Where should I look for a simple nice man's wedding ring?
August 25, 2011 9:36 AM   Subscribe

After ten years of constantly losing my wedding ring for hours to days, I think it's finally gone, so I need to get a new one. I want simple, unadorned hoop of some non-reactive metal (platinum?), but the real question is: where is the best place to get a no-nonsense ring at a good price? Local jeweler? Online? Anything but a mall Zales outlet?
posted by mathowie to Shopping (43 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
we bought our rings (titanium) from an etsy seller and were delighted with the service and the product. memail me or my wife (nadawi) for details if you're interested in the specific seller.
posted by radiosilents at 9:37 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

My wife and I went the Titanium route also, brought from titaniumrings and had a good experience ordering and with the rings themselves.
posted by Captain_Science at 9:39 AM on August 25, 2011

Got our wedding bands online from Titanium Era and have been very pleased.
posted by gnutron at 9:39 AM on August 25, 2011

We also have plain titanium bands that we bought online (they're even engraved inside!). They were fairly inexpensive, as I recall; on preview, I think we got ours from Captain_Science's place.
posted by rtha at 9:40 AM on August 25, 2011

Are there any good pawnshops in your area? Every time I've been in one they've had trays and trays of diamond engagement rings (and just think, each ring would have its own back story....). Surely they would have a selection of basic men's wedding rings as well for much less than you would pay for something new of comparable quality.
posted by orange swan at 9:41 AM on August 25, 2011

Wife and I got plain flat gold bands from iWeddingBand and were happy with speed, quality, and service. (I had to send mine back once for a new size; wasn't a problem even with engraving.)
posted by supercres at 9:41 AM on August 25, 2011

my husband is right. we got our rings from Titanium Knights. they are fantastic. we wanted to see a mock of a style and finish they didn't have a picture of so they just made it, even before we ordered, so we could see exactly what we were thinking of. we've had them for a year and a half and they've stood up wonderfully. they have curved inside which i think makes them way more comfortable than most rings.
posted by nadawi at 9:42 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

We got gold bands on eBay for like $150 bucks (that was obviously not recently--2003-ish) and they've been great.
posted by resurrexit at 9:43 AM on August 25, 2011

My husband and I got ours from TiRINGS. Awesome personalized service (Susan is lovely) and beautiful rings. Got my replacement there too when I recently lost mine.
posted by mireille at 9:43 AM on August 25, 2011

I don't remember where I got my titanium wedding band, but it's awesome, and I know it didn't cost more than $300. Maybe it's just that titanium weddings bands are inherently awesome. You should get one.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:47 AM on August 25, 2011

on all the discussion of cost, we were initially worried our rings were priced too low (90 for the pair), but they've been great. also, if you lose it, it's easy and cheap to replace. we've honestly considered buying a backup set.
posted by nadawi at 9:52 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

After shopping around locally, I got my plain white-gold band from Maloy's in downtown Portland. In shopping around I learned that men's wedding bands are all priced about the same whether you go to a mall jeweler or a local store. Apparently they all get them from the same one or two distributors. I also learned that there are very few if any vintage men's wedding bands available because men tend to be buried wearing their wedding rings. Who knew?

Anyway, I ended up getting mine at solely because they had been super nice, helpful and utterly non-salesy when I was shopping for engagement rings, and I wanted to reward them for that. I think it cost maybe 5% more than at the mall places, a small premium I was more than happy to pay to reward them for overall awesomeness.
posted by dersins at 9:57 AM on August 25, 2011

Response by poster: Oh man, I have two Titanium bikes and would love to get a Ti ring. Thanks for all the recommendations, I'm going to definitely check out these Ti ring shops online.

Just for background, I originally bought a simple silver hoop for $80 from the same online place I got my wife's ring back in 2000.
posted by mathowie at 9:58 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

I got mine (and my wife's too) from Kay at the mall. I know the two together were under $100. So mine was, $40 maybe? It's white gold though, not sure what that would do for you.

