Contemporary Men’s Wedding Bands and Rings: Which One is Right for Him?
Shopping for his wedding ring can be surprisingly tough – who knew there were so many options for a relatively simple looking band? In addition to the classic precious choices of platinum and gold, you’ve no doubt seen some metals and materials that are less commonly found in women’s jewelry. These materials are what are commonly referred to as alternative or contemporary materials, and they are well worth a second look.
Why buy men’s wedding bands and rings in contemporary materials? For starters, they tend to be a lot more affordable than precious materials like platinum and gold, and can start in the low double digits. They also offer extraordinary durability and resistance to the rigors of everyday wear that men’s wedding bands and rings are subjected to. Here are four of the most popular contemporary materials for men’s rings with a little background information to help you make your choice.
A naturally low density gives the metal titanium its nearly imperceptible weight. Despite its lightness, titanium is impressively strong and durable – in fact, it has the highest strength to weight ratio of all metals. Titanium is crack and corrosion resistant, as well as hypoallergenic.
Titanium men’s wedding bands and rings can generally be found in three grades: commercial, extra-hard and aircraft grade. Usually, the design of the ring dictates what grade is used, although aircraft grade and extra-hard are considered to be the highest quality grades on the men’s jewelry market. Titanium’s natural color is a cool gunmetal grey, though black titanium rings are not uncommon.
Along with titanium, tungsten is one of the most popular contemporary materials for men’s wedding rings. Some shoppers can get the two materials confused, which given their shared natural gunmetal hue is quite understandable. However, these two materials differ from one another significantly.
Tungsten men’s wedding bands and rings are made from tungsten carbide, a ceramic-based material that pairs rare metal tungsten with an equal number of carbon atoms. Tungsten carbide is impressively hard (an 8.5-9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness), but it is also naturally brittle. While more scratch-resistant than titanium, tungsten rings are not immune to cracking, and thus not recommendable for men who are likely to hit their ring repeatedly against a hard surface. Tungsten is also considerably heavier than titanium, and has a pleasantly weighty feel.
While cobalt chrome may not currently be as well known as titanium and tungsten, that may well soon change. This amazing material has a classic white metal look that rivals that of platinum or white gold and offers an attractive array of benefits. A metallic alloy of cobalt and chromium, cobalt chrome has a naturally high luster and is crack and scratch-resistant, with a weight somewhere between titanium and tungsten.
Cobalt chrome rings are hypoallergenic and biocompatible, making them appropriate for those with sensitive skin. Unlike the other contemporary materials listed here, cobalt chrome men’s wedding bands and rings are also resizable.
Best for: Men who want a classic white metal look paired with durability.
Don’t let the name fool you: ceramic men’s wedding bands and rings aren’t made of anything that you’ll find in the kitchen. Ceramic rings are generally made from titanium carbide, which is similar to tungsten carbide but has titanium’s lightness of weight. This material is also sometimes referred to as high-tech ceramic or jewelry ceramic.
Given their composition, it’s not surprising that ceramic rings have unique properties from both titanium and tungsten. Scratch-resistant like tungsten, they also have titanium’s improved crack-resistance. Ceramic men’s rings are most popularly seen in black in a variety of finishes from matte to highly polished.
Best for: Men who want a lightweight ring with a unique look.
Author Bio: Tanya Zilinskas Naouri – In the Men’s Wedding Ring are four of the most popular contemporary materials for men’s rings with a little background information to help you make your choice.