The Gentleman’s Guide to Buying Men’s Wedding Bands
A wedding is a beautiful and joyous occasion. In fact, it is something which cannot be easily expressed by words. It’s a transition from the carefree bachelor life to the mature responsible life. It’s the festive beginning to a new life.
But no matter how beautiful and exciting the occasion is the truth is that it the days leading to a wedding are very stressful. Planning your wedding, is often more complex than you have ever thought. It’s the first major activity you and your fiancée undertake together. And there is a lot to be thought about and done, right from the choice of the venue to the wedding cake. And on top of all this, you have to choose the perfect attire for the wedding. Unlike brides who will plan each and every minute details of their wedding attire carefully, the groom hardly gives any serious thought about it till the last moment. But if there is one item in their attire which a groom needs to select very carefully, it is the wedding ring. Because,
So it is very essential to give some thought on choosing your wedding band. So before you begin choosing your wedding ring, you need to consider these factors.
ü Comfort to Wear
Comfort is the most essential factor to consider when you choose a men’s wedding ring. It is something you will be wearing for the rest of your life. So you wouldn’t want to choose a ring that would be uncomfortable to wear. The comfort of a ring depends on its shape and width. A comfortable ring design will have soft rounded edges. Even a flat band can feature a slightly rounded edge for maximum comfort. Also you should ensure the ring is the right size by having a fitting. Generally wider bands are needed for larger hands and fingers.
ü Unique Design
Just like the comfort, the design of the ring is also equally important. Since you would be wearing it throughout, you would need it to be in the best design as possible. Gemstones are less common in men’s wedding rings, and their fragile nature may make them unsuitable. Patterns and inscriptions can be very popular and may suit more ornate tastes than a simple band.
Your wedding ring is not just an ornament; it’s something which you will wear at most times. So the ring must be suited to your career and other activities. For e.g. if your profession involves manual labor and other such activities, it’s advisable to choose a ring that is strong and durable.
So once you have considered the above factors, the next step is choosing the ring. Knowing about the different metals is the first and foremost step for finding the perfect men’s wedding band. Unlike before, there are many different metals available right now in the market, each with its own special characteristics and specifications. The special properties of each metal offers unique style as well as distinct advantages. So here are the different metals that you need to consider before buying a wedding ring.
Silver is traditionally the most used metal for wedding bands. Silver has been valued for centuries and once was considered more valuable than gold. But today it is one of the most affordable metals to be used in the jewelry. Like gold, pure silver is also too soft to be used in jewelry. So instead of pure silver, an alloy known as Sterling Silver is used to make the wedding bands. Sterling silver is basically silver combined with other metals such as copper to boost its strength. Sterling silver must contain at least 92.5% pure silver, which is why it’s stamped as .925. Although it is harder than pure silver, it’s still one of the softer metals and can get scratched and marked easily. If you are choosing silver wedding bands, proper care is essential. Silver tarnishes, so the silver wedding rings should be stored in tarnish- preventive bags and also should be kept in a cool, dry place. Also, you should never use tissue paper or paper towels to dry it as it will easily cause scratches on the band.
Gold engagement rings are romantic and eternal. Gold is the popular choice of metal used for men’s wedding bands due to the increasing value of the ring as well as the fact that gold does not rust. Gold is soft, dense and the most malleable metal and also gold never rust. The things to consider when choosing a gold men’s wedding band is the carat. The most common used carats for wedding bands are 9k, 14k and 18k.The higher the proportion of gold used the more valuable the ring will be. Also, the alloy that is mixed gold affects its color. The most commonly used colors of gold are,
ü Yellow Gold, which is pure gold mixed with a little silver and copper for a warm look.
ü White Gold, which is pure gold combined with palladium and silver or with nickel, copper and zinc. Adding Rhodium plating improves its whiteness and durability.
ü Green Gold whichis actually yellowish-green in appearance and is made by mixing pure gold with silver.
