In a recent blog post, we shared some important things to keep in mind when buying an engagement ring. While buying a ring for the groom is generally a less complicated endeavor, it comes with its share of decision-making as well. Some brides may decide to surprise their groom with a ring on the day of their wedding, but the majority of couples shop together for both wedding bands. Here are a few things to consider before you get started.
You’ll first have to decide on the material. Here’s a look at the most popular options:
- Gold – The most traditional material for wedding bands, gold (yellow, white or rose colored) is sold in common purities of 10, 14 or 18 karats. Additional options exist, including 24-karat, which is pure gold and therefore only available in yellow. Keep in mind that while higher-karat gold is purer and more expensive, it is often less durable than its lower-karat counterparts. Gold can, however, be easily sized. Note that white gold versions should be kept out of chlorine, and must be rhodium plated to appear as white as platinum or silver.
- Platinum – Known for its longevity, luxury and white/silver appearance, platinum has risen in popularity over the years. While it garners rave reviews for durability, it is more costly and not scratch-resistant. It is, however, hypoallergenic and can be easily sized.
- Titanium – A nice alternative to platinum, titanium is incredibly durable yet lightweight. Commonly found in black or gunmetal gray, this material may be a good choice for the groom with an active lifestyle. This, too, is hypoallergenic; however, it cannot be sized.
- Tungsten – Also known for its strength, tungsten is heavy like platinum, yet affordable and the most scratch-resistant of all the material choices. It is frequently available in gunmetal, black and white. It is hypoallergenic as well, but it cannot be sized and should be kept out of chlorine.
- Ceramic – Most commonly found in black, ceramic is a great choice for grooms interested in a less traditional look. As an added plus, it is relatively affordable and can handle wear and tear. Although this is hypoallergenic as well, it cannot be sized.
- Palladium – Palladium shares some qualities with platinum, including its brilliant white/silver color. On the plus side, it weighs and costs less. This is another hypoallergenic material, but it should be noted that sizing is limited.
- Cobalt Chrome – An alloy made from cobalt and chromium, this contemporary material resembles platinum or white gold. People like it mostly because it’s durable and hypoallergenic.Silver – This option is best as a medium- to heavy-weight plain band. It is soft, can be sized and is a naturally white-colored metal.
- Stainless Steel – Stainless steel has evolved as a popular option, primarily based on its low cost, white color, durability and the fact that it is hypoallergenic. But, like all the other contemporary metals, it cannot be sized.
It’s important to consider the groom’s personality when choosing the wedding band. While traditional grooms may prefer a plain, gold band, there are plenty of ways to add character and style to any ring. For the groom who enjoys a little bling in his ring, consider adding a few small diamonds or other colored stones. More artistic types might like an intricate design etched into the material. But if subtle personality is what you’re looking for, consider engraving the inside of the ring with a special message, date or monogram.
Keep in mind that while some metals make ring sizing possible, the design of the ring may limit its sizing ability. Plain bands made from the traditional metals, with the same width and thickness all the way around and with no cuts or stones in the ring, can be easily and quickly sized up or down. But a band with any variation to the width or thickness—or with stones or a design in the metal—will have limited sizing ability.
In addition to personality, take into account the groom’s lifestyle. Is he involved in work or extra-curricular activities, such as sports, that could damage his ring? If so, durability is important. If he intends to wear his ring all the time, as many grooms do, comfort is another consideration.
When it comes to purchasing a wedding band for the groom, the decisions may seem daunting. Above all, keep in mind that the groom should feel confident about the ring he chooses. After all, he’s the one who will be wearing it.
Jeff Johnson & Co. is a full-service jeweler located in Upper Arlington, Ohio. We specialize in custom engagement rings, keepsakes for significant moments, and giving new life to family heirlooms. Our gemologists are trained by the Gemological Institute of America, and they work closely with each customer to ensure that we meet your vision and beyond. Stop by our showroom at 5025 Arlington Centre Blvd. (off Henderson Road), call 614-459-8890, or jjandcompany.com. You can also follow us on Facebook at Jeff Johnson & Co.