It is generally an accepted notion that women are more emotional when it comes to jewellery and hence are more prudent when it comes to choosing the right piece. The natural progression might be to assume that it would be easier to buy a ring for a man. Actually, the reverse is true – because rings fall into the realm of ‘jewellery’, men tend to be more particular than women about what they will put on their fingers.
For the sweet, unsuspecting female eagerly looking to splurge on her beau, there are pitfalls aplenty. If the ring is too large, he will complain it is too conspicuous and too much like jewellery. If it is too small, he will say it is too feminine and too much like jewellery. If it isn’t the right colours…. yep, you guessed it – too much like jewellery.
And if that didn’t complicate matters enough, in case you are not engaged or married, there is a possibility the gift might result in the dreaded Complete Misunderstanding.
Jewellers have come to understand this quandary faced by women and they fully empathize. To make things simpler, the industry now design a wide range of rings that specifically target the male market. In fact, the problem now just might be choosing the perfect one from the myriad available.
Fortunately for most women, their intuitive nature allows them to discover very early in a relationship, even platonic ones, where a man’s interests lie. That is the key to matching the man to the ring.
A man’s ring should compliment his personality. Often times, due to the simplicity men prefer with their rings, the band of the ring is really the only place that personality is allowed to shine through – an intricately engraved design will suit the flashy male perfectly while an unadorned band or perhaps one with simple grooves would suit a more staid character. There is a staggeringly wide variety of band options available for men’s rings, but here are a couple of very popular ones.
The inlaid band allows for a minimalist splash of contrast and colours. These rings usually have the metal band visible on either side of an inlay. Popular inlay materials are carbon fiber, a cross polish or a row of diamonds. The inlay may go all around the circumference or just partially, or be arranged in a motif or pattern.
A recent trend in bands has been the introduction of the spinner ring. Also called Tibetan prayer rings or worry rings, they consist of an inner and outer band, the latter which spins freely around the inner in the manner of Tibetan prayer wheels. The great thing about a spinning ring is that it is a two-in-one – you get an outer band of your choice of design as well as the spinning feature.
Signet rings have been one of the most common types of ring that men have worn through the ages. These rings usually signify that the wearer belongs to a particular family or fraternity. They feature the family or fraternity crest or a stylized initial of its name. Signet rings typically have a large face inset with a dark background from which the lettering or design stands out. A signet ring featuring a man’s initials or that of his family name or fraternity may just be the expression of pride that convinces him to wear it.
One widely accepted rule when choosing a ring for a man is that when it comes to gemstones, less is more. While sparkly diamonds catching the light shine directly into your heart, most men prefer a more sober presentation. These rings are bejeweled and fairly large in comparison to most other men’s rings but are embraced for the inherent respect they command. Regardless of the fact that you have probably taught him more about shopping during your relationship than he could have ever learned, go easy on the bling when shopping for your man’s ring.
The material of a man’s ring is important in a manner that differs from its significance in a woman’s ring. Whereas women generally prefer rings of precious metals, a man places more emphasis, unsurprisingly, on how masculine the ring will be perceived to be. Gleam and sheen play second fiddle to subtlety and an understated appearance, which many women complain is a bit of a waste.
To cater to this, there has been an explosion of late in the use of certain metals and alloys whose use in jewellery was previously unheard of. Ring alloys and metals such as tungsten carbide, ceramic titanium, and cobalt chrome, among others, now command a sizable share of the male ring market.
There are three main reasons why rings made of these materials appeal to a man. Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, they usually have a less shiny appearance (although that may vary on the style). Secondly, they are incredibly damage resistant in terms of scratches and dents because of their hardness. This makes them ideal for the man for whom there is a physical component to their work, or for the outdoors and sports enthusiast. Lastly, they require considerably less cleaning and maintenance than rings made of precious metals. Most of the contemporary alloyed rings also carry the benefit of being hypoallergenic.
The ultimate bonus perhaps is that these materials cost only a fraction of their precious metal counterparts – many will cost you even less than $200.
The best piece of advice for choosing a man’s ring is that there are no rules to follow – a man is less likely to follow jewellery trends, so you have to choose a design that suits him best and which he would be comfortable wearing instead of what might seem ‘in’ today. The odds are that he will be more likely to continue wearing it in the long term.
Nothing beats creating a magical moment of getting him to unwrap the ring you’ve just presented, and although you might fear he may not like it, trust us, they almost always do. Suggest the idea of a right hand ring, and most say no. The reason why we say so is there is always the guilt of not having bought her enough, so how can I get myself jewellery. Go for it, when was the last time he said, “I never ask for or expect anything special, but wish sometimes you surprised me.”