What's the History?
Look, we could spend a good semester going over the ancient history of gold and silver. The meat of it all is this: Humans have been using metal (and wood ... and bone ...) rings as symbols of marriage for centuries, if not longer. As we became more skilled at mining and metalworking, we realized precious metals like gold and silver were shiny, rare and best of all, soft enough to be made into fancy jewelry. When something is rare, it is valuable. If it's valuable, then it makes sense to use it for our most important traditions and applications. It's just common sense.
One of the biggest reasons precious metals have been so common for jewelry making is their malleability. Iron and the like are hard, and hard metals make great weapons and building materials. But when it comes to the intricate shaping and working that we want in our rings, iron is just not the best candidate. You need something softer, something shapeable. Something that can be utilized in a process called hot extrusion, which, despite its sexy title, is not recommended for your bachelor party. And precious metals fit that bill perfectly.
What's It Like?
Aside from their soft, easy-to-work-with characteristics, precious metals are shiny. And shiny is great for making bling. That bling, combined with that flexible nature, means precious metals make great partners for any stones you want to set in them, like say, a diamond ... or two ... or 12 ... What? We have called this site a #NoJudgementZone enough times, you should be used to this by now!
Anyways, as we were saying, the best trait of precious metals is how versatile they are. No matter what extravagant piece of craftsmanship your spouse-to-be chooses, there is a good yellow/white/rose gold band that can match it, while still looking regal and manly on your hand. If personal customization is in your mind, you need to be looking in this ballpark. Sure, tungsten and titanium are great, and offer a level of toughness you can't match with gold or platinum. But when it comes to crafting your ring into anything exquisitely etched, or artfully shaped, newer "tough" materials either can't perform (we're looking at you, tungsten carbide) ... or they'll throw any cost savings right out the window (Yes, titanium, we mean you).
We've mentioned "reactions" to certain metals before (and no, we still refuse to call them "allergies." They're REACTIONS dagnabbit!). Yeah, even 18K gold has enough impurities to make this a concern for certain bros, and 14K can be a real pain. But if you aren't susceptible to said reactions (or go with the new kids, platinum or palladium, who typically come pure enough to avoid the situation all together), then there is no concern.
Why's That Cool?
Look, it goes without saying: If you have the means to shop in the classics section of your ring shop, it doesn't hurt to look. Sure, the softness of precious metals can be bad for the man with a physically demanding job (#SquishEqualsOuch), but that same softness means you never need to worry about your ring cracking ... like, ever. And yes, precious metals can tarnish if not properly cared for ... but what manly bro isn't going to care for his ring, am I right? If it fits well, you can swim in it without too much worry (*cough* you did get a Manly Ring Sizer, right? *cough*). And unless you plan to whip (and "nay nay") your ring on a constant basis, precious metals' susceptibility to scratches is a manageable concern.
What you get with a precious metal wedding band is a classic look, a manly heft and a ring that can look exactly the way you want. Need proof? Here are The Kennