Considering a ring?

Let’s be honest – when it comes to this subject, most men don’t have a clue. The majority of us will only ever wear one ring – a wedding ring – and even then, we’re not that comfortable in jewelry stores.

Plus there are thousands of options out there. Different rings symbolize different things – there are rings designed to be worn on individual fingers and others only suitable for specific occasions.

And that’s before we even get into the types of metal.

So how do you know which ring is right for you? Unless your best friend is a jeweler, it’s overwhelming and confusing.

Let me make it simple. Once you’ve read this article, you’ll be able to walk into a jewelry store with confidence; you’ll be able to ask the right questions and avoid overspending.

Ready? Let’s get started!

Click Here To Watch The Video – ULTIMATE Guide To Rings | Gold Vs Silver Vs Platinum Vs Tungsten

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You get a ton of designs and materials to choose from, including diamonds, deer antler, dinosaur bones (yes – dinosaur bones!) and even meteorite! Say goodbye to stuffy jewelry stores – these guys make ring buying fun. Click here to check out Manly Bands and use the code RMRS at checkout to get 20% off your order!


Contents – Ultimate Guide To Men’s Rings

  • History of Men’s Rings
  • Popular Men’s Ring Styles
  • Metal Types Used for Men’s Rings
  • Non-Metal Men’s Ring Types
  • What Gemstones are Used in Men’s Rings?
  • Meaning of Color in Men’s Rings

A Brief History of Men’s Rings

old mens signet ring

Ancient rings were similar to modern-day signet rings but would be pressed into wax or ink to stamp one’s seal of approval.

Men have worn rings since the Egyptian times when they were used as personal identification and as a signature. Egyptians believed rings had supernatural powers and symbolized eternal love. They wore their rings on the left hand’s 4th finger because they believed the vein of love ran through this finger to the head.

These ancient rings were similar to modern-day signet rings and would be pressed into wax or ink to stamp one’s seal of approval. It was actually illegal for seal-makers to keep an impression of a ring they sold to avoid identity theft.

Fast forward to the 8th century BC and Roman men wore rings made from silver, gold, bronze, iron, and jet. These sometimes had precious stones or jewels set in them, although they were initially a plain iron hoop. When a Roman woman accepted a ring, it became a legally binding agreement whereby she was bound to be obedient to her husband.

mens rings roman

Three examples of Roman rings

Interestingly, the ring you wore showed your social class. Only the upper classes could wear gold rings while other citizens could wear silver or bronze and slaves weren’t permitted to wear rings at all.

Ever wonder where the term “keyring” came from? Roman clothing had no pockets so people would often wear a finger-ring and hang their house keys from it.

Medieval and Renaissance Britain had many uses for rings, including signets for identification, rings with merchant’s marks, rings for political identification, and rings, which demonstrated professional rank. Much like the Roman Empire, rings also denoted social class and your job type.


Most Popular Styles of Men’s Rings

Men’s Signet Rings

mens signet ring

A signet ring – note the flat top featuring an intricate design.

The word signet comes from the Latin word “signum,” which means “mark” or “sign.” A signet ring has a flat top surface featuring a personal or family crest design. The idea is that when the wearer presses the ring into liquid sealing wax, it leaves an impression. Ancient Greeks created signet rings out of marble, limestone, and ivory and used them for identification purposes.

Throughout the centuries, the signet ring evolved. During World War II, US Air Force Personnel obtained signet rings containing a hidden compartment that held a compass or message.

Nowadays, signet rings tend to be a fashion accessory.

How to Wear a Signet Ring

Traditions of the placement of signet rings vary depending on the country. In England, men wore a signet ring on the little finger of the non-dominant hand. The French wore it on the right finger of the left hand. Men in Switzerland traditionally wore a signet on the right finger of the right hand and in the Middle East, a signet ring is worn on the middle finger or the thumb.

Types of Signet Rings

  • Round – rounded bevel in a variety of sizes
  • Oxford – square bevel with rounded corners, similar to a seat cushion
  • Straight Oval – a broad oval, the most common and traditional type
  • Bulbous Oval – large, heavy signet rings with a classic look
  • Octagon – 8 sided, very unique and geometric, the most modern style

When to Wear a Signet Ring

Traditional signet ring etiquette is dependent on whether the man is married. If a married man wore a signet ring on the left ring finger, it was interpreted as a wedding ring.


