Your wedding ring is a lasting piece of jewelry that you and others will see daily. Therefore, you want it to be attractive, durable, and comfortable. There are many choices out there, this is clear when browsing online or in-store.
So, what is the best wedding ring for a man? That depends. Your style, lifestyle, and budget will all play a role in choosing your wedding band. Additionally, your partner's ring may influence your choice too.
The best wedding ring for a man is one that uses materials made to fit his activities, and fits his style. A tungsten wedding ring would be better for a man that works in a job field that requires him to use his hands while a gold band is great for men that do not work with their hands as much.
This article that we wrote can help you decide on the best wedding ring material for a man.
There is a lot to consider when making such an important decision! This guide will cover:
- The characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages of various metals
- Wedding band styles
- Wedding band additions such as gems or inlays
- Other considerations (matching bands, lifestyle, etc.)
Hopefully, by the end, you will be ready to say “I do” to your perfect wedding ring.
Wedding Band Materials
Types of Metals
- Yellow Gold
Traditional, classic, and most widely used when it comes to wedding bands, yellow gold is a solid choice. However, don’t expect your band to be one-hundred percent gold, as these would be quite soft and damage easily. There are other metals added to the gold to increase its stability; the metal is then known as an alloy.
The composition and quality of the gold are referred to in karats (we are talking with a “K”, carats with a “C” refers to diamond purity). One karat is equal to 1/24, as gold is measured in parts of 24.
Your ring could be 14kt gold, 18kt gold, and so on. An 18kt gold ring is only 75% gold, or 18/24’s, a 24kt gold ring is considered “pure gold” even though we now know it isn’t completely gold.
Yellow gold is still thought of as somewhat rare, in turn, gold wedding bands are considered valuable. Yellow gold did see a decrease in popularity in the late 20th century for being “old-fashioned”, but today this color of the ring is considered classic and timeless.
- Rose Gold
Rose Gold is a warmer take on the standard yellow gold wedding band. Gold is mixed with copper and occasionally small amounts of silver.
This makes a pleasant champagne-colored ring. Rose gold, unlike yellow gold, has seen an increase in popularity as of late. This trendy metal is referred to as red gold or pink gold.
Originally developed in Russia around the 1800s, jewelry made of rose gold was most popular in the 1920s.
After that, it fell out of favor until modern times. Unsurprisingly, the amount of copper added to the gold determines the hue of the ring. The karat value is still determined by the amount of pure gold in the band.
Unlike yellow gold, rose gold is not considered a naturally occurring rare metal. The copper in the rose gold tends to help it to be more durable than a solid yellow gold band.
As a guy, don’t be turned off by the color. It is considered a trendy option for men and works very well in a his and hers set.
- White Gold
When you mix “white” metals such as nickel or silver and a rhodium plating, you get “white gold”. Side note, nickel is a common allergy, so check the composition of your ring carefully. The rhodium plating finish gives the ring a look similar to platinum.
White gold can be a bit more affordable than platinum. While it may look like platinum, it lacks its extreme durability.
Without the plating, the finish of the ring is a yellowish-white hue. To block this yellow patina from shining through the plating requires maintenance.
It usually has to be refinished or dipped anywhere from every six months to every few years depending on the ring's wear and tear. This less expensive version of the ever-trendy platinum is a popular option for guys.
Platinum rings are one of the best choices for a wedding band and are frequently chosen by many grooms. Platinum is an astoundingly durable and strong metal. Known for resisting fading and corrosion. Its appearance is brilliant. It is one of the whitest metals available and as such is quite rare.
Unlike white gold platinum rings do not require rhodium plating and will not lose their glow over time. These bands are almost pure metal, in most cases only mixed with less than 5% of other materials, making them hypoallergenic. As you may soon find out, platinum’s stellar benefits come with a hefty price tag.
Palladium resembles platinum in appearance but does not have platinum’s toughness (or cost!)t.
Sometimes referred to as “the poor man's platinum” palladium is less brilliant than the white sheen of platinum. Although, you won't find any plating and like platinum will develop a patina over time. Guys, this translates to less maintenance.
Palladium is more durable than platinum, but not stronger. In jewelry speak, this means more scratch resistant but still susceptible to bending.
Titanium rings are dark grey or charcoal. They are great at resisting scratches and scuffs but will develop an oxide layer over time, and may appear discolored.
A jeweler can polish your ring but as with palladium, it is near impossible to adjust the size. All the more reason to have it professionally sized.
Titanium is affordable and has been frequently selected for wedding bands in the past decade. It is considered very modern and on-trend.
