If you are just getting started on shopping for wedding rings, then you may think it will be a simple matter of choosing between 14K and 18K gold, or deciding between white gold and platinum.  This might have been true before so many alternative metals were introduced, but today’s couples are finding men’s wedding bands a  bit more complicated.  Don’t let all the new jewelry metals confuse you.  Learning about all the different metals will make it easy to find the men’s wedding band that’s right for you.

It seems like there are new “industrial” metals and alloys being introduced every day, but the summary below will help narrow down your choices.  In addition to traditional precious metals, such as gold and platinum, here are some of the other metals you may want to consider:

Palladium – A popular alternative to platinum, palladium has been used as a precious metal in jewelry since 1939, but it was usually considered an alloy metal for making white gold.  Unlike nickel, it causes no allergic reaction, which led jewelry makers to start using palladium alone to make wedding rings.  It is also a very attractive and affordable alternative to platinum and white gold.

Titanium – With its own chemical symbol (Ti), and an atomic number of 22, this low-density, lustrous metal is also strong and corrosion resistant, making it the ideal material for designer jewelry.  Named for the Titans of Greek mythology, men love the way titanium resists scratching and retains its shine.  Naturally lightweight, this hypoallergenic metal is also a popular metal for watch cases and body piercings.

Tungsten Carbide – Just the opposite of titanium jewelry, tungsten carbide is a very dense metal that is noticeably heavier than gold and silver, but this quality also makes it a great choice for men’s wedding bands.  While it is often considered an industrial “metal,” tungsten carbide is really a ceramic.  Rings made of this material retain their finish and resist abrasion better than almost any other material.

Cobalt Chrome – Compared to tungsten and titanium, cobalt chrome is one of the newest alternative metals.  In addition to its bright white color, which is similar to platinum, cobalt chrome is durable and strong, and will never fade or discolor.  Five times harder than gold and four times harder than platinum, cobalt chrome is one of the hottest new additions to the world of men’s wedding bands.

Stainless Steel – While certainly not a “new” metal, stainless steel is becoming a common choice for men who want a durable and affordable men’s wedding band.  Scratch and tarnish-resistant, 316L stainless steel is quickly becoming a top choice in men’s rings.

Other metals that are gaining traction in this space include ceramic-based black seranite, sterling silver, black titanium and black tungsten.  While this may seem like a lot to learn before buying a men’s wedding band, the new variety of alternative metals can also make shopping more fun.