When it comes to wedding rings for men or gents wedding rings, many options exist. While most articles and websites focus on the diamond ladies wedding rings, some really nice designed exist for the guys.
I’ll draw on my ow experience in terms of what to look out for and what to avoid. Most mens rings are available in all precious metals but I’ll discuss metals too as it is very important. Before this, there are a few considerations before you decide on style.
Wedding Ring Considerations:
(i) You’ll need to know your finger size.
In Ireland and the UK, we use letters – for example finger R for a man would be the average width. It goes from A (a childs baby finger) to Z+16 (a very large mans thumb). Most of us are Q-S in size.
(ii) Metal choice.
If you like the yellow gold colour, 9k and 18k look exceptionally similar. 9k is usually approx half the cost compared to 18k so we advise going with 9k. Its as hard wearing and as durable.
If you like the white colour, there are many options. The main metal choices are platinum, palladium, 18k white gold and 9k white gold. I advise a meta which requires no maintenance. 9k and 18k will tarnish and may require rhodium plating at a later date – platinum and palladium require zero maintenance as they do not tarnish. Generally palladium would represent 80% of the white metal gents wedding rings. It is a bit lighter than platinum (making it more comfortable to wear) and is approx 30% to 40% less expensive. It ages very similar and is as durable as platinum.
Other metals exist in wedding rings for men. These include, titanium, cobalt, tungsten and tantalum. These are slightly darker metal (which can be nice) however they come with a warning.
- It is exceptionally difficult to resize a ring of this metal. Fingers will change over time. Having a ring which cannot be resized is not a good ides – it means the ring will only have a shelf like of 1-5 years and you have to replace it.
- More worringly, if the ring gets caught on something, its not possible to cut the ring off your finger. The only way to release the person is to cut the finger off (and sew it back on in A&E). This sounds pretty gruesome but is a reality. Thinking ‘this wont happen me’ is advised against. I would not want me name associated with a ring in one of these metals. They can be got for small money (elsewhere) but if budget is a priority, we advise silver.
(iii) Band width.
Most wedding rings for men are available from 1.5mm wide to 8mm wide. Most guys go for 4mm or 5mm (approx 90% of guys) with some going wider and thinner. It all depends on the length and width of the gents finger. It also depends on personal preference.
(iv) Band depth. Not all rings have the same depth. Most men like the band thin. This makes it most comfortable when being worn. When the hand forms a fist, its best not to be able to feel a ring on the finger. The thicker or deeper a ring, the more conscious you are of it on the hand. Thinnest we would recommend would be 1.3mm – any thinner and it may snap with age or be tricky to resize..
(v) Ring profile or court.
There are three styles of plain gents ring profiles (there are several but three best ones).
- Flat court – as the name suggests, this has a flat surface on the outside. Can be nice with a pattern on the ring but when plain, it can look a bit industrial.
- Traditional court – this has a curve on the outside. Its the traditional style you may be used to from seeing a parent or grandparent. The more rounded a ring, the more uncomfortable it is. This ring in yellow gold is a common classic style.
- Slight court – this is a more subtle curve compared to the traditional court. Its the most popular shape profile while still being comfortable.
The main categories of gents wedding rings are as follows.
1. Classic Gents Wedding Rings
When you think of a wedding ring for a man, many people think of a plain yellow gold ring. Many people in Ireland have a dad who got marries in the 1970’s or 1980’s ans has one of these. Similar to washer it generally ‘did the job’ – and rarely worn. Probably still in some sock drawer somewhere. The funny thing with history is that it generally repeats itself. The classic ‘traditional court’ (curved) gents wedding ring with a polish finish is approx 40% of what guys buy in Ireland at the moment.
2. Pattern Wedding Rings for Men
There are many styles and types of gents pattern wedding bands. Most guys like a subtle pattern – one that will age nicely. The usual considerations need to be taken into account like metal, width, depth etc. Often a pattern can hide marks and scratches on a ring which will appear over time. All rings will mark and scratch. Its usually easy enough to polish up a ring and add the pattern (depending on the pattern).
In the majority of cases, many patterns have a brushed or satin finish. This can make the metal look a bit darker (why many guys like it). It is achieved by the goldsmith rubbing sandpaper on the ring – yes regular sandpaper. One could do this at home if you wanted – light sandpaper being the tool of choice for goldsmiths.
The most popular gents ring has polish edges and brush centre – like the image shown. When the brush centre fades away, one is left with two subtle likes in the ring – breaking up he plainness of it. Pattern rings represent about 50% of gents rings sold.
3. Two tone Gents Wedding Bands
This style of wedding rings for men is self explanatory. The ring is made from two different metals. Usually yellow and white or rose and white. There are a large number of choices for each ring. From 9k yellow to 18k yellow – or 9k ir 18k rose. The white can he 9k or 18k white or platinum or palladium.
These bi colour wedding rings are great for guys who want something a bit different. As the ring ages and marks, the different colours always remains visible.
These rings are generally made in one base metal with a channel cut our for the second metal. Because of this, the bands are usually a bit deeper – approx 1.6mm (compared to 1.3mm for the plain ring)
A word of caution, these rings can be a bit trickier to resize (still very doable) but often the thin layer of metal in the middle can be very thin. An expert goldsmith would be required to stretch this style of ring. his style of ring is approx 7% of the styles sold.
4. Celtic Style Wedding Rings
Celtic gents wedding rings are a nice choice for guys who like the chunky look. They are popular among Irish people living abroad too. As they are quite chunky, the cost could be high if made in a precious metal like platinum or palladium. For this reason, many celtic rings are made in 9k gold or silver. Silver is quite an inexpensive material – as at time of writing this post in 2021. Global conditions will make it rise over the coming years but thats outside the scope of this post!
Most celtic wedding rings are mass produced and made in China – very few of them actually made here in Ireland. Thats probably beyond the scope of this page too. In summary, most jewellery who can custom design a Celtic wedding ring for you – within 4-5 weeks – are probably making it in their workshop. Any ring that ever takes over 6 weeks to make, its usually made outside Europe.
5. Diamond Set Gents Wedding Bands
The final style of wedding rings for men is one with a diamond. This style has become more popular over the past few years. The number of diamonds one chooses is a personal choice but many guys like 1 or 3 diamonds on the ring. It gives it a bit of uniqueness. Just because a diamond is a girls best friend, nobody said us guys cant like them either!
To wear a diamond on a wedding ring does require a bit of bravery. As a society, we are probably a good few years behind it being the norm for a guy to wear a diamond band. Once again, Hollywood is leading the way. Ryan Reynolds and Johnny Depp are proud wearers of diamonds on their rings. The diamond industry has tried to push the idea of ‘mangagement rings’ – an engagement ring for a man. Most of us saw it in a cynical light and a marketing ploy but if a David Beckham or The Champ Conor McGreggor decide to wear one, many of us ‘normal people’ might follow.