When it comes time to get your own wedding band, you may realize you’re clueless about finding great options for men.
That’s not just because men’s rings come in many styles, metals, widths, and prices, but because this is a ring you’ll be wearing for life --and -- you want it to look good. Since this may be the only significant piece of jewelry you wear, it should both reflect your personal style.
Below is our guide to buying a men’s wedding ring, written in partnership with Berlinger Jewelry.
Determining how wide you want your ring to be is a great first step. Mens rings come in widths varying from 2mm-12mm (very thin to very wide) and everyone’s preference is different. The average width men choose is somewhere between 4mm and 6mm. Try to think about the look and feel you want your ring to have. Do you want it to take up a lot of space on your finger? Do you want it to feel heavy or light? If you want a thinner, lighter band, choose something closer to 4mm. If you want a wider, heftier band, then choose a ring closer to 6mm. A 5mm band is the most classic width for men. Keep in mind wider bands tend to have a tighter fit and can scratch more easily due to increased surface area. If your planning to buy your ring online, visualizing the ring on a modeled hand can help you get a sense of what the width will look like on your finger. Keep in mind, wider rings tend to be more expensive, as they require a larger quantity of metal.
The metals traditionally used for men’s wedding rings are platinum, white gold, yellow gold, rose gold and alternative metals (such as titanium). Below are the benefits of each:
Platinum is an extremely durable, lustrous, and rare metal making it one of the most popular choices among men’s bands. Platinum is one of the most expensive metals because it is mined significantly less often than gold. It also has a higher density, so a ring that is the same width in gold will weigh more in platinum, giving the ring a more robust feeling.
White gold has a similar luster to platinum, but is offered at a lower price point. While platinum is slightly more durable than white gold, White gold is typically finished with a rhodium plating, giving it the same pure white shine as platinum and improving its durability. Keep in mind, white gold may require a bit more repolishing then platinum over the course of your rings lifetime, however this cost may still be less then the initial cost of platinum.
Probably the most classic option stylistically, yellow gold offers all of the same characteristics of white gold, but with a warm yellow hue.
Rose gold is a unique and distinctive choice. It offers a vintage feeling, with a similar warmth to yellow gold. Rose gold is created by adding copper to the gold compound -- giving it it’s reddish hue. Rose gold is more durable then its yellow or white gold counterparts due to the strength of copper.
If you don't immediately gravitate toward a more classic metal offering, we recommend looking into tungsten or titanium rings. These rings are significantly lighter than their precious metal counterparts, which may seem great if you have not worn a ring before, and brings down the cost significantly. However, this is your wedding ring - you don't want to loose it - so it’s often recommended to feel the weight of the ring a bit. There are a lot less style options with alternative metals, but they never retain their original finish forever.
The truth is, most men keep it classic and get a precious metal like gold or platinum. It is, after all, the one piece of jewelry you’ll be wearing for the rest of your life!
Determining your correct ring size may be one of the most important steps in this process. No matter what style, width, or metal you choose your ring needs to fit properly. Here are a few things to keep in mind when sizing your ring.
1- Even if your buying your ring online, it’s good to get your finger properly sized. Your can order a plastic ring sizer here, or pop into your local jewelry store, where they will size you (almost always for free).
2- Keep in mind wider bands may require a slightly larger size, as they take up more surface area on your finger. We recommended ordering a ½ size up than what the ring sizer you’ve used measures if your band is wider than 8mm.
3-Your fingers can swell or shrink depending on the time of day and weather (swell in heat or in the AM, shrink in cool weather or at night). Make sure to keep this in mind when you are sizing your finger.
Choosing the finish of your ring is one of the stylistic elements where you get to infuse your jewelry with your personal style. Here are some of the most popular finishes:
The classic reflective finish
The rugged, textured, won’t scratch because i’m already hammered look.
The understated and modern look
The I have unique and eye-catching texture that is still not flashy look
Ah, ha! The fun part. It’s the details of the shape, finish, and style of your ring that give it a personality. Do you want a truly unique ring you’ll want to pass down to your grandson? Consider buying a ring with some of these features:
A very classic look, where patterns are etched or hand drawn into the metal.
Diamonds or sapphires:
Adding tiny stones can make your ring truly unique and give it a little extra something.
Consider square rings, or rings with unique one-of-a-kind patterns to give it style.
It’s a great time to shop for men’s wedding rings -- there are more options than ever, and rings can be found across the pricing spectrum. It’s good to keep in mind that this is an important piece of jewelry, and everyone has a different idea about what they want to spend on their ring.
Diamond rings can cost up to $4000, while classic gold bands can sell for around $400. It’s good to set a budget with your partner before your shopping begins, as it makes style choices a bit easier. Precious metals will usually cost more then alternative metals.
Adding things like diamonds, sapphires, or unique shapes can also up the price, but can provide you with the timeless looks you want. Today’s grooms seem to go beyond the standard of simple bands, and are choosing styles that reflect their unique identities and values.