Tungsten, sometimes seen as tungsten carbide, takes the trophy for strongest wedding band metal. It is extremely resistant to scratching or bending, good news for those who are tough on jewelry.
But, if enough pressure is applied the ring can shatter, hopefully you will not experience anywhere near enough pressure in daily use.
Tungsten has similar characteristics and benefits to the aforementioned metals. It is affordable, hypoallergenic, and has a nice weight. As a modern metal, it cannot be resized, only exchanged.
- Sterling Silver
Sterling silver wedding bands are not common, at least for longterm rings. If you have a small budget they may be used as a “placeholder ring” until you can afford a higher quality band.
Silver, like gold, is very soft in its pure form. To cut down on its malleability they alloy silver with copper to make sterling silver.
Like white gold, the outside of the sterling silver band is plated with “fine” silver, a more pure derivation of the metal, to give it a more appealing appearance and luster. This plating is not durable and as a result, the band may become discolored or scratched.
Though not as strong or high quality, it is affordable.
When searching for a wedding band metal, remember this. Most “modern metals”, like palladium, can be difficult to have serviced. Without the proper tools and equipment, jewelers cannot easily resize or repair modern metal rings.
If you have an active lifestyle or a risky job, you may prefer a metal alternative. Silicone rings were created for safety and versatility, both for men who wanted these characteristics or those whose profession required them. These rubber rings are made to tear away if significant force is applied, preventing finger injuries or loss.
They are a great choice for those who are active, travel (silicone is less valuable), or work in an environment that is not conducive to wearing metal.
These futuristic bands are waterproof, heat resistant, and non-conductive. It would make a great daily piece of jewelry to swap out with your ceremonial ring on fancy occasions.
As of late, wooden wedding bands have become trendy for couples wanting an eco-friendly option. Wood is obviously hypoallergenic (aside from any finish) and is safe for the workplace as they do not conduct heat or electricity.
Wooden bands can be very budget-friendly, but durable they are not. Regular maintenance and special care are required for the upkeep of wooden rings. Like modern metals, these bands cannot be resized.
If you have your heart set on wooden, hardwoods such as oak or maple are more enduring options. Wood can also be inlaid in a metal band to increase its strength and durability while preserving its beautiful appearance.
Wedding Band Size
There is no right or wrong when it comes to wedding band size regarding the width. Your band can be wide or thin. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages.
Wider bands have more room for inlays, stones, and engravings. They can be more durable and have a more striking appearance.
However, wider bands can be uncomfortable if they are too wide. Additionally, they can be harder to take off. Also, as more material may be used they may be more expensive.
Thinner bands can be more comfortable. They can be easier to get on and off, especially over large knuckles. These bands also might cost less (if kept simple).
However, thinner bands can be more susceptible to bending or breaking. They also leave less room for embellishment.
Wedding Band Finishes
Finishes can change the look of a ring. They can also affect how much maintenance your wedding band requires so choose wisely.
Polished is the most popular finish for most jewelry. The surface is shiny, bright, and reflective. Although brilliant in appearance, they show scratches very easily.
Matte is also known as brushed or satin. The surface is not shiny but appears softly textured. Satin finishes are usually smooth to the touch while brushed feel textured. These finishes are great at hiding scratches and are popular choices for grooms.
Sandblasted is matte on the next level. They appear grainy and textured. They also feel very coarse and won’t show scratches, unless they are extremely deep.
Wedding Band Design
- Court Band
Also known as comfort fit, these rings are curved on the outside and ever so slightly on the inside. The ring hugs the finger and edges are less likely to dig into the skin or get caught on clothing or other objects.
- Flat Band
A flat band is flat on all sides. It is very geometric and modern looking. However, this ring is more prone to pulling on your finger and catching on objects.
- Flat Court
The flat court is a happy medium between a flat band and a court band. The outside appearance is flat, but the inside is curved, hugging your finger. This is a comfortable compromise for those who like the trendy look of the flat but are not regular ring wearers.
- D-Shape Band
A D-shaped band was once the favored style. It features a flat inside and a curved outside. This band is similar to the comfort fit but offers a very pronounced curvature on the external surface.
Just like width, the thickness of your band is up to you. Some bands need to be thicker to have the shape or fit you want (like a court or comfort fit). Thick bands are durable but can be uncomfortable. If they come too high off the finger they can get caught on objects and become a pain.
Thinner bands may be more susceptible to wear and tear. However, they can cost less and be more pleasant to wear. A 1.5mm thickness is a good minimum for guys wedding bands.
Wedding Band Styles
What is your style? Are you straightforward and no-nonsense or do you enjoy a bit of flair? Do you prefer simple and classic or are you keen on modern and trendy styles?
