Everything You Wanted to Know About Wedding Rings
Weddings bands are now in-trend. Grooms never had such an enormous selection of fashionable and highly personalized wedding bands like now. A band is seen as an everlasting promise of love and commitment the couple shares. It is a profound reminder of the promises the couple has made to each other, and a clear gesture to show their love – is forever!
The circular, unbroken design of the band is seen symbolic of the enduring nature of love, and exchanged as an emblem of forever love, pride, and faithfulness. The practical or social message a man’s wedding ring would convey is that he is “taken.” Of course we are not going to get into the strong argument that tells how wedding bands make men even more desirable to some women, considering no or lesser possibility of a long time attachment.
A wedding ring/band would serve as a daily reminder that you have found the perfect partner. Probably the most worn fine jewelry in the lifetime by a man, a band is known to best represents the person and the relationship as a couple. However, some men don’t want/like to wear bands in spite of all the style and statement they tend to offer. Let’s take a quick glance into their perspective.
Men Who Omit the Wedding Ring…
A popular perception when a man, or even a woman too, go “ringless” is that he/she is trying to hide their marriage status and broadcast a silent message of availability. An inability to fully commit or a desire to be free, may be? However, the case is not so, always. Prince William, who married Kate Middleton in 2011, made a choice of not wearing the wedding ring – not even a signet ring – completely out of personal preference. But, that’s their choice. Some men can afford a missed chance to flaunt a style statement, but can you? No. Never miss any. What would be more interesting to know is how she looks at wearing wedding rings.
Wedding Rings – From A Female’s Perspective
“…one of the ladies I know chose a platinum band for her man because she believed it traditionally symbolizes a relationship that will endure since it doesn't fade or change color.”
The different reasons and ideas behind choosing and wearing wedding rings can go beyond our imagination. For women, anything can be too less and too much – all at the same time. Talk about those adorable sweet wives, and you will know how a piece symbolizes a never-ending circle of eternal love, which they want their man to flaunt – publicly. A lot of women would relate themselves with the promises, love, and commitment they wish to convey to their beloved man through wedding rings. But for those smart, shrewd ones, a wedding ring is a tag on the man itself that invisibly says “Back-off ladies, He’s taken.”
Women would be the most excited creatures you could see around when it comes to hitting the stores to buy a wedding ring. They would want the best designs for the-man of their life without being ready to compromise on the quality, while still keeping it economical. The love for shine and luster with the gold mens wedding bands’ classy-look can please even the most discerning woman souls.
Some would agree that there are basically two camps: those who would not compromise when it comes to quality and those who would happily settle down with something below the best to keep expenses low. The first category would mostly look for platinum and gold bands; second would be okay with alternative metals.
Gold vs Platinum – What’s the Best Metal for Your Wedding Ring
While gold has been the most time-honored choice for wedding rings, platinum bands are enjoying increased popularity as the modern alternative to gold. Treated under the category of precious metals, gold and platinum are placed in the upper tier of the wedding jewelry. Unique and distinct, yet so similar! Let’s take a look on the pluses and minuses of these two highly-regarded precious metals based on their color, comfort, durability, and cost.
Gold is naturally yellow in color and is known to be the most popular jewelry metal choice since ancient period. In past few decades, the white gold (white in color) and rose gold (rosy/champagne color) options have also become a popular choice among the modern men. White gold is actually yellow gold alloyed with other metals like nickel or zinc, which gives it a white hue. The rhodium plating lends it a hard, reflective surface (similar to that of platinum). Rose gold, on the other hand, contains copper to attain its rich, warm color. The mixed gold tones in a single band are also gaining much popularity.
Platinum is a valuable, shiny, and beautiful white color metal that is offered in its soft, satiny finish. Platinum is known to be 30 times rarer than gold, and thus a top-choice for valuable engagement rings and bands.
When it comes to comfort – gold or platinum – it’s a personal choice. A fact to consider is platinum is denser and hence, platinum bands are relatively heavier than the gold ones. If you prefer heavier bands, the heft of platinum would definitely make a good option. One the other hand, if a man prefers a lightweight feel, a gold mens wedding band is something the finger is waiting to get adorned with.
The hypoallergenic nature of the platinum metal is another reason why platinum becomes a much preferred choice among modern couples. By this, however, we are not saying a gold ring is prone to create allergy issues. The use of nickel in white gold bands might be the reason of possible allergic reactions to people with sensitive skin types.
No matter what metal you choice, a comfortable design is what you should opt for. And if you are going to wear the band with your engagement ring, then the band must complement its design to attain a comfortable feel.
