Sunday, September 25th, 2011 by Courtney

Groom’s Wedding Band 101

You’ve probably spent a fair amount of time thinking about, shopping for, and worry about your bride’s engagement ring; it’s a lot of pressure picking out a piece of jewelry that she’ll wear for the rest of her life!  But guess what?  Now it’s time to start thinking about the ring that you get to wear!  Different things you’ll want to consider when shopping for your wedding band are your lifestyle and hobbies, your personality and style, what kind of metal you want, and how comfortable it will be.

One of the first things we recommend you deciding is what metal you want your ring to be made of.  Here’s a breakdown on your options:
Yellow Gold: The most common and popular metal used for men’s rings.  It makes for a classic look.  It goes well with diamonds, and is easy to resize up or down.  It’s drawback?  Durability; yellow gold will scratch, dent, and bend easier than other metals, something to keep in mind if you’re active or if you work with your hands
White Gold: Yellow gold that is alloyed with another metal; typically nickel, manganese or palladium.  Many men prefer the coloring of white gold over yellow, and it can be stronger than yellow gold rings.  They’re also susceptible to scratches and dents, and over time their color will fade from bright silver to faint yellow.  Don’t worry; you can have it re-finished to bring back its original color. 
Tungsten: A newer metal to the jewelry industry, this is a scratch resistant and durable metal that is surprising affordable.  It’s hypoallergenic, good if you have allergies or sensitive skin, and is a very metal to resize.  Word of caution: some rings are made from tungsten carbide, which is brittle and can crack under a sharp blow.  Also, women’s rings are not made of tungsten, so a matching ring isn’t really an option.
Titanium: Popular because of its strength, durability, lightweight-ness, and, well, it’s coolness factor.  Like tungsten, it’s hypoallergenic.  It’s scratch and dent resistant and very corrosion-resistant, most notably against seawater and chlorine, so if you work with salt water or chlorinated waters, this could be a good option for you.  Drawbacks?  Because it is such a strong and durable material, it can’t be sized down, and the only way to size up is by shaving out the inside of the ring.  And if you’re an accident-prone individual, titanium can be a very difficult metal to cut off of your finger.
Stainless Steel: Another durable and hypoallergenic metal, stainless steel is highly resistant to stains, scratches, corrosion and rust.  It has a luster to it that no other metal has, and should it start to dull or get small scratches over time, it can be re-finished by a jeweler. Stainless steel women’s rings are rare so a matching ring isn’t really an option.
Platinum- This lustrous, silvery-white metal is considered a precious metal; and it’s price reflects that distinction.  It is the only metal that won’t dent, scratch, bend, corrode or wear over time.  It’s also a hypoallergenic metal.  Touted as “Pure, rare, versatile and eternal,” it is a ring that will last you a lifetime.

Embellishments (or lack thereof) is the next thing you’ll want to decide.  Keep in mind that you’ll wear this ring for the rest of your life; choose designs and embellishments that are timeless and true to you, and try to avoid things that are trendy or appealing due to their ‘cool’ factor.  Some of the more common options are diamonds and/or gemstones, engravings, inlaid designs (think ropes or ribbons), twists and braids, even colored metals such as blue, black, red or green.  Consider combining more than one metal into your ring to add depth and design without too much flash, or including something religiously or culturally significant to you such as a cross or Celtic symbol.

One of the last things to evaluate is how comfortable it is.  If you’ve never worn a ring, it will be uncomfortable at first, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to it in time.  Try on a few rings to compare.  When you make a fist, do the edges of the ring bite into your skin?  Is the width of the band wide too wide or too narrow for your fingers?  Longer fingers tend to prefer wider rings, and narrower rings are more comfortable on shorter fingers.  Do any of the stones, embellishments or edges feel like they’ll catch on things or scratch other surfaces?

Take your time when selecting a ring, and put some genuine thought and research into it.  You should end up with a piece of jewelry that both you and your bride love (though it’s more important that you love it than her), and that you go home with a ring that you’ll be excited and proud to show off every day.