Dating as far back as Ancient Egypt, silver has been a popular metal used for a variety of purposes. For countless generations, silver artisans have used this pliable, supple metal to create everything from dishes and flatware to musical instruments and belt buckles. Due in large part to its cool white hue, rich luster, malleability and the fact that it melts at a relatively low temperature, silver has also been a favorite precious metal of jewelry artisans for hundreds of years.

Fortunately, today’s sterling silver jewelry is not only beautiful, but affordable as well. If you’re in the market for men’s silver rings, there are several considerations you should keep in mind before making your buying decisions.

  • Sterling silver is actually an alloy of silver and another metal – typically copper. Sterling silver used for jewelry is made from 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of the alloy material. You may also find pieces of jewelry that are 95% or 95.8% silver. Before you decide which men’s silver rings to purchase, make sure you know the purity of the silver. Check the jewelry for appropriate markings. Many pieces of sterling silver jewelry carry a hallmark which identifies the material.

  • The terms “silver plate,” “silver tone” and “Alpaca silver” are used to describe costume jewelry that is not true silver. It’s always best to choose genuine silver over costume jewelry.

  • Argentium silver contains a germanium alloy, which helps to keep the metal from tarnishing as easily as other sterling silver pieces and increases the durability of the metal.

  • If you have a metal allergy, you may be pleasantly surprised to find out that most sterling silver is hypoallergenic, depending on the alloy used. Copper is the most common alloy in silver used for jewelry. However, some silver contains nickel, which you may not be able to wear if you have a nickel allergy.

  • Unlike many of the contemporary materials now used in men’s rings – such as tungsten carbide, titanium and stainless steel – silver rings can be easily resized in the future if your ring size changes.

  • Men’s silver rings generally come in two different fits. A “comfort fit” ring is one that includes more material on the inside of the ring, making the ring a bit more rounded and typically more comfortable to wear. You might wear a slightly smaller size ring if you choose one with a comfort fit. A “traditional fit” ring is one that uses less material on the interior of the ring. Although rings with this type of less-rounded interior may not be as easy to wear as comfort fit styles, traditional fit rings are usually somewhat less expensive than those that have a comfort fit design.

What have you always wondered about men’s silver rings?