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Which metal should I choose for my wedding band?

12-06-2020

Emma R. (Professional Freelance Writer)

Emma is a freelance writer and blogger in weddings, marriage advice, food blog, fashion and more...

Buying a metal wedding ring is a special event. You pick a ring that physically represents your love and commitment, and that you intend to wear for the rest of your life. Given its importance, both as a symbol and a piece of men’s jewelry, we want to ensure you choose the right wedding ring metal for you.

With vast options from gold to ceramic, it’s imperative to choose something that accurately reflects your relationship and personal style while also being comfortable enough to wear every day. It’s likely that you know about some of the more common ring metals like gold and silver, but there are many other metals to explore also. Don’t settle for a ring metal just because it’s commonly used. You’ll be wearing it for life, so it is important to take the time to get to know each metal and find your perfect fit.

You might want a ring that contains only one metal, or one that has several. In many cases, metals are combined to create a sublime finish. For example, this grooved wedding ring combines an inlay of white gold with black ceramic as its base metal. But it can be confusing to know where to begin. We have compiled a list of some of the most important aspects you should keep in mind when considering each wedding ring metal type.


 

Gold 

When considering a wedding band, you should always consider the classics. But be careful not to limit yourself to them. They are classic for a reason, so it’s a good place to begin your search. Gold is arguably the most traditional choice of precious metals. From rose gold to white gold and even black gold, it’s an excellent choice if you want a customizable, luxurious, and timeless ring.

Gold is less likely to tarnish than other precious metals. This means it will last much longer with less maintenance. It is also easy to resize because it is a soft metal. If your weight fluctuates or your fingers are prone to swelling, the material could be what determines if you can wear your wedding ring long term. A solid gold wedding ring can also be polished to look new quite easily, meaning your 30-year-old wedding ring can still look as good as the day you bought it. Unfortunately, it is a soft metal and can bend. Therefore, if you apply large amounts of pressure to it (if you’re around heavy machinery or get your hand stuck under something), it may become mildly deformed; however, in most cases it can be bent back. If you want something unique, this soft, malleable metal is perfect for creating intricate designs and filigrees. For more detailed information about gold, how it is colored, and a thorough explanation of Karats, read through this comprehensive article.

Karat

When selecting a gold ring, you will inevitably see different karats listed. The karats simply indicate the percentage of gold in the ring. Some gold rings, especially older rings, were made from materials like coins, other jewelry, and other miscellaneous items. This is called “old gold.” Because many “old gold” rings were made from melting various items (some of which may not have been 100% gold), they often have a lower karat rating. Below is a quick table to help you understand the karat measurements of gold when selecting any jewelry:

Karat

Percentage of Gold

24k

100%

18k

75%

14k

About 58%

12k

50%

10k

About 42%

Color

If you select a colored gold ring (e.g. white gold, rose gold), it typically contains some other metals to produce that color. For example, white gold may include nickel or platinum and rose gold might include copper. With that in mind, if you do select a colored gold, you should be sure of what is used to color it. Some people have minor reactions to jewelry made of nickel, so a knowledgeable and forthright jeweller is imperative. 


 

Silver

Silver is another classic option. It is a noble metal with a bright luster, which has made it an attractive option both today and historically; however, the durability is much lower than gold. It is normally combined with other harder metals to extend the life of the ring. The most common combination creates sterling silver, which is typically about 92% silver and about 8% copper. This hardens the silver and makes it a much more suitable option for jewelry. Unfortunately, it is often combined with nickel, which is more likely to irritate sensitive skin. 

As aforementioned, silver is a very soft metal. This suggests that unless you wear your jewelry very little, it is likely to get damaged and/or tarnished. The tarnish is actually a layer of corrosion often caused by simply being exposed to air. You’ll need to care for your silver jewelry more often and keep it in a protective container if you want it to stay looking shiny and new. There are great options for at-home silver polishing but if you’re not the type to spend time polishing your jewelry, silver probably isn’t for you. 


 

Tungsten

You might not be familiar with tungsten jewelry, but it is becoming more popular, especially for men’s wedding rings. The weight, durability, and price are all reasons you might want to consider a tungsten ring. Tungsten, or tungsten carbide, is perfect for an active man because it is the most scratch-resistant metal known to man. It requires very little maintenance and has a lovely, bright sheen.  

Many men who work with their hands or spend time outdoors choose a tungsten ring. The extremely durable nature of this metal resists scratches, even if you wear it 24/7. It’s an especially good choice if you are around heavy objects. Some softer metals like gold or silver will bend if forceful pressure is put on them. If something heavy falls on your hand, a gold or silver ring may injure your hand even more because it will bend and flatten; however, a tungsten ring will hold its shape, which can mean the safety of your fingers. If you want a heavy, durable ring that still looks lustrous and sophisticated, look no further. 


 

Ceramic

Obviously, you’ve heard about ceramic dishes or kitchenware, but you may not be familiar with ceramic as an option for jewelry. Basic ceramic can be found in a craft store, but high-end jewelry only uses Hi-Tech Ceramic. Hi-Tech Ceramic is a particular combination of materials that are used for high temperature and high wear jobs (it’s even used in space shuttles!). Despite its superior durability, it is very lightweight. 

Ceramic rings are versatile and comfortable. They are also very in trend right now. Unlike gold or silver, it is a very hard metal and can stand up to everyday wear and tear while still maintaining its smooth texture and shiny finish. Additionally, it is hypoallergenic to keep even the most sensitive of skin happy and healthy. Cleaning is easy, needing only a quick wipe with a damp cloth and doesn’t require any special chemicals, again making it a great low-maintenance option for those with allergies. If you’re looking for something comfortable, lightweight, and durable, high-quality ceramic is an elegant, modern option. That being said, if you’re especially hard on your hands (e.g. working outdoors or around heavy machinery), you might want to look into something a little stronger because ceramic can chip, unlike tungsten or cobalt. 


 

Cobalt

Cobalt is the perfect marriage of lustrous and durable. It is four times harder than platinum while still managing to be light, unlike tungsten. It is surprisingly scratch and corrosion resistant, which allows it to stay sleek and shiny for its entire lifetime. 

Cobalt is an attractive but hard metal. Because it is so hard, it can hold up to some serious wear but despite the durability, one of the most appealing aspects of cobalt is the sleek appearance. More than any other precious metal, cobalt looks almost identical to white gold. The color is a whiter silver rather than pure silver, which provides a luxurious appearance. If you prefer the look of white gold but want something that will hold up better, cobalt is your best option. Unfortunately, because cobalt is so sturdy, it doesn’t lend itself well to intricate designs. It holds engraving well if you want something more personalized but it’s too hard to manipulate into a unique filigree. 


 

High Quality, Luxurious Rings

In the same way, you take great care in selecting your wedding rings, we take great care in crafting them. We know that your wedding band is likely going to be the most significant jewelry purchase of your life so we choose only the highest-quality metals to work with. From timeless, elegant gold to the innovative and lustrous Hi-Tech Ceramic, our rings showcase superior quality and craftsmanship. Ensure both the representation of your love and your personal style come together in one seamless wedding band, only with Madani. 

 

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