If you're on your way to becoming a groom, congratulations! You obviously have a great deal of planning to do between now and then, not just for the wedding itself but also in the selection of your wedding ring. Ideally, you want a piece of jewelry that suits your style, personality, and budget, not to mention your finger size. Here's an introductory guide to help you navigate the wide world of men's wedding rings and make a great choice for your needs and taste.
The Right Metal
Do you automatically think of gold when you think of men's wedding bands? Gold has certainly earned its place as the traditional and favored metal for this type of jewelry over the centuries, although the earliest wedding rings in history were made of bone, leather, ivory and even reeds. Today, some 17 tons of gold find their way into American wedding rings each year. But gold is hardly the only material you get to choose from. Silver makes a popular (and less expensive) alternative to gold, as long as you're willing to polish it from time to time to keep oxidation and tarnish at bay. On the other end of the cost scale, platinum is even pricier than gold. Gold itself can come in different colors and shades, from bright yellow high-carat gold to white gold or rose gold. If you're not sure what color or shade best matches your hair or skin, your local jeweler or fashion consultant can guide you toward the right color.
The Right Style
Simple, unadorned men's wedding bands are just as popular and prevalent today as ever, and many people automatically envision this style when they think of a man's wedding ring. But just as women enjoy enhancing their wedding bands with diamonds and engravings, it's actually pretty common for men to add various extra touches to their rings. Your preferred modification might be as simple as the choice of a wider, flatter band over a more narrow, rounded style. You can also request bushed-metal or other texturing, or you can have specific patterns or personalized messages engraved into your ring. Some unique men's wedding bands even feature gemstones.
The Right Size
It's one thing to pick out a men's wedding ring when you're already in the habit of sizing and buying rings for yourself. But if you've never bought yourself a ring or aren't in the habit of wearing rings, you may have no idea how to make sure that your ring will fit properly. Fortunately, determining the right size for your wedding ring is a fairly simple matter. The main challenge is to choose a diameter that will slide over your knuckle, but only if you put a bit of effort into the motion. An overly loose wedding ring will constantly fall off or hang awkwardly over the knuckle, while an overly snug ring could impair circulation and nerve function in your finger. A little "wiggle room" not only makes you more comfortable; it also allows for a little age-related weight gain in years to come.
Men use a variety of methods to obtain the correct size for their wedding rings. Although your jeweler can certainly perform this task for you quickly and accurately with a professional ring sizer, you can also use a special measuring tape designed especially for ring sizing at home. You can even encircle your finger with a piece of string, cut the string at a comfortable length, and then simply measure the string in millimeters. Specific millimeter measurements correspond to different ring sizes. For instance, a measurement of 19.8 millimeters indicates the need for a men's size 10 ring, while a measurement of 20.6 millimeters will call for a size 11 ring. Taking multiple measurements will help you achieve greater accuracy.
Choosing a men's wedding ring doesn't have to add undue confusion or complexity to your marriage plans. Keep these basic considerations in mind as you shop, and you'll find it surprisingly easy and entertaining to pick out that ideal ring!