Men’s Wedding Rings

mens wedding rings

In 16th and 17th century Europe, men would sometimes wear Gimmel rings made of two interlocking circles. The groom and bride would wear one ring each while engaged. During the wedding ceremony, the groom would put his band on the bride’s finger, thus completing the circles.

Because of the wars and conflicts in the early 20th century, men began wearing a wedding band as a way of remembering their spouses back home.

How To Wear a Wedding Ring 

Wedding rings are always worn on the ring finger but the hand it’s worn on varies from culture to culture. In many cultures, the wedding band is worn on the right hand because it is used for oaths and vows. Other cultures wear a wedding ring on the left hand because it’s believed the vein of love runs through this finger. Wedding bands are also worn on the left-hand because it’s the less dominant hand for most.

The placement of the “ring” finger is also credited to using this finger the least.

When To Wear a Wedding Ring

Wedding rings are worn when a man is married. Not wearing a wedding band when married is often seen as improper or suspicious. Couples often pick out matching wedding bands to signify their love and dedication to each other.


Men’s Pinky Rings

best mens rings pinky ring

Pinky rings came into popularity in 18th century England. In the Victorian Era, men and women wore pinky rings to indicate they were uninterested in marriage. In the 20th century, men made pinky rings a fashion statement – they were an expression of freedom and style. Wealthy American men followed the British tradition of wearing a signet ring on their pinky.

Franklin Roosevelt famously wore a pinky signet ring.

Pinky rings became associated with organized crime in the US and they would often indicate the wearer’s affiliation with the Mafia – giving it a negative connotation.

How to Wear a Pinky Ring

Traditionally, the pinky ring was worn on the left-hand pinky finger. However, this rule is not set in stone – Winston Churchill famously wore his signet ring on the right-hand pinky finger.

When to Wear a Pinky Ring

Pinky rings can be worn for any occasion but are often considered more formal. A pinky ring is an expression of style and comes in a wide range of shapes and styles. Signet rings are typically worn as pinky rings too.


Men’s Thumb Rings

mens thumb ring

Thumb rings date back to the Egyptian era. They believed that thumb rings would ward off evil spirits and avoid disease.

Another use of thumb rings – protection during archery. When drawing a bow using a thumb draw, the thumb is hooked around the bowstring and, over time, can cut into your thumb. The thumb ring protects the inner pad of the archer’s thumb.

Traditionally, women would wear their deceased husband’s thumb ring as a way of preserving their memory. Thumb rings also signify freedom. It’s believed that having a ring on your thumb means you are a strong and independent individual. The larger the thumb ring – the more independent the wearer.

Today, thumb rings are worn to signify freedom and sexual preference.

How to Wear a Thumb Ring

A thumb ring is an excellent option for men who want to wear more than one ring due to the distance between the thumb and the other fingers.

When to Wear a Thumb Ring

Thumb rings can be worn in any situation but are often frowned upon in job interviews. They’re particularly an easy way to express your freedom and individuality. Often a thumb ring will include a large gemstone such as a diamond or ruby. Men usually have their birthstone in their thumb rings.


Most Popular Metal Types in Men’s Rings

When it comes to the types of metal, it’s important to understand 2 terms:

  1. Luster – how the metal reflects light (how “shiny” it is)
  2. Mohs Hardness Scale – ranks minerals based on resistance to scratching


Men’s Ring Material – Sterling Silver

mens sterling silver ring

Sterling silver is the most famous silver alloy. It’s been used for centuries and is the standard silver alloy in most parts of the world. Today, silver is used less for rings as it tarnishes quickly and there are better options. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver combined with 7.5% copper to create a more durable and wearable metal. The issue with Sterling silver is that it tarnishes quickly.

The copper contents in the alloy cause Sterling silver to change color and darken as it oxidizes. This is easy to clean in most cases. High-quality Sterling silver jewelry is sometimes plated with rhodium to enhance the whiteness, brilliance, and the metal’s durability. This adds value to the piece and prevents tarnishing.

Sterling silver ranks a 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. For comparison purposes, Diamond – the most scratch-resistant mineral – ranks as 10.

Pros of Sterling Silver Rings:

  • Durable
  • Workable and wearable
  • Beautiful luster and shine
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of Sterling Silver Rings:

  • Easily tarnishes
  • Hard to maintain

Men’s Ring Material – White Gold

mens white gold ring

White gold gained popularity as being an excellent alternative for platinum. It has the same visual characteristics as platinum but at a lower price.

