The wedding band: A symbol of love and devotion...
Besides a commitment to the love of your life, you’ll have another big decision to make when you get married: selecting a wedding band that you’ll wear every day from now on. Wedding bands are a small but noticeable accessory that speak to a person’s taste and personality. Luckily, men are blessed with a wide array of materials, styles, and designs from which they can choose their “forever ring”.🤵🏻
So how can you get started with figuring out which wedding ring best suits you? Today, we’ll discuss men’s wedding rings in full, including cost, selection, and purchasing.
Comparing men’s and women’s wedding bands
Men’s and women’s wedding rings share the same beautiful symbolism: they signify the bond between a couple and a promise that they will love each other through thick and thin. However, when it comes to the physical attributes of these bands, they can look rather different! Let’s look at a few ways men’s and women’s wedding bands differ:
While wedding rings for both men and women can have gemstones, women have more options from which to choose. For instance, men’s rings may include diamonds, sapphires, rubies, or emeralds. They may have other precious gems or simulants on occasion, but it’s a rarity and typically occurs in custom or bespoke pieces. Instead of gemstones, men’s rings may have “inlays”, which we’ll discuss later.
In contrast, women can have any gemstone imaginable in their wedding band. While the gems mentioned above are the most common options, other popular choices include pearl, amethyst, morganite, aquamarine, etc. Despite this, diamonds are the most common gemstone for women’s wedding bands.
When it comes to materials, men typically have the larger selection!🤡 Because wedding bands are made to match common engagement rings settings, women can choose from precious metals—platinum and white, yellow, or rose gold—as well as some less popular options like titanium, black gold, and silver.
But, men have these options and more in their search for wedding rings. On top of the usual precious metals used, cobalt, tungsten, and Damascus steel are also offered at many retailers. Because they don’t have to match their wedding band to an engagement ring, men also can choose from more creative materials that speak to their personality, such as wood, ceramic, bone, antler, and meteorite.
Settings and Styles
Men’s wedding bands are generally more masculine, offering larger bands—roughly 5mm to 8mm wide—with bolder edges. In contrast, women’s bands are often thin and delicate, as they have to line up properly above or below an engagement ring.
While women may have more wedding ring settings, such as split shanks, curved bands, and even ring enhancers, men have larger bands that accommodate more ways to combine materials and create new looks. In fact, men can mix and match the unique metals and inlays to craft a ring that speaks to their personalities.
Inlays are slices or bits of a substance set into the metal band of a ring, which are then sealed for added protection. They often look like layers in a wedding band, as jewelers often use more than one material to produce a unique style. For instance, combining strips of whiskey barrel, antler, and meteorite can generate a ring that’s an excellent conversation starter and speaks to the wearer’s hobbies or interests.
It should be noted that, ultimately, a men’s wedding band is whatever ring YOU love! While there are styles, widths, and elements associated with either men’s or women’s jewelry, you should choose whichever ring speaks to you and your personal taste.
Understanding the pricing of men’s wedding rings
As with most jewelry items, there is no set price for a men’s wedding band, and cost can vary widely based on materials and brand. When shopping for a wedding ring, you can expect to pay anywhere from $100 to $2,000 for a band. There are a few factors that can be early indicators of a ring’s price, which we’ll discuss below:
Gemstones can be very pricey, and their rarity dictates just how valuable the overall piece is. Diamonds are the most expensive gems, followed by sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. For example, this men’s diamond wedding band with channel set diamonds is a whopping $1,832!
If you’re looking to save money on your ring, opt for a design without these high-priced stones. Or, consider a ring with diamond simulants instead; they’re typically much cheaper and still shine beautifully.
Any men’s wedding band in traditional gold or platinum is going to be a bit costly, as wider bands require more metal. Even the price difference between precious metals can be staggering: this platinum men’s wedding band costs nearly $400 more than a white gold men’s wedding band! You can always try a plated option to save some cash, but over time a gold plated piece will not last as long or polish as well as a 14K gold ring.📝
However, there are some metals that can benefit your budget. Titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel are usually much cheaper than precious metals, and they can even offer more durability in some instances. Although it’s a bit more fragile, wood is also an excellent choice when shopping on a budget. This men’s titanium wedding ring is incredibly strong and costs just $84, while a wooden men’s wedding ring can cost as little as $50!