Your wedding band should jive with your taste. After all, it will be the one piece of jewelry that you will wear more frequently than any other. Most individuals wear their wedding rings daily for years on end.
Plain bands are a timeless wedding band style for men. They go with every outfit and every occasion. In most cases, you do not have to be concerned with damaging them and can wear them daily.
On the other end of the spectrum are detailed bands with a bit more flash. These wedding rings can have engravings, inlays, or include gems or stones. The level of detail and variety of materials you can include are nearly limitless.
How To Choose the Right Band For You
To find your perfect band, there is a checklist. It has things to consider and choices you should weigh, preferably with the help of your partner. Getting married is a pretty big step, choosing your life-long symbol of love in the form of jewelry is a big decision.
- Evaluate Your Lifestyle
First, evaluate your lifestyle. This will help you decide what kind of material your wedding band should be made of. While you may love the look of yellow gold or the eco-friendliness of wood, these may not be wise choices for you.
If you have an active lifestyle, you may want a more durable ring, such as platinum or titanium. If you travel frequently or spend a lot of time outdoors, you may want a ring that won’t be devastating if lost. Silicone is a good choice here.
Silicone is an equally good choice if your job requires it, such as for medical staff or electricians. Sometimes your ring preference may not match up with your lifestyle, in this case, you may want to consider having two rings. You could have a dressy ring and an active ring.
- Consider Your Style
Once you have narrowed down the characteristics your ring must possess (no conducive, durable, etc) you can decide on the color and style. Some men prefer stylish and flashy bands. They may appreciate the shine of platinum or the gleam of yellow gold.
Others may want a subdued band that matches with nearly anything. Like a brushed titanium band that is understated and modern.
Metal alternatives like silicone and wood are considered trendy and new. You can get pretty wild with silicone ring colors and patterns. Similarly, wood inlays can be very detailed and Avante-Garde. Either choice is perfect for the free-spirited trendsetter.
Speaking of inlay, what you choose to add to your ring may also epitomize your style. Do you want diamonds or gemstones? Engravings or designs? Inlays and patterns? The options are nearly endless.
Consult With Your Partner
As much as you may want to make your ring all about your taste, speak with your partner first. Your partner may be intent on matching rings. Or, they may want to opt only for a silicone ring because they are concerned with your lifestyle and the ring's durability.
You are getting married after all, and therefore your partner should have a little bit of a say in this momentous decision.Check Your Budget
Finally, run the numbers and figure out how much you can spend on a wedding band. Sometimes our tastes and jewelry aspirations don’t always match up with how much we can afford.
It may be a scenario in which you can save up for a wedding band. Or, you may have the ability to purchase the wedding band of your dreams. Odds are, you will devote a larger portion of the budget to your partner's ring and you will have to work with what is left.
Some people like to start with the budget, then decide on their materials and design. However, it doesn’t hurt to browse the entire selection first and figure out what you truly like. Then, you can decide if you want to spend the full amount upfront or save up for the purchase.
Mulling over all of these factors should hopefully make the decision easier and lead you to your perfect wedding band.
Care and Maintenance
Once the ring is on your finger, your job isn’t over. Like a marriage, your wedding band will probably require maintenance. It doesn’t have to be anything too complicated but regular care can extend the life and improve the appearance of your ring.
- Clean it regularly. You can buy jewelry cleaner in the store. Or, you can use safe home cleaners (like soaps and water) on your ring. Regularly removing debris will help your ring to keep its shine. If you have engravings, stones, or inlay be sure to check it for build-up from things like oil, dirt, or lotions.
- Taking a close look at your ring every once in a while doesn’t hurt. Check to see if any of the stones are loose. Is it cracked? Does it have any deep scratches or grooves? Finding problems early on and addressing them quickly can save you money in the long run.
- Yearly maintenance. It can be a good idea to take your ring to a professional annually. They can give it a thorough cleaning, inspection, and good polishing. They will be able to alert you to any problems and fix any issues if necessary.
- Store it properly. When not in use, take care to store your ring in an appropriate box, container, or casing. Just don’t toss it in a drawer where it is apt to get lost, bent, or scratched.
- Ensure it. Depending on how much you spent, or how much you value your ring you may want to get coverage for it. This insurance could come in handy in case of theft or other scenarios. It isn’t always necessary but it can provide peace of mind if your ring came with a hefty price tag.
Which Wedding Band?
Finding the ideal wedding band doesn’t have to be difficult. It boils down to three things: What do you like? What does your partner like? What can you afford?
It can be helpful to consider the metals, the design, and any additional elements but ultimately it should be a piece of jewelry that you are happy and comfortable wearing every day.