White gold is made by alloying yellow gold with other white metals such as silver and palladium. It’s then coated with a plating of rhodium. The rhodium coding makes it lustrous and reflective. White gold is one of the most popular materials used for men’s rings, but it requires work as the rhodium plating will wear off over time but this can be refreshed at a local jeweler.

White gold ranks at 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of White Gold Rings:

  • Lustrous and reflective
  • Reasonably priced
  • Many designs and options available
  • Very workable

Cons of White Gold Rings:

  • Needs periodic work (rhodium plating)
  • Not hypoallergenic from the rhodium plating


Men’s Ring Material – Yellow Gold

mens ring yellow gold

Click here to discover “The Kennedy” by Manly Bands Medium weight Solid 14K Yellow Gold – with milgrain accent and polished finish.

Yellow gold is the traditional choice for wedding bands and dates back thousands of years. The natural color of gold symbolizes prosperity and wealth.

Yellow gold comes in varying levels of purity from 10K  to 24K. The karats of gold refer to the percentage of gold to other alloys in the ring. 14K and 18K are the most common in men’s rings, but anything over 18K can be too soft for daily wear.

The purity of each karat is listed below:

  1. 10k = 41.67% Gold
  2. 14K = 58.33% Gold
  3. 18K = 75.00% Gold
  4. 22K = 91.67% Gold
  5. 24K = 99.99% Gold

Yellow Gold ranks a 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Yellow Gold Rings:

  • Valuable
  • Classic and traditional
  • Workable
  • Many designs available

Cons of Yellow Gold Rings:

  • Needs frequent polishing
  • Not hypoallergenic


Men’s Ring Material – Rose Gold

mens rose gold ring

Click here to discover “The Affluence” by Manly Bands – made with Solid 14K Rose Gold with a Milgrain Accent,

Increasing in popularity in men’s rings, rose gold is more delicate in appearance than its other gold counterparts. Rose gold is more durable than other gold due to its copper contents giving it the subtle rose hue. The copper contents causes rose gold rings to be not hypoallergenic.

Rose Gold ranks a 2.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Rose Gold Rings:

  • Unique color
  • Durable

Cons of Rose Gold Rings:

  • Not hypoallergenic
  • Not a lot of designs available
  • Needs polishing to maintain


Men’s Ring Material – Tungsten

mens ring tungsten

Click here to discover “The Cowboy” by Manly Bands – made with Black Plated Tungsten and Koa Wood.

Tungsten is medium-grey metal and can be plated with a color coating. It’s affordable, durable and lustrous which makes it a popular option for men. Tungsten ranks a 9 on the Mohs hardness scale, making it one of the most rigid metal rings available (diamonds are the only one step away at 10 on the scale).

Pros of Tungsten Rings:

  • Affordable
  • Highly durable and scratch-resistant
  • Lustrous
  • No re-plating required

Cons of Tungsten Rings:

  • Not valuable
  • Not hypoallergenic (depends on the alloy)
  • Limited options
  • Will break with hard impact
  • Not resizable


Men’s Ring Material – Platinum

mens ring platinum

Platinum is the most valuable metal used in men’s rings. It’s associated with luxury, prestige and wealth. Rings made from platinum are comfortable to wear, durable and very easy to work with. Platinum rings develop a patina over time, but a professional polish can restore the luster. This metal symbolizes integrity, everlasting love and purity, making it a trendy option for wedding bands.

Platinum ranks a 3.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Platinum Rings:

  • Durable
  • Prestigious and sophisticated
  • Workable
  • Many designs available
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of Platinum Rings:

  • Very expensive
  • Needs polishing to maintain


Men’s Ring Material – Palladium

mens ring palladium

Very similar in appearance to platinum, palladium was an excellent alternative but due to extreme inflation of prices – it isn’t anymore. This precious metal is more durable and scratch-resistant than platinum. Palladium doesn’t need rhodium plating making its luster and hue natural and easier to maintain.

Palladium ranks a 4.75 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Palladium Rings:

  • Precious metal
  • Natural luster and color
  • Durable
  • No re-plating needed
  • Valuable
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of Palladium Rings:

  • Rare
  • Limited options available
  • Prices are increasing


Men’s Ring Material – Titanium

mens ring titanium

Click here to discover “The Architect” from Manly Bands – made from Titanium with a Laser-Etched Design.