Rings with unique inlays can also vary in price depending on the material. Men’s dinosaur bone, whiskey barrel, and meteorite wedding bands may cost a bit more due to the rarity of each substance, but opaque gemstones, antler, and other wood products are copious and can be bought at much lower prices.
As always, you’ll pay more for a wedding ring from a luxury brand when compared to your local jeweler. This Tiffany & Co. men’s rose gold wedding ring is about triple the price of this brushed version at Blue Nile.
What’s the real difference between these two rings? Some brands would tell you their craftsmanship is better, but in some cases, the real difference is just the brand recognition!
Selecting men’s wedding bands: Considerations and suggestions
So how should you go about picking your men’s wedding band? Should you just choose the first one that speaks to you? You may want to ask yourself some questions and dig a bit deeper into what you want your ring to look like or symbolize before getting started. Here are some considerations that we recommend reviewing before making a final decision:🛸
To match your partner’s ring or not?
For many, matching the motif, style, or even metal of your partner’s wedding band carries significance.💝 By choosing a similar band, you’re symbolizing your unity and support for one another. Wedding bands are a noticeable accessory, and it can be fun to choose a matching ring with your partner and discuss with others the meaning behind each detail.
While some couples may want to match entirely—same metals, gemstones, etc.—it can be fun to find a band that simply complements your spouse’s ring. You both could select a band with milgrain or filigree detailing, choose a lesser-known metal like a black gold men’s wedding band, or even incorporate engraving inside your rings.
However, matching is not required! Oftentimes, opposites attract, and while your fianceé may desire a glitzy, diamond-encrusted ring, you may long for a plain gold or wooden band. It may be a good idea to discuss these expectations with your partner and see if you can come to an agreement regarding whether your rings should match or not.
Take your lifestyle into account
Because you’ll be wearing your wedding band all the time, put some serious thought into what material you should choose to make your ring last as long as possible. This is arguably one of the most important considerations when selecting a men’s wedding ring, as you could put your finger at risk if you’re not careful!
If you work with your hands, popular gold men’s wedding ring options just may not work for you. Gold is naturally softer than most metals, and so banging it against surfaces can cause scratches and dents over time. You can always have a jeweler polish your ring, but you can save yourself some money and time by selecting a tougher metal.
Titanium and tungsten men’s wedding bands are excellent options for anyone with a physically demanding job, as both metals are incredibly strong and very affordable. Men’s titanium wedding bands are also ideal for outdoorsmen, as titanium is lightweight and provides comfortable long-term wear.
If you’d prefer a luxury metal, palladium and platinum men’s wedding bands are nearly identical in shine and durability. They’ll require some polishing over time, but these metals can withstand much more wear and tear than gold.
⚠️Furthermore, you may want to make a tiny investment in a men’s silicone wedding band if you’re worried about damaging your actual ring. Silicone bands are light and durable, and they help prevent ring avulsion. Plus, you can still wear your real wedding band when out and about and save your silicone band for working hours!
Should you go traditional, modern, or eclectic?
Take your usual aesthetic into account when shopping for your wedding ring, as you’ll want your new accessory to match almost every outfit you wear!
Traditional styles typically include gold and platinum options, and white gold men’s wedding rings are very popular. Simple yet elegant, these bands look great on everyone and can easily be dressed up for the office or dressed down with jeans.
Brushed or polished finishes, as well as filigree and milgrain, can change the personality of traditional rings, offering a more casual or formal look. You can even select a diamond men’s wedding band to provide additional flair to an otherwise clean piece.
Modern men’s wedding rings include a host of new materials, including tungsten, titanium, carbon fiber, and more. These rings, like these titanium men’s wedding bands, are versatile and contemporary, fitting into each situation seamlessly.
