When it comes to choosing wedding rings, you may feel completely unprepared. While some women choose their preferred setting and diamond shape as a young child or teenager, many men enter stores with at most a vague idea of what they want, which can make ring shopping frustrating and difficult. Here are a few tips for choosing a wedding band that suits you.
Think About Your Personality and Style
Your wedding band does more than show devotion to the person that you love. Your ring is also a piece of highly visible jewelry that can help to express your personality, which is why it’s important to consider your style carefully. Before you head to the nearest jewelry store to start looking for rings, it is important to ask yourself a few questions.
For starters, think about whether you prefer a buttoned-up, traditional look or something less formal. While jewelers offer a wide variety of simple gold bands, more and more businesses also offer varieties engraved with intricate inscriptions or designed to blend in with casual attire. Another thing to think about is whether you prefer jewelry that is less obvious, or statement pieces that are meant to draw the eye. If you prefer a low-key look, opt for smaller bands without much detail. On the other hand, if you want to show off your marriage status to the world or create an easy conversation starter, that jewel-encrusted wedding band might be the perfect addition to your wardrobe.
Know Your Band Materials
When you arrive at the jewelry store, one of the first questions you will be asked is your band material preference. Some of the most common are listed here.
- Silver: Silver wedding bands offer a classic look with a natural patina. Unfortunately, because silver tends to oxidize, your ring can eventually turn completely black and need to be professionally cleaned. Silver is also naturally soft, prone to dings and scratches.
- Gold: By far the most common metal for wedding rings, gold also tends to be one of the more expensive. Gold comes in a wide variety of shades and colors, ranging from pinkish rose gold to sparkly white gold. Gold is also available in different gradations of quality, with 24-karat gold being 99.95% pure gold by mass. The higher the karat, the higher the percentage of natural gold.
- Platinum: Platinum is the most expensive metal commonly used for men’s wedding bands, partly because platinum is 10 times more rare than common materials like gold. Platinum is a brilliantly shiny, white metal that feels heavy on the hand.
- Tungsten Carbide: If you are looking for the perfect hybrid of budget and beauty, tungsten carbide might be perfect for you. Tungsten rings are silvery in color, durable, and completely scratch resistant. In fact, tungsten rings never need to be polished, because they are physically harder than platinum, gold, silver, palladium, and even stainless steel. With many tungsten bands costing between $50 and $100, you won’t have to worry about your band interfering with your wedding budget.
- Ceramic: Many new grooms are choosing ceramic bands for their shiny white color and smooth sheen. Unfortunately, ceramic is brittle and shatters easily.
To avoid sticker shock and to make the wedding band shopping process less stressful, consider exploring online retailers who specialize in tungsten wedding bands and similar jewelry. You might be surprised to see how much you can save by avoiding the markup that traditional brick and mortar stores charge, and you can easily search for rings based on material, color, and detailing.
Analyze Your Daily Routine
In addition to evaluating your style and exploring different materials, it’s important to consider your daily routine. If you work outdoors or in the industrial sector, it might be better to choose rings that can withstand physical damage, such as tungsten carbide rings. On the other hand, if you prefer a more traditional look and you spend most of your time indoors, a gold or silver band might suit your style.
Also, keep in mind that some rings can’t be worn in certain fields of work. For example, if you work in a factory, your employer might not permit traditional metal rings that could become wedged in machinery. Some materials, like silver and gold, can even be reactive when exposed to certain chemicals, which is why a stainless steel or tungsten variety might be preferred. These days, you can even find metallic-colored rubber wedding rings that work well for people who play sports or music professionally. Think carefully about how your choice of wedding band could affect your daily routine at work and during hobbies, and do a little research to find out if your ring or hand could become damaged easily on the job.
Also, keep in mind that there are some myths associated with jewelry. For example, it was commonly believed that tungsten rings were difficult to remove during emergency medical situations. However, since tungsten doesn’t bend, it is actually less likely to get stuck on a person’s hand than other metals, such as gold or stainless steel. Talk with your jeweler to learn how your ring could affect your daily life, so that you can find the perfect band for you.