ü Pink and Rose Gold, these reddish gold options are getting increasingly popular. These are made by mixing gold with copper and more the copper, the redder the resulting metal will be.
Platinum is the newest trend among men’s wedding bands. Its rise in popularity over the years is due to its high value and its durability. Platinum has a soft white hue. It’s 30 times rarer than gold and 40% heavier than 14K gold — and it doesn’t tarnish or oxidize. Because of its hardness, the details of intricately engraved or embellished rings often look sharper and more precise when done in platinum. Also the fact that platinum in jewelry is 90% to 95% pure makes it an excellent choice for your wedding bands. But a platinum ring costs almost twice the price of an 18 karat white gold ring. Over time, platinum rings also will wear and scratch with use. However it can be polished at the jeweler to remove any scratches.
Titanium is one of the hardest natural metals and highly durable. The popularity of Titanium bands among wedding bands is due to the fact that it is light weight and lasts forever, even when worn daily. Titanium is normally black gray or silver in color, often has inlays of other metals and generally come with polished or satin finishes. The greatest advantage of Titanium is that, Titanium jewelry doesn’t include alloys and is hypoallergenic and therefore safe for anyone to wear it as it will not react to the skin. Taking care of the jewelry is also easier as Titanium is one of the strongest and most scratch-resistant metals available for wedding rings. The only drawback is that Titanium cannot be soldered, so that Titanium rings cannot be normally resized.
Tungsten is almost four times harder than Titanium and offers a brilliant, hard looking shine. Similar to Titanium, Tungsten is also scratch resistant and do not bend, making it ideal for those who works in tough environments. Tungsten has a grey-white color which is similar to white gold or titanium. The greatest advantage of Tungsten rings over other metals is that it has a permanent polish which makes them look bright and shiny and therefore doesn’t need to be re-polished. Also, tungsten rings are less expensive than gold and platinum. Due to its hardness, tungsten rings needs hardly any maintenance, but like titanium it also cannot be resized.
Cobalt wedding rings are newcomers to the industry but are rapidly gaining popularity. Cobalt too is hypoallergenic and very hard, making it durable for a lifetime. Cobalt is a bright white metal, giving it an appearance similar to white gold and platinum. Cobalt is a very strong metal, making it highly resistant to scratches and requires little or no maintenance. Another great advantage of cobalt is that it is very malleable and can be crafted into a plethora of unique shapes.
Stainless steel wedding bands are quickly gaining popularity owing to its strength, durability and affordability. It is shiny and strong and can be polished to get different looks like matte look of pewter or reflective look of chrome. The reason it is appealing to men is that you need not worry about smudges or stains and therefore has a low maintenance. You can easily clean stainless steel jewelry with dish soap, water and cloth.
Recent Trends in Men’s Wedding Bands
Other than the above mentioned there are some new materials that are getting popular for wedding bands.
Palladium wedding rings are getting popular for its natural white color which does not tarnish. It is a precious metal that falls under platinum group of metals. Like platinum,palladium also does not tarnish, is very flexible and is hypoallergenic as well. But it has a darker, greyer tone than platinum and has lower density which makes it less costly.
Ceramic is an excellent option for wedding bands as it cost effective and durable. One of its greatest features is its shine and glossy finish when the ring is polished. In fact, it is often said to have the best qualities of both titanium and tungsten carbide as it is lightweight, scratch resistant.
Polished wood can be crafted into splendid wooden wedding band for men by combining it with other metals, such as gold or platinum or either using it on its own. But the drawback of using wood I wedding rings is that it is far more vulnerable to damage and destruction than a metal ring and also it is difficult to clean.
These are the various choices of materials for men’s wedding bands. Each metal makes a statement about your style and each has advantages for looks, sturdiness and cost. A wedding ring is an investment both emotional and financial irrespective of whether the bride or the groom wears it.
So choose a wedding band which you like and which suits you, the one which remains as a symbol of the love that you share with your better half.