How to Design Your Own Men’s Wedding Ring
If you’re reading this, congrats on your having found “the one!”
Lest you think that hard part is behind you, the harder—and more fun part—is ahead: planning the wedding which kicks off with picking the ring.
I’m here to help. I work at Denver’s best fine jewelry designer Abby Sparks Jewelry and live and breathe wedding rings. Because we only make one-of-a-kind custom rings from scratch, a big part of the gig is advising people on the best materials and design choices they can make, and what to avoid at all costs. Whether you’re looking to design your own custom wedding ring or buy something pre-made, in this article I’ll explain what you should consider before committing to your forever ring.
Trendy vs. Timeless Wedding Rings
I see these all over instagram and we get requests for them all the time—wooden wedding rings, rings made from dinosaur bone or petrified something or other, ceramic and even plastic rings. Listen, these styles look cool as hell, and I think they’re beautiful, but they’re not meant to be worn every day and if you do, they won’t last. There’s no judgement here. Different couples have different priorities. Maybe you want a ring that’s going to look really great right now, and you don’t mind replacing it in a year or two, but the sad truth is that most people buy rings like this unknowingly. Just because a ring is marketed as a wedding band does not mean it’s durable enough to last a lifetime, no matter what the price tag is.
Talk with your partner. Decide if you want to buy your forever rings now, or rings for right now that you’ll be forever replacing. And a word of caution: if your wedding ring breaks at an inopportune time like at your wedding (this actually happened to a friend of mine with a wooden ring) you might wish that you had done more research before you bought it.
If you want to get a non-traditional or alternative look, do it with the design and not the materials.
The Best Wedding Ring Stones and Metals
When it comes down to it, there really are only a very select few stones and metals that are appropriate to last a lifetime, but there are endless opportunities for what you can do with them. For stones, you have diamonds (which, little known fact, come in a rainbow of colors), sapphires (again, these come in every color you can imagine), rubies, emeralds, and moissanite. There’s a reason why most fine jewelry is made with these stones and it’s because they’re the hardest, toughest stones on the planet. This means that not only are they durable enough to be used in jewelry, they’re also tough enough to wear on your hand, every single day, which for most people includes sleeping with it on, doing dishes, and banging it against things multiple times throughout the course of the day. Turquoise, wood, dinosaur bone and the like can be really beautiful, but they’re not going to last through your day-to-day life
For wedding ring metals, you’re choices are gold (white, yellow or rose), platinum, or palladium. That’s it. For some reason it’s common to see men’s rings in a wide range of materials that you don’t really see women’s rings in, but that doesn’t change the fact that most are inappropriate for a wedding ring. Some metals tarnish, some shatter, and some are too soft and will easily warp, so stick to the fine jewelry grade metals I mentioned.
Feel limited? Don’t. There are so many ways to make your wedding ring unique without sacrificing durability.
Get Off the Internet
Now that you know which materials are appropriate for a ring, you can probably forget some of the rings you were considering. Now let’s narrow down your search even further. Whether you’re shopping for a wedding ring, a car, or a new appliance, it’s easy to get sucked into a Google deep dive of research and options. Google, Instagram and Pinterest are great for getting inspiration and figuring out what you like, but at some point you need to come up for air and actually try on some rings. You might fall in love with a platinum band online and then realize you don’t like how it looks with your skin tone once you try it on in person. Maybe you’re looking at super thick wide bands online, but in person they just don’t feel comfortable. Maybe you think you’re absolutely, positively not a diamond person, but after trying a diamond band on you’re obsessed. Go to a jewelry store, even one you have no intention of buying from, and try everything on.
Making Your Wedding Band Unique
There are so many options beyond a plain gold band, but if that’s your thing, go for it. A wedding ring can look like whatever you want it to, and we’ve made some really non-traditional bands at Abby Sparks Jewelry. A really fun detail to switch up on men’s rings is the finish. A brushed finish gives a roughed up, industrial feel. A matte finish feels organic and handcrafted. And of course, high polish will give you a super sleek, refined look. Some of the coolest bands mix these elements.
The next design detail to play with is engraving and hand carving. We’ve done many textured patterns with lines and dots, and really intricate celtic knots, twists, and highly elaborate motifs. Being in Colorado, we’ve done more than a few mountain ranges and even animals. If you can dream it, we can make it happen.
Finally, think about including stones! Dotting your band with diamonds, sapphires, or another gemstone adds a whole lot of personality. Also, FYI: There is also no rule that says you can’t have a big-ass rock if you want one.
Custom vs. Customized vs. Mass-produced
There is no right answer for where and how to get a wedding ring. Our studio is a great solution for couples who want rings that are one-of-a-kind and that no one else will have. We’re also a good option for people who want to include really meaningful, personalized details. Making your wedding rings together, or making them for each other separately is a bonding experience. You can include hidden details, inside jokes, and secret messages. We just did a pair of men’s rings for a couple who wanted to include their astrological constellations on the outside, and hidden messages on the inside. Most of the rings you see in our portfolio have the designs they do for very personal reasons. Each stone number and placement and hand-carved detail typically has a whole story behind it.
Onto your other options. Most wedding rings on the market are mass-produced. That doesn’t mean they’re any less special, it just depends on what feels right for you as a couple. For a little bit more personality, many jewelers offer customized options. Though not true made-from-scratch custom, you can typically choose your own metal color for an existing design.
In the end, the best thing you can do is communicate openly and honestly with your partner about what you want, your expectations, and what makes sense for you as a couple. If you have any questions or ideas for your own bands, email email@example.com or DM us on Instagram. We’d be honored to help make your dream rings a reality, and are accepting design meeting bookings now.
Sarah Kiley, Marketing Manager at Abby Sparks Jewelry