When a man is getting ready to propose, he usually spends many hours preparing – choosing a time and place, buying a ring for his fiancee, and feeling jittery. But with all that stuff, he often forgets about his own perfect wedding band. Some men consider it not so important as to what ring he will wear himself. But a wedding band is something that you will be wearing for the rest of your life – if you’re lucky. So, don’t underestimate the groom’s ring. In this article, we'll tell you how to choose the perfect men’s wedding ring and discuss all the main criteria.
Proposing to your beloved one is probably one of the most nerve-racking experiences that any guy will go through, and most guys spend a fair amount of time assessing over which engagement ring to choose. They do a lot of research, a lot of hours spent online, maybe go into local jewelry stores, which usually involves people trying to convince you to spend more money than you wanted to.
But despite all the time you spend trying to find a perfect ring for your future fiance, most guys don't spend much time figuring out which ring they should buy. And that's why most guys end up with that simple gold plain wedding band. There is nothing wrong with that but, even if you wear something that's simple, it's important to make sure that it's well-fitted and comfortable and suits your style.
Types of wedding rings
First, we want to think about what type of band do you want. There are a few different types.
#1 Classic wedding band
This is your traditional wedding band. It doesn't have any stones or engravings on the outside or any carvings. It's timeless, it’s traditional, and it's one of the best and most popular choices for men.
#2 Carved wedding band
Next up, you have your carved wedding bands. And these can either have beveled edges or different shapes, but they don't have a completely smooth surface, like a traditional wedding band. They can also be etched or just have other little design elements that make them a little bit unique.
#3 Diamond wedding band
Then you have a diamond wedding bands. If you want something a little bit flashier, a diamond band might be the way to go. There are no really specific rules here. It could have one diamond embedded, it could be channel cut with a row of diamonds. If you don't like diamonds, you could go with a synthetic diamond or an alternative, like some sort of gemstone in your favorite color (ruby or sapphire, etc.).
Of course, if you do go with a wedding band that has diamonds or gemstones in it, it's probably going to be slightly more expensive, especially if you choose diamonds. And the more diamonds it has, the more expensive it'll be.
#4 Alternative wedding band from non-traditional materials
Next up, you have your alternative wedding bands. These are made from non-traditional metals, like titanium or cobalt chrome. These definitely have a contemporary look, and usually, guys who already wear a lot of jewelry will choose something like this versus something more classic.
You can also find rings made out of wood or silicone. Why? Rings made from medical grade silicone are a great choice if you live a very active lifestyle – they fit very securely around your finger, they won't get snagged on anything. They're also a great choice for food service workers or firefighters (the latter are not allowed to wear a metal ring because it can heat up on their finger).
Materials for wedding rings
Let's be honest here, if you had to pick the perfect metal for your ring, it would probably be adamantium. Unfortunately, this practically indestructible metal alloy only exists in the fictional Marvel Universe. At least for now.
But you still have plenty of options to choose from.
Platinum is one of those popular metals used in rings, which is a bit ironic because it's actually one of the rarest elements found in the Earth. It's a white silver metal; it's durable, sophisticated, it's hypoallergenic – if you're allergic to silver or gold, platinum might be a good option.
Palladium is a metal found within the platinum family, so, as you might expect, the two metals look and feel pretty much the same. Palladium is a tiny bit lighter – if you really like that barely-there feeling, palladium is a good way to go. Palladium is also typically more affordable than platinum.
#3 White gold
This is definitely one of the most popular types of metal for men's wedding bands. White gold is made with rhodium, which is a soft metal that's found in the palladium family. It can also be plated with nickel or silver or something else to give it that white gold look, but regardless of what it's plated with, it's always going to have that bright white color. Now, a white gold ring will fade after about 10-15 years so if you'd like, you can get it replated. And that's one of the other advantages of platinum over white gold.
#4 Yellow gold
This is a very classic color. It gives off a soft pleasant glow, it's noticeable but understated. Yellow gold is a really good choice, especially if you like other gold accessories, like gold watches or necklaces. Yellow gold is a great choice.
Gold purity is measured in karats:
1 Karat = 1/24 gold
24K = 100% gold
18K = 75% gold
14 K = 58% gold
But don't assume that pure 24K gold is better than 14 or 18K gold. Once you go lower, to 14 or 18, it's going to be significantly less expensive and kind of more durable, because it has that harder, more durable metal mixed in.
#5 Rose gold
This metal is a mix of gold and copper, usually with a dash of silver, and depending on the exact amounts of each metal, this ring is either going to have more of a reddish or a pinkish tint. Sure, not every guy wants a pink ring but it does create a very distinctive, kind of vintage look. Rose gold is really good for some skin tones.
#6 Other materials
Of course, you also have other materials. If you want something a little less traditional or if you'd like to save a little bit of money, you can look at sterling silver, titanium, or other non-traditional metals. You can even find rings made of wood and silicone.
Sizes of wedding rings
How to choose the right size?
We've covered types of rings and materials. And now, let's look at sizing. There's a difference between ring fit and ring size.
If a ring is too big, even just a little bit, it can slide right off your finger, especially if you're swimming or if you're doing dishes or taking a shower. Then again, if it's too small, it can damage your circulation. So, you want to find a ring that fits perfectly.
To find your ring size, you can go to a local jewelry store and get measured in person. Most stores are going to do this for free, they're not going to make you buy anything. Another option is to use an online sizing tool – this allows you to size your finger from the comfort of your home, just using your computer. And then, some online and jewelry companies will actually send you a free ring sizing kit that you can use to find the exact size.
You can always get your ring adjusted for size for that perfect fit after the fact.
How to choose the right width of a band?
Let's also talk about width. The width of your wedding band is one of the most important aspects of your ring. You can have a very wide band, you can have a more narrow band – and it's really going to change the way that it looks on your finger.
For guys, a narrow band is anywhere in the 3.5-5 millimeters wide, the average is probably about 6-6.5 mm, and a wider band will be 8-9 mm.
There are no hard and fast rules here. A lot of jewelry stores will push guys to get wider bands because that's seen as more masculine but really, you should shop for a band that fits your finger and your hand. Try on a few bands and see what works for you. And remember, a more narrow band is not less masculine and it will also be more affordable because it uses less material.
How to choose the right fit?
When it comes to fit, you really have 2 types of fits: your standard traditional fit and your comfort fit. The traditional fit, basically, has a flat inside and the comfort fit has a convex shape on the inside. It makes the ring slide on and off your finger a little easier – a lot of guys think it's more comfortable to wear. The traditional fit sits a little closer to your finger, so the height of your finger is a little shorter.
Keep in mind that the fit is not going to affect the shape of the outside of your ring. This is more about how the ring fits and feels on your finger. If you have a bigger ring, like an 8 or 9 mm, comfort fit is probably the way to go; if you have a smaller ring, it's okay to get a traditional fit.
Shapes of wedding rings
Finally, we have to talk about the shape or the profile of your ring. This is especially important if you go with a classic wedding band.
There are a lot of different words to describe the same thing, so it can get a little bit confusing. Just think of a shape or profile as a spectrum – at one end of the spectrum, you have flat rings and on the other end of the spectrum, you have domed rings.
An extreme example would be a high-dome ring that's almost like a D-shape. Such a shape makes it very tall, so it's going to sit farther off your finger, you're going to feel it when you put your fingers together. A dome shape is kind of a classic traditional fit, it's a little more retro. Totally-flat shape is more modern and contemporary.
But in-between domed and flat, there's a ton of middle-ground. You can have slightly curved or slightly flat or slightly domed. So, choose your perfect shape of a wedding ring that will feel comfortable on your hand.