Marriage is lovely once you have got the right partner and drive to go through with it. And, since time immemorial, wedding bands have been one of the most integral parts of the whole experience. After all, a marriage is complete only when both sides have exchanged the rings (bands and rings are the same) and read their vows. However, it is often the case that the wedding bands for men end up being quite plain and simple because of a lack of knowledge in this particular area.
After all, most don’t prefer to have a colossal gemstone front and center on their bands. So, what do we men have to do? How can we get good and stylish rings without breaking the bank and the fingers? It is pretty straightforward. Wedding bands for men are not much different than ones for women. The difference lies in the overall presentation. While the ones designed for women are usually meant to draw attention with their beauty and sparkle, the ones for men are generally a bit toned down and subtle.
Another difference lies in the fact that men usually don’t wear rings, unlike most women who have some experience of shopping for and wearing a ring. That isn’t to say that no men wear rings before the marriage; of course, some do! But, it is more of a testament to the fact that in most cases, men usually start wearing these things after the fact. So, if you are marrying and are looking for good wedding bands for men, what are the options? And, how can you know what is good for you?
It is very easy, padawan. You just need to read. We will give you all the necessary information to identify the best wedding bands for men. It all starts with the material.
What Are The Materials Used For Making Wedding Bands For Men?
In today’s world, individuals have a plethora of materials to choose from when it comes to wedding bands for men. While the basic dome-shaped gold ring dates back to the World War 2 era, nowadays, you can find rings made of many unique materials like Palladium and Titanium.
So, let’s start with the most widely used material, gold.
Gold has been the default choice to make wedding bands for men for centuries. It is one of those materials with the perfect combination of rarity, beauty, and monetary value. But gold has a fatal flaw. In its pure form, it is too soft to make a good ring out of. Therefore, jewelry makers often mix different alloys with gold to achieve different color and strength profiles.
Due to this mixing, gold will often have different color variants. Yellow, white, rose, and green gold are the various colored gold wedding bands for men available for purchase. For the same reason as above, it is always advisable to buy gold bands that are 14k or 18k as 24k pure gold is very malleable. While the 18k gold rings are still a touch softer than the 14k counterparts, they offer a good mix of purity and strength. They are also more expensive than their 14k counterparts.
While choosing gold wedding bands for men, it is always a great idea to choose a color that matches your complexion. After all, you don’t want it to look out of place in your hand. You can also consider bands that blend different colors and textures to find one that truly suits you.
Another thing of note is that these days white gold wedding bands for men are quite popular. Now, we all know that gold has a yellow color, and that color leaks into casting no matter what. Therefore, in order to make these trendy white gold rings, the jewelers plate the entire thing with rhodium. Rhodium is a silver-white metallic element that is highly reflective and resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for this use. The only downside is that you will have to constantly maintain it by having it polished and re-plated every year to preserve its appearance.
Even without rhodium, gold is an extremely finicky material by itself. So, even if you own gold bands other than ones made of white gold, you will still need to have them polished whenever you can. Therefore, gold wedding bands for men quickly became overthrown by the next contender on this list.
Platinum is an interesting metal. When people started researching this metal in the 1700s, they were surprised by its strength and natural purity. One of its most important uses early on was as a catalyst in chemical reactions, and its abilities were quite revolutionary. So, how did an industrial substance made its appearance in wedding bands for men?
Well, for this, we will have to go back to ancient Egypt, where, as early as 1200BC, the Egyptians were using it to add bling to the coffins of their Pharaohs. Even native Americans used to make artifacts out of gold-platinum alloys. Therefore, using platinum to make stuff is not something new. What is modern, however, is its use in jewelry items such as wedding bands for men.
When jewelry makers discovered that platinum was a robust material capable of breezing through everyday use and abuse, they quickly adopted this material. Add to this fact the metal’s natural steel-like appearance and its rarity, and you have the perfect combo. Buying a platinum ring can be one of the best choices you can make, as this material’s patina can improve its beauty with age. These wedding bands for men can also be easily resized, and stay tarnish-free, and retain their luster quite well. The best part is that you only need to clean with a gentle soap or detergent to keep it clean and maintain its natural shine. Though, if you are someone who wants to preserve the new look throughout the years, you simply need to get the band polished once a year, and you will be A-OK.
Worry not; this isn’t a scheme to turn you into an inferior Iron Man. If anything, palladium is actually better than platinum and gold in many aspects. Compared to gold, these wedding bands for men are more skin-friendly as they do not contain nickel, which can irritate the skin. When compared with platinum, it is lighter and more comfortable while offering the same look and style.
The only downsides are the fact that, for one, palladium rings are the most expensive of the bunch. And two, they are also easily scratchable when compared to platinum wedding bands for men. So, it is really up to the individual’s budget and tolerance for maintenance when it comes to this particular material.
Wedding bands for men made out of silver are preferred by those who want a subtle but elegant look at an affordable price. Out of all the luxury materials, silver is the most affordable and is also the other most widely used material after gold. Silver is also an excellent metal when it comes to different textures as it has the perfect balance of softness and strength. This quality allows silver rings to have many intricate details that may be pretty hard to reproduce on the other metals.
