If you’re in the market for a wedding band, you might be surprised to learn that there are many more options available today besides silver, gold and platinum. Though these metals have reigned supreme for decades, you can now find a wide variety of alternative materials from which to choose. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks to consider, but you might find that one of these newer options is a better match for your needs and your budget. Or, after considered the alternatives, you might discover that a more traditional metal is what you need. Here’s a guide to the classic and alternative wedding band metals to help you find your perfect fit.
For many years, couples chose from a few classic metal options for their wedding bands. While these metals are undeniably beautiful, there can be a few drawbacks to choosing them for your wedding band, including a higher price. Here’s a quick look at the classic metal options you’ll find when shopping for wedding bands:
- Gold: Gold is most common wedding band choice. It’s also one of the most versatile options since you can choose from white, yellow and rose gold colors. Gold is quite sturdy but it can become scratched over time.
- Platinum: In recent decades, platinum has increased in popularity for wedding bands. It has a naturally white color that never fades or changes color, and the metal is strong and hypoallergenic. The cost is high, but this is the most durable choice if you want a classic metal band.
- Silver: Silver is also quite popular and can be a bit more affordable when compared with gold and platinum. That lower price comes at a cost, however, since silver can scratch and tarnish more easily than other metals. A sturdier silver ring will usually be plated with rhodium to help prevent damage.
If you’re considered an alternative material for your wedding band, be sure to check out these options, many of which will cost less than a comparable band made with one of the classic metals described above:
- Palladium: Similar to platinum, palladium has a natural white color which won’t tarnish. This is a low-maintenance metal that won’t require re-plating. It’s less expensive compared to platinum, and is actually more scratch-resistant than platinum as well.
- Titanium: Titanium is one of the strongest metals used to create wedding bands. It’s also more durable than metals like gold, and has a very light weight, making it great for those who lead an active lifestyle. Titanium is also hypoallergenic and fairly budget-friendly. One drawback is that titanium wedding bands cannot be resized.
- Tungsten: Tungsten is heavier in weight than many other metals used for wedding rings. It is usually very affordable and offer scratch-resistant and hypoallergenic properties. Although it is strong overall, it can potentially fracture if it forcefully hits a hard surface.
- Zirconium: Like titanium, zirconium is lightweight and strong. It is also hypoallergenic. Regular zirconium has a lustrous grey color, or it can be heated to form a dark black oxide coating.
- Cobalt: Cobalt has a stunning bright white color that looks similar to platinum, but it’s actually about four times harder than platinum, making it much more durable. It has a heavier feel and is fairly scratch-resistant. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic.
- Steel: Stainless steel is one of the more affordable options for a wedding band. It is relatively strong (though not as strong as options like titanium) and is hypoallergenic and scratch resistant. This type of ring is also very easy to clean with just dish soap and water.
- Ceramic: If you want a high gloss on your wedding band, consider a ceramic ring. These rings are very affordable and durable, and when polished, they are some of the shiniest rings available. They also won’t set off metal detectors, but a ceramic ring will break if enough force is applied.
- Silicone: One of the newest developments in wedding band styles is the silicone wedding band. This is a rubber-like ring that can come in just about any color. The ring is made to be especially durable and easy to clean. People with active lifestyles or certain types of jobs enjoy that they can wear these bands without worrying about injuries or damage to the band. It’s also a budget-friendly alternative ring that you can wear just for playing sports, working out, traveling or other activities where you might otherwise worry about losing or damaging your wedding ring.
Are you ready to pick out your wedding band? This is a piece of jewelry you’ll wear for the rest of your life, so it’s smart to do plenty of research to discover which one is the right fit for you. Use this guide to figure out which type of wedding ring works for your style preferences, your lifestyle and your budget.