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8 Essentials to Finding a Particular Band for Your Particular Man

by Rustic & Main

Most grooms-to-be don’t get excited about their wedding band because they are used to the same uninspired pieces of jewelry they have seen before. At Rustic and Main, you can create a custom wedding band that is worth getting excited about. The groom feels included in the wedding and the happy couple get to spend some time together picking out that just-right band for him. It is a win-win.

Brides do receive most of the attention leading up to, and during, a wedding. But here is a chance for her lucky man to participate in some of the pre-wedding fun too by allowing him to express himself through choosing a unique symbol of their story together.

We have heard over and over again that the groom gets to spend time in the spotlight even after the wedding when friends and strangers ask about the unique ring he wears. We have helped over 25,000 customers find the perfect wedding band and we have learned a lot along the way. This ebook is a collection of all of the advice and tips we’ve given out to our customers over the years, whether we’ve seen them in-person in our store or helped them over the phone. Even if you choose to go with another company for your wedding band, we want it to be as smooth of a process as possible. Here are the 8 essentials to finding the perfect wedding band.

Technical Tips

1. Understand the Terms Commonly Used in the Ring Business.

Back in your dad’s day, all you needed to know about a wedding band was what carat the gold was and how much it cost. Now, there is a whole new industry and terms surrounding men’s wedding bands. Here are the key terms to know.

Size

This is the circumference of the ring. US sizing runs in whole numbers. In our experience, most guys are between sizes 9 and 12 with the average hovering around 10.5.

Width

This refers to how wide your band is. The width of the ring will also influence how comfortable the ring feels, the size chosen, and how to ring looks in relationship to your finger. The most popular widths for men's rings are 6mm and 8mm.

Comfort Fit vs. Flat

This refers to the contour of the lining of the ring -- the part of it that touches your finger. There are two primary types of fit: flat fit and comfort fit. Flat is more traditional while comfort fit has a rounded shape to it and often feels more comfortable putting on and taking off.

Other Contours

There are many different types of contours that will change the appearance of your ring and also affect how it feels when being worn. Here are a few examples.

Above graphic from https://aide-memoire-jewelry.helpscoutdocs.com/article/33-wedding-ring-profiles-cross-section

Inlays

Inlay refers to the insetting of material into your ring. Traditional inlays for rings are diamonds and other gemstones while more modern rings are inlaid with antler, wood, gold, and even meteorite and dinosaur fossils.

Shown above, The Jurassic ring. This titanium band has 3 inlays. From left to right: Dinosaur bone, meteorite dust, and fossilized amber.

Show above, The Man in Black ring. This titanium band is inlaid with a weathered whiskey barrel and a guitar string in the center.

Another example of inlays. We call this one The Oxford Don. It features a wide center inlay of weathered whiskey barrel, and two edge inlays of rose gold.

Liner

This refers to the surface of the ring that actually touches your finger.

Above, an example of a wood ring with a liner that is different from the outer wood. The outer wood is a dark teak from the USS New Jersey battleship. The liner is natural oak, reclaimed from a whiskey barrel.

Outer

Opposite of the liner. The outer portion of the ring is the part that can be seen when wearing it.

2. Find the Right Size for the Right Finger

Yes, this is really something we have to tell the guys who come into the shop. We understand though as most of them have never thought about putting on a piece of jewelry (or perhaps they have been admiring their friends rings for the last 5 years hoping for the courage to pop the question themselves). The finger you want to measure for fit is the ring finger on your left hand.

When deciding on your ring size, use a sizer that is close to the width you would like. Most online stores have custom ring sizers to ship to you. Definitely use the one from the brand you go with as jewelers’ tools can vary.

Also, consider what season it is and if you think there will be any weight gain or fluctuations in temperature. If you are getting married in the winter, your finger size will generally be smaller than your finger size during the hotter months. You do not want to purchase a ring that is slightly too tight when it is 32 degrees outside, then have it be too tight to take off during a sweltering humid summer afternoon.

Pro Tip!

It doesn’t work to know the size of the ring finger on the right hand. It is common for the ring size for your dominant hand to be half a size larger than your non-dominant hand.

3. Make Sure It’s a Comfortable Width for Your Hand Shape.

Just because a ring technically fits does not mean it will be comfortable. The most common widths for guy’s bands are between 6mm and 8mm. We have some guys come in and find that they want to go down in width as the thinner ring is less noticeable. While we do have customers ask us to cut their ring width down, rarely do they ask to exchange a ring to go up in width. Avoid the dreaded muffin top or muffin bottom unless you have a warm cup of coffee. See the image below for a ring that is too tight.

What's His Finger Shape?

There are essentially three types of fingers and the type of finger you have will affect the fit of the ring:

1. Tapered: These fingers are long and narrow. Think of the guys who can play the piano well. Sometimes they have problems with the ring slipping off and may need to go a little tighter. A wider width band such as a 8mm can look great on these fingers.

2. Shorter and Wider: We recommend starting with a size 6mm band so it looks proportionate to the length of your finger. However, if you are going for a bolder look, you may want to go up in width to a 7mm or 8mm.

3. Larger Knuckle: We recommend you try a narrower width band as it fits easier over the knuckles and still can be a comfortable fit once at the base of the finger. Start with a 7mm ring.

Pro Tip!

Try the actual ring sizer you believe is the right fit for 48 hours. Wear it throughout your workouts, showers, and through any other activities you do. What feels comfortable in the morning may be a tight squeeze at the end of the day. Your hand may swell up after your 10 mile run. It’s best to know that your ring size and width is a great fit at any point during the day.

