As a fashion accessory for men, finger rings have had virtually no existence at all. Conventionally, the only rings that adult males ever wore began and ended with the wedding band. This is mainly due to the perception that rings were meant for the ladies only. However, in the recent past, things have slowly but surely started changing with the metro-sexual man becoming more favorably disposed to personal jewelry. However, even now most men get completely stumped when it comes to selecting the style and the material of the ring.
Style selection is more or less intuitive and is relatively easy if you just allow your sensibilities to rule your head. If you are looking to wear rings on different occasions, it may be that you need to have a few different styles that will go with your wardrobe. You can take you own sweet time and build up a neat collection. However, selecting the material of the ring can be a complex affair given the huge assortment you need to consider. Some tips:
As far as jewelry is concerned, virtually every consideration starts with gold and often ends with it. Popular as it may be with its immense cultural attraction, it is getting a stiff competition from many other materials. Consequently, gold too has evolved and now modern jewelers will be able to offer your rings in two more shades, rose, and white, in addition to the traditional hue. While pure gold is distinctly yellow, it is given a silver-tone by adding a white metal of the likes of manganese or nickel. Rose gold is produced by alloying copper with gold to lend a reddish tinge. While 24 karat gold is the purest but too soft for jewelry crafting, 22-karat or even 18-karat gold not only make manufacturing easier but also keep costs more under control. Gold is all about tradition and custom and preferred by men who value the same.
While silver is much cheaper than gold, silver ring may actually be more costly than a gold one because the gold may just be of a lower karat value or even be plated onto the ring. Since silver is extremely soft and rings made from pure silver would be easily scratched, bent or dented, typically it is alloyed with a metal like copper to lend it hardness. Silver rings are extremely popular due to their enhanced aesthetics and a high degree of affordability.
More costly than even gold by weight, platinum enjoys great popularity as a jewelry material by the discerning who want to make a distinction between people wearing gold. From a distance, platinum’s appearance is very much like silver but from up close, the color is mellower. While it can be polished to a very high glitter, there are many who prefer its dull and natural look. Platinum’s simple yet tough properties are much favored by people who see themselves as being the same.
Titanium is one of the coolest materials available for personal jewelry. The silvery material is not only extremely strong but is very lightweight too. This makes it ideal for sleek designs that jewelers can’t implement with other materials. Even though titanium has a silvery tone, it is very amenable to being combined with other colored metals to yield very exotic-looking alloys; gold, black, and copper tones are especially popular amongst jewelry customers. It can even be treated to have a rainbow-colored patina that yields multiple colors when viewed at different angles. Its toughness makes it ideal for rings since it is virtually impossible to scratch or ding. It is also very resistant to corrosion and much preferred by people with sensitive skin due to its hypoallergenic properties.
Usually referred to as just tungsten, this is a space-age material that has been made for industrial application but is now finding great acceptance as a jewelry material due to its many attractive properties. Its native silver color is extremely attractive but mixing it with different materials yields many other colors too; black is all the rage with jewelry designers all over the world. The material is very hard being denser than titanium or steel and possesses a lovely deep shine that makes quite an impact without being loud. While tungsten carbide rings are virtually unbreakable under normal use, their toughness makes resizing impossible so you will need to ensure that the ring size is correct. Most tungsten rings are hypoallergenic but you need to check if you are allergic to cobalt, nickel or other metals that are commonly mixed with tungsten during the manufacturing process.
Cobalt chrome is a fairly recent arrival on the jewelry scene but has caught the attention of many due to its similarity with platinum. However, it is a more practical choice for men on the go as it is significantly harder and scratch-resistant as well as substantially cheaper. While the prime ingredients are cobalt and chrome, it contains some other metals. Men who are allergic to cobalt should definitely avoid it; however, those with nickel allergy do not have to worry. It is a good idea to check the composition with the jeweler if you have any skin allergies.
Even though ceramics have been a part of our lives in the form of kitchenware for very long, it will be well-nigh impossible for people to recognize it as the same material in jewelry. Ceramic rings are manufactured by a process of firing hard substances such as tungsten carbide and silicon carbide in powder form. While it is possible for a lot of textures and finishes to be added to these rings, the most popular seem to the smooth ones with a silver tone. While you will be surprised as to how light they can be, you will need to be careful while wearing them as they are fairly brittle and with some force, can be shattered. However, since they are quite cheap, you will possibly see a breakage as an opportunity to get yourself a new ring.
For the modern man who does not want to be perceived as a traditionalist, there is a huge variety of new materials that are fast becoming very popular choices for finger rings. Not only do they look very fashionable but project an extremely contemporary personality that most men would be delighted with.
Author bio: Sarah Vance is a young and upcoming jewelry designer who has received much acclaim for her recent collection of tungsten carbide rings and fashion accessories for men. Sarah has also recently launched her first retail store in New York.