In the years and decades past, the wearing of accessories for men was limited to only a certain segment. In fact, for the vast majority of men, the only ring they would wear was likely to be a wedding or engagement ring. There has always been, of course, a minority of men who have chosen to wear rings that reflect personal accomplishments, whether as individuals, or as part of an organization – sports championships, family rings, or even club memberships, or masonic rings. In modern times however, this has changed significantly, and it is common for a man to own and wear a variety of men’s rings, in addition to other accessories. In fact, fashion trends are even showing up in business magazines, as the acceptance of more casual and fashionable wearing of accessories accelerates. Whether it is to make a personal statement, or to reflect their own personal style, rings for men have become more than just a statement of fraternity, matrimony or fidelity, but rather now represent a broader expression of individualism, and are a reflection of personality, character and style.
Men’s Rings – Social Acceptance
In recent times, the concept of what “makes a man” has become far more expressive and fluid concept. While peer relations and other factors often play a part in what each man will feel comfortable with, the general trends in fashion, and in what is considered as broadly acceptable attire for a man, has widened significantly in general. With that, the evolution of men’s style expression, and the opportunity to present themselves more boldly, has developed on all levels.
When it comes to men’s accessories, the expression of individual style in the wearing of men’s rings has certainly been one of the first elements of a man’s wardrobe that has seen significant advancement. It is notable that in modern times, rings are no longer worn on only a single finger, but rather men are now comfortable to wear a ring on a thumb, a pinky, or any other digit that feels right for them. Whereas in the past such an anomaly would have been considered strange, or representative of an association that is no longer (and rightfully so) considered ‘different’.
This broadening of opportunities for expression has also meant the expansion of the types, styles, colors and materials available to men when choosing a ring that reflect their unique character and style. A man’s ring worn for its expression of individuality, taste and style, is no longer considered to be an inappropriate adornment, or gaudy decoration, but rather is applauded, recognized and often envied for the unique expression that it reflects.
Form & Function
The reasons for wearing a ring has changed over time, and as such, the symbolic purposes for wearing a ring for men has blurred significantly. Whereas it may have served a heavily symbolic function in the past, the motivation and desire to wear a ring today is largely one of personal expression, though symbolism and association can still play an important role in style selection.
A great example of the symbolic nature of men’s rings would be the western tradition of wearing a wedding ring on a certain finger and a certain hand. While this is by no means a requirement, neither religious nor cultural, it has become a kind of de facto expectation in modern times, and continues to be a much cherished
tradition throughout the western world. This tradition has often been associated with very understated rings styles for men, which translates into simple metal bands, with muted expression.
Trends in modern men’s fashion however are changing the traditional choices being made when choosing a wedding ring for men. As an example, where a simple gold band may have been the ring of choice in the past, today you may find a man choosing an accented carbon fiber ring, or even multi-colored or two-toned men’s rings that better reflect their style and expression. It does not diminish, nor take away from the sanctity and commitment that the ring symbolizes, but rather adds an unique personal statement to such an important and emblematic accessory.
Mens Rings – Clubs and Memberships
The celebration of fraternity, and membership in a club, order or other organization is as old as time itself. Whether it be a class ring, family crest, masonic or military ring – men proudly wear rings to note and celebrate their affiliations. Today, these rings are showing renewed popularity, with many men even wearing rings to show their support for sports teams that they simply enjoy watching. A popular trend in recent times is to wear memorabilia or duplicate rings that are popularized in television and movies – the “one ring to rule them all”, as an example. Such celebrations often reflect a man’s general feelings for certain ideas and philosophies, or it could be as simple as the desire to show that they are a part of a group of ‘fans’ of a particular film, book, idea or program.
Many membership men’s rings include stones, either precious stones to accentuate the ring, or colored stones to reflect the colors of the organization, or even birth stones, to celebrate their personal connection to their ‘star sign’, or when they were born in a zodiacal context.
These trends are expanding in men’s fashion, and are increasingly more common across the globe.
Artistic and Designer Styling
Brands, brand consciousness and unique design in general is very relevant in modern fashion, and this extends to the choices men make when selecting their
accessories. Men’s rings are one element of the accessories mix that has seen some exciting expression in recent years, with many designers offering one-of-a-kind pieces, as well as unique and appealing men’s rings that offer the range and inspired design that men are looking for.
Instead of simple bands of standard materials, new and exciting men’s rings are being offered with bright colors, unique design, and are being made of new materials such as tungsten, wood and other interesting materials. Such options mean that the range of opportunities for unique artistic expression and individuality is exceptionally broad, and this has led to an increase in the popularity of men’s rings, and their made them an integral part of every man’s wardrobe.
Choosing & Buying Men’s Rings
There are a myriad different types, styles, colors, stones and variety of men’s rings available. In order to provide some clarity, and to offer some guidance in the selection of men’s rings, there are a few steps to look at to make your experience more seamless and enjoyable.
Step 1 – Know Your Size
In a global marketplace, where various different retailers may offer their products in sizes that you are unfamiliar with, it will be helpful to know your ring size in order to assist you. Once you know your ring size in your own local standard of measurement, it is very simple and easy to compare that to sizing in other formats.
So – as a first step, it is wise to take a few moments to size the finger for which you are shopping for a ring. Completing this step is very straight forward, and a few different methods are provided below:
a. Take a trip to your local jeweler and ask for a sizing. This is normally done free of charge, and even if you are not ready to purchase something from a particular outlet, most salespeople will be more than happy to help you out in sizing your finger(s). Take note of the sizes and keep them recorded somewhere convenient (in your wallet, or on your phone, or wherever you can easily access the details).
b. Techniques for measuring your finger for its ring size are fairly straight forward, and normally only require a pair of scissors, some clear tape, a ruler, a pen/pencil, and some paper. The short video below is an excellent overview of one very simple way to make a finger measurement for men’s rings.
Step 2 – Selecting the Material
The choice of materials for in men’s rings is quite daunting, though the key points to consider when selecting a ring, is to be clear about what its value will be to the person wearing it. Not everyone prefers the traditional gold rings, and in fact, there are cultures that don’t prefer to wear gold at all. With that in mind, the list below highlights the primary materials that you will find in modern men’s rings, and will give you an overview of what the materials are, their durability and allergic potential, as well as other points that will assist you to make great choices when you are making a ring selection.
Likely to be the most commonly associated with men’s rings, gold continues to be one of the most popular and costly options when selecting a ring. In modern retail, a variety of gold ‘colours’ are available, including white and rose gold, along with the traditional. The aforementioned colour options are a mixed form of gold, which creates the colour, but pure gold continues to be the most popular option. Gold comes in different grades or karat rating, which is a measurement of the mass of pure gold in the material. 24 karat is the purest form, or 100% gold, with any numbers below this reflecting its is mixed with other materials. The more pure the gold, the less likely it is to contain any materials other than gold which could cause any type of allergic reactions.
While gold may be considered the most costly and alluring of the metals used to make men’s rings, it is actually less valuable by weight than Platinum. Like most precious metals, platinum rings are also graded and/or measured by purity using the karat scale, with 24 karat being the purest unadulterated form of the material. While platinum is a pricey material for a ring, unless you know it is platinum, it will be difficult to differentiate from many other materials, such as silver, white gold, or even titanium and stainless steel. For this reason men’s rings made of platinum are largely a purchase made with pride, and the owner’s knowledge and sense of passion in wearing such expensive and rare materials.
Silver has been an incredibly popular choice for men’s jewelry and accessories for as long as such items have been made. It is generally less expensive the gold or
platinum, though in modern markets, and depending on purity, can still be a high priced option. The measurement of silver quantity within a ring or piece of jewelry is rated by the Sterling 925 scale, which is generally considered the highest and purest form of silver used in jewelry craft. The 925 is the number that reflects that 92.5 percent of the metal is pure silver. The reason that silver is not graded on a 100% scale, is that silver on its own is an extremely soft and malleable material, and requires additional elements to provide strength and durability.
Made of a mixture of chromium and steel, stainless steel men’s rings are some of the most affordable and popular of the options available. Usually presented with a high polish shine, the ease of moulding and shaping stainless steel, in addition to its weight and ‘heft’, have made it an incredibly flexible and popular material in the design and creation of rings for men.
There are often other metals used in the production of stainless steel rings, and for this reason some people can experience mild allergic reactions when wearing them. In these instances, one of the other metals outlined here will provide excellent options. Stainless steel is a also graded metal, which will help you when selecting products using this metal. In principle, the highest grade of stainless steel if referred to as ‘surgical grade’, which is also known as 316 Stainless or marine grade, and essentially means that the composition of the steel is more resistant to any forms of corrosion and/or degradation.
Titanium is an incredibly light-weight and durable material, that not only looks great, but has natural associations with strength, virility and durability. Many men
enjoy wearing titanium rings for their light weight and comfort, and men’s rings made of this material are incredibly popular. The relative ease with which this material can be made into various colours, also makes it an attractive choice for designers and artisans, and for this reason it is often used to create very unique and attractive men’s accessories.