Titanium is the primary metal used for planes because it is extremely strong and lightweight. It doesn’t tarnish quickly and it’s affordable but difficult to resize.

Titanium ranks a 6.0 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Titanium Rings:

  • Highly durable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Beautiful luster and color
  • Lightweight

Cons of Titanium Rings:

  • Not valuable
  • Difficult to resize


Men’s Ring Material – Cobalt

mens ring in cobalt

Click here to discover “The Knight” by Manly Bands – made from Cobalt Chrome with a rough Stone Finish.

Cobalt is a cheaper alternative to white gold, as it’s very close in appearance to it. These rings are highly reflective. They’re an excellent option for daily wear (and are highly resistant to scratching and tarnishing).

Cobalt ranks a 5.0 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Cobalt Rings:

  • Minimal maintenance
  • Highly durable
  • Resistant to scratches
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Minimal maintenance

Cons of Cobalt Rings:

  • Not valuable
  • Difficult to resize
  • Limited options available


Men’s Ring Material – Tantalum

mens ring tantalum

Click here to discover “The Capone” from Manly Bands – made from Tantalum with a unique Chicago skyline!

Tantalum is an industrial metal that is slightly darker than tungsten. It’s exceptionally durable making maintenance minimal.

Tantalum ranks a 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Tantalum Rings:

  • High durable
  • Lustrous and reflective
  • Easy to maintain
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of Tantalum Rings:

  • Darker than platinum
  • Limited options
  • Not valuable


Men’s Ring Material – Damascus Steel

mens ring damascus steel

Click here to discover “The Candidate” by Manly Bands – made with Damascus Steel, featuring a Polish Finish and Royal Blue Cerakote sleeve.

Damascus steel has been used for making weapons and rings for thousands of years. Damascus steel is inexpensive. The metal is more valued for its natural and intriguing patterns, making it unique.

Damascus steel ranks a 4.0 on the Mohs hardness scale.

Pros of Damascus Steel Rings:

  • Unique patterns
  • Affordable
  • Durable
  • Lustrous
  • Easy to maintain
  • Unique pattern which is never consistent

Cons of Damascus Steel Rings:

  • Often not hypoallergenic
  • Not valuable

Non-Metal Types of Men’s Rings

Men’s Ring Material – Carbon Fiber

mens ring carbon fiber

Click here to discover “The Ash” by Manly Bands – made with Carbon Fiber.

Carbon Fiber is made of tightly interwoven fibers that create a tough fabric akin to metal. While technically not a metal, it’s among the most robust materials used in wedding rings and withstands most pressure.

Carbon Fiber is a space-age material and is ideal for a modern man. However, most carbon fiber rings are black and color options are limited.

Pros of Carbon Fiber Rings:

  • Space-age material
  • Durable
  • Affordable
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to maintain

Cons of Carbon Fiber Rings:

  • Mainly black
  • Not valuable
  • Difficult to resize

Click here to discover Manly Bands’ awesome range of men’s rings!


Men’s Ring Material – Meteorite

best mens ring meteorite

Click here to discover “The Inventor” by Manly Bands – handcrafted from Damascus Steel with 3mm of genuine Gibeon Meteorite!

Meteorite Rings are made from debris from space — yes, you read that correctly. These rings have natural etchings and patterns that make each unique.

Meteorite is made from comets, asteroids and meteoroids that survive the Earth’s atmosphere. They are typically broken into three categories, including stony meteorites, stony-iron meteorites and iron meteorites.

The high iron content makes these rings not hypoallergenic.

Pros of Meteorite Rings:

  • Attention-grabbing
  • Unique
  • Modern
  • Natural etchings

Cons of Meteorite Rings:

  • Limited availability
  • Not hypoallergenic


Men’s Ring Material – Zamak

mens ring zamark

Zamak rings are made from galvanized zinc alloy. They contain aluminum, copper and magnesium. Zamak is known as “white metal” or “pot metal,” which comes from the German abbreviation for various included elements. With a unique look, Zamak rings have a vintage appeal and are very lightweight.

