The Groom’s Guide to Men’s Wedding Rings

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Photo by Melissa Mercado

Mens wedding rings should be an easy thing to pick out, right? Well, no. Of course not. Because nothing is easy when it comes to getting married (Am I right, ladies?) But this breakdown of the different types of mens wedding rings will hopefully help you figure out which ring (or band? Is it a ring or a band? Both? OK.) perfectly suits your style and budget. Whether you want a diamond encrusted ring, or a something classic and traditional, or something your grandmother has never even heard of, this guide will help you answer all your mens wedding ring questions.

The Cost

The cost of mens wedding rings all depends on what kind of ring you’re looking for. Think of it like the type of beer you want. Are you in the mood for a high-end Belgian trappist that you can only find at your local craft beer store that’s $18 a bottle, or are you happier with an ice cold, and easy-to-drink Miller High Life for $4? Or something in between? There’s no wrong answer here, as it all depends on your personal preference…and of course, the ultimate buzzkill, budget. (Sometimes a few High Life’s you forget about annoying budgets.)

This guide to mens wedding rings will go from most to least expensive. That way you’ll feel a lot better the farther down the page you go and, ultimately, the more you learn. (I’m trying to help you out here, grooms.)

Note: The average costs below are to be used as a ballpark. There is always a wide range of costs, depending on where you are looking (hint: if it comes in a blue box it will likely be on the higher side.)

Diamond Encrusted Mens Wedding Rings

Average Cost: $1,800 (but can go much, much higher)
The Breakdown: I’m going to be honest here, if you’re looking for a diamond encrusted wedding ring, you probably aren’t too worried about the budget. These are the top-of-the-line wedding rings in terms of cost. And the cost can skyrocket, depending on the type of ring you add the diamonds to. A platinum diamond-encrusted ring is about as expensive as it gets. If you really love diamonds, but don’t have a platinum budget, you can always add them to a gold or Tungsten band, which can lower the cost of the ring dramatically.
The Verdict: The ultimate in flashy mens wedding bands.

Platinum Mens Wedding Rings

Average Cost: $1,200
The Breakdown: The platinum mens wedding rings are a premium wedding ring, but they are a bit of a conundrum. You’d think platinum would be the strongest metal in the wedding ring space, but actually, platinum is a weaker metal than gold (the other option you may be mulling over), but actually holds up better over time than gold. Confusing, right? Let me explain: When a gold ring gets scratched, it looks like it has a scratch on it because of the characteristics of the metal. Platinum, on the other hand, will develop something called a “patina,” which gives it that super cool antique look over time. So while it may technically get scratched easier, those scratches and dents and dings will give it a more worn look and feel that is actually nice and warm. OK, that’s all for the geology lesson.
The Verdict: Platinum me’s wedding rings are really nice if you can afford it. Some of the higher end sellers can charge you an arm and a leg for one. If you have your heart set on platinum, but aren’t sure if you can afford it, steer clear of the brand name stores and shop around to some of the mom and pop jewelry shops in your town.

Palladium Mens Wedding Rings

Average Cost: $700
The Breakdown: While palladium sounds like something the X-Men are made of, it’s actually a newly minted precious metal (it was given “precious” status in 2010). And while it looks a lot like platinum, there are a few differences between platinum and palladium. Palladium is what is used to mix with gold to create “white gold.” And while it looks very similar to platinum (it will keep it’s “white platinum” look for years with minimal maintenance), it is much lighter than platinum. It keeps it’s shape and is pretty sturdy. But on the negative side, palladium rings are a bit harder to find than platinum, gold or even tungsten. And there are fewer jewelers who are skilled in working with palladium, since it is such a new type of ring. So if you find a palladium ring you like, ask a few jewelers to see if they are comfortable working with palladium and willing to help you with maintenance. You don’t want to get stuck with a ring that can’t be kept up over the years.
The Verdict: The new kid on the block.

Read our 10 Tips for Finding the Best Mens Wedding Bands

Gold Mens Wedding Rings

Average Cost: $500
The Breakdown: When shopping for a gold wedding ring, the knee-jerk reaction is to opt for a higher karat because it sounds fancier, which we always equate as better. NOT SO FOR GOLD WEDDING RINGS! Save yourself years of hassle and go for the 14k ring instead of an 18k (or, heaven help us, something even higher.) Gold is a very soft metal that scratches very easily. And the higher the karat, the more scratchy it becomes. And to be completely honest, no one aside from Superman will be able to tell the difference between 14k and 18k rings with the naked eye. Not only will you save yourself a few bucks in your budget, but you will skip a few trips to the jeweler to get this ring polished and re-polished due to wear and tear.
Color Coded: You can opt for white gold, rose gold, or good old fashioned gold gold. One is not necessarily better or worse than the other, as it’s all up to personal preference. If you want to rock some rose gold, you rock it, brother.
The Verdict: The classic, that never goes out of style.

Tungsten Mens Wedding Rings

Average Cost: $250
The Breakdown: Hipster alert! Tungsten is the new overgrown beard of the wedding ring world. If you want to skip the traditional route and go for something unique, tungsten may be perfect for you. The majority of tungsten wedding bands are black or grey. There is a white option, but I would advise against going that route because any scratch will really stand out on a white tungsten ring. And while tungsten is harder than steel and titanium, there’s something about wedding rings that find a way to get scratched no matter what their made of. Having said that, tungsten is really a style choice more than anything else. It’s a perfectly strong and reliable metal, but it just looks so much different than any other platinum, gold or palladium ring. And on the other plus side, tungsten rings are so much cheaper than any other ring on the market. If you want to go totally crazy, get a tungsten ring and line it with oversized diamonds. You will definitely stand out, then.
The Verdict: If you like the look, go for it!

So there you have it. Use this guide of the different types of men’s wedding rings to find the metal and budget that works for you. As always, do a little window shopping before making your final decision. Prices can vary widely from store to store, so even if you find the ring you think is perfect, there may be an identical one down the street for 30% off. Happy shopping!

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