As many people associate wit Titanium, its strength is one of its key selling points for consumers. Additionally, there are very few who find any allergic reaction when wearing titanium products, and because of its natural resistance to corrosion and discoloration, rings made of titanium are a great option to consider.
The natural form of this material is actually a powder, which means that tungsten carbide can be formed and shaped into almost any shape or form. When formed, the material is very dense, and provides a heavy/hefty quality to products made using this material. Men’s rings in particular are very popular when made in tungsten, as it can be easily coloured and polished to a very high sheen. As the production of tungsten must involve the use of additional metals however, it can create allergic reactions for a very small portion of men who suffer skin irritation from certain metals such as nickel.
Tungsten men’s rings are extremely durable and resistant to corrosion, and are often some of the most attractive and affordable options available.
This material is a combined metal that is made with the combination of the two materials in its name. When they are combined, cobalt and chrome provide an incredibly durable and scratch resistant material that is hard to distinguish from other more expensive materials, such as platinum or white gold. While this material has been widely used in medical tools for quite some time, it has become increasingly popular in the production of rings and jewelry, owing to its adaptability, lack of allergy causing materials, attractive shine and its durability.
A common motivation for using alternative materials to gold and platinum, is cost reduction. The use of palladium, much like the other materials mentioned in this list, provides a material for the design and production of men’s rings that offers flexibility, beauty and reasonable strength, while reducing the cost to the consumer. This is not always the case with Palladium however, as like any metal supply can vary, though at the current time costs are lower than both gold or platinum, and means that jewelry made of palladium continues to be an attractive and affordable option.
Wood is a material that is easily available, and provides many options for colour and texture. It is often used as an accent in combination with other metals, such as
titanium or tungsten, and creates a powerful and artistic effect. Men’s rings made of all wood are often treated to provide additional strength and durability, though on its own it is still a relatively delicate material when compared to any of the other metals noted in this list.
This materials is fairly self-explanatory, and is made of heat treated clay and other materials that are moulded into the shape and form the designer desires. As the materials are extremely malleable, it is a popular choice for designers as it offers an infinite range of opportunity to create unique and desirable items.
Men’s rings made of ceramic materials do have an achilles heal however, as it is possible for them to break in certain circumstances. Unfortunately, as the material is formed in a very specific way, adjusting or altering these rings is not possible.
Step 3 – Styling & Design
Choosing the right style and design to suit your tastes for a men’s ring is largely a subjective exercise. Each person has their own emotional reaction to specific stylings, colours and design features, and when choosing a ring will largely be motivated by the initial reaction to it. If a ring stands out, or reflects a philosophy, feeling or emotion that is relatable, then it makes an excellent choice. It is unwise to be guided by too much peer or social pressure when making a selection, and allow your choices to be made on your emotional reaction to a piece of jewelry. It is you who will wear it, and it is you who will feel its weight and reminder each time you look at it. That said, an artistically designed, unique and attractive ring can garner a lot of attention, and if you are one who enjoys recognition and attention, then make selections that truly ‘pop’ when someone views it. Most importantly, enjoy the experience of making a men’s ring selection, and be confident in your choices – they are individual, and they are incredibly personal and meaningful objects.
Step 4 – Price and Deliverability
One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure – which means price shouldn’t necessarily be your motivating criteria when looking for a men’s ring. Of course, each person will have different financial realities to contend with, but this shouldn’t impose itself on your identification of a ring that you feel is amazing. It is often possible to find a particular design or style that is offered in a material less expensive than the original, so be open to exploring the alternatives that available.
If the ring you are searching for will be an incredibly personal and meaningful one, consider the value of the ring in the long term, and don’t necessarily allow price or finance to guide your decisions. If the price is truly astronomical, then consider it as a future option, and find something that provides you similar emotional reaction, without the anxiety of price.
For the expression of individual style, there is nothing that speaks more elegantly than men’s rings. With a multitude of design, material and artistic options available, the trend toward more men owning more rings is clearly showing growth. No longer a simple statement of affiliation or allegiance, men’s rings have become an important part of the Modern Man’s wardrobe.
Check out some of our other great articles on Men’s Fashion and Men’s Accessories in general, and be sure to join us to keep up to date on all the latest news and details from Effentii. We love hearing from you, so feel free to comment any ideas you have below, and let us know your thoughts!