Choosing a man's wedding ring cannot be that difficult? Can it?
Believe it or not, men often times have more difficulty choosing their wedding bands than their wives (or fiancés). Prior to their nuptials, most men have never decorated their fingers with rings and have no idea what they want. Unlike their female counterparts, men don’t have engagement rings to coordinate with. (At least in today's society! maybe one day somebody will give me a ring!) Many men can be completely in the dark when it comes to this decision.
We are here to help
Here is the official Freedman Jeweler’s guide to men’s wedding bands. Hopefully our explanation of metals that we work with will put you at ease as you choose your wedding band. In a later blog post, I will touch upon different styles for men's wedding rings.
Here are the metals Freedman Jewelers works with:
- 14kt & 18kt white gold
- 14kt & 18kt yellow gold
- 14kt & 18kt rose gold
- Tungsten Carbide
White gold (14kt & 18kt):
Today, 14kt white gold is the most popular choice for men's wedding rings. All gold starts off naturally yellow. White gold is made by adding nickel to it's base. 14kt white gold is 58% pure. 24kt gold is too soft to use in most jewelry (especially wedding rings) hence why 14kt & 18kt gold are used.
- White gold is malleable and easy to work on, resize & repair
- White gold is relatively inexpensive compared to Platinum
- Gold is a precious, natural metal
- White gold will tarnish over time turning a yellowish-white color
- For it's color to be restored, white gold needs to be rhodium plated (an acid applied) every several years
- White gold uses nickel which some people have an allergy to (3-5% of the worldwide population has this allergy)
If one does have an allergy to nickel, their fingers may develop a rash & discomfort when wearing the ring. If you do know you have an allergy, choose a different metal. Both palladium & platinum ( which I will touch upon later) are hypoallergenic.
18kt white gold is a purer gold, it is 75% pure. 18kt white gold is a bit softer than 14kt white gold. You can't tell a color different in different karats of white gold. It is usually not necessary to choose 18kt white gold unless you are matching something that already has 18kt white gold in it.
Yellow Gold (14kt & 18kt):
14kt yellow gold is the original wedding band. Classic & old-school. It is 58% pure just like 14kt white gold. Many people feel that yellow represents the color gold since that yellow color is it's true state. Yellow gold will cost approximately the same as white gold.
- Yellow Gold is classic; it is the original wedding band
- Unique color - most other bands are a silver, white color
- Easy to work on, resize & repair
- Pure Gold is hypoallergenic but some people are allergic to the alloys mixed into to 14kt & 18kt yellow gold.
18kt yellow gold (75% pure) is a richer, brighter yellow color. One can tell the different in color between 24kt gold, 18kt & 14kt gold. 24kt would be the richest yellow color but is too soft to be used in wedding rings. 14kt yellow gold has a little more of a softer tone than the 18kt gold. It is a personal choice to which one you like better.
Rose Gold (14kt & 18kt):
Rose gold, otherwise known as pink gold, is made using gold & copper. Copper gives rose gold that pinkish tone. All the other properties are similar to yellow gold. 18kt rose gold will be a richer color than 14kt rose gold. Reference the white & yellow gold pros and cons for more information.
Platinum is considered the best & ultimate precious metal. It is strong, durable and naturally white.
- Platinum is the strongest natural precious metal.
- Platinum has a natural white color.
- Platinum is hypoallergenic (meaning it won't cause any allergic reaction).
- Platinum is extremely durable.
- Platinum is very dense & heavier than all the alternative wedding band choices
- Platinum is the most expensive precious metal
- Platinum is the strongest precious metal but it can still gather scratches & nicks. Platinum can be polished every several years which will restore the shiny silver/white color and buff the scratches out. When polished to gain it's shiny color, platinum is stripped down and loses a layer, so it is recommended to polish only when necessary.
In conclusion, Platinum has the most overall benefits but it is the most expensive precious metal. The price difference can really be felt on a men's wedding band since they are usually wider and use more metal than a ladies band.
Palladium is a great option for a men's wedding ring. If you want a platinum like metal but cannot afford the price tag, Palladium may be your answer. Palladium is a sister metal to Platinum. Palladium bands usually rival 14kt white gold bands in price. Here are the Pros and Cons:
- Palladium is a sister metal to platinum but more affordable
- Palladium is a precious, natural metal
- Palladium is naturally white
- Palladium is hypoallergenic
- Palladium is light in weight
- Palladium is more difficult to work on as it is a newer metal being used in jewelry
- Many Palladium rings need to be sent outside of Boston to be resized & repaired
Tungsten Carbide is the one man made metal Freedman Jewelers currently works with. Tungsten is a hard and dense metal known on the periodic table of elements as Wolfram. Tungsten Carbide is the combination of Tungsten with Carbon. Tungsten is predominately used in high tech machinery, aerospace and high temperature applications.
- Tungsten Carbide is extremely strong and scratch resistance.
- Because it is man made, price does not fluctuate like natural precious metals
- Tungsten Carbide rings are substantially less than white gold, palladium & platinum rings.
- Tungsten Carbide is about ten times harder than gold and has a hardness of 8.5-9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale
- Tungsten Carbide rings cannot be resized
- Tungsten Carbide rings cannot be engraved
- Tungsten Carbide is not a precious metal and has little to none intrinsic value.
Tungsten Carbide rings come in a variety of colors: Triton's Tungsten Carbide are available in the following colors: White (looks like white gold, platinum etc) Metallic Gray and Black. Check out the collection here:
Since these rings cannot be resized, Triton Tungsten Carbide rings has a safety valve. If you took a hammer and hit around the entire band, it would eventually break into two pieces. This is protection against broken fingers and other issues that may cause complications with removing the ring from one's finger. Many tungsten rings that are sold lack a warranty & safety valve. Triton has a lifetime warranty for their Tungsten Carbide rings and if one has to be split in half to be removed, it can be replaced for a small fee.
Now, are you ready to browse men's wedding rings?
Check out these companies that Freedman Jewelers works with for ideas:
I hope this overview on Men's wedding rings was helpful & educational. Feel free to contact Freedman Jewelers for any questions & comments you have.