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Your Guide to Buying Men's Wedding Rings

So you're engaged. Congratulations! Between the excitement of the proposal, the engagement ring, and planning the wedding, you may have neglected one detail—your wedding ring!

While some guys are keen jewelry lovers, for others, a men's wedding ring might be the first piece they have ever worn. Regardless, a wedding ring is a symbol of your everlasting love and something that most married men will wear for the majority of their lives.

There is no shortage of options to suit every style and budget, from classic metal bands to men's diamond wedding rings and black wedding rings. So whether you've put plenty of thought into the type of wedding ring you would like or none at all, we will walk you through everything you need to know about choosing a ring you're sure to cherish for a lifetime.

Popular wedding band styles for men

The best style of ring for you will depend on several factors including your personal taste, your lifestyle, and your hands. The most important thing is to choose a ring that you connect with and will enjoy wearing. Let's start with some of the most popular wedding ring styles for men.

Classic metal wedding bands

It's easy to see why classic metal wedding bands are our best-selling style of ring for men. An enduring favorite, classic bands are made from polished precious metal like gold, sterling silver, or platinum and have no other features or embellishments like texture, stones, or engravings. They range from narrow to wide, with varying shapes or profiles (more on this below).

Domed vs Flat

The profile of the band refers to the shape of the ring on the outside. This ranges from a high dome, which is like a D-shape and is raised high off the finger, to a low dome which is thinner with no lift off the finger. There are no strict rules here, although some people prefer a high-domed ring on thicker fingers, and most people tend to opt for something in the middle—a slightly domed ring that has a subtle curve.

Best for: Classic metal wedding bands work well on just about everyone. A classic band is a good option for men who want something simple and understated that won't date. With variations in metals, width, and profile, it's easy to find a classic ring that's the perfect fit for you.

Modern men's wedding rings

While the ritual of marriage has an abundance of traditions, today's couples are carving their own path and the choice of wedding rings is no different. There are plenty of contemporary styles which offer something a bit different to a classic band.

Many modern wedding rings play around with texture, including brushed metal which gives a flat matte finish and hammered metal rings which have a far more rustic appearance. Some modern rings also mix metals, like black tungsten contrasted with a strip of rose gold which combines to create a striking look. Rings with a flatter profile also tend to look more minimal and modern.

Best for: Guys who don't feel a traditional band is right for them. If the idea of a classic band feels too old-fashioned, you may feel more comfortable in a contemporary style of ring. This could be a matte finish, a dark metal like tungsten, or mixed metals and colors for a fresher, unexpected look.

Diamond wedding rings

Diamonds are forever and for everyone! More men are choosing wedding bands that feature a little or a lot of sparkle. Options range from understated—simple bands with a single set diamond to opulent—channel set diamond wedding bands with sparkle all the way around the ring. Platinum and white gold bands set off the brilliance of diamonds beautifully, but yellow gold and rose gold are also great options for men who prefer warmer colors against their skin.

Best for: Guys who want to elevate this piece of everyday jewelry into something extra special. Most men's diamond wedding rings have the stones set into the metal, rather than raised above it—this means they are practical and easy to wear.

Black wedding rings

When we think of jewelry, we usually think of metals like silver, gold, and platinum, but these are by no means the only materials that can be used for wedding rings. Black wedding rings for men have become increasingly popular due to their striking, masculine look.

Black wedding bands can be made from a variety of metals including tungsten, titanium, tantalum, and cobalt. These metals are coated to make them black and can be polished for a high-shine finish or brushed for a matte finish.

Black metal rings are more affordable than gold and platinum but it's worth noting that they can usually not be resized. They may also be more prone to damage like chipping and scratching than a solid metal or alloy.

Best for: Guys who prefer the look of a black ring to a lighter metal. They are also a more budget-friendly choice, but because of their coatings, they may not be hypoallergenic.

Unique men's wedding rings

The wedding ring you choose should be as special as the love it symbolizes. While simple bands may be the most popular choice, they are certainly not the only ones. When it comes to unique wedding rings for men, there are plenty of choices for the guy who is after something offbeat and unexpected. Here are a few of our favorites:

Engraved wedding rings: If detail is your thing, an engraved wedding band could be a great option. From vintage-style engravings to Celtic patterns and braiding, there are many ways to add texture and interest to your wedding ring. You can also have a personalized message engraved in your ring which holds special meaning for you and your soul mate.

Link edge wedding rings: These rings use state-of-the-art technology and craftsmanship to create a linked chain look. They can be made with a single metal or mixed metals for contrast.

Textured wedding rings: While some guys might like the smooth sheen of a polished metal ring, others may prefer a more textured look. There are several options here including brushed metal, sandblasted, hammered and satin finish rings.

Two-tone wedding rings: Mixing metals like white gold and yellow gold, offers an alternative to traditional, single metal bands. This can be a great option for guys who like to wear a variety of jewelry so they can mix and match.

Best for: Unique wedding rings are for the guy who wants to make a style statement or imbue this piece of jewelry with special meaning. It may be an engraving with cultural or romantic significance or an unexpected use of texture and color that gives the ring added nuance.

Choosing your metal

If you already wear jewelry then you may have an idea which metal you prefer. If not, it's worth doing a bit of research. Here is a quick guide to the various popular metals for wedding rings.

Platinum

When it comes to wedding rings, platinum is our most popular choice, and it's easy to see why. Platinum wedding rings have a naturally white sheen that will never face, corrode or discolor. It also highlights the brilliance of diamonds perfectly. Because of its purity, platinum is hypoallergenic and easy on the skin. For these reasons, platinum is also the most expensive metal for wedding rings.

