Wedding rings are actually a relatively new trend for men. While women have worn them for centuries, it only became common for men to wear them in recent history. So, it’s understandable that the wedding band designs available to men have paled in comparison to the unique and abundant options available to women. Thankfully, this is changing. Today, some of the best men’s wedding bands are unique options made of various and even mixed materials.
While a simple silver or gold band is the traditional option, why not stand out? It should be just as common for men to show off their style with a cool design or the use of diamonds and other gemstones in their wedding bands.
If you or your groom are looking to stand out or simply stray from the norm, keep reading. We’ll discuss every possible wedding band option from the traditional to the popular and share a few unique men’s wedding bands that may inspire you to wear a wedding ring for more than just its meaning.
What Is the Significance of the Wedding Band?
While an engagement ring symbolizes the promise to wed and still is traditionally only worn by the bride, the significance of a wedding band is much more. A wedding band has always symbolized the forever commitment between the two people who enter into marriage because of its never-ending ring shape. For men, though, it wasn’t common to wear a wedding ring until World War II when soldiers who fought abroad wore a band to remind them of their wives back home. Less than a hundred years later, it is now common for married men to wear a wedding band. It is both significant as a symbol of his commitment and also as a sign to others that he is off the market. If someone chooses not to wear a wedding ring, it’s often seen as suspicious, even if he’s not one for jewelry.
For the guy who is interested in showing off his marital status and embracing the symbolism of his commitment with gusto, there is a range of styles available for both unique and classic wedding bands.
Why Is the Wedding Ring Material Important?
A wedding band is meant to last forever. So, durability is important. Additionally, for men, the less maintenance required to maintain the look and feel of the ring, the better. This is where the wedding ring material is paramount. It doesn’t matter if you choose a super unique ring if it breaks, scratches, or turns color in a matter of months. No, you need a unique wedding ring that will last decades. Read on to discover the most durable wedding ring materials from the traditional to the modern to the unique for men’s wedding bands.
Traditional Men’s Wedding Bands
Similar to women’s wedding bands, men’s wedding bands have traditionally been yellow gold, white gold, or silver. Here we explore the pros and cons of each of these metal choices for a men’s wedding ring.
Yellow gold is a classic choice for wedding bands for both men and women. While a simple gold band is elegant and refined, it isn’t necessarily durable. Gold is one of the softest metals, which means it can scratch easily and requires regular polishing. For someone without an active lifestyle or who doesn’t mind the maintenance, yellow gold can be a suitable option, just make sure it is 14K yellow gold. For a unique yellow gold ring option, consider this charismatic yellow band, which features three Nexus Diamond™ alternative stones.
White gold is made of gold and other metal alloys that give it a white, rather than yellow, appearance, It is typically coated in rhodium to give it a significant sheen. While beautiful, this rhodium coating does need to be redone every few years in order for a white gold manly band to stay lustrous. Similar to yellow gold, white gold can also scratch. Compare these traditional metals in our guide to white gold vs yellow gold. Or, combine them with this two-tone wedding band.
Silver is a traditional precious metal used in many various jewelry designs, wedding bands included. Silver has become less popular, however, because it does tarnish, fade, and scratch and so it requires quite a bit of upkeep. Being the least expensive of the traditional metals, it can be tempting to reach for a silver ring but the look and durability of silver aren’t comparable to other metals so we recommend avoiding it.
Popular Men’s Wedding Bands
If traditional isn’t your style, there are plenty of other wedding band materials to choose from. Those listed below have become popular, and for good reason. Each of these metals has its own unique characteristics that make for a great wedding band, and all of them are beautiful.
Platinum is one of the most popular wedding band metals for both men and women, and as such is the most expensive. If you can afford a platinum wedding ring, you will enjoy a durable, corrosion-resistant ring in a beautiful silver-white sheen that will develop a luxe patina over time. Keep in mind that platinum is a heavier metal, so if you aren’t used to wearing jewelry, you may not love the feeling.
Rose gold is often catered to women because of its pinkish hue, but it makes for a beautiful men’s wedding band as well. For instance, this hammered rose gold wedding band is both masculine and romantic. Rose gold is made by combining gold alloys with copper and silver alloys, which typically make it stronger than yellow gold, however, 14k vs 18k rose gold will vary in strength. 14K rose gold will be more scratch-resistant than yellow gold, but less scratch-resistant than platinum, and more affordable than both metals, which makes it a great option for budget-conscious grooms.
Stainless steel has become a more popular metal for unique men’s wedding bands in recent years but it still isn’t widely available so you may have a hard time finding a wedding band made of this metal. If you can, though, you can bet it will be resistant to both tarnishing and scratching, and the price point will be quite enticing. However, it isn’t resistant to chlorine, which can wear away the metal easily.
Unique Men’s Wedding Bands
Gone are the days when all men had to choose from was silver and gold for their wedding band, and the classic curved ring was the only design. Today, there are plenty of great wedding band options for men to consider both in terms of material and design. Here are some of the most unique men’s wedding bands out there today and the pros and cons of the metals behind them.
Titanium is one of the hardest metals but is surprisingly light. Thus, a titanium wedding ring is both comfortable to wear for those who aren’t used to wearing rings and durable. It won’t tarnish or scratch either, so it’s ideal for those with an active or labor-intensive lifestyle. Titanium rings can be polished or matte and can come in light or dark gray. This brushed titanium wedding band features a smooth strip of high-polish metal down the center groove for a unique look.
Learn more: Titanium vs Platinum
What is Tungsten? Tungsten rings are made of tungsten carbide, a hard metal compound that is even stronger and harder than titanium. Similar to titanium, a tungsten wedding band is extremely durable, scratch and tarnish-resistant, and low-maintenance. Where these two metals differ is that tungsten is heavier, similar in weight to platinum. Tungsten will also have a greater luster than titanium, so if you covet shine, consider this metal.
There are a lot of unique men’s wedding bands made of tungsten. For instance, consider this Obsidian Brick men’s tungsten ring, which features a dark color and brick-shaped accents for a stylish look, or this black and blue-hued modern tungsten band. To learn more about tungsten, we’ve written another post answering the question, “can tungsten rings be resized?”
Cobalt chrome is another member of the tough metal club; it is scratch-resistant and doesn’t require maintenance. It may be hard, but its appearance resembles white gold, making it a more affordable and more durable option for those that want a light sheen to their ring. This cobalt men’s band features a hammered finish to give it a rugged look.
Neither a cobalt chrome, tungsten, or titanium ring can be resized, so it’s important to confirm your ring size before ordering a ring made of any of these metals. If you shop at Diamond Nexus, you can always exchange your ring for the right size for a small fee. It’s also important to note that cobalt is often mixed with nickel alloys, so if you are allergic to nickel, you may want to stay away from this metal or ensure your ring is nickel-free.
Which Metal Is Right for You?
Modern men have the luxury of options that men 50 or even 5 years ago didn’t have when it came time to choose a wedding ring. Today, you can’t go wrong with any of these metals. When you weigh the pros and cons against your lifestyle and consider what metal goes well with the design you like, you will be able to select a metal and coordinating wedding band that is unique to you. Browse our selection to begin your search.