4. Make Sure It Fits Your Lifestyle and Desired Level of Maintenance

Common questions we ask customers when they are choosing their bands are:

  • Will you be wearing this ring for only special occasions?
  • Do you plan to switch out with a silicone ring if you lift weights?
  • Do you work around harsh chemicals?
  • Do you work around electricity and need a metal-free ring? (Even small amounts of metals can carry an electrical charge.)

These questions help us identify the best material for your ring. Another key thing to know is what maintenance is required to keep your ring looking spiffy throughout the years. Durability of the materials has a lot to do with this. Most rings will need to be taken off if you work around harsh chemicals or plan to take a dip into salt water. Any ring that is showing wear and tear should be tended to ASAP. The crafters will know best how to fix any issues that may arise with your ring.

5. It's All About the Base

There are 5 main materials that are popular for guy’s wedding bands right now:

Precious Metals

When you think about wedding bands, guys tend to think about what their dad and granddad wore. For some, this is a great connection to their heritage. To others, they may want to go the opposite direction and get something that has more personality. There are great options for ways to include a precious metal base with inlays that pop.

Non-Precious Metals

These are the ring metals trending right now. You can find almost every shade of silver and grey you could want in these metals. On top of that, you can choose finishes that range from an ultra-polished shine to a distressed matte finish.

Wood

Wood became a new trend about 5 years ago. Find out whether the crafter uses the ol’ drill-a-hole method when they make the ring or the more reliable bentwood method. A lot of the cheaper rings sold on sites like Etsy use the drill-a-hole method in which the ring is formed by simply drilling a hole through the piece of wood. While easier to do, this creates a less durable ring. Higher end wood rings are made using the bentwood method which literally takes a strip of wood and bends it into the shape of the ring. You can have the best of both worlds by finding a ring with a metal base that has wood inlays in them. This allows you to feel more comfortable with the durability but still get the rich, warm look of wood in your ring.

Shown above: a custom wood ring featuring battleship teak and Coast Guard uniform.

Silicone

You can get a silicone ring in just about any color and pattern you can think of. They are fun to have and you can wear a different one every day of the week. They’re also good for those who have concerns about metal in their rings. However, they are not great for the environment and cannot be customized.

Leather

Leather is a durable and attractive alternative to silicone. Leather rings usually come stamped with a metal clasp or a threaded closure.

Pro Tip!

Be careful to check if the precious metal used to create your ring is truly all gold or all silver or if it is just plated with the precious metal. Plated means a coating of the precious metal has been applied to a non-precious base. These coatings tend to rub off within the first year. An easy clue will be the price of the ring. If it seems too good to be true, it likely is.

Ring Selection Tips!

Now for the fun tips that make your band uniquely yours!

6. Make Sure the Style Fits Your Personality

Some guys want a big, bold contrast with their skin color while others would like a more subdued “Hey guys, I’m just hanging out” feel. A thin metal band speaks to a man who likes modern and sleek, whereas a wider band with several inlays invites others in to hear more about the groom's life and interests. Some guys go with a band that is all them while others will try to match some, if not all, of their bands metal to their brides ring. Don’t worry, this doesn’t mean you have to get the standard, all-precious metal band from the 80s. You can just as easily match her engagement ring’s metal with a simple inlay in your ring. 

Personality isn't just about looks! Do you want a handcrafted ring that literally comes straight from the hands that made it? Or are you okay with one that is mass-produced overseas and resold under another brand? Are you a hippie at heart and want to brag about how your ring was sustainability sourced? If so, you’ll definitely want to consider a custom ring.

7. Know the Ways You Can Customize Your Band

1. Engraving: This can only be done on metal. You can use the outer or inner side of the ring for the engraving.

2. Widths: The widest ring we have created is 10mm. This does allow for you to add more inlays and materials to your ring, but make sure this is what you really want as it can feel bulky on your hand.

3. Liners: This is the material on the inside of the ring. At Rustic and Main, we offer dozens of lining options, from reclaimed whiskey barrel wood from brands like Jack Daniel’s, Jim Beam and Jameson, to wood from historic rifle stocks and American battleships.

4. Inlays: Similar to the liners, there are a variety of metals, woods, fabrics and stones that can be incorporated into the outside of the ring as well. 

5. Customer Materials: At Rustic and Main, we invite our customers to get in touch with us to let us know about any special materials they would like incorporated into their own unique ring.

8. Check Out the Customer Service

The good news is, there are several more businesses to choose your custom band from than there were 5 years ago. The bad news is, they don’t all offer the same level of customer service. We know it can be intimidating to make such a meaningful purchase over the internet. When gathering all the information you need to feel comfortable about making a final purchase decision, you should be able to find most of the information you’re looking for on the company’s website. Here are a few particular things to look for:

  • Check the warranty and how long they have been in business.
  • Find out how long you would have to exchange your ring and if wearing it in your ceremony will void your chance to exchange it.
  • Look at Google for business reviews.
  • What is their return policy?
  • Can the ring you chose be resized?
  • Is there a number to call for customer service (and can you actually get a real person to pick up)?
Pro Tip!

Order your ring at least 3 months before the wedding. More if you are going with a custom ring. This allows time for the ring to be crafted, shipped and tried on way before the date. Believe us: you do not want to find out the ring you ordered does not fit the week before the big “I do’s.”

We know planning a wedding and a new life together can be hectic. Hopefully these tips will help you along and picking out the right band will be a pleasant memory to bond over for many years to come!

If you would like to learn more about the ring customization options offered by Rustic and Main, please send us a message. You can also book an appointment with us if you would like that extra hands-on assistance with picking out your ring.