What is the best material for a man’s wedding band? Is there even a difference between the different metals?
The material of the wedding band is important because it determines its price, maintenance, and durability, so you may wonder; when it comes to men’s wedding bands, what is the best material?
The best material for men’s wedding bands is gold. Gold wedding bands are highly durable and can be resized, repaired, cleaned, and polished. The metal is versatile enough to be used for any ring style, and its many options like rose gold, yellow gold, and white gold can match any skin tone.
This article will thoroughly explain why gold is an excellent choice for men’s wedding bands, the pros and cons of different types of gold, and alternative wedding band materials.
Here’s what we cover:
- What is the best material for men’s wedding bands?
- Things to consider when picking out a wedding ring for a man.
- What material is most durable for a man’s wedding band?
- In their own words (real couples talk about the wedding band material they chose and why).
What Is the Best Material for a Man’s Ring?
Gold is the best material for a man’s ring. Pure gold is too soft to be used for jewelry. However, other metals can be combined with gold to make a variety of alloys of about 75% gold for an excellent ring. The alloys used for men’s rings include yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold.
The percentage composition of gold rings is measured in karats. 24-karats is 99.9% pure gold, but at this level of purity, the gold is so soft that you can ruin it just by squeezing it.
This extreme softness means that it will be impossible for any jewelry made of pure gold to stay firm enough to preserve the intricate designs. The grip on any jewels embedded in it will also be so weak that they could easily slip out.
Because of its unsuitability, pure gold is mixed with other metals to make alloys that are much firmer and better suited to making jewelry. The alloys made from the combination of other metals with gold include:
- Yellow gold, made of pure gold with silver, copper, and zinc
- Red gold, made of pure gold with copper
- Rose gold, made of pure gold with copper and silver
- Pink gold, made of pure gold with copper and more silver than rose gold
- White gold, made of pure gold with platinum, palladium, nickel, and zinc
- Gray-white gold, made of pure gold with iron and copper
- Green gold, made of pure gold with silver and copper or cadmium
- Blue gold, made of pure gold with iron
- Purple gold made of pure gold with aluminum
All of the alloys are available in these levels of purity:
- 18-karat gold with 75% purity
- 14-karat gold with 58.3% purity
- 12-karat gold with 50% purity
- 10-karat gold with 41.7% purity
- 9-karat gold with 37.5% purity
Of these alloys, yellow gold, white gold, and rose gold are most commonly used for making men’s rings. Let’s explore each type.
Yellow gold is made of up to 75% pure gold and equal parts copper and silver. It is the most popular gold alloy because it retains the golden-yellow color and shine of pure gold. Because yellow gold is classic, you can easily use it to create a vintage or modern-style ring. The beautiful hue of yellow gold isn’t selective, so it looks great with any skin tone.
All jewelry needs maintenance for long-term durability, but rings made from yellow gold don’t need excessive care to retain their shine. Depending on the karats of your ring, a yellow gold ring can be quite expensive, but the durability makes the cost well worth it.
Yellow gold retains its monetary value over the years. If scratched, you can have it polished and buffed regularly. A yellow gold wedding band can also be repaired or resized if necessary.
Yellow gold is considered one of the most classic precious metals and is a good choice for almost anyone.
White gold is a more contemporary gold alloy made of up to 75% pure gold and 25% or more pure platinum, pure palladium, or a mixture of palladium, nickel, and zinc. To attain their signature color, rings made of white gold have to be plated with a layer of rhodium.
The plated layer ensures that, like other gold jewelry, white gold rings do not rust, corrode or tarnish. However, the plating also needs more maintenance than other gold types. A white gold ring needs to be cleaned and polished regularly, and the outer coating must be re-plated every few years.
White gold is often used in modern wedding rings and engagement rings.
Rose gold is a very durable gold alloy with a soft, pink hue. It can be used alone for a wedding band, but most people prefer to combine it with white and yellow gold. The soft color has a romantic undertone that makes rose gold great for vintage ring styles.
The alloy contains at least 25% copper, a very resistant metal that gives it the signature pink color and makes it extra durable. However, the downside of rose gold is that the copper within may cause allergic reactions in people with hypersensitive skin.
Things To Consider When Picking Out A Wedding Band For A Man
Here are a few things to think about when shopping for a wedding band for a guy:
What does he do for work?
Does he work with his hands a lot (mechanic, landscaper, construction worker, etc.)?
