What is a ring?
Well, if you ignore the ornamentation and the glitz around a ring, it is essentially a circle. Just like a circle which is never ending, it symbolizes a relationship that lasts forever or at least a hopeful journey which is supposed to stand the test of time. So simple yet so deep, its meaning is what makes it integral to a wedding.
What is a band?
A band or a ring are interchangeably used for describing the same thing, however there is a small distinction between the two. A band, by definition, is a single metal ring; and a ring is essentially a decorated band. The fine line between a ring and a band seems to have been wiped away with time. Men who used to prefer simple bands are no longer stuck to the old adage of men being less sophisticated in dressing than women. Rings with glittering stones are available for metrosexual men who do not compromise on looking good. Men, who still believe their masculinity is defined by the type of band they wear, still swear by single metal bands.
Symbolism of Finger on Which A Ring or a Band Is Worn
1. Little Finger or Pinkie: Wearing a ring on this finger does not have any religious or cultural symbolism which makes it ideal for wearing your personal “statement” ring. As the ring is isolated from the body, it can be used for making an eye-popping statement. Pinkie may not have any cultural connections, but it still has some astrological associations. The little finger is linked with intelligence and persuasion. You can wear your style smartly on your pinkie and flaunt it with complete abandon.
2. The Fourth or Ring Finger: This finger is synonymous with wedding. The ring finger is associated with Earth’s moon, beauty, and creativity. Importantly, it is linked with romantic relationships which make it ideal for showcasing a marital union. Mens wedding rings worn on this finger portrays his love for his spouse and allegiance to her.
3. The Middle Finger: This finger may be synonymous with the obvious hand gesture but it also has its own symbolism. It is related with balance and responsibility. Essential for dexterous task, this finger should not be laden with heavier rings as that can cause restriction in hand movement. However, you can opt for lighter rings for this finger if wearing a ring on your pinkie makes you cringe.
4. The Index or Pointer Finger: Index finger is heavily associated with wearing rings in the past. It is the perfect place for adorning fraternal rings, class rings, or family and membership crests. As far as astrology is concerned, pointer finger is associated with Jupiter which symbolizes leadership, authority, and power. Though tin is considered to be the right metal for Jupiter, bright silver color rings are preferred for this finger.
5. The Thumb: In a lot of societies a thumb ring on a man symbolizes wealth and influence. If you are already wearing a wedding ring, thumb is a great place to wear on your second ring. Thumb does not have any astrological significance, but in the ancient times it was an indicator of your mindset. If you are into big and heavy rings, thumb is the perfect place to wear them.
Rings and bands are all about personal style. The number and the type of rings a man wear is all about his preferences. However, a wedding ring for a man is an essential piece of jewelry that needs to be selected with utmost care.
Evolution of Mens Wedding Rings
The oldest recorded exchange of rings has been recorded almost 5 thousand years ago. At that time, sedges, rushes and reeds, which used to grow alongside papyrus were twisted and braided into rings for fingers. These rings were hardly durable, and were readily replaced with better lasting rings made of leather, bone, or ivory. The pricier the material in which the rings were made of, the better was the response from the lover; a trend followed till date.
Rings mirroring the modern rings were not developed till the Romans jumped onto the bandwagon of creating rings. Roman wedding rings were forged in iron. These rings were called “Anulus Pronubus” and symbolized strength and permanence. Not until 860 A.D., these wedding rings were first used in marriage ceremonies. Wedding rings those days were decorated with engraved doves, two linked hands, or Iyers. Such ornamentation of rings was not supported by churches and the rings were simplified as per their recommendations for the purpose of marriage. Later such restrictions on designs were uplifted, thanks to which you don’t have to worry about any opposition from “The Minister” when you are exchanging rings on your wedding.
Metal Choice for your Mens Wedding Rings
If you have been on a hunt for a wedding ring for long but could not make up your mind on the metal in which you should buy your ring, you are not alone. Many people take months in choosing their rings and their reason for delay is the choice of metal. While choosing your ring remember: There is no best metal for any ring, but there is a right metal for your ring. Choose the metal as per your preference. If you have no knowledge of metals and their significance, you are at the right place.
There are three parameters which should be kept in mind before choosing a metal: Appearance, Purity, and Care.
