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. Modern jewelers recognize that men want to show off their style — and their personalities — just as much (or sometimes more!) than the ladies. Let’s break down all the aspects of men’s wedding band styles to help you put the right ring on it.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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).