If so, you might want to consider getting a silicone wedding band for him to wear while he’s at work. Tungsten rings are almost impossible to get off if there is an emergency. So if the groom-to-be does a lot of work with his hands, you might want to stay away from a metal like tungsten or titanium.
Another option is buying whatever ring you want and then just buying a separate silicone band for him to wear whiles he’s working. Win-win!
We’ve actually talked with a lot of couples who have gone this route when shopping for a wedding band. You can get really cool silicone bands from Etsy or Amazon for $20-$30.
Men’s wedding bands can cost as little as $30 or as much as $10,000 and up.
If you are looking for a cost-effective wedding ring that looks great, you will want to check out Amazon, Manly Bands, or Etsy. They have amazing rings that are really affordable ($100-$300).
If the groom-to-be plays a sport, you might want to consider a wedding band that has a rounded edge. This will be much more comfortable than a ring with sharp edges. The same thing goes for guys who play guitar or any other instrument.
Do you want the man’s ring to match the bride’s ring?
Matching rings or band styles is big deal for some couples while other couples don’t really care. It is something you want to talk about before making a purchase.
What Is the Most Durable Material for a Men’s Wedding Band? What Is the Strongest Ring for A Man?
The most durable material for a men’s wedding band is tungsten carbide. This metal is an alloy of tungsten and carbon made by heating both materials at a high temperature. Tungsten carbide has greater compressive strength than every other known metal and is more scratch-resistant than other alloys.
Tungsten carbide rings never tarnish and are very scratch-resistant, making it a popular choice and favorite wedding band material for men with a physically active lifestyle.
These rings can withstand laser imprints, so you can personalize them by engraving the ring with your wedding day details.
A downside to tungsten carbide rings is that they can’t be resized or reshaped. If you grow out of your tungsten ring, you’ll have to get a new one. Some jewelers offer warranties that cover this possibility and will make you an identical ring in a new size if this happens.
Tungsten carbide rings are made from a metal/ceramic hybrid.
One important thing to know about tungsten wedding rings is that they can cause serious injury if your hand gets caught on something or if your finger becomes swollen. They are really hard to get off.
Something to keep in mind if you do a lot of work with your hands.
More Materials That Are Great For A Man’s Wedding Band
Gold and tungsten may not always be an option, so if you can’t use either for your wedding band, that’s fine. You can explore many other alternative materials for creating a fantastic ring. These materials include:
- Stainless steel
- Black zirconium
- Damascus steel
- Carbon steel
- Carbon fiber
- Sterling silver
Based on your daily needs, you can consult your jeweler to make a great wedding band on a budget with any of these materials.
Real Couples Talk About The Material They Picked For Their Wedding Band, and Why.
We talked to some couples and asked them what material they chose for the groom’s wedding band (and the price they paid). Here is what they had to say:
“My husband picked out a really cool tungsten wedding band from Manly Bands (The Cowboy for around $325). We also bought a silicone wedding band for him to wear to work for $25.”
“His band is a mix of tungsten and 14k rose gold. It cost us $125 from Etsy. He loves his ring.”
“He picked out The Zeppelin from Manly Bands. It is solid black and made of tungsten. It’s so heavy but he loves it. It cost about $225.”
“My guy’s getting a carbon fiber ring. It’s pretty versatile and has lots of options for color accents.”
“We bought his ring at Costco! Great deal plus cash back, and he likes how it feels. First I bought a platinum band, then a white gold band because he said the platinum was too heavy.”
“My husband went with a tungsten ring. It looks amazing but I am nervous since it can’t be resized. Something to think about when shopping around. I wish he would’ve gone with white gold. He got his off of Amazon for $150.”
“He bought a really cool-looking silicone band for work since he works with machines. Not only can other metals get dinged up, but they can also cause major damage to fingers if his hand gets into a sticky situation. Metal rings can make injuries much worse! I definitely recommend a silicone band if your husband works with his hands. You could always get a nicer band for days off and vacations. His silicone band was like $30 on Amazon”
“We were going to get him a tungsten ring because there were so many cool options but we found out you can’t resize them. So we got him a platinum wedding band for about $400 at Zales”
“My husband got an 18k white gold ring because it’s easy to resize and easy to clean. He didn’t want anything too big. It cost $150 on Amazon”
Here are a few more wedding planning articles that you might find helpful:
- Men’s wedding bands: titanium vs tungsten
- Best gifts for the groom to give the groomsmen
- Engraving ideas for wedding bands