Each time I have met a man who is in the planning stage of his wedding ring, there has been a sense of trepidation about him. This is completely understandable as the vast majority of men have not worn a ring before, making it alien territory.
I try to encourage my clients to see the design process as a case of making a series of small decisions. None of these questions have right or wrong answers, and you will be amazed at how opinionated you can suddenly become about the minute detail of a ring once the options are broken down for you. With a little bit of knowledge gained from an experienced jeweller to help advise, you will soon have a design you love and you’ll wonder what all those nerves were about.
I have put together the following guide to try and support your decision-making process and hopefully help ease any nerves about designing your ‘forever’ ring.
Do you want your wedding ring to match your partner’s ring? Their wedding ring will usually match the metal of their engagement ring and some couples like all the wedding jewellery to be made from the same metal. Others are less worried about this and prefer to select the metal they each personally like best.
To give an example, I recently worked with a lovely couple who made their own wedding rings with me. Jas’s engagement ring was made of 18ct yellow gold so she wanted her wedding ring to match it. The brassy yellow hue of yellow gold suits her golden complexion beautifully, but next to Cesare’s more pink toned skin, it looks really brash. He opted for the more low key 9ct rose gold, which better complements his complexion.
Even my own husband’s wedding ring does not fully match mine – his is a mixed metal band of 18ct white gold and 9ct rose gold, which happens to be both of our favourite gold colour combinations. My wedding ring is just 18ct white gold but with a splattering of white diamonds. He wasn’t keen to match those…
A lot of men are understandably concerned about the durability of their ring. The fact of the matter is that no precious metal is indestructible, whichever metal you choose will collect scuffs and scratches over time. The key is to look after it (remove it when doing anything that will damage it) and to embrace the slow wear and dulling down of the surface of your ring. Precious metals age gracefully, so my advice is to go with it. Don’t look to have it repolished too often as each polish will remove material and make your ring thinner. Platinum is the densest of the precious metals and therefore won’t scratch quite as quickly as gold, but in all honesty, the difference is negligible.
Take a look at this page to find out more about the precious metals.
Men will usually opt for a wider band than women. This is because a wider ring often suits the proportions of a man’s hand. However, I have seen a growing trend in slimmer wedding rings for men and these smaller dimensions can look really elegant. You might want your ring to be wide and eye-catching, or you might want a more suitable effect.
The best way to make your decision on width is to try on bands of different thicknesses and see how they look and feel on your hand.
The profile refers to the cross-section shape of the band. Your choice of profile for the ring will depend on three things:
- Do you want to match your partner’s ring profile to give a sense of unity between the rings?
- The modernity of the design you are after – flatter profiles tend to look more contemporary whereas softer and more curved shapes look more classic. Curved profiles trick the eye into thinking the band is slimmer so your choice of profile can have an influence on the band width you go for too.
- The comfort factor – flatter and slimmer profiles tend to feel less bulky between the fingers but a curved interior to the profile can feel less restrictive and therefore more comfortable.
This page in the knowledge section of my website shows drawings of each available profile to help you visualise your design but it is also really helpful to try on some rings to see what works best for you.
The depth of the band refers to the thickness of the metal. I recommend bands of between 1.5-2mm as they have a nice weight and sense of quality to them as well as being substantial enough to last a lifetime under normal wear. The more curved the profile is, for example, the halo or courting profiles, the deeper the band tends to be. I can advise you on this when you design your ring.
5. Additional design features
You might like to add some design details to make the ring unique to you and your relationship. Some men like to add a little design that nods a link to his partner’s ring, whereas others want something that portrays their personality and interests.
Design features to consider can include engraving, adding a texture or special finish, or setting gemstones into the surface of the ring. Engraving and flush set gemstones can be hidden inside the ring should you wish to have something personal between you and your partner.
You can find out more about the various band design options on this page.
I hope that this article provides some structure to your thought process about your special ring and helps make the concept of choosing a wedding ring seem less daunting. Why not take a look at some of the designs I have made in the past for some ideas and get in touch if you would like to discuss having your unique ring made.
You may find this woman’s guide to choosing a wedding ring helpful too.