If you are having a hard time finding the right men’s ring for yourself, your husband, boyfriend, father, son or brother; you are not alone. With so much choice out there it can sometimes be overwhelming when trying to choose which ring to get. Should I get a gold ring or a silver ring? 9ct gold or 18ct gold?
This article will focus on the different types of men’s rings available, help you make sense of the options, and hopefully make your choice easier.
Men’s Jewellery Gifts
There is a vast selection of men’s jewellery available to choose from. Most of the varieties of jewellery available for men are the same as women, save for the fact that there are more cufflinks and fewer earrings. A large proportion of the jewellery market is dedicated towards rings, and so I will cover the main types of rings below.
Men’s Ring Varieties
Men’s rings are generally much simpler than women’s rings. They rarely contain gemstones and where they do their presence is subtle. There are two main varieties; band rings and signet rings, and these can come in four flavours; silver, gold, titanium and platinum.
Now, the choice between standard rings and signet rings is down to the individual, so it’s up to you to decide which one you think the recipient of the ring will prefer. Unfortunately, the only clear cut pro’s and con’s between silver, gold, titanium and platinum are the price.
Silver rings have always been popular due to their relatively low cost and the range of styles in which they are available. Men’s silver rings appear predominantly in designer jewellery such as offerings by Fred Bennett. Designer rings such as this are highly fashionable and readily available at affordable prices; an ideal gift by anyone’s standards.
Titanium is approx. 99% pure; it is long wearing and has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. An additional benefit is that it is corrosion resistant (even to sea water and chlorine) and so is often alloyed with other metals for use in huge range of applications including aerospace and – you guessed it – jewellery. If the man you are looking to buy a ring for is very active, titanium rings might be a good choice; they will last much longer than softer metals such as gold and silver.
Titanium is naturally gray, which may appeal to some men more than others. Also, it is 100% hypoallergenic and so should cause no allergic reactions. This is opposed to white gold for instance, which once its Rhodium coating is worn off can cause irritation of the skin.
Titanium rings are likely to be less complex than gold, silver or platinum rings due to its high melting point and hardness – these factors make it very difficult to work with. As mentioned previously though, men’s jewellery tends to be much plainer than that of ladies anyway, so this may not be too important.
If you decide that the man you are looking to purchase a ring for will like the distinctive colour of titanium, and simple designs are not an issue, then the only factor left in question is the price. Gram-for-gram titanium is less expensive than 9ct white gold, but given the additional time and effort to fashion a ring from titanium it can often turn out to be more expensive.
Gold rings are not simply gold rings, they come with options. There are white gold rings, yellow gold rings, 9ct gold, 18ct gold… etc. The difference between them should be understood before making a decision as to which to buy.
Both yellow gold and white gold are alloys. Yellow gold is made from a mix of pure gold and other metals such as copper and zinc. White gold on the other hand is made from pure gold and other white metals such as silver and palladium.
Yellow and white gold are also both available in different carats, the carat is a measure of the purity of the gold used. For example, an 18ct gold ring contains 75% pure gold, with additional metals added to make up the remaining 25% – this 25% determines whether the ring is yellow gold or white gold.
Knowing this, you can see that there is no difference in the amount of gold you receive for your money whether you buy an 18ct yellow gold ring or an 18ct white gold ring. This leaves you free to decide on which to buy based purely on the merits of the rings’ look, style and – ultimately – its price.
Gold rings are quite malleable due to pure gold’s softness. It is so soft in fact that pure gold is very difficult to fashion into a ring and it scratches very easily. The pliable nature of gold means that it can be shaped into some great designs, but it is also susceptible to damage.
Gold rings for men can be found at a vast range of prices and styles, and so you are almost certain to find a ring you like at an affordable price. As with the difference between signet rings and band rings, the choice between yellow gold and white gold is down to the individual.
Bear in mind however that, whilst white gold may look good new, it requires a re-coating of Rhodium every 12-18 months to keep the white finish and to prevent alloyed metals beneath the surface from irritating the skin. Fortunately re-coating can be done quite cheaply at many jewellers.
Platinum is very pure (approx. 95%) and very rare, it is much denser than gold making it much heavier and stronger. The extra weight inherently increases the price of the platinum ring, and it’s stubbornness to be shaped adds to crafting labour costs.
Platinum is a white metal and so has an appearance similar to white gold. Platinum however is exceptionally hardy and so will retain its appearance for years to come.
Given these benefits, the only major drawback – and it is a big one – is its price. Platinum rings can cost upwards of twice that of an 18ct white gold band. If you are looking to splash out and don’t mind paying the extra for the increased durability – the platinum ring is for you.