[Music] Hey gents, I’m Kyle from The Distilled Man. This channel is all about providing actionable advice for the everyday gentleman. So it’s funny, until recently no one really talked about mens wedding rings. As men, we agonize over the engagement ring, and we want that to be perfect for our bride-to-be. But once that’s out of the way, we don’t really think about rings too much. I mean, sure, we’ll wear a wedding band. Probably something close to what our bride’s wearing. But surprisingly we pay very little attention to something that (1) we’re going to be wearing every single day and (2) is supposed to symbolize our lifelong commitment to our future wife. The truth is, more men are starting to care about their wedding bands. So if you’re considering proposing or you’re already engaged, here are six things you need to know before you go wedding band shopping. And real quick, I want to give a big thanks to Rockford Collection for sponsoring this video and for supporting the channel. Number one, respect tradition but do your own thing. One of the coolest things I remember from when my wife and I were getting married is, you know, researching all these traditions about, you know, ceremonies and stuff, but then adapting them to suit us as a couple. For instance, we research classic vows and we borrowed some elements and we ignored others, and ultimately we wrote our own. So when you’re wedding band shopping, you know, it’s good to know about what the traditions are but ultimately you and your bride are gonna choose what works for you. The ring finger? Well there are certainly exceptions, but here in the US most people wear their wedding band on what we call the ring finger, which is between the middle finger and the pinkie. With four other digits to choose from, why did this one become the ring finger? Well, before medical science understood the circulatory system, ancient cultures like the Egyptians and the Greeks believed that this finger in particular had a special vein that led directly to the heart. Of course, now we’ve learned that all fingers lead to the heart equally, but still, it’s such a common convention that you may just choose to carry it on. Who buys the wedding rings? So, while the tradition about who buys the engagement ring is a little more clear, wedding bands are a different story. With modern tradition the couple would either buy both rings together as a couple, or the bride could buy the groom’s ring and the groom could buy the bride’s ring. Either way, you know, it’s a decision that you want to make with your bride-to-be. Do the rings have to match? Well, contemporary tradition suggests that the rings should coordinate somehow, but that doesn’t mean they need to match by any means. In fact, a lot of couples will simply just choose to have some sort of shared element in between the two rings. Maybe both rings are made from the same metal, or perhaps both rings share a similar design feature or shape, or maybe they just include a shared engraving. And unlike the engagement ring, which let’s be honest guys, is all about your bride-to-be, you do have a say in this. I mean, you’re the one who’s going to be wearing this ring after all. Number two, know your metals. Once you’ve started your search one of the most basic questions you need to ask yourself is, what do I want my ring to be made of? So here are some of the most common metals for wedding bands. Platinum. So it’s white/silver in color. Platinum is a great choice for a wedding band. Surprisingly it’s more expensive than gold because it’s more rare. It’s also extremely durable, and rings made with platinum are typically about 95% platinum with only 5% other metals mixed in. White gold. So white gold is an alloy made of pure gold mixed with white metals like nickel silver or palladium, with rhodium plating. And so this plating gives it a look similar to platinum, and it’s often used as a coating on jewelry. So over time that coating actually may fade and the metal can become more yellow in appearance with white gold. But it can always be recoated later. White gold is also less expensive than platinum. Yellow Gold. So most people are familiar with yellow gold, but it’s important to note that gold rings are never pure gold. There’s always another metal mixed in for stability. So more on that in a second when we talk about karats. Rose gold. A mix of gold and copper and sometimes a little bit of silver. Obviously, the amount of copper versus gold is going to affect whether that rose gold appears more reddish or more of a lighter pink. Palladium. So it’s a soft silver white metal that looks like platinum. Technically it belongs to the Platinum family, and it tends to be a little cheaper and a tiny bit softer. I think of it as kind of the poor man’s platinum. My wedding band is actually palladium. And finally, sterling silver. And again silver you’re probably familiar with. And while it is a precious metal, it’s actually much cheaper than the others we’ve mentioned because it’s easier to find. Sterling silver is silver mixed with copper or other metals to make it more durable, and the appearance ranges from bright white to grayish-white. All these precious metals are pretty common for wedding bands, but there’s also been a recent trend of going with much less expensive and more unique materials like titanium or tungsten carbide, both of which are really durable but not necessarily quite as elegant. Or or even you know silicone, which is obviously very casual because it’s the same thing that you make kitchen spatulas out of. Or even wood. Number 3, know your basic jewelry vocab. So beyond understanding the basic metals it’s helpful to understand a few key terms that you might hear. So I think a lot of what you’re gonna be doing when you’re shopping for rings is actually asking questions of the jewelers, so it’s helpful to speak the language a little bit. Comfort fit versus standard fit. So standard rings are simply flat on the inside whereas comfort fit rings are a little bit rounded on the inside to conform to your finger. Carats with a “c” versus karats with a “k.” Totally confusing, I know. Well carats with a c is a unit of measure used for diamonds and other gemstones. So a carat is equal to 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams. Now the only catch is that since diamonds and gemstones have different densities, one carat of one stone may not necessarily be the same size as another stone. Karats with a k refer to the purity of gold. And for whatever reason, gold is measured in 24 parts. So 24 carat gold would be pure gold but because gold is such a soft material you pretty much never gonna see that with jewelry. Typically you’ll see 14 an 18 karat gold. And 14 karat gold is fourteen twenty-fourth’s gold and ten parts other metals, which is I guess 58% gold. And eighteen karat gold is 18 parts gold and six parts other metals so it’s 75% gold. And finally, clarity-enhanced versus natural diamonds. So more and more men are actually starting to put gemstones and diamonds in their wedding bands. As you probably know, natural mined diamonds have natural impurities. So with clarity-enhanced diamonds they are technically natural diamonds to begin with but the jeweler will use various techniques to either laser drill or fill in some of the impurities. Clarity-enhanced diamonds are generally considered lower quality and are usually about half the price of natural unaltered diamonds. Number four, find a ring you connect with personally. While it’s more common for women’s rings, often people will use family heirlooms for the wedding rings and that personal connection is obviously going to be well beyond the value of the material of the ring. If you’re not wearing a family piece you’ve got to find a ring design that speaks to you–one that represents you as a person. If you want something more understated, there’s really no shortage of, you know, sort of classic, simple designs for men’s wedding bands. But a lot more guys don’t want just a boring old wedding band anymore. Men are starting to wear more interesting looking bands that have more personality. Our sponsor Rockford collection actually does a really good job of creating truly unique men’s wedding bands. In fact, that’s all they focus on. What’s cool is that many of their wedding bands have some of the similar flair and design touches that you’d find in luxury watches. So, you know, even if you don’t consider yourself a jewelry guy, if you like the idea of wearing a handsome-looking watch that, you know, people stop you in the street to comment on, then some of these designs might really interest you. Also, as I mentioned earlier, some men are starting to put diamonds in their wedding bands. And Rockford Collection actually has a lot of different ring designs that integrate diamonds in a really tasteful, masculine way. Not just using natural diamonds either, also using black diamonds, which are essentially diamonds coated with rhodium, that plating that I mentioned earlier. The other interesting thing that Rockford Collection is doing with their debut collection, which is called “American Legend,” is that each ring is named after a specific gold mine in the US. Each one has its own backstory that you can read about, and it’s interesting because it gives, you know, it gives each ring a whole other layer of personality for you to connect with. All their rings are designed and produced in New York using us gold, and also platinum and natural mined diamonds. But to keep cost down, they don’t actually have a retail location. They’re online only. And since some guys are a little worried about making a major purchase online without seeing the goods, Rockford will actually ship you a silver replica of the ring so you can try it out before you buy the real thing. Rockford Collection has been kind enough to give us a special offer code for Distilled Man viewers. If you enter DM50FREEKIT you can get a free cleaning kit with the purchase of any ring. And of course I’ll leave that in the description below as well. Number five, don’t take any chances with sizing. Now a lot of guys don’t pay enough attention to this step. In fact, I wish I would have paid a little more attention when I was getting my ring sized. My ring is actually a little too big, and there’s been a few times where it’s fallen off and I’ve almost lost it. And I have to take it off when I go swimming so that it doesn’t end up at the bottom of some lake or, you know, stuck in some pool drain somewhere. Of course with most materials you can resize the ring of if you mess up the sizing, but I mean, come on, it’s much easier and much less of a hassle if you just get it right the first time. Some companies, including Rockford Collection, will send you a free sizing kit that you can use yourself if you ask for it. But I think it’s a bad idea to measure yourself. I think it’s better to have a jeweler do it for you in person. Even if you plan to buy a ring online you should still go to two to three jewelry stores in person to get sized by different jewelers. You know, it helps to have multiple opinions because sometimes measurements can vary. Also it’s generally better to go to a smaller jewelry shop and deal directly with a professional jeweler rather than just deal with the sales clerk at the jewelry counter at a larger store. The other thing to remember is that your fingers change size and shape depending on how warm it is. So during the summer your fingers may actually be a little bit bigger and puffier and then during the winter. If you come inside into a warm environment your fingers may also swell up because of the change in temperature. With that in mind, it is better if you can try to get sized when your body temperature is fairly neutral, not one extreme or the other. And obviously if you can give yourself some time to adjust to the environment before trying the ring on that helps too. Finally, some men can get false readings if they continue to put the ring on and take it off, put it on, take it off. “Does it fit? I don’t know.” You know, it’s much better if you can try it on once and then leave the store and then come back again for another sizing. Number six, take care of your ring. While many of these rings are made with materials that are really designed to last a lifetime you still have to exercise common sense so that you don’t put your ring through any unnecessary ware. You may just want to take your ring off if you’re handling, you know, harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners or things like that. Same goes with rough outdoor work where your ring might come in contact with hard surfaces and rocks and stuff like that. I generally take off my ring when I’m doing any sort of work, like, out in the yard or when, you know, going to the gym just I don’t scratch it on a barbell. Because, you know, it can be rough on a ring when you’re benching like five hundy like me. Not. No, but beyond that it’s also good to give your ring a regular cleaning now and then. Get a bowl of warm water and soap and soak your ring for 10 minutes or so and then use a soft cotton cloth to dry it and wipe away any dirt or oil. And you can also use a soft toothbrush to clean any nooks and crannies. So that’s it, gentlemen. 6 things to know before you start shopping for a wedding band. If you like this video please do me a favor give it a little thumbs up down there. If you want to subscribe to the channel you can do that by clicking right about here. If you want a free copy of my ebook 48 Hour Gentlemen, you can get that by clicking right about here. And if you just want to watch another Distilled Man video you can do that by clicking right about here. So thanks again for watching, and I’ll see you soon.