It is also the downside of silver as it is also easily scratchable due to its nature. This quality makes silver one of the most maintenance-heavy materials as it tarnishes pretty quickly compared to other materials. One also needs to take special care to prevent it from being bent in cases where the ring may be too thin. These wedding bands, therefore, need more frequent polishing and cleaning to preserve their look.
These wedding bands for men are mostly bought in situations where your budget is the most significant limiting factor. Its low price, durability, and looks make it the ideal candidate for price-conscious buyers. Though it does need a lot of care and maintenance to keep its appearance, it isn’t as durable as the other materials when it comes to wear and tear. It is also impossible to resize.
Cobalt wedding bands for men are rapidly rising in popularity due to their steel-like appearance, strength, and cost. While it costs much more than stainless steel rings, it is also more durable and consequently needs less maintenance- the perfect choice for a buyer who’s on a budget but still wants a durable material. Just make sure to get the sizing right as it is also not resizeable.
This metal is perhaps the most balanced material when it comes to qualities that are desirable in wedding bands for men. It is very strong, doesn’t tarnish, is relatively lightweight, and is also very comfortable to wear. On top of that, once you polish it, all signs of wear disappear. It is also as versatile as silver when it comes to different textures and has a similar look. The best part? It comes in black. The downside is, however, the fact that it is nigh impossible to resize.
This material boasts strength and durability similar to platinum. It is also impossible to tarnish and is exceptionally scratch-resistant. Tungsten wedding bands for men differentiate themselves in color and design options available as these rings are as versatile as titanium. The downside is that this material is brittle and has a tendency to chip easily. Hence it is impossible to resize.
What else do you need to consider when buying wedding bands for men?
The other things to consider when selecting the best wedding bands for men are the band’s finish, texture, and shape. Along with the material, these things also play a key role in the overall appearance and usability. Let’s start with the finishes first.
The Different Finishes.
As the name suggests, these wedding bands for men have a mirror-like finish, are smooth to the touch, and require copious amounts of polishing to retain the look.
Satin rings aim for a diffusive look instead of a reflective one. They have an excellent luster and are smooth to touch.
It is an even subtler sheen than satin. It is almost to the point that one may think it is a worn-out ring.
It comes with the same diffused look as satin/matte but has a tactile texture.
These types of rings are preferred by people who like a rough finish. However, they are a pain to maintain as the finish can very quickly wear off, and you will have to get it maintained constantly to preserve the finish.
These wedding bands for men are sought after by those bored of the smooth and clean look. The hammering offers a unique texture, and the tiny craters on the surface stave off the monotonous nature of a consistent finish. These types of rings can have a shiny/matte characteristic depending on your preference.
The Different Shapes.
Dome-shaped wedding bands for men have been the go-to choice throughout the ages.
Flat-shaped bands are the contemporary counterparts of the former.
Beveled rings have stylistic and angled edges to give a ring a more rounded look. These rings offer the best balance for those wishing to be modern while respecting the classics as they lie between the flat and dome shapes.
Knife-edged bands are exactly what they sound like. These bands usually have sloping edges which converge in the middle to impart a sharp look.
Coin-shaped rings are also self-explanatory as they contain sides that are similar in appearance to the small cuts that run along the perimeter of a coin.
Step-shaped wedding bands for men contain numerous ridges that add more depth to an otherwise plain band.
The Different Designs
When it comes to wedding bands for men, there are a variety of options to choose from.
1. Mokume Gane – An ancient technique of mixing different colored metals to achieve a unique pattern. This technique hails from Japan and produces one of the most aesthetically pleasing rings.
2. Granulation – This ancient style makes use of tiny beads/granules. Jewelers usually fuse these granules to the surface of a yellow gold ring to give it a nice look.
3. Milgrain – This pattern refers to the tiny indents made by a jeweler on the border of a ring to give it a bead-like appearance.
4. Braided – These wedding bands for men feature a rope-like appearance which is often used to signify infinity and continuity.
5. Recessed Stripe – These minimalistic bands have a single line or lines running through the center of the ring.
6. Linear/Scattered Patterns – Refers to rings with gemstones laid in a specific pattern.
How to find the right size?
To find a size that fits you perfectly, you can either go to a store/jeweler and let them measure your finger. Or, if you don’t like human contact or wish to buy wedding bands for men online, you can buy a kit like the one shown below from Amazon. As for what is considered a perfect fit, the ring should be loose enough to pass over your knuckles easily, but it should be tight enough not to slip away when you are waving your hands furiously.
Depending on the purity, gold rings can cost in the range of $350-$1,000. Meanwhile, the platinum ones can easily cost you $1,000-$1,200. As for the affordable options, the tungsten ones cost in the range of $200-$300. At the same time, the steel bands can cost up to $150-$200. Of course, the price for these wedding bands for men can vary dramatically depending on your choice of gemstones or intricate details. Therefore, you should carefully consider everything according to your budget.
While shopping for wedding bands for men may seem very easy, it actually has more depth than you may expect. Hence, our advice would be to start looking for the options at least two to three months before the big day. Because only then will you have sufficient time to choose a ring which is perfect for your budget and comfort level.
Well, now that you are equipped with enough information to buy the perfect wedding band for yourself, why not read this article about Man Cave ideas and make a cool one for yourself!