White Gold

If you like the icy white look but platinum is beyond your budget, white gold is a good alternative. White gold is more affordable because it is usually made from a mix of metals which may include pure gold, nickel, silver, or palladium, with rhodium plating. White gold is also more lightweight than platinum so some find it easier to wear. Because it's plated, white gold wedding bands can fade and change color over time. If cared for properly, white gold can remain in great condition and it is also possible to re-plate your white gold ring if needed.

Yellow Gold

For those who prefer warmer metals against their skin tone, a yellow gold wedding band may be the perfect choice. Yellow gold is resistant to rust, tarnish and corrosion, so you know your ring will stand the test of time. Gold is naturally softer than platinum but still very durable. 14 karat is our most popular choice for men's wedding rings because it offers a nice balance of purity and durability.

Rose Gold

Rose gold has gained popularity in recent years because of its warm, romantic hue. Normally made from a mixture of copper, gold, and sometimes a small amount of silver, rose gold wedding bands look especially good on warmer, deeper skin tones.

Other Metals

If platinum and gold are not for you, there are some other metals to consider:

Tungsten: This forged metal is a popular choice for men's wedding rings because it's designed to last a lifetime. Tungsten, which comes in a range of gray and white tones, is strong, hypoallergenic, and scratch-resistant. Tungsten wedding rings are a great choice for guys with an active lifestyle.

Titanium: Used in engineering and aerospace, titanium is an incredibly strong metal. Our men's titanium wedding rings are 99% pure and nickel-free, making them perfect for everyday wear.

Tantalum: Dense, shatterproof, and extremely malleable, tantalum is the newest addition to our collection of men's wedding rings. It is 99% pure, extremely scratch-resistant, and can be given a black ceramic glaze for a striking look.

Cobalt: Cobalt wedding rings are another excellent option because they are harder than platinum but less expensive. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic.

Which is the best width?

Many men may wonder, what is the best width for their wedding ring. This is a personal choice and it depends on what you prefer the look and feel of on your hand. As a guide, narrow rings are usually about 4mm wide, medium width rings are about 6mm and a wide ring is about 8mm in width.

There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to which width to choose, but guys with larger hands will normally suit a wider ring which will look more in proportion, and those with finer fingers normally prefer a narrower band. You should also consider how the ring will feel on your finger. For example, a wide ring could feel cumbersome on smaller fingers.

If you're not used to wearing a ring and are worried about how it will feel on your hand, you have two options to consider. A standard fit, in which the inside edge of the ring is completely flat, or a comfort fit that has curved edges and is usually more comfortable to wear.

Lastly, it's worth noting that the wider the ring, the more expensive it's likely to be due to the amount of metal required to make it.

How to choose the right size ring

If you're considering purchasing your wedding ring from an online retailer like Blue Nile, you might be worried about getting the right fit for your finger. Luckily, there are some tools you can use to ensure you get the perfect ring size.

One simple way is to tie a piece of string around your finger and mark the point where it ends with a pen. Measure this and you will have your ring size. If this isn't accurate enough, you can use our printable ring sizing chart or order one of our free plastic ring sizers to be delivered to your home.

You are aiming for a comfortable fit that is snug enough to stay on your finger but not so tight that it can't slide over your knuckle.

Wedding ring etiquette for men

With so much focus on the engagement ring, the wedding ring might be a bit of an afterthought. As such, you might have some questions about wedding ring etiquette including how much to spend and who should buy it. Let's answer some of these questions here.

How much does a wedding ring cost?

According to our research, the average cost of a men's wedding band is $478. However, wedding rings range from as little as $150 up to $3,500 or more depending on several factors including the type of metal and the use of diamonds or gemstones.

There are many guidelines when it comes to how much you "should" spend on a ring, but we think these are pretty outdated. The ring you buy should be the ring you like and can afford. Weddings can be famously expensive, so unless you have the means to do so, it's not worth stretching your finances even further on a wedding band that's out of your budget. Choosing a ring that you love and fits in your doesn't break the bank will feel a whole lot sweeter every time you look at it on your finger.

Which finger is the wedding ring worn on?

Speaking of fingers, some men may wonder which one the wedding ring should be worn on. In the U.S. and most western countries, tradition states that the wedding ring should be worn on the third finger of the left hand.

Ultimately though, the finger you choose to wear your ring on is completely up to you. For same-sex couples, you might choose to wear the engagement ring on the traditional ring finger, then switch this to the right hand at the ceremony to make way for the wedding ring. Or you may wish to stack both rings on the same finger. The choice is yours.

Who buys the wedding ring?

Traditionally, each partner buys the other's wedding ring (with or without help from their parents) but this is by no means the only way things can be done. These days, most modern couples are already living together with joint finances before marriage. This way, the cost of both wedding bands would come out of the combined wedding budget.

Who pays for the wedding bands is completely up to you. The most important thing is to talk it through with your partner and make sure you're both happy with the decision either way.

Should you get matching wedding bands?

Some couples like to choose matchy-matchy wedding rings, while others will opt for something completely different. The ring will most likely be worn every day for years, so it's important to choose something that you'll feel comfortable in, rather than trying to match with your partner's ring if that's not what you want.

If you choose to go for matching wedding rings, you could go for the same metal but in different styles, depending on your preference and your hands. You could both also consider diamonds in your wedding bands to add some sparkle.

Finally, if you're one of the growing numbers of lucky guys who have received an engagement ring, it's worth considering how your wedding band will work together with this. You might like the rings to be of similar width and matching metals so they complement each other, or you may prefer contrasting metals and styles for a more unexpected look.

Seal it with a kiss (and a ring)

Your wedding is likely to be one of the most memorable days of your life. While your wedding ring is just a small part of this day, it is an enduring symbol of the love you share both now and in the future. Choosing a wedding band that you connect personally with will ensure this piece of jewelry brings you joy for many years to come.