Men’s Wedding Rings
A wedding band is a ring worn on the finger to signify that the wearer is married. Forged in yellow gold or another precious metal like platinum, wedding rings are traditionally exchanged by a bride and groom during the wedding ceremony to symbolize their timeless union. In most Western countries the wedding band is placed on the left ring finger, replacing the engagement ring, and becomes the most significant jewelry piece that either partner will ever own.
Traditionally, a pair of yellow gold wedding bands were exchanged. Today, it is not unusual to find a wedding band made of rose gold, white gold, platinum, or sterling silver. Wedding rings nowadays also sometimes include accent stones, usually white diamonds, which symbolize a marriage strong enough to last for life.
Below, you can read all about the history of wedding rings and find tips for choosing a men’s wedding ring.
Where Does The Wedding Ring Tradition Come From?
A wedding band is now one of, if not the most, romantic piece of jewelry you can wear, second only to the engagement ring. It has emotional significance not just for you and your partner, but for the family you will make. This practice, however, is not new. Exchanging wedding bands with your partner during the wedding ceremony is a practice far older than you think.
The tradition can be traced back to the ancient Egyptians. During those times, a couple would exchange rings made from braided reed and hemp, putting the band on the fourth finger of the left hand. It was believed that the “vein of love” ran from this finger to the heart. The bands were also circular to symbolize the wedding promise of forever.
The Western tradition of wearing wedding bands made of a precious metal started in the ancient Roman and Greek empires. It formed part of a bride’s dowry and represented the promise of fidelity. The practice of exchanging wedding bands later extended to Europe during the Middle Ages.
By the 15th century, the tradition had become personalized. Figures of the couple would be engraved on the inside of the metal band. Later practices included inscribing a meaningful word or message, a significant date, or the couple’s names.
Nowadays, it is not unusual to see wedding rings made of all kinds of different metals and materials, not just yellow gold. You can find white, rose-tone, and even tri-tone wedding bands, which feature a combination of white, yellow, and rose gold. Rings with gemstone accents have become commonplace as well. While wedding bands embellished with a row of diamonds are the most popular choice, rings featuring colored gemstones are slowly gaining in popularity.
Men’s Wedding Rings
The History of Men’s Wedding Rings
While women have been wearing wedding and engagement rings for millennia, men didn’t start wearing wedding rings until the mid-20th century. The practice only became widespread during World War II, when soldiers started wearing rings to represent their devotion to their wives while they were away fighting in the war.
Earlier, in the 16th and 17th centuries, men wore Gimmel rings, which consisted of two interlocking rings. At the time, the groom would share one of the pair with the bride throughout the engagement, and then put his ring on the woman’s hand during the wedding ceremony.
Today, you will see men sporting wedding bands in a multitude of different styles. While some choose to stick with a traditional yellow gold band, others opt for rings made from more unique materials. Stainless steel and titanium are popular choices, for example.
Tips For Choosing a Men’s Wedding Ring
As mentioned, wedding rings typically consisted of a plain metal band, usually in yellow gold, in days gone by. However, plain bands are no longer the norm and anything goes these days. To help you, here are a few tips for choosing the right wedding band based on your budget and taste:
- If you’re looking to keep costs down, consider buying a ring in an alternative metal like titanium or tungsten. Platinum is the most expensive of all precious metals and gold is not far behind. That being said, you will find that gold rings with a lower karatage can be quite affordable. A 14-karat gold ring, for example, is generally considered good value for money. Also, bear in mind that adding any diamonds and/or gemstones to the design usually increases the price.
- Consider your lifestyle. If you are a very active person or work in a job that requires you to work with your hands or operate heavy machinery, then you’ll want to steer clear of a soft metal like gold. Gold is prone to getting scratched and dented, so unless you plan to remove your ring before performing any kind of manual labor, you’ll want to opt for a harder metal like platinum or stainless steel instead.
- If you like the old-school traditional look, consider a ring in yellow gold. If you’re looking for something more modern, then the cool grey tone of platinum or white gold may appeal to you. If you’re a romantic, opt for a rose gold wedding band.
Frequently Asked Questions About Men’s Wedding Rings
What is the most popular metal for a men’s wedding band?
Gold is the most classic choice for a men’s wedding band, followed closely by platinum. Popular alternative metals include cobalt, titanium, tungsten, and stainless steel.
What does a tri-tone wedding band mean?
The three bands in a tri-tone or trinity ring represent different aspects of a relationship. The white gold band symbolizes a lasting friendship, the yellow gold band represents loyalty or marital fidelity and the rose gold band represents true love.
What does it mean when a man wears a black wedding band?
Black, as a symbol of power, can be taken to mean the power of love when worn as a wedding ring. A black wedding band, therefore, could be seen as a manifestation of the man’s commitment and dedication to his marriage and his belief in the strength of his union with his wife. Black is also masculine and appeals to many men for this reason.
How much should a man’s wedding ring cost?
Men’s wedding rings come in a variety of styles and sizes, with a lot of factors affecting their price. Thus, you can expect to pay anything between $500 and $2,000, depending on the metals and gemstones used.
What is the best wedding ring for a man?
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to men’s wedding rings. Ultimately, the best wedding ring is one that you can afford and that reflects your own personal style.
What should you look for in a man’s wedding ring?
A wedding band should reflect the personal style of the individual it belongs to. You should, therefore, consider aspects like their lifestyle and hobbies when choosing a ring. Also, take your budget into account and bear in mind that adding diamonds and other stones to the band will make it more expensive.
What are the best finishes for men’s wedding bands?
There are four types of finishes used for men’s bands. A high polish is commonly used to deliver a smooth and glimmering finish to your items. A matte finish is popular among modern grooms and cuts down on the reflective quality of the ring’s surface. A combination finish is a mixture of a high polish and matte finish. A hammered finish gives the ring a textured look.
What styles are perfect for men’s wedding bands?
There are different profiles available for men’s wedding bands. The classic court is one of the most common ring shapes. This style features a band that is round inside and out. The D-shape ring makes the band appear round and thin on the outside and flat on the inside. This type of ring offers a closer fit. A flat ring is very comfortable to wear. However, it is prone to getting stuck on clothing or machinery.
Where can I buy men’s wedding bands?
For high-quality men’s rings that can be made to order, we recommend a reputable online jewelry shop like James Allen and Blue Nile. These two jewelers offer a multitude of men’s wedding bands. From traditional metals to bands made from unconventional materials, you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes.
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