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Your Guide to Choosing Men’s Wedding Bands

When it comes to engagement and wedding jewelry, the men’s wedding band can be seen as somewhat of an afterthought. For many men, they often have not worn other jewelry except for a watch. And the options to consider for men’s wedding bands can easily get lost in all the other wedding planning.

So we’re here to make it easy and personal with our complete guide to men’s wedding bands. Discover exactly what you need to consider when buying yours as we break down the two categories that make up the band options: look and feel.

The first thing we notice about a ring is how it looks. Typically, it’s also the element that is easiest to have preferences about. From metal choice to finishes to special detailing techniques, men’s wedding bands span the spectrum from simple to intricate, and provide every chance to find a ring to love for a lifetime.

Traditionally, metal choices for men’s wedding bands were 14k or 18k yellow or white gold. Today, options have expanded to include platinum and rose gold, and even materials like titanium, tungsten, and rubber.

White gold offers a bright white color while yellow gold provides more of a soft, warm glow and is often considered the most classic option. To achieve its pure white color, white gold is finished with a thin layer of rhodium plating, a member of the platinum family.

The third option in the gold family is the more modern rose gold, which creates a nice vintage effect and warming appeal. Contrary to the name, rose gold does not look feminine and actually looks great on many men. The pinkish hue is complementary to most skin tones, and since rose gold has been hugely popular for women’s engagement rings, it makes for an easy style tie-in if your partner’s ring is in rose gold. If you’re on the fence between yellow or rose gold, then 18k rose gold is the perfect blend of the two options.

Platinum is the strongest precious metal and thus will be the most durable metal option, able to withstand the rigors of daily wear. Platinum gets its strength from its density, and in practical terms, that translates to 66% more weight than 14k gold, giving platinum a solid and substantial heft.  

The second most obvious difference between platinum and white gold is that platinum is naturally white, so it will stay the same color for life. On the other hand, white gold is naturally an off-white color and needs to be replated from time to time if your preference is for a cool, white color. And if you are considering stone settings (such as diamonds or sapphire accents) in your ring, then platinum really outperforms in this area because of its density and strength. We explain more about metal choice here.

comparison 14k yellow gold vs. 18k yellow gold
comparison 18k rose gold vs. yellow gold
comparison 14k rose gold vs. 18k rose gold
14k vs 18k white gold

The final category composing men’s wedding bands consists of modern elements such as titanium or tungsten, and materials like rubber. All of these are manufactured products that cannot be formed, altered, nor resized, and therefore we do not personally work with them. If you are looking for a black color wedding band, then these modern options make for a good choice because there is no comparable substitute in precious metal.  

Our closest solution is to use black rhodium as a plating over silver, gold, or platinum. But as is the case with all plating, it eventually wears off and can do so quickly under hard-wearing conditions (see our Dash ring for an example of black rhodium plating). The second, and more permanent solution to add black color to your ring is to set it with black diamonds, as in our Thomas ring.    

Any of these metals on their own are beautiful, but there’s also the option of two-toned men’s wedding bands. They’re a special and unique way to really personalize your ring.

The term finish describes the surface texture of a ring’s metal. The most common finishes are as follows, and they can be applied to any design and texture (for example, hammered texture rings can be finished in high polish or satin brush).

  • High polish - the most traditional finish is marked by its reflective look.
  • Satin brush - a matte appearance with subtle lines to create a visual texture while still being smooth to the touch. Reference our Kett design to see an example. Satin brush and high polish finishes can be combined to create a lovely contrasting visual effect, such as our Combo design (the rose gold trims are in high polish, while the platinum center is satin brushed).

Sandblast - has the same matte appearance as satin brush, but looks more even and does not have subtle lines. This technique gets its name from using very fine, sand-like compounds that are blasted with force onto the ring’s surface.

High polish yellow gold ring

satin finish men's wedding ring

Satin brush finish wedding ring

Sandblasted ring with diamond accents

High polish rose gold contrasted with satin brushed platinum

An array of design details and engravings are available to truly put your own unique stamp on a ring. From rustic style rings with elements reminiscent of nature, to adding diamonds or gemstones, to incorporating effects like milgrain, granulation, or rope twists, detailing allows extensive opportunities to create a truly one-of-a-kind ring.

  • Gemstones - men’s rings can include diamonds or other gemstones in patterns studded or sprinkled throughout, or even as a ‘center’ stone, as seen on our Belkin.
  • Engravings and carvings - fingerprints and engravings need not just be on the face of the ring, they can also be at the edges or tops, as seen on our Agustin. You can also opt for subtle lines like on our Brin or symmetrical designs like with Cramon.
  • Milgrain - with a nod to a vintage appeal, this technique features subtle, small metal beads used to create borders, as seen on our Ethan.

Twists or patterns - intricate or subtle rope-like twists and patterns from simple to intricate can enhance any style ring as seen in our Lyle, Clune, and Karli designs.

While the width of a ring also speaks to how it looks, this is usually correlated with the size of your hands and fingers. We encourage you to go with your instinct and choose the width that looks and feels best. Just remember that wider rings fit tighter with all else being equal. For example, given two size 8 rings - one ring is 8mm wide, and the other is 4mm wide; the 8mm width ring will likely feel ½ size smaller than the 4mm ring, even though they both are the same finger size. Wider rings will also be more expensive as they use more of the precious metal you’ve chosen.

Throughout history, wider rings have typically been more common than narrower rings. However, during World War II, precious metals of any size were asked to be contributed to the war effort to build machinery and equipment. This led to a trend in narrower men’s wedding bands in the decades following the war. Now, wider bands are making a comeback and are considered to have a quintessentially modern look.

Men’s wedding bands are a symbol of the love union and are expected to last a lifetime. They can also be a far more interesting and unique ring than most people think. Above all, take your time, pick a ring that suits your style and personality, and have some fun in the process!

2mm double band

3mm rose gold wedding band

5mm double wedding band

6mm wedding band

8mm hammered wedding band

Have questions? We're happy to help.

Don't know where or how to start? Our guide will show you how to budget, hone in on a style, choose a stone and more.

Diamonds need not be complicated. Learn about the difference between lab and natural, cuts vs. shapes and how to choose the best diamond for your dream ring.

Colored gemstones can be one way to create a unique engagement ring. Learn the pros and cons of different gemstones.