Platinum has long been a popular jewelry metal until when the authorities decided to take it off the market for use in military applications during wartime only. However, it has reappeared in the market in the past couple of decades and became popular amongst the rich and famous for its sophisticated appeal. Though both gold and platinum are strong and durable, the latter is stronger and more durable from the two. Platinum is 40% heavier than 14K gold. The denser and stronger nature of the platinum metal makes it more difficult to bend or break. The prongs holding made of platinum are less likely to break and require less maintenance over time, as compared to gold rings.
Measured on a karat scale, the purest form (24K) of gold is soft, can bend with daily wear, and thus not preferred for jewelry purposes. The 14K (contains 58.5% pure gold) and 18K (contains 75% pure gold) are made by mixing gold with other metals to improve strength and durability.
Interestingly, though platinum is stronger and more durable, it gets scratched a little more easily than 14K gold would. Nevertheless, the high durability of platinum will cause to it to lose far less metal than less durable metals, like gold or silver. The scratched surface will develop a patina, which makes it look a little grayish and dull. However, call it the platinum charm, but a lot of people fancy and desire that antique or worn look of this patina finish too. With gold, you actually lose the metal and it is easily visible as a scratch.
Again the good news is that re-polishing can easily remove the scratches, and your gold or platinum wedding ring will look new.
Platinum is 30 times rarer than gold, and is annually mined in much lesser quantity than gold – which makes it clearly more valuable. With almost the same metal price (per ounce) of platinum and gold, platinum being denser is required in more amount than gold (and other precious metals) in making a same weight wedding ring. All these statements clearly prove a gold setting costs much less than a comparable setting in platinum. White gold, which has more or less the same white color as platinum, can save wedding couples quite a bit of money. These savings are definitely help the couple to upgrade the quality of the band’s center stone.
That’s not all. Explore the World of Jewelry Metals – from Traditional to Ultra-modern
Well, clearly gold and platinum are not the only metal options in the world of jewelry. There are a lot of other metal choices for your wedding rings with their own set of advantages for looks, durability, and cost. There exists a whole new world of lightweight, modern-looking, and contemporary metals for wedding rings—especially for men who shrink away from wearing jewelry.
Ranging from shiny white to grayish white, silver has been a much preferred, traditional precious metal choice for couples seeing its affordability. Wedding are already a costly affair and for some people adding a pricey band to the bill can make things go totally out of the hands. Pure silver mixed with copper make a more durable option – Sterling Silver. Like gold, the pure silver is too soft and prone to scratches, dings, and changing shapes over time. No doubt, all metals wear over time, but silver will go through the process much faster.
An alloy of cobalt and chromium – cobalt chrome – is a premium bright white metal first created for use in medical and aerospace industries but now marketed as a contemporary metal for bands. This durable metal possess an everlasting and uncompromising strength that is 4x harder than platinum, 5x harder than gold, and 7x harder than silver. Cobalt bands have an extremely high resistance to scratching (1043 HV) and can tolerate slight sizing adjustments without adding or removing any metal. Moreover, cobalt chrome bands are free of harmful nickel that can cause allergic reactions.
Palladium is a true epitome of modern elegance. Exquisitely crafted in both classic and contemporary styles, palladium bands contain 95% palladium and 5% ruthenium. Naturally white, strong, hypoallergenic (nickel-free), and virtually tarnish-proof – palladium shares some of the unique characteristics and physical properties of platinum. For those looking for a platinum-look on the price of a gold ring, palladium will certainly make a great alternative. Less costly than platinum and in the range closer to 14K gold bands, palladium indeed makes a perfect choice.
Titanium is the answer to those looking for durability with affordability. Considered to be one of the strongest metals in jewelry industry, it is also a relatively low maintenance metal to have. The lightweight nature can make a refreshing difference, especially to men, who are not used to wearing jewelry bands. Due to its incredible strength and durability, titanium is difficult to cut and shape as compared to other precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. This leads to problems in re-sizing the titanium rings. When going for a titanium band, great care should be taken when sizing your finger. However, in situations where cutting off through the ring becomes a necessity, it can be done using the right jewelry tools.
Tungsten bands flaunt a brilliant, hard-looking shine that make them a contemporary choice for modern men. It is combined with a carbon alloy to make tungsten carbide that has a hardness between 8.5 and 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. The strength and durability come handy with this silvery metal alloy as it is four times harder than titanium, twice as hard as steel. Being virtually unscratchable, it has been used widely in industrial applications, such as mining machinery, cutting tools, etc. Tungsten faces the same problem as titanium when it comes to re-sizing – it can’t be cut and re-soldered, however can be removed by cutting off using a cutting tool.
Still a Gold-Lover? Here’s What You Need to Know before Buying a Men’s Gold Wedding Ring.
