Groom's Ring Guide

For some guys, the classic gold band is a no-brainer. But for the avant garde or the adventurous, try two-tone, texture-even diamonds.

article 38So it's finally time to put a ring on his finger—but not just any ring will do. While the first rings known to man were made by the Egyptians in bone or braided grass, and the Romans wore crude iron wedding bands, today's guy demands more. His opinions are as defined as his taste and style; his wedding band will be anything but primitive.


Care Guide: Help His Ring Stand Up to Wear and Tear

• Some styles weather wear and tear better than others, so he should consider his habits when he chooses. Textured bands and those with stones trap dirt, and a sharp blow may chip stones.

• Any ring should be removed when he’s doing rough chores(painting the house), handling chlorine bleach or other chemicals(these can pit metal) or performing major surgery on a greasy Jeep engine.

• Most bands can be polished with chamois cloth, or cleaned with a soft-bristled toothbrush and warm soapy water with a few drops of ammonia for shine. More elaborate rings may call for a commercial cleaner. Or take it back to your jeweler—many offer complimentary cleanings.

Designers in tune with the "personality, please" trend are busy creating individualistic styles with mass appeal. Here's what you (and he) need to know to find the perfect "fit."

"Few couples are buying matching wedding bands," says Joey Klapper, jewelry designer and executive vice president of Wright & Lato. "They may opt for the same metal and choose rings from the same designer, but they're no longer going with a his-and-hers set." That leaves couples free to pick something truly striking for him. Where to start? Think shape.

Men's bands come in three basic shapes: flat (both interior and exterior); half-round (flat interior, rounded exterior); or comfort fit (rounded interior, any exterior). Next comes width, which usually ranges from four to seven millimeters. "Men are becoming bolder when it comes to making a statement with their ring," says Elizabeth Florence of the Jewelry Information Center. This boldness includes the scale of the ring—wider, more modern bands are gaining popularity.

A textured ring, whether in a subtle matte finish or a milgrain accent (which looks like twisted rope), sets his ring apart without being overly flashy.

For eternal elegance and fiery flair, nothing tops a diamond. A cool look in men's bands today is the square diamond—a sturdy-looking, masculine shape that appeals to guys and gals alike.

If he's a modest man with an "it's-what's-on-the-inside-that-counts" motto, consider having the inside of his ring engraved with an inscription or date.


Finishing Touches

So his heart's set on simple? Fine—but that doesn't have to mean plain. Ask your jeweler about adding a finish to his band. The great thing about finishes is that nearly all of them can be applied, removed and a new one reapplied—great for those guys who change their minds as often as they do TV channels. (Only a hammered finish can't be changed, since it actually alters the shape of the surface.) In the case of a mixed-metal ring, where the top and bottom edges are platinum with a stripe of gold in the middle, for instance, you may consider adding a finish on the gold stripe and leaving the outer platinum edges plain—an interesting contrast look that's big these days. A textured finish gives depth to the ring, updating a tried-and-true classic band.