There is no denying that how a wedding band looks should be the primary consideration before buying it. Gold has always been a standard for engagement and wedding jewelry. It has a yellow hue and beautiful luster. The alloy that’s mixed with gold affects its color. The different colors in which gold can be found in includes: Yellow Gold, White Gold, Green Gold, and Pink and Rose Gold. If you are looking for a premium ring, platinum can be a good consideration. It comes with a soft white hue and is quite rare. It is almost 40% heavier than 14 K gold and much more expensive. As platinum is quite hard, the details of finely engraved rings often look sharper and better. If you are looking for something cheaper yet classy, Sterling Silver is an excellent option. It has hues which vary from bright white to grayish white. Sterling Silver can have a matte or shiny finish.
There are certain alternative metals which may not have been mainstream, but are readily used in making rings off late. One such metal is Cobalt which is bright white in color. It gives the appearance of platinum, but can be bought at highly reduced price. It’s heavier than other alternative metals and perfect for those who want to add weight to their wedding jewelry. Shiny and strong, stainless steel rings have also found a way into the market. This versatile metal can be polished for creating different looks. With stainless steel, you can get a matte look of pewter or the reflective look of chrome. Though it is not heavily used, some people like its sturdy and modern appearance. For men who want to showcase their toughness through their mens wedding rings, titanium is the metal of choice. Black, gray or silver, titanium rings are available in the market with inlays of other metals. These rings commonly come with polished or satin finishes. Hard gets harder when you move to Tungsten from Titanium. Almost 4 times stronger than Titanium, Tungsten rings create a brilliant and hard-looking shine.
Discussion on metal purity needs the mention of gold just like basketball needs the mention of Jordan. Gold purity is measured in karats. Karats are divided into 24 parts; however, 24 K gold is soft and needs to be mixed with other metals for durability. What it means is that, though gold could be found in its purest form, it is generally available as a mixture of gold with a different metal. The other fascinating option for mens bands, Platinum in jewelry, is 90% to 95% pure. Just like gold, pure silver is too soft for its use in jewelry. It’s combined with metals like copper to boost its strength. Sterling silver which is widely used in jewelry consists of at least 92.5% pure silver.
Alternative metals also have their own purity percentage when used as jewelry. When stainless steel is used for making jewelry, it is mixed with at least 10.5% chromium in order to resist oxidation. Titanium and Tungsten jewelry don’t include alloys and are hypoallergenic.
As generally men are not as caring as women when it comes to looking after jewelry, they should consider the care aspect thoroughly before making a purchase. Platinum jewelry wears off and gets scratched over time with use and needs to be taken to a jeweler for polishing. Gold is quite simple to clean as it requires gentle rubbing with a soft cloth to maintain its shine and smoothness. If you are planning to buy a silver band, you should remember that it tarnishes easily. It needs to be stored in a tarnish-preventive bags in a cool, dry place. Use of tissue paper or paper towels for drying it should be avoided as they can scratch sterling silver.
Compared to mainstream metals, alternate metals do not require much care. Cobalt rings are scratch-resistant and can be worn with abandon without the need of daily care. Steel rings may get dirty, but they can be cleaned easily with ordinary dish soap, water and a soft cloth. Titanium is one of the strongest and most scratch-resistant metals available for wedding rings. Jewelry made in Tungsten also does not require much care. For people who want to buy and not care too much about their jewelry, alternate metals can be a great choice.
Wedding ring trends
Men prefer to wear plain wedding rings. Though these bands are simple, they make a very elegant and stylish statement. From classic to tribal and block to hammered patterns, there are different choices available. Considered feminine in the past, light gold and rose gold bands are hot choices for men these days.
If you do not want to compromise on your masculinity; titanium, tungsten, and ceramic serve as great options. For people who prefer white over any other color for its pure appeal, platinum and steel wedding bands are the best. These delightful bands will leave you with your mouth opened wide with their resplendence and allure. Such is the finery and artistry behind their creation, every intricate detail so mesmerizingly appealing, that you will not want to take them off, ever.
Studded Mens Wedding Bands or Mens Wedding Rings
As mentioned before, there is not much difference between a mens wedding ring and a wedding ring. However, a stone studded band may look more like a ring and can be used for adding oomph and flair to your fingers. Without being overtly feminine, these bands are created while keeping the gender of the wearer in mind. Subtly decorated with stones, Mens Wedding rings offer an innovative and creative way to show your flamboyant side. Such wedding bands are supported by renowned actors who have been seen sporting them at award shows and interviews.
When Johnny Depp proposed to his “The Rum Diaries” co-star, Amber Heard, the ring he’d chosen was a bit too big for her fingers. Instead of getting it resized, Mr. Depp opted to buy another ring for her soon-to-be wife. Left with the larger ring, he decided to wear it by himself. This clearly shows that the line between men’s band and women’s ring has blurred down to a level where the line is not even visible anymore.
