The Evolution Of Men's Jewelry in 2023
When you think of jewelry, most people picture elaborate and beautiful pieces for women and plain and stoic pieces for men. It's assumed that men will get a simple ring with few embellishments and no gemstones.
But this idea is based on outdated ideals, and we've moved past those. There's no reason that men can't have jewelry that fits them and their personal style. Alternate metals and other materials can take a ring from plain to extraordinary.
A different choice of material and some good customization will elevate any design. Each material is unique and will have different strengths and weaknesses. So it's essential to understand each choice and pick the best one for your lifestyle.
What is Alternative Metal for Men's Jewelry?
Usually, men only get a few choices for the material of their rings. The "big three" are gold, silver, and platinum - there's nothing wrong with those metals, of course! They're classics for a reason. But there are so many other options out there. So don't be afraid to explore different materials.
A few of the most interesting ones are:
Why Consider Alternative Metals?
There are many reasons to choose an alternative material for classic men's jewelry, including rings, cufflinks, and bracelets. In addition, some are more hypoallergenic and will be much more comfortable to wear for men with allergies.
Many are stronger than traditional metals and will hold up to daily wear better. And sometimes, there's just a "wow" factor. Why wear a ring made of gold when you could wear one made of a meteorite? Have some fun with your jewelry and show off your wild side.
Titanium has become more popular recently because of a few unique properties. For starters, it's hypoallergenic and won't bother wearers with allergies. This metal is also highly resistant to most corrosion. This includes sea water, chlorine in water, and even some acids. That means a titanium ring can be worn when swimming in the ocean or swimming pools without fear of metal tarnishing. The same cannot be said for silver, brass, or bronze. It's also lighter than other common metals.
Titanium rings have an interesting history and have been crafted into several fascinating styles over time. For example, a Japanese and early Medieval European forging technique called mokume-gane can give titanium the appearance of a wood grain.
In contrast, a technique called sable can give titanium the appearance of soft silk. And a frosting technique makes the metal look frozen. These options mean you can choose a style that suits you and will stand out.
If you are in the market for a metal that will hold up to everyday wear and can be styled uniquely, look no further.
Tungsten is a popular choice for jewelry because it has a nice weight to it and is very scratch resistant. It falls on a nine on the Mohs scale of hardness, which puts it below the diamond.
Tungsten jewelry is not pure tungsten. Instead, it has to be mixed with other materials to create tungsten carbide, which means there is higher and lower quality tungsten jewelry depending on the amount of tungsten, carbon, and nickel in the metal.
While tungsten is solid and scratch resistant, it is brittle. When put under pressure, it will break rather than bend. All this means is that a tungsten ring cannot be resized, so if you want to go this route, buy a ring that already fits you.
Like the other alternative metals, cobalt is hypoallergenic. It's also very hard and resistant to scratches. Cobalt falls on a 7-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness. As a result, this metal is highly resistant to everyday wear and tear from scratches, tarnishes, chips, and corrosion. It can also look very similar to white gold but is less expensive and requires less maintenance to maintain.
Cobalt is also a happy medium when it comes to weight. It is not super light like titanium or heavy like tungsten.
As a result, a cobalt ring or bracelet will feel natural when it's worn.
Cobalt comes in natural black or a white gold color, but with plating, it can exhibit yellow and rose gold hues as well, making it a versatile metal with the potential for so many cool designs. This metal will give you options when it comes to style and color.
Meteorites are from outer space! Need I say more? This is the coolest option of the bunch. You can wear a ring or bracelet that fell from space. The bragging rights are out of this world.
A meteorite is defined as a piece of asteroid, comet, or meteoroid. This material has passed through the atmosphere and reached the earth's surface. There are a few different types, including:
Gibeon: A iron-nickel alloy that contains cobalt and phosphorus.
Muonionalusta: This is composed mainly of iron.
Lunar: A version that originated on the moon.
Each piece has a unique pattern because of how the material is formed. This means that each piece of meteorite jewelry is genuinely unlike any other, making it a great accessory and talking point.
This material is highly durable on its own. However, for jewelry, it is often used with tungsten, titanium, or other hard metals. This makes the entire piece durable and well-suited for an active lifestyle.
But be warned. Meteorite jewelry does take some maintenance. In addition, because the material contains a significant amount of iron, it is prone to oxidation. But you can combat this problem by applying a protective layer and regular cleaning.
Dinosaur bones are becoming an increasingly popular option for men's jewelry. And it's not hard to see why. Wearing a small piece of history is a tempting option. These bones are millions of years old, and who knows what kind of dinosaur they came from.
Of course, you won't be wearing just bones. These fossils (also called gembones) have been re-mineralized with other compounds, including agate, jasper, or opal. A popular style is to use a crushed mosaic of the fossils as an inlay. This is because the fossils are incredibly brittle and would make very fragile rings on their own. The good news is that the bones are sealed into the rings and protected, creating a durable piece. Each ring is one-of-a-kind and, with regular care, will last for a long while.
Because of the natural process that makes these gembones, they come in several colors, including red, tan, and black. And interestingly, these dinosaur rings can be made using meteorites, combining two really cool materials to create a striking and super unique piece!
While we're looking into unique materials for men's jewelry, we can't forget antlers. We can't think of a more rugged and outdoor material. Antler rings, bracelets, or even cufflinks are perfect for a man who loves the outdoors, especially if you like hunting.
If you already have antlers, you can use those and customize your own piece, making your jewelry genuinely personal. For many hunters, antlers are a prized trophy. You can always keep a part of that trophy with antler jewelry with you.
Antlers are primarily made of bone and cartilage. They are shed and regrown each year, making them a sustainable material. Each one has a unique pattern and comes in various natural colors, so no two pieces are the same.
Jewelry consultation is so important when working with alternative metals or other materials for your jewelry. These aren't your standard metals. Some are too hard to resize or customize the way you want. Others may be more fragile and require special care. Don't go in blind and find out later that your ring is too big and won't ever fit you or that your bracelet is more fragile than you thought and can't stand up to everyday wear.
A consultation and customization will get you precisely what you want as far as looks, durability, maintenance, and price. So don't skip this crucial step. Jewelers are there to help you find the perfect piece for you and your lifestyle.
Special Occasion Appointments with Caracts and Stones
Shopping for that alternative ring, bracelet, or cufflink set can be a daunting task, and it’s not always fun.
That’s why Caracts and Stones is introducing our newest signature shopping events: not only will you meet with Linda herself for a try-on session as well as a custom consultation, but you can bring your friends! Whether it's just you and your significant other or a couple of close friends, we will provide the jewelry and even some food options. If you have a specific theme, we can create it in our Union Street location.
Discover why four generations of jewelry connoisseurs shop with Caracts and Stones! Book your special appointment today.