Most modern styles are perfect for inlays, and wood, dinosaur bone, meteorite, and gemstones really amp up the appeal of your ring. 🤖They’re great conversation starters, and these rings tend to garner more attention than traditional settings.
Finally, you can always opt for a unique men’s wedding ring and select a more eclectic style. Mix and match the components of both traditional and modern rings to design something that’s uniquely your own, and you’ll surely stand out among the crowd!
For eclectic styles, you may combine metals for a more complex look. Or, try a completely different band shape to bring more depth to your piece. Detailed engraving or gemstones can also produce a one-of-a-kind ring. Custom men’s wedding rings are a great way to go if you want a wedding band that no one else has!
Ring cleaning and maintenance
When it comes to wedding rings for men, cleaning and maintenance are two major considerations. Because men tend to be a bit rougher with their jewelry, they’re more likely to require routine inspections for their rings. As such, it’s important to choose a band that can keep up with your lifestyle.
We’ve actually already covered the cleaning processes for men’s rings, which include both standard precious metals and some more unique materials. If you’re looking for some insight on how much care your ring will require, we recommend giving it a read!
Additionally, ring maintenance should be partially covered by the care package or plan offered by your jeweler if you choose to buy from a major or local retailer. These plans usually include at least a yearly cleaning and inspection, especially if your piece has diamonds or other gemstones.
However, if you purchase a ring from an independent vendor, you may have to pay out of pocket for many of these services. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re looking to save money: you may spend less upfront with a smaller shop, but you could end up paying more in maintenance over the lifetime of your ring!
Where to buy men’s wedding rings: 8 recommended retailers
There are so many jewelers out there selling gorgeous wedding rings for men, so how can you know where to start your shopping journey? Here are 8 online retailers we recommend for beginning your ring search, and we’ve broken them down by their aesthetic:
Classic metal band (with or without gemstones)
For traditional or modern wedding rings with simple appeal, popular brands like James Allen and Blue Nile are top-notch options. Offering rings in metals like platinum, tungsten, titanium, cobalt and white, yellow, and rose gold, both vendors promise exceptional quality and dedicated customer service throughout the lifetime of your piece. Both retailers also provide textured bands with hammered metals and diamond or precious gemstone accents.
- James Allen - Rings available in 14k and 18k yellow and white gold as well as rose gold and platinum.
- Blue Nile - Rings available in 14k and 18k yellow, white, and rose gold as well as platinum, titanium, tungsten, tantalum, and cobalt.
Unique or modern wedding rings
For the more adventurous buyer, you can start your search with Manly Bands, Jewelry by Johan, and Etsy. These sites are great for modern ring materials, such as antler, wood, whiskey barrels, Damascus steel, meteorite, and even dinosaur bone! Several retailers on Etsy will also provide customization services, helping you design the ring of your dreams.
- Manly Bands - Various metals to choose from with the option of antler, meteorite, wood, whiskey barrel, camo, Damascus steel, dinosaur bone, and gemstone inlays.
- Jewelry by Johan - Various metals to choose from with the option of antler, meteorite, stardust, dinosaur bone, Mokume Gane folded steel, opal, and wood inlays.
- Etsy - Unlimited styles and materials available with vendors willing to make custom pieces for clients.
Rings for active lifestyles
If you work a physically taxing job or like to get outside and hike, swim, etc., you may want to consider a silicone ring. Silicone rings are great as stand-in wedding bands when you’re on the go, and they can even be your permanent wedding ring if you so choose. They’re flexible, comfortable, and offer protection from ring avulsion.
The best ring choice is always the one that speaks to you
There are always so many new trends in rings—as well as jewelry and fashion in general—that it’s enough to make your head spin! Modern materials like bone, antler and even meteorite combine with metals in a beautiful array of colors to create men’s wedding rings for all tastes and personalities.💥 But, at the end of the day, the best ring for you is the one that speaks to your soul and your relationship.
Are you interested in learning more about men’s rings? We have a guide to rings for men available with more info regarding the tradition and styling of these hot accessories. Or, are you in the market for an engagement ring to take your relationship to the next level? Try our 2021 engagement ring guide for additional information on popular styles and settings!