Mens Wedding Rings – Authoritative Buyers Guide
Highlighting the “authoritative” term is key.
We had an interesting phone call a few days ago. We received a call from the local FBI office in St. George Utah. Alarming? Yes. Caught our attention? Yes is an understatement. He started by saying is this Mens Wedding Bands – the online site that sells mens rings? We answered affirmatively. He then said this is Seth from the St. George FBI office and I have a question for you. We were told that your site is the authority on mens bands and we have a suspect who can only be identified by a picture of his hand with a ring on it. We were wondering if you can identify the make or model number of the ring – can we meet?
Well, were glad that all he wanted was some advice based upon our experience. Although the picture was so blurry that we ultimately could not help him, we were flattered that the FBI in Washington DC identified us as the experts on mens bands. We had never considered this to be the case although we love what we do and have been doing it since 2008.
But does this make us experts? We carry over 800 styles and have a number of sources in the US from which we purchase inventory – in fact these manufacturers have over 100 years of experience in the aggregate. THEY know their stuff and we like to think we have picked up a little wisdom from them through the years.
Our brand stands for a few things – and although we would not include “expert” in the brand identification we would certainly include quality, unique designs, integrity (of character and products) backed by legitimate lifetime warranties, and a stunning array of fashions to meet everyone’s tastes.
In considering a definitive buyers guide based upon real research and experience, we felt compelled to address the following key areas – an overview of aspects to consider when buying, the newest entries into this category – contemporary metals, pricing and warranties. Please read on for a more comprehensive discussion …
What are the essentials when considering purchasing mens wedding bands?
What are the basics? In stock versus out of stock? Form over function? Sizing? And maybe even long-term versus short-term considerations.
Obviously a person can shop in brick and mortar stores these days or online. These are really the two options – give or take. And for the retail experience there are some advantages like actually placing the ring on your finger to make sure it is the right size and you like the look. Hard to argue these points. On the other hand – no pun intended – they charge a price for these services. From our experience the really engaged, savvy shopper does both – they shop retail to “see” what they like and to make sure the size is accurate and then they go online in a comfortable setting and “shop till they drop”! Some online stores have thousands of style and thousands of options when considering engraving and sizing and diamonds and etchings and inlays. A person needs to be prepared to invest some time in the education process – this assures no one will take advantage of you when making the final purchasing decision.
Stocking is pretty easy – do you want a standard ring that can be mass produced in quantity that is easy to stock? Do you want a custom piece that are truly one-of-a-kind? From our experience customers are gravitating more toward the exotic inlays these days – woods, meteorite, dinosaur bone, antler – because they are so rare and so unique. Virtually no two are ever alike. Ever. But you pay more because they are harder to make and the real craftsmen do not give them away. It is easier to put a ring in a mold and mass produce it is to hand set a medley of diamonds or to custom inlay a rare piece of meteorite.
So the topic quickly becomes more complex when considering what you want to wear as a symbol of your commitment and love. A mens band is typically a one-time purchase. And if it is a quality piece it should last throughout your life. So taking the time to make sure you have seen enough, have shopped enough, have visited enough stores, have taken into considerations things like is this a fad or is this ring designed to last a lifetime and not go out of style. IN fact we have a policy in our stores that if someone buys a product from us and after a period of time they decide that is not what they want to stand for – they want a totally different look (not to mention a different size) we try and accommodate them whenever possible … and that is typically each time we are approached by someone wanting to change – to “exchange”.
What are the new alternative or contemporary mens wedding bands?
For this is to be a comprehensive guide to selecting the right band based upon metal, price, style, warranty, and business establishments, it would be short-sighted to not include the new contemporary metals in the discussion.
We are talking about tungsten, titanium, cobalt, and ceramic. There are others but these are the top 4 as of this writing. There are others and they may certainly become main stream in the future – including zirconium, vitalium – but for this discussion we will focus on the top 4.
The precious metals are all well-known and will be sold for the next unforeseen generations – gold, palladium, platinum and even silver. Always in style and very traditional, they are nevertheless losing marketshare to the contemporary newcomers. Why? Simply because contemporary metals like tungsten and titanium are far less expensive to manufacture, they are almost scratch proof (at least highly scratch resistant) and they afford just as many of not more stunning designs as their more traditional and pricing cousins – the precious metals.
Cobalt and ceramic are not step behind the other contemporary materials relative to scratch resistant surfaces – in fact ceramic is so hard that manufacturers have to use diamond bits just to craft and polish the surface. I personally wore a black ceramic ring for a year just to see how it showed wear. I honestly could not tell I had been wearing it when I compared the model to the other new ones in the same design. Not a mar or a scratch to be seen. Pretty impressive.
Why are prices all over the board when shopping for mens rings?
Many rings are made in China these days. Chinese labor is a fraction of what it is in the US. Rings can be made with little markup and at a small fractions of what the same ring would be made for here in America. You can see these rings on Amazon, eBay, Overstock, etc. Most sell for under $50 with some in the $20 range. And they look nice. For now. Many are knock-offs of other popular designs. Many are made in contemporary metals in that solid gold or platinum is expensive regardless of where it is made for the most part. And in most cases they carry no warranty – not even for 90 days.
We carry some wood inlay rings that sell for $400-500.00 and we have seen similar “looking” rings for $40.00. It is amazing. One tenth the price you say!! But when you read the fine print you will see that the wood is actually a laminate, not a solid piece of wood. That it has no coating to prevent water damage. And why should the seller care if there is not implied or written warranty? You have heard that you get what you pay for – and although unfortunately this is not always the case – if it appears too good to be true – it usually is!
Can a fashionable mens band really carry a lifetime warranty – how valid are these warranties?
Check the written language before deciding upon a band that has a warranty.
Does the warranty come with a written guarantee? Does it cover loss of stones – even diamonds? Does it cover the ring if it breaks or discolors or other manufacturing defects?
And is the manufacturer standing behind the warranty or just the seller? If it is just the seller how long have they been in business? Can they back up their claims? Are they a legitimate and long-term player in the fashion jewelry business? If they are and if their warranty is also backed by the manufacturer, chances are one or both will be around if and when you need them – and that is comforting!!
We wish you every success in your search.
Should you have additional questions about the content of this article or if your search leads you to different conclusions, we would love to hear from you. My name is Ron Johnson and I am the author of this article and I would simply love to hear from you on any subject relating to this or any subject in fashion jewelry!
Mens Wedding Bands, Since 2003