How to buy the perfect Mens Wedding Rings?
1. Go Shopping Together
Buying wedding rings can be quite a confusing task, especially when you have not had a long courtship; it becomes quite difficult to choose the right ring for your soon-to-be spouse. What better way to spend some time together than searching for that perfect ring by browsing through stores together.
2. Narrow down your choices with the right approach
Take the selection process one step at a time. As mentioned above in the metal segment, single out the metal in which you want your ring. Visualize the perfect ring in your brain and browse online to find the match closest to your wedding ring. If you want your ring to be matching with your partner, call him/her and learn about the ring he/she is choosing or make the selection together. Before setting off for shopping, indulge in some introspection to make the task of selecting the right wedding ring easy.
3. Start your Search Early
Always start your mens wedding rings search early. Do not wait till it’s a week left for the wedding, as the decision made in haste may not be the right one. If you have decided on a custom ring, it becomes even more important that you set out for your search sooner.
Every item has a price and every buyer has a budget. If you are at a jewelry shop, inform the shop owner about your budget. Ask him to show you the rings within your price range. This will save you the agony of setting your heart on a particular ring and letting it go because of its high price. Considering your budget before going on a shopping spree will let you avoid the disappointment of losing out on your favorite wedding ring. Such disappointment so close to the wedding time does not do any good for the occasion.
5. Be Open to Suggestions
It is not a bad idea to leave the selection of yourwedding band on the showroom owner. Not all men are keen shoppers and if you fall into the category, let the salesman show you the mens wedding rings which are in vogue. The shopkeepers at jewelry shops are experts at picking out trendy rings and bands as they are aware of the ever changing fashion wave. Let them narrow down the field for you. Once they have shortlisted the rings for you, make the final selection as per your choice.
6. Make a Selection While Keeping Longevity in Mind
Your mens band should be long-lasting. It is supposed to be your partner for life just like your wife. Investing in durable metals like platinum will make sure that your ring stays with you for forever. Diamond is supposed to be a women’s best friend, but you do not shy away from it as it could be a worthwhile addition in safeguarding the future of your ring. If you do not mind extra bling on your finger, opting for a diamond ring is a great choice.
In order to keep your mens wedding bands with stones clean, you'll need to wash and soak it in warm soapy water. Then you will have to gently brush it with a soft toothbrush. Ask yourself if you can do this periodically before buying an elaborate and sparkling ring.
Everyone knows about themselves and how they keep their belongings. If you are one of those who do not take good care of your things, do not lie to yourself while purchasing your band. Choose from alternate metals like titanium and cobalt which last long without tarnishing even when not taken proper care of. On the other hand, if you are adept at taking care of yourring, you can choose anything you fancy.
8. Find the right size
Finding the ring which has the perfect size is not as simple as getting your finger measured. Your fingers change in size during different weather conditions, weight gain and at times of illness. To find the correct size, schedule your ring fitting at a time when you're healthy and calm; and your body temperature is normal.
9. Check the quality
Not all that glitters is gold is an old adage which fits perfectly when you buy jewelry. It is important that you find out if your ring has passed the quality control check. For checking this, make sure the ring has two marks inside the band:
a) The Manufacturer's Trademark: It proves they stand behind their work.
b) The Quality Mark (eg. 24K or PLAT): This proves that the quality of the metal of the ring is what the retailer says it is.
Men are not known to wear much jewelry, however, mens wedding rings is one prized possession which should be worn at all times after marriage. Available in a variety of designs and different metals, these rings can be selected as per choice.
A ring worn on any finger has its own meaning and symbolism, and a ring worn on the fourth finger, which is the ring finger has the greatest meaning of all. It symbolizes your everlasting romance with your spouse. The holy bond of matrimony is enclosed by your wedding ring or band which makes it an important piece of jewelry for all men. Whether you select your ring in expensive metals like platinum or in tough and durable alternate metals like titanium, the selection should be made while keeping your love for your wife in mind. Taking proper care of your mens wedding bands is essential for maintaining its appeal and durability.
You should keep the fashion trends in mind before choosing your ring. However, it should not be the sole criteria for making the selection. The process of buying a ring is also quite joyful. The soon-to-be-married couples can go shopping together and buy matching rings. This will not only be a fun date, but also a shared activity which will inculcate the spirit of working in unison.
A wedding ring is an extremely important piece of jewelry, so you should always check the quality of the piece before buying it. Make the right selection and be set for life, and let your wedding ring rekindle the memories of the years gone by on every anniversary.