Pros of Zamak Rings:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Vintage appeal
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of Zamak Rings:

  • Doesn’t have a refined look
  • Can be easily damaged
  • Not valuable


Men’s Ring Material – Silicone

best mens ring silicone

Click here to discover “The Best Man” from Manly Band – in your choice of Black, Gunmetal, Light Gray, Navy, Denim, Royal, or Red

Silicone rings are made using silicone rubber. This polymer contains silicon combined with carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. The affordability and safety make them perfect for anyone in the military or medical field. Silicone rings are ideal for men to wear during outdoor activities and men who use their hands.

Pros of Silicone Rings:

  • Affordable
  • Unisex
  • Wide range of options
  • Durable
  • Easy to cut off in an emergency
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of Silicone Rings:

  • Not valuable
  • Different and offbeat
  • Non-traditional


Men’s Ring Material – Wood

best mens rings wood

Click here to see “The Crockett” by Manly Band in Gentleman’s Reserve Grey Maple Wood with a Rosewood Sleeve.

Wooden rings are typically made with reclaimed wood putting old un-used wood to good use. They are lightweight and hypoallergenic. Inexpensive and eco-friendly, wooden rings are not valuable and are damaged by water.

Pros of Wooden Rings:

  • Inexpensive
  • Environmentally sound
  • Lightweight
  • Hypoallergenic

Cons of Wooden Rings:

  • Not valuable
  • Can be damaged by water

What Gemstones Are Used in Men’s Rings?

Gemstones aren’t as common in men’s rings but are becoming more prevalent. They can be an excellent option for a man looking to stand out from the crowd.

The most common gemstones used in men’s rings are:


mens rings diamonds

Diamonds are synonymous with marriage and purity. This precious stone consists of a clear and colorless crystalline form of pure carbon. Diamonds are the hardest naturally occurring substance.

  • Clear, colorless
  • Most valuable gemstone in the world
  • Known as the “stone of commitment”



Rubies are a gemstone that comes from a variety of aluminum oxide. They range from pink to blood-red and are closely related to sapphires.

  • Primarily red
  • Highly valued since Old Testament times
  • Known as the “stone of kings”



Sapphire is another variety of the mineral corundum like rubies and contains iron, titanium, chromium, vanadium and magnesium.

  • Structurally the same as rubies but not red
  • Blue, green, orange, purple, black
  • Known as the “stone of wisdom”



Emeralds are a variety of the mineral beryl colored green. They include trace amounts of chromium and vanadium and are very hard in their original state.

  • Green
  • Mined for more than 3,500 years
  • Can be inscribed with writing
  • Known as the “stone of the heart”



Amethyst is a variety of quartz. It’s classified as a semi-precious stone.

  • Purple or violet
  • Much prized by ancient Greeks who believed it would prevent drunkenness and help stave off hangovers
  • The word “amethyst” comes from the Greek word for “not intoxicated”
  • Known as the “stone of peace”



Aquamarine is a blue or cyan variety of beryl, and Ancient Romans believed it would protect them against any dangers while traveling at sea.

  • Aqua and marine
  • “Seawater color”
  • Known as the “stone of courage”


best mens rings material - tanzanite

Only found in Tanzania, this gemstone is a variety of zoisite. Tiffany & Co. gave the gem its name after the country it was discovered in.

  • Blue or violet
  • Very rare
  • Recently discovered
  • Known as the “stone of transmutation”

What Does Color Mean in Men’s Rings?

Click here to discover Manly Band’s awesome collection of Men’s rings!

When it comes to choosing a ring – the color is critical. Each color has a different meaning, and you need to understand what they mean.

Men’s Ring Colors & Their Meanings

  • Black: self-control, strength*
  • Grey: discomfort or anxiety
  • White: faith, purity, innocence, truth
  • Green: growth, abundance, hope, anticipation
  • Blue: royalty, loyalty, companionship
  • Red: passion, power, courage, confidence
  • Pink: love, romance, care, kindness
  • Purple: luxury, wisdom, dignity
  • Yellow: self-confidence, joy, personal power

* Black rings are used in the asexual community to show orientation when worn on the middle finger.

Next up, click here to read my article: 5 Rules To Wearing Rings.

The post Best Men’s Rings – ULTIMATE Man’s Guide (Best Ring For A Man?) appeared first on Real Men Real Style.

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By: Antonio
Title: Best Men’s Rings – ULTIMATE Man’s Guide (Best Ring For A Man?)
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Published Date: Sat, 24 Oct 2020 11:55:39 +0000