Gold Karats (K) for Wedding Rings
The most common types of gold alloys used for making gold wedding rings and engagement rings are: 18 karat gold and 14 karat gold, followed by 10 karat gold. Karat measures gold purity – not to be confused with carats, a measure of gem weight. The 24K gold means 24 parts of gold – is pure – but too soft and prone of easily damage. Based on weight measurement,
- 18 karat gold is 75% pure gold
- 14 karat gold is 58.3% pure gold
- 10 karat gold is 41.6% pure gold
The gold metal is alloyed with other metals like copper, silver, palladium, platinum, or nickel to create different forms of gold karats and various color varieties, such as bronze, peach, red, and lime gold. The higher the proportion of gold used in the final metal, the more valuable and expensive the gold mens wedding band is!
Pros and Cons of Gold Wedding Rings
The soft nature and high malleability of gold allows jewelers to easily create endless styles of gold wedding bands accented with hundreds of possible custom made designs, complex patterns, intricate carvings, and inlays with other exquisite metals or stones. The large selection available in women’s and mens gold wedding bands also makes it a perfect choice when going for matching sets. The different types of gold bands shine with their own distinct inner warmth, which makes each one truly unique. While yellow gold is an epitome of the much-sought traditional look and rose gold is loved for its charming vintage look (back in vogue!), the white gold, a bit more expensive than the other two, is popular as an alternative to platinum for its bright lustrous white color. Gold wedding bands are resistant to oxidation but develop a rich patina layer with time. This patina look is sometimes very desirable as it showcases an antique and vintage aura. What makes the metal more user-friendly is its easy sizeable nature, unlike titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel rings.
Gold mens wedding rings are the best bet when looking for an alternative to the highly priced platinum wedding bands. Also, re-polishing to get away with scratches and dings is also much economical in comparison with palladium or platinum bands.
But like every precious entity, gold bands are also destined with some cons too. The rhodium plating done in white gold metal has to be continually applied at frequent intervals to maintain its rich, lustrous appeal – this leads to dealing with the extra maintenance costs. Also, white gold is an alloy of pure yellow gold, containing portions of nickel. People with sensitive skins or with allergy to nickel may get allergic reactions due to this metal. The chemical sensitivity of gold – regardless of the color – with chlorine makes it a poor choice to be worn in swimming pools or hot tubs as it could become discolored or pitted.
Band Size and Band Width
The band’s size includes two different aspects of the band: the band size and the cross-sectional width of the ring. In order to determine the accurate band size, it is best advised to measure the finger’s size by a professional jeweler. Any jewelry store can help you measure your fingers – you just have to choose the finger you want to adorn the band. However, it is important to make a good effort to get the correct size initially with fancier gold mens wedding bands featuring channel-set diamonds or other special designs because such gold bands are very difficult to re-size.
When shopping your band online, it may get difficult to determine the exact size, especially if you don’t have another band for size comparison. A good idea is to consult the size charts offered by many online merchants—but do not rely on a single size chart. It is always a better idea to compare the results of several size charts before final placement of the order. When a band for comparison is unavailable, you may choose a piece of string to measure your finger. Follow the guidelines clearly on exactly which part of your finger to measure and you are good to go!
As far as the thickness of the band is concerned, it is mostly more of an individual’s choice. A general rule of band thickness says, wider bands with a long cross-section seem more “manly.” Men with larger or thinner fingers usually go for a thicker band while those with short or more flesh should go for thinner, slicker bands.
Since gold is priced by weight – thicker the band, higher it would cost. So, with gold mens wedding rings, the budget outlined for the wedding ring may also play an important role in deciding your band’s width and size.
Platinum Prongs in Gold Wedding Rings
When going for gold wedding rings with a prong setting to hold the precious diamond stone, very often you would see “white” prongs. A popular reason for a white prong is that if your stone is colorless or nearly colorless, yellow gold prongs would give it a slight yellow tint, which somewhat spoils the bright shine of the precious stone. But white could be either white gold or platinum. Though white gold and platinum are both highly durable, in case the rhodium plating of white gold wears off and exposes the gold alloy underneath, white gold can cause skin irritation in people allergic to the metal (due to the presence of nickel). Also, white gold reacts easily with chemicals, such as chlorine, found in water used in various domestic applications. Ultimately, it may lead to getting the prongs damaged. Platinum, being up to 95% pure content, does not have to deal with any such complications. Known for its strength and lasting nature, you don’t have to worry about broken platinum prongs.
Hallmarked Gold Jewelry
Last but certainly not the least, never disregard the value of hallmarked jewelry. It is important to understand that there are variations in gold based on its purity, quality, and price and ‘hallmarking’ gives an indication of through checking of the jewel’s purity and quality. For this reason, it has been made a standard across the industry to let customers make more informed decisions about what they are buying.