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ring glossary

  • Baguette: A gem in the shape of a narrow rectangle
  • Carat: A unit of weight, equal to 200 milligrams, used for gemstones. In ancient times, one carat was equal to one carob bean or four grains of rice
  • Channel setting: A row of stones -- with no metal separating them -- sandwiched between two horizontal channels for part of or the entire ring
  • Ergonomic: The science of designing a product for optimum efficiency and comfort
  • Finish: The final treatment of a ring's surface
  • Flush: Set even with the edge or height of surrounding material
  • Gypsy setting: A stone is set flush into a hole in the ring. Surrounding metal is then pressed around the stone's perimeter to secure it
  • Karat: The measure of the purity of gold, 24-karat being pure gold. Jewelry is also made from 18K and 14K gold, which contain added metals for strength
  • Matte finish: A non-reflective finish; the antithesis of high shine
Elayne Gross Photography

Wedding Rings: 4 Wedding Band Ideas for Men

Today's wedding bands for men have come a long way, baby. Hook your one-of-a-kind honey up with one of these 4 wedding ring styles.

Photo: Elayne Gross Photography

Kiss the traditional flat, gold wedding band good-bye, guys. Today, the world of men's wedding rings is all about options. We're talking about more comfortable, hand-friendly bands. And why not? You're going to be wearing it for the rest of your life, so find one you love. Here are today's best trends:

Personal Wedding Rings Are In

The one-size-fits-all wedding band is an antiquated concept. What you do every day -- whether you work in construction, sit at a desk, or go to the gym every morning -- should guide your wedding ring choice. What does this mean for you? If extreme is your middle name, choose platinum over gold (for durability); avoid matte finishes (which show scratches), decorative details (easy to blunt after repeated knocks), and gemstones (which can chip, fall out, or trap dirt); and go ergonomic.

Pinched Skin Is a Thing of the Past

Designers are using ergonomics to make rings more comfortable to wear. Look for interiors that are curved, not flat. Some wedding rings distinguish between the top and bottom of the ring: The bottom is plain and tapered to absorb the brunt of abuse. Its taper also allows a man to always wear that section on the bottom, so that the top part will stay relatively unscathed.

Diamonds Are a Guy's Best Friend?

Diamond wedding rings for men have gone from unusual to totally acceptable. Stylish guys love the subtle sparkle and sophistication they impart. In fact, after watches, diamond wedding bands are one of the leading categories in men's jewelry today (they also coordinate well with diamond-studded timepieces and her diamond-set wedding band).

The best-selling styles are subtle -- involving less than a full carat of diamonds -- and wearable. The stone is usually set to be flush with the surface of the ring to create a totally smooth exterior and to provide good security for the stone. Two popular men's styles incorporate gypsy- and channel-set round or square diamonds (baguettes are not usually used for men's rings). And we're not just talking icy white diamonds, either -- black, champagne, and yellow diamonds are hot gems for men's rings.

Platinum Is White-Hot

Today's couples appreciate the beauty of platinum and want their wedding rings to be of the finest quality. According to wedding ring jewelers, a subdued matte finish is most popular at the moment. This treatment requires maintenance, as scratches can quickly mar a matte finish.

Photo Credits
#1: Tapered platinum wedding rings by Scott Kay Platinum
#2: Gypsy-set stones in matte platinum rings by Catherine Iskiw
#3: 18K-gold ring with channel-set diamonds from Service Merchandise, (888) 764-4387
#4: Gypsy-set, champagne-colored diamonds in a matte platinum ring by NOA

-- Lori Seto

See More: Engagement Rings , Groom Style