But the reason I'm even mentioning it is that it's nice to know that if I need it resized or cleaned I can just take it in there. Even if I need it cleaned because it has mayo and meatball shit stuck on it.
posted by theichibun at 9:58 AM on August 25, 2011

If you go Ti, I highly recommend Boone's Rings out of North Carolina. I ended up with a ring from him because I knew him from his crafting of titanium bike parts. He's absolutely top-notch with special requests, odd questions, etc. I bought one of his early mokume gane-look rings as my wedding band and, four years later, it has worn exactly as he said it would.
posted by introp at 9:59 AM on August 25, 2011

We got our platinum bands at BlueNile. They were easy to work with when we needed to exchange one for a different size.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:00 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

Oh, and one additional advantage of going to a place like Maloy's is that they've resized it for me a couple of times for free. The first time I was sized for it was a super hot and humid day and I'd been walking around all day so my fingers were a bit larger in circumference than normal. That meant that once cooler weather came my ring was too large and kept slipping off my finger. Leery of making it too small, I ended up having it resized in several increments over a couple of months before settling on a size that really feels right. Every time I went in there they confirmed that I had made the right choice to purchase the ring there because they continued to be friendly, helpful, and utterly non-salesy. Also, they didn't charge me for any of the re-sizings. Really, I can't say enough nice things about the place and the staff.
posted by dersins at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2011

If you really don't want to spend a lot of money, and don't care about brands or anything, Amazon sells a lot of titanium rings. My husband's ring was $35, I think? I can't guarantee that it's the best craftsmanship or whatever, but one month in, it's completely scratch-free, and he's not exactly easy on his hands.
posted by specialagentwebb at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2011

Seconding introp; I'm wearing a ti band from Boone's Rings; it was custom engraved with the image of a particular mountain range, and it turned out beautifully.
posted by craven_morhead at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2011

The most awesome thing about titanium wedding rings is the lightness. I discovered that could also be a bug if, like me, you forget to take it off when you do dishes and it slips off without you noticing. Titanium is also a great medium for mokume gane rings, if you want to go fancy as opposed to the $90 route. But the $90 versions are perfectly awesome.
posted by Dr. Zira at 10:02 AM on August 25, 2011

My friend is a jewler in New Jersey if you want. I can get his store info and you can tell him you're friends with me. He's a honest guy.
posted by rich at 10:04 AM on August 25, 2011

I got a couple stainless wedding bands on amazon from an outfit in L.A. They cost me about $4 apiece. If stainless steel isn't good enough, they had Ti for very reasonable prices.
posted by 2N2222 at 10:05 AM on August 25, 2011

as you're researching Ti rings you're going to get a lot of horror stories about how ambulances can't cut them off. we did this same research and found a lot of EMTs saying that's utter horseshit and just something the gold and silver sellers like to tell you. it is true that they can't be resized, but at 40 bucks a pop, i'll buy another if i need that. the curved inside also makes it fit perfectly and adjust to swelling hands. i don't think it's ever fallen off and it's also never felt too tight.
posted by nadawi at 10:05 AM on August 25, 2011 [3 favorites]

I'm another titanium ringer. I bought mine from a German eBay maker/seller, custom sized to the millimetre, back in the days before Etsy, and the market for them has grown considerably since then.
posted by holgate at 10:21 AM on August 25, 2011

My husband's is tungsten carbide. Heavier and darker than titanium. Stays shiny. Got them from a local jeweler, I think they were around $150.
posted by dpx.mfx at 10:29 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

My husband lost his wedding ring on our honeymoon (sigh) and when we got home, I replaced it with a tungsten band from Overstock for $60 that we both love a million times more than his original ring. It looks fantastic three years later and doesn't have a single scratch. I wish we'd saved ourselves $440 by going with that option in the first place.
posted by anderjen at 10:33 AM on August 25, 2011

Bryan's engagement ring is titanium, and I'm probably going to get him a nicer wedding band in Ti as well.

If you want to go a little extra nerdy, I think every titanium ring shop makes a replica of the ring from The Abyss.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:03 AM on August 25, 2011

Tungsten carbide is pretty awesome. I've got a big shiny tungsten ring that dings every time I smack my hand against a stair rail - not a single scratch on it. They are cheap and dourable. I actually get a lot of comments about it... which is odd... because admiration of my jewelry is well.. eh awkward for me.

