By Evan Kanarakis
It wasn’t really until the middle of the 20th century that the custom became more entrenched of men choosing to wear a wedding ring. Even so, up until recently the process of selecting the groom’s ring was a fairly basic task for an engaged couple. The simple, timeless elegance of a plain yellow gold band made the selection process easy, and even for men that hadn’t worn a ring before it popularly stood as a pure symbol of marriage and of a lifelong commitment to one’s wife.
Today it is more common than ever for a groom to wear a wedding band, but options now abound for what particular ring you might choose. From the outset, it’s important to get a sense of exactly what choices you have. The classic yellow gold ring is still common, however white gold has become far more popular in recent years as styles have changed. A precious metal like platinum will make for an extremely durable wedding ring (that is also hyper allergenic), but at an added cost. Options like titanium or stainless steel and tungsten or cobalt might lack the value of gold and platinum but provide durability with a far lower price tag. Given some have been cut directly from larger blocks of metal, however, they may not always be able to be re-sized.
Once you have a sense of what your choices are when shopping for a wedding ring you can far more easily find something that matches your budget, whether you want a band that sells for as little as one hundred dollars, or can afford a ring costing into the thousands. Selecting a ring that suits your lifestyle as well as your personality will now come more prominently into play.
While some may just opt for a plain wedding band, you can choose from more elaborate and, of course, pricier options that feature different polished or textured finishes and can include anything from braiding or engraved features through to rings that have been decorated with precious gemstones and diamonds.
Of late, even more unconventional ring options have emerged on the market that will suit those looking to stand apart from tradition. A quick search online reveals countless talented craftspeople adept at applying old blacksmithing techniques to create elaborate designs, or featuring working gears, fingerprints from the couple that have been imprinted into the metal, and rings that are at times in unusual square or hexagonal shapes placing a strong emphasis on style over comfort.
Many of these jewelry makers are willing to create custom bands with sculpted images or words that have been worked into the ring design. Even more unique are eco-conscious wood rings that demand more care over time, but are a definite contrast from the norm.
At the end of the day, take your time, stick to a budget and be sure to find a ring that suits your lifestyle and is comfortable and feels right. Share the experience with your fiancée and celebrate the entire process. After all, it’s an item you’ll be wearing for the rest of your life.