Men's Engagement Ring Guide

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If you are reading this article, you are one of a growing number of individuals who are interested in engagement rings for men. Termed “mangagement rings” by some, the tradition of men’s engagement rings is far more recent than its female counterpart. Although there was a coordinated marketing campaign in the 1920s to try and popularize engagement rings for men, the idea did not take hold until much later. In the US, men did not commonly wear wedding rings until the period of optimism after World War II. In fact, Tiffany & Co. - a workhorse of the engagement ring market - introduced mangagement rings for the first time in May of this year!

Bolstered by the legalization of same-sex marriage, more men than ever are choosing to wear a ring to signal their engagement status. However, it remains relatively rare that a secondary wedding band will be subsequently purchased and worn simultaneously. Rather, most men’s engagement rings simply assume the status of wedding band following the marriage ceremony.

That being said, there can be a clear difference between some of the styles of rings advertised specifically as mangagement rings versus those that are sold as wedding bands. Reflective of the trends seen in the engagement and wedding ring markets for women, men’s engagement rings are more likely to feature sizable diamonds or other gemstones, while wedding rings showcase smaller stones with significant overall lesser total carat weight.

Whether you are planning to purchase both an engagement and wedding ring or will ultimately use just your engagement ring for dual purposes, there is a huge variety of materials for you to choose from. While the majority of options for women are limited to precious metals, men’s rings are often made from unconventional metals, woods, silicon, and others. Let’s take a look at a select few of these unique options!

Precious Metals (gold and platinum):

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Precious metals are your most traditional option for a number of reasons. Besides their beauty and rarity, they don’t usually elicit allergic reactions, are durable, and are not terribly difficult to work with. As a result, you can find rings in these metals with a variety of finishes. They can be polished into a high shine or can have different lusters. Jewelers have the option to treat the metal, hammer it, brush it, and/or engrave it to add a special touch.

Unconventional Metals:

Titanium

A grey color, titanium is a strong but light metal that easily withstands hard use. If your ring is going to be exposed to banging, titanium will resist bending, scratching, and keep a good hold on any stones that may be present.

Damascus Steel

Different species of steel may be swirled together to create a pattern unique to each engagement ring reminiscent of wood graining.

Palladium

Slightly darker than platinum, palladium is a bit harder, but weighs less than its common counterpart. Unfortunately, due to its rarity, it is somewhat difficult to find and most jewelers will not have the training to manipulate.

Cobalt Chrome

Practically identical to white gold, cobalt chrome can be found at a fraction of the price and has a better, but not complete, resistance to scratching. A hypoallergenic alloy, cobalt chrome rings can have a variety of custom finishes.

Carbon Fiber

Tremendously strong and exceptionally lightweight, carbon fibers have a wide range of industrial applications and are slowly making an impact in the jewelry universe. Keep in mind that they don’t love water and can’t stand up to impact like some of the other metals on this list.

Woods:

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There is just something undeniably warm and inviting about wearing a wooden ring. The use of woods for engagement rings guarantees a one-of-a-kind look and speaks to a love of nature! While woods are coated to add strength and protection to the material, these rings are a more vulnerable option that won’t take kindly to water or chemical exposure. If you choose to wear a wood ring, be mindful of when and how you wear it.

Organics:

Fossils

Like wooden materials, rings made from fossils have a special charm. Fossil materials are usually ground into small pieces which are then coated with a protective substance.

Ceramics:

Tungsten Carbide

Sometimes referred to as “permanently polished,” tungsten carbide is an affordable grey or black heavy-duty material which will maintain its high shine. The drawback, if placed under great pressure, tungsten carbide will shatter, not bend.

Silicone

Silicone is a highly durable material which can withstand anything that you throw at it! It is flexible, easy to clean, very affordable, reliably maintains its shape, and is produced in different colors and patterns. If you want a low-maintenance ring which never needs to be taken off, silicone is the material for you!

Just by wearing a mangagement ring you are already breaking ground, so, be brave and look for something truly special to mark your beautiful commitment!

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