By Marissa Olson, Mens-Wedding-Rings.com
Men today no longer have to settle for the traditional plain gold band for their wedding ring. Those seeking an offbeat ring that reflects their individual personality and taste are sure to find their perfect match with a little research and comparative shopping. Don’t know where to start? Here are three ideas for unique wedding bands for men that still have enough style to last a lifetime.
Alternative and Contemporary Materials
While the term “alternative materials” may sound obscure, don’t let the name fool you; wedding bands for men in alternative materials are easily located and can even closely resemble precious metals. These contemporary materials also offer additional benefits not always found in precious materials, like substantially lower price tags, superior strength and hypoallergenic properties. Some of the most frequently seen alternative materials currently on the market include cobalt chrome, titanium, tungsten and ceramic.
An alloy of cobalt and chromium, cobalt chrome has the lustrous white metal look of platinum at a fraction of the price. Cobalt chrome is durable, crack-resistant and re-sizeable (the latter is especially significant as it is not true of all alternative materials).
Titanium is one of the most popular alternative materials, largely due to its ultra light weight and crack resistance. Titanium has an attractive natural gunmetal grey color that makes it ideal as a more unique wedding band for men, particularly for guys who have a tough time wearing jewelry on a regular basis as its near weightlessness makes it extremely pleasant to wear.
Along with titanium, tungsten or tungsten carbide is one of the most sought-after options for unique wedding bands for men. Tungsten carbide is made from equal parts of the rare metal tungsten and carbon atoms and is one of the hardest materials in existence (bested only by a diamond). Tungsten shares titanium’s cool industrial grey hue, though it can also commonly be found in black and white, which replicates the classic look of white gold or platinum. Unlike titanium, tungsten has a significantly weighty feel and is scratch resistant, though not entirely crack resistant.
Ceramic wedding bands combine elements of both titanium and tungsten carbide, which is not entirely surprising given that they are usually made of titanium carbide. Scratch-resistant and lightweight, these unique rings are most often seen in black, though finishes can range from matte to highly polished.
One of the hottest trends in wedding bands for men right now is black rings. We’ve already mentioned black ceramic and black tungsten rings, but black wedding rings can also be found in titanium, sterling silver, stainless steel and even gold. While black is a more unusual color for a wedding ring, it still is a versatile and neutral hue that will match to nearly any outfit. Not ready to commit to a fully black band? Try looking for bands with blackened or oxidized accents, or for a more luxurious touch, rings with black diamonds.
Adding an inlay is a great way to incorporate a special or interesting element without having it dominate the entire ring. Some of the most popular types of inlays seen on the market today include carbon fiber, wood, shell and leather, though simply using a contrast metal or material for an inlay is always a timeless choice.
Another option is mokume gane, an eye-catching design that can be seen as either an inlay or across the entire band. Made of layered metals using an ancient technique originally utilized in the production of samurai swords, the result is a natural swirling pattern that renders every mokume gane ring as individual as a snowflake.
When shopping for wedding bands for men, don’t think that you need to constrain yourself to traditional options that may not suit your personal style or taste. Your wedding ring is meant to last a lifetime, and there’s no reason why it shouldn’t be as unique as you.
Marissa Olson writes for Mens Wedding Rings, an online shop that offers a wide selection of unique men’s wedding bands, traditional rings and many alternative styles.