And yeah, they're cheap comparative to other rings. There are other things to spend money on...
posted by Nanukthedog at 11:06 AM on August 25, 2011 [1 favorite]

If you're impressed with titanium, you might also consider palladium. White gold has a high nickel content, which might rile up allergic problems. Palladium is hypo-allergenic, and is significantly more inexpensive than titanium or platinum.
posted by Gilbert at 11:34 AM on August 25, 2011

I can't offer any real advice about where to buy a ring, but I will say, try it one if you can. The curved inside that some people are talking about is called "comfort fit" and I, personally loathed the feeling of it on my hand when I was trying on rings this past winter.
posted by bilabial at 12:23 PM on August 25, 2011

Check out a local lapidary shop. We bought our simple wedding rings (and engagement ring) at Burnie's Rock Shop in Madison, WI and were very happy with the service. It was the only place where they had me talk to the jeweler rather than sales staff. It looks like there's a few similar shops in Portland.
posted by Jorus at 1:05 PM on August 25, 2011

Um, I don't mean to derail or anything, but have you come up with any strategies so that you don't lose the new one? If losing it is a pattern with you, it seems like maybe that would be something to think about before you invest in a new ring.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 1:20 PM on August 25, 2011

My husband's band is titanium and he loves it. However, titanium can't be resized so make sure you get your finger measured properly before you order. It also shows scratches easily, though no worse than gold or silver. That said, titanium bands are cheap enough that it's really no biggie to get a new one if your ring stops fitting or starts looking worn out. Tungsten carbide is a better option if you want a shiny ring that stays shiny.

We ordered from Titanium Kay online. It was cheap, quick, and the ring is exactly what my husband wanted.
posted by keep it under cover at 3:59 PM on August 25, 2011

I wear a stainless steel ring I bought at a Renaissance Festival in Rosenheim, Germany for 10 euro. It's probably very similar to 2n2222's Amazon rings.
posted by chazlarson at 4:06 PM on August 25, 2011

We bought our titanium bands on amazon.com for around $15 apiece. They still look very nice after two years.
posted by gatorae at 5:31 PM on August 25, 2011

We bought my husband's titanium wedding band on overstock.com. It is awesome, and like 40-something dollars.
posted by anonnymoose at 5:31 PM on August 25, 2011

Wait. I'm lying. We ended up buying a tungsten carbide ring instead (same site, though). We were swayed by the strong urging of a friend who is a medical professional and, yes, has seen titanium bands that couldn't be cut off until a special tool was fetched. Which was too bad, because we are giant dorks and REALLY wanted to get him a replica of Ed Harris's titanium wedding ring from The Abyss.
posted by anonnymoose at 5:36 PM on August 25, 2011

(Great minds think alike, Lyn Never!)
posted by anonnymoose at 5:38 PM on August 25, 2011

introp: If you go Ti, I highly recommend Boone's Rings out of North Carolina. I ended up with a ring from him because I knew him from his crafting of titanium bike parts. He's absolutely top-notch with special requests, odd questions, etc. I bought one of his early mokume gane-look rings as my wedding band and, four years later, it has worn exactly as he said it would.

I can provide a similar but completely unaffiliated recommendation. Dude made my ring, it's awesome, and it priced out well vs. competitors in 2008. I also liked the degree to which I could customize things without having to place a special order.
posted by deludingmyself at 7:18 PM on August 25, 2011

Rio Grande -- many available in many metals, all very cheap. Nothing but good experiences with ordering from them.
posted by kmennie at 2:25 AM on August 26, 2011

No way you have a trip planned to New York, is there? Wasn't sure whether you knew about the Diamond District, basically a block in midtown with tons of dealers. You'll have moer selection there, I would think, than in most places.
posted by troywestfield at 6:11 AM on August 26, 2011

My tungsten carbide ring still has a flawless mirror polish almost 6 years on. I wouldn't change a thing about it.

If you go with tungsten carbide, make sure what you select does not have a cobalt binder. Holding cobalt against your skin for years is bad idea.
posted by NortonDC at 6:40 PM on August 28, 2011

Mod note: Final update from the OP:
I ended up buying a lovely titanium ring from a local jeweler that was friends-of-friends after asking around for a recommendations.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:29 PM on June 4, 2013 [1 favorite]

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