With Anna’s talk of her feelings about rings it seems like a good time to start talking about the decisions you face choosing your own rings and as it’s traditionally the man’s role to sort these things out, this duty has fallen to me. A lot of this may seem fairly obvious, but it’s always good to know what your options are.
First of all, there’s what your ring will be made of, and there are a lot to choose from. The easiest to find are gold and platinum followed by silver. The other options, while not necessarily difficult to find, don’t usually come in as wide a variety of designs. Let’s have a quick look over them:
Gold: classic, traditional and available in yellow, white and rose so whatever your preference you can find something you like. The downsides are that it’s not particularly hard wearing and is fairly expensive compared to some of the other options.
Platinum: Is very much the top notch, being both attractively shiny and harder wearing than gold. Also the most expensive.
Silver: while it is pretty and relatively inexpensive but with a couple of downsides. It isn’t very hardwearing, so chances are it’s not going to last you the rest of your life and it does tarnish so will need an occasional polish.
Palladium: maybe not quite as nice as platinum, but a lot cheaper. This is what I went for, and while they say it’s hard wearing mine has picked up a few scratches over the past couple of years, but then I hardly ever take it off.
Titanium: lightweight, hardwearing, quite cheap compared with some of the other options but not particularly romantic. For these reasons it’s mainly popular with men.
Tungsten carbide: very scratch resistant, but at the price of being quite brittle and can crack if you mistreat it and also quite heavy. As with titanium, it’s generally aimed at the grooms market and has the benefit of being fairly cheap.
Meteoric iron: now there aren’t a lot of places that sell them (the only places I can find are in the U.S.) and they do take a bit of taking care of, what with being made of a corrodible metal. But then, you know, it’s from space. How is that not cool? And they’re not massively expensive, at least not as far as these things go. If I’d known or thought about them at the time I’d have given serious thought to getting one.
There are, of course, other materials out there, but I’ve covered the main ones. Now I also realise I’ve said “hardwearing” a lot, but I suppose what a metal looks likes and what it costs are things you can see just by looking and a wedding ring can be a big financial investment, so it’s good to know whether it needs taken care of.
While there is plenty to choose from in terms of precious stones, inlays of different metals, engravings etc, these are very much a matter of personal taste, so I’m going to talk about the plain, classic wedding band. Even with a “plain band” there are choices to be made.
How thick is the band going to be? Generally speaking, the smaller your hand and the slimmer your fingers the narrower you’ll want the band to be. I’ve got quite large hands, but narrow fingers so I went for a 5mm band. I think any larger wouldn’t suit me, especially as I’m not a fan of chunky jewelry, and any thinner would look too feminine. The easiest way to figure out what’s best is simply to find a friendly jeweler and try some on.
Then there’s the design of the band itself and how rounded or angular it’s going to be. This is partly an aesthetic choice and partly about comfort. In basic terms it boils down to flatness and roundness on the inside or outside or both. Most people find a rounded inside more comfortable. I myself went for a court band, which is rounded on inside and out.
Now obviously there’s a lot to be thinking about especially since you’ll (hopefully) be wearing the thing for the rest of your life, but I hope I’ve helped you out a little and no doubt we’ll bring you more in the not too distant future. In fact I think you’ll be seeing a response to Anna’s post very soon indeed.