Since people were first brought together in partnerships, vowing to spend their lives with one special person, the ring-giving ritual has been a part of the wedding tradition.
Hailing from the Ancient Egyptians, where rings were made from braided reeds, the tradition of the ring evolved through a number of materials, from reeds, to bone and ivory, to copper and iron, to gold.
By around the 2nd century, gold wedding rings were ubiquitous, becoming the norm for betrothed couples – and so it stayed for almost a thousand years.
Since the turn of the millennium, however, more and more affianced men are veering away from tradition, in search of something new: something a little more unique, with more character and individuality than the standard gold band most often worn by the groom.
Ultimately, the ‘best’ material for a wedding ring is dependent on the wearer, taking into account their preferences, their lifestyle, and their personality, and while gold will always be a timeless classic – an oldie but goldie – there are a number of alternative materials which could make someone the perfect wedding ring.
Another light-yet-strong material, carbon fibers are encased in a resin matrix to create a dark, sleek wedding ring that only weighs a gram. Carbon fiber is a great option for people who want an alternative to metal – due to allergies, because of personal preference, or because they want a ring that won’t tarnish.
Like titanium, you can opt for a polished or matte finish, although the contrast of the carbon fibers can be observed more resolutely if you choose a matte finish for your ring. Moreover, there are a number of different patterns and textures to choose from, depending on the configuration of the individual carbon fibers.
Moreover, additional materials can be combined with carbon fibers, such as sand or glass, depending on the aesthetic desired – and some of these rings even glow under UV light.
The only downside to carbon fiber rings is that they can be scuffed and chipped if they sustain impact. So, if the ring-wearer is someone who works with their hands – or they spend their spare time playing contact sports – another material might be more suitable.
With the highest strength to weight ratio of any metal on the planet, titanium is a great choice for any wedding ring, as it’s durable, lasts forever and won’t tarnish – the perfect symbol for any couple entering a marriage.
In addition to being a symbol of ever-lasting love, titanium rings are available in some really cool designs, and are available in silver and black, with a polish or matte finish, and come in smooth and textured varieties.
Moreover, precious or semi-precious stones can be embedded in the design if you want to opt for something a little flashier.
For those who prefer something more natural, a handcrafted wood ring is a unique twist on a classic, pulling the tradition back to its roots in ancient Egyptian civilisation, where natural materials – such as reeds – would be used to fashion the wedding band.
All kinds of wood can be used to create your ring, so you can choose the aesthetic based on your personal preference. More than this, due to the unique configuration of grain in every piece of wood, each ring will be unique – just like each marriage.
While a wood wedding ring isn’t as strong as some of the other materials available to choose from, many wooden rings are reinforced by carbon fibers, or set in a metal liner, for increased durability.
Over the lifespan of the ring, it may suffer from a few scuffs and scratches to its surface. However, this is easy to rectify, as wood can easily be cleaned up by the maker and returned to its flawless state.
Like carbon fiber bands, rings made from glass fiber have a woven appearance, though they typically have a lighter, silvery appearance compared to their darker carbon-fiber cousins.
Glass fiber rings are a great alternative for people who want a silver-looking ring, without the drawbacks of wearing metal.
In addition to being a good choice for someone who’s allergic to metal, glass has the added benefit of being totally non-conductive, making this an ideal ring for people who work with electrics, such as linemen, electricians and engineers, who don’t fancy being electrocuted.
While this shouldn’t be the material you choose for your primary wedding ring, silicone is a great option if you want to keep your primary ring safe – for example, if you’re prone to accidents, you lose things often, or you have a job where you work with your hands.
Consequently, silicone rings make excellent secondary rings, allowing the wearer to continue to display their commitment to their spouse full-time, without the worry of losing or damaging it, since silicone rings are inexpensive and easy to replace.