edges that touch your skin. The rings shape allows it to move freely against your skin as you move your finger. It also allows it to slide on and off your finger with ease.
If you have skinny fingers with large knuckles, you may have a hard time finding a ring that fits well. Most people with this issue end up buying a ring that slides easily over their knuckle, but then it feels loose and doesn’t fit properly. Sizing beads may help your ring to fit better; talk with your jeweller about possible solutions to this problem.
In the past, men haven’t had many styles from which to choose, but those days are gone. Today, between metal finishes, gemstones and personalisation, you can have virtually anything you want.
As far as finishes go, look for matte finishes, mirror polish and hammered rings (which appear to have been pounded with a tiny hammer). Some rings combine several of these finishes into one unique and balanced wedding band.
Diamond and gemstone accents run the gamut from discreet stripes of sapphires to randomly inlaid diamonds.
If you love personal touches, consider having your wedding band engraved. You could add your names and initials, your wedding date, or even your fiance’s fingerprint.
With so many options, you’re sure to find a wedding band that perfectly suits your style, personality and budget. And when you find it, insure it with Q Report jewellery insurance. When the unexpected happens, we’ll be here to repair or replace your treasured wedding band.