All of the Different Styles of Wedding Bands for Men, Explained
Let's face it: When it comes to wedding rings, guys don't always have a ton of options. Most of the time they get to choose from only one or two men's wedding band styles made with either gold, platinum or (sometimes) tungsten.
Luckily, the days of boring men's wedding bands are over. Men are no longer forced to choose a simple gold wedding band. Modern jewelers recognize that men want to show off their style — and their personalities — just as much (or sometimes more!) than the ladies. Rather than just a simple band, men now have the option to choose something more unique and fun such as a knife edge wedding band or a diamond band. Let's break down all the aspects of men's wedding band styles to help you put the right ring on it.
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Men's Wedding Band Styles: The Aspects You Need to Know
It's good to have options — especially when it comes to wedding rings. When it comes to buying wedding bands for guys, you have to consider a number of things, including:
Width is one of the most important things to consider when it comes to buying a men's wedding band. While women's engagement rings tend to have bands that are similar in width, men have more options. The reason: Men tend to have larger hands that can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including height and weight. Thicker wedding bands tend to be more comfortable for men with larger hands, or those who work in hands-on careers.. In contrast, wedding bands that are thinner or have a smaller width (1.5 mm-3 mm), tend to work well for men with smaller hands and thinner fingers. Thicker wedding bands (6 mm-12mm) make more of a statement on the hand since they are larger and more noticeable. For men who are not used to wearing a ring, a thinner wedding band might be the best option. It really comes down to your personal preference and what width you think would work best for you.
On average, the width of men's wedding band is about 8 millimeters wide, or about the width of four nickels stacked on top of each other. However, they can range anywhere from 2mm to 10mm. Need a better visual? With Clarity's Classic Low Dome Wedding Band is on the thin side at 4mm thick, while the Channel Set Men's Wedding Band is thicker at 7.7mm.With Clarity offers many different wedding band widths so that you have the opportunity to find your perfect wedding band.
Not all metals are created equally. While every metal used for men's wedding band styles are designed to be durable and stand up to day-to-day life, the truth is that they're all still different.
Platinum is one of the most popular metal choice for men's weddings rings because it's both visually appealing (thanks to its soft white color) and durable (about 20 percent more dense than white gold). Another benefit to choosing platinum is that it doesn't show off scratches like its gold counterpart, but its density means it tends to cost more than other similar metals.
White Gold, Yellow Gold, and Rose Gold
Thought not as strong as platinum, both yellow gold and white gold are also solid options for men's wedding bands. Though both are made from pure gold, they're different — and both have their advantages and disadvantages. Yellow gold is the traditional and timeless choice for men's wedding bands. Made with pure gold and a mixture of silver and copper, yellow gold gives off a warm hue that'll never go out of style — and it makes those diamonds pop. White gold, on the other hand, is a more contemporary style that combines pure gold with other metals, like palladium, silver, nickel, copper and zinc. The white color tends to reflect the sparkle of any diamonds on the ring, giving the illusion that the stones are bigger and brighter.
The downside to yellow gold and white gold? Its strength. The good news is that rhodium plating can help improve the durability in white gold and make it even more lustrous and reflective, but it does wear off over time and must be replated after a few years. With Clarity offers a lifetime warranty that cover replating and repolishing. If you can't choose between the two, two-tone men's wedding band styles offer both white gold and yellow gold in the same ring. The actual combination of the metal depends on the style: Some — like the Carved Dome Two Color Men's Band — is more yellow gold than white gold, while others might be primarily white gold with yellow gold accents.
Aside from the more traditional yellow or white gold, men can also choose rose gold for their wedding band. Rose gold is made from a combination of pure gold and copper. This combination allows the metal to have more of a reddish/pinkish hue. Some people even consider rose gold to be the most romantic given its pink-like tint. Not only does mixing gold with copper give rose gold a beautiful color, it also makes the metal quite durable. Copper is a very strong metal, so it ultimately gives some extra strength to rose gold. When shopping for rose gold there is typically both 14kt and 18kt available just like with white or yellow gold. The following section will explain what karat gold means and the differences between the different karat weights.
What does Karat Gold Mean?
Whether it be white gold, yellow gold, or rose gold, it is also important to consider the karat. Gold wedding bands are typically offered in both 14kt and 18kt. The number represents the number of parts of gold the metal contains. For example, a 14kt gold men's wedding band contains 14 parts gold. (The other 10 parts consist of the other alloy metal.) On the other hand,18kt gold contains 18 parts gold with the remaining 6 parts consisting of the other alloy metal. The different karat weight influences things such as durability and look. For example the lower the karat, the more durable the piece of metal is. Pure gold is actually a rather soft metal. When it is mixed with other metals, such as in yellow or white gold, it becomes more durable and can withstand more wear and tear. Ultimately, the less amount of pure gold in the ring means more durability. In terms of appearance, the gold with the higher karat will appear brighter since it does ultimately contain a higher percentage of pure gold.
Another material on the market for men's wedding bands is stainless steel. Stainless steel is definitely more affordable than other metals such as platinum and gold, so stainless steel is a great option for an inexpensive wedding band. On the other hand, the styles of stainless steel wedding bands can be limited and resizing of the band can be difficult.
In the end, there really is no “best” metal for a wedding band. Each metal has its own pros and cons. It is just important to understand the characteristics of each metal so you can make the best choice for you, your budget, and your lifestyle.
In general, a men's wedding band should gently slide over the knuckle (with smooth sides for comfort), but still fit snugly on the finger. The metal you choose can also affect fit, specifically how heavy it feels on your finger. Metals like platinum tend to be heavier on the finger, thanks to its density. Pro tip: If ring weight is a concern, look for styles that are specifically designed to be lightweight, like the Carved Satin Light Weight Men's Band.
You've picked a metal for the wedding band, but how will you finish it? Though women's engagement rings and wedding rings tend to use the same finish, men's wedding bands have a variety of options to fit your style.
- High polish - The most popular finish for wedding bands, high polish gives the ring a reflective, shiny surface. It creates a striking and attractive look, but some polished metals (like white gold) can be prone to scratching.
- Matte - A matte finish gives off a flat look that isn't shiny or reflective.
- Satin - A satin finish on men's wedding band styles are similar to high polish in that it gives the ring a smooth and shiny look. However, it doesn't reflect light, cutting down on the flashiness for those guys who don't want to draw too much attention to their rings.
- Brush/Cross Satin - Like the satin finish, a brush or cross finish does not have the flashiness of a high polish finish. This particular finish is not shiny, but it does have a textured look. The overall look of this cross-hatch finish appears as if it was made for a wire brush, making it a unique option for a wedding band.
- Sand blasting - Want a ring with a little grit to it? Consider sand blasting. The technique uses an abrasive to create a “rough” look to the ring — and there's absolutely no shine or reflection on it at all.
A wedding band is a wedding band, right? Not necessarily. Men's wedding bands are all circular, of course, but you have multiple options when it comes to structure. At With Clarity, the men's wedding bands styles are structured in three ways:
- Dome - Sometimes called a D-shape, a dome structure on a wedding band gives it a rounded appearance on the surface and edges of the ring that some men find more comfortable.
- Flat - A flat shape on a men's wedding band is exactly what it sounds like: A band with no curves and straight edges on the ring.
- Concave - A concave structure is the opposite of dome: The surface of the ring curves inward in the middle, creating a striking shape.
Adding extra details to a men's wedding band can really take it to the next level, creating a look that's truly unique — just like you. A few options for detailing include:
- Diamonds - Diamonds might be a girl's best friend, but they're definitely for guys, too. The only difference? While women's engagement rings and wedding rings tend to feature diamonds that extend off the band, the diamonds in men's wedding bands tend to be added seamlessly into the setting, like the Satin Princess Diamond Men's Wedding Band. Some bands — like the Floating Three Stone Wedding Band — are more intricate, while others feature smaller pave diamonds as accents instead of focal points.
- Milgrain - Adding small details and texture to rings with milgrain, small balls of metal work, was a common practice back in the first half of the 20th century, but it's making a comeback in modern designs. One solid option? The Brushed Center Milgrain Diamond Wedding Band.
- Carving - Like milgrain, carving adds detail and substance to a ring without adding extra gemstones. The carving can be simple — like with the Concave Carved High Polish Men's Wedding Band — or as intricate and detailed as you want.
How much do Men's Wedding Band Styles Differ by Price?
The good news: The width, finish and detailing on men's wedding band styles won't really affect the price. So, what does influence price? The metal you pick for a wedding band makes an impact. Platinum, for example, tends to be more expensive than yellow gold and white gold. Any added diamonds — including pave diamonds — can also have an impact on price (just like they do with women's engagement rings).
The expert gemologists at With Clarity can help guide you through all the different men's wedding band styles to help you get the best ring that you'll wear forever (and at a price that fits your budget).
Wedding Band Average Cost
As discussed above, there are different factors that impact the cost of a wedding band. A gold band with diamonds is going to cost you more than a gold band without diamonds, just like a wedding band with a more intricate and unique design such as a pave wedding band or a two tone wedding band would cost more than a more simply designed wedding band. While the cost of a men's wedding band can range from $100 to $2,000, the average cost falls around $600 for the band.
With Clarity Men's Wedding Bands Style Guide
Here are some examples of different styles, widths, finishes, and designs offered by With Clarity.
Classic Low Dome Men's Wedding Band
This simple yet beautiful wedding band has a design that will truly never go out of style. At only 3mm in width, this band would be perfect for someone who would prefer something smaller on the hand. This design also comes in white gold, yellow gold, and platinum.
Split Satin Top Men's Wedding Band
For those looking to make more of a statement but still want to keep it rather simple, this wedding band is the perfect choice for you. At 5mm, this wedding band (offered in both white gold and platinum) is wider and also boasts a unique design featuring both polished and satin finishes.
Carved Dome Two Color Men's Band
Having trouble deciding between white gold and yellow gold? Don't worry, this ring is the best of both worlds. With both yellow gold tones and white gold tones, this 5mm width wedding band is truly an eye catching piece of jewelry.
Classic Knife Edge Wedding Band
This particular ring offers a sleek design featuring a unique optical illusion. The design of the ring makes it appear much thinner than it is since the eyes are drawn to the edge in the design. The ring is offered in white gold, yellow gold, and platinum and is 5mm though it can appear thinner. This ring would be perfect for someone who likes the feel of a thicker ring but prefers the feel of a thinner ring.
Satin Round Diamond Men's Wedding Band
For those looking for the bling, this ring is the perfect option. Adorned with 8 round cut diamonds, this 5mm width wedding band is beautifully crafted and makes a great statement. This ring is also offered in both white gold and platinum.
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