In matters of the heart, when you know, you just know! For many couples, that realization that they've found the One leads to marriage. Traditionally, it's a man who proposes to a woman, often with a sparkling diamond ring in tow. But tradition is boring! We say, if you want to be the one to get down on one knee and propose to him, go for it! Of course, all the engagement-ring-shopping advice out there doesn't really apply when you're looking for the perfect band instead of a diamond solitaire. So we sat down with the ring authorities at Shane for their expert tips and tricks for buying your boyfriend the perfect ring—as well as a peek at some of their favorite styles!
The trickiest part of buying an engagement ring is making sure it fits. While it's a little easier to figure out a woman's size by peeking into her jewelry box (or even turning to a great jeweler who can guess her size based on her height and weight!), the same doesn't really apply for men.
Of course, if he already wears a ring, you're in luck. The pros recommend noting which finger he wears it on: If it's his index or middle finger, purchase an engagement ring in a slightly smaller size. Many people find their ring finger is one half to a full size smaller than their middle digits.
No jewelry box to turn to? Ask a member of his family (whom you can trust with a secret!) if they know his size, or invite a guy friend with similar-size hands to come shopping with you and serve as your size model.
A sneakier fiancé-to-be may be able to suss out the correct size in conversation. Try casually mentioning your ring size and asking if he knows his, or playfully compare sizes by slipping one of your rings onto his finger. A Shane pro even came up with a great trick: She wrapped an iPhone cord around her SO's finger, then measured the length in millimeters so she could share the info with her jeweler!
And of course, remember that many rings can be resized! So if it's too big or too small, there are options to make it fit perfectly.
If you're dating a man who doesn't wear much jewelry, figuring out which ring he'd like can be a challenge. There are a few factors to keep in mind as you're browsing the cases.
The first is lifestyle. If he works with his hands and there's a chance his ring could be damaged, look for a precious metal like gold or platinum. It can easily be repolished to look just like new! If he's a nine-to-five office type, an alternative metal like cobalt, titanium, Damascus steel, or meteorite could be a great option.
You should also consider his wardrobe. A guy who lives in T-shirts and jeans probably doesn't want something flashy, so explore more simple styles. If he dons a suit regularly and has a more polished wardrobe, he may prefer a ring with a more refined style. Come to your jeweler armed with some descriptors (and even pictures!) of his wardrobe and lifestyle so he or she can help you complement his look.
Some guys love a good story, and that can extend to their rings too. For example, if he'd love to tell friends that his ring is made from the same material used to craft swords, he'll be head over heels for a ring made of Damascus steel. If car racing is his thing, a ring with a carbon-fiber inlay would be a fun choice.
Finally, make sure to find out if your jeweler offers an upgrade or exchange program. Shane's upgrade program ensures he can select a new ring later in life if his style, his lifestyle, or your budget changes.
To Stack or Not to Stack?
While women usually pair an engagement ring and a wedding band, most men wear a single ring. So does that mean the ring you propose with will also serve as his wedding band?
Because of the width of men's rings, stacking two bands could be tricky. There's always the option of moving his engagement ring to his right hand and purchasing a second ring to serve as a wedding band, but if he's not much of a jewelry guy, consider adding a special touch to his ring for the big day. A personal engraving added to the inside of the band is a great way to commemorate the moment!
Ready to start shopping? Shane has a huge selection of men's bands, ranging from simple and classic to diamond studded and ornate. Here are a few of their stunning styles to get you inspired!
From left: This comfort-fit titanium band has a curved edge and a sleek brushed finish sure to fit seamlessly into a modern and understated wardrobe. (Titanium band with black ionic plating, $235, Shane)
A nature-loving groom-to-be will adore the faux rosewood inlay on this cobalt band. (Black cobalt ring with faux-rosewood inlay, $345, Shane)
Totally elegant, this satin-finished gold ring is finished with seven channel-set diamonds selected to really catch the light. (Fourteen-karat gold round-diamond ring, $2,575, Shane)
You can't go wrong with a classic. This comfort-fit band combines both satin and polished finishes in totally timeless 14-karat gold. (Satin-finish 14-karat gold comfort-fit ring, $895, Shane)
From left: Accents of black rhodium and channel-set diamonds dress up a simple white-gold band for eye-catching style. (Channel-set round-diamond ring with black rhodium accent, $1,195, Shane)
It's amazing what a little texture can do, like give this black titanium ring the look of worn leather. (Black titanium comfort-fit ring with cracked texture, $250, Shane)
For a refined style with some serious bling, this 14-karat-white-gold band features black rhodium, black sapphires, and three princess-cut diamonds. (Princess-cut diamond and round-black-sapphire ring, $1,595, Shane)
The rose-gold trend isn't just for women's rings! This satin-finished band features elegant polished edges. (Fourteen-karat rose gold wedding band with satin finish, $950, Shane)
A total conversation starter, this ring mixes cobalt with meteorite for a style that's truly out of this world. (Textured meteorite and cobalt wedding band, $995, Shane)
From left: For a guy with a sleek sense of style, this comfort-fit platinum band is strong, durable, and sophisticated. (Classic satin-finish platinum comfort-fit band, $1,495, Shane)
Can't decide which metal you love more? Mix 14-karat rose gold with a platinum inlay for an eye-catching combination. (Platinum and 14-karat rose gold comfort-fit ring, $1,265, Shane)
Want something a little unusual? Royal-blue accents grace this maximum-titanium band, which is heavier than standard titanium and nearly scratchproof. ("Max-T" comfort-fit titanium ring with blue accent, $225, Shane)
From left: This modern ring has it all: black zirconium, silver meteorite, and an inlay of rose gold. (Textured meteorite, black zirconium, and 14-karat rose gold ring, $1,375, Shane)
Damascus steel is created by artisans in the United States and used in classic sword making. How's that for a story? (Contemporary Damascus-steel men's ring, $395, Shane)
An off-center inlay of rose gold gives a touch of elegance to this Damascus-steel band. (Damascus steel and 14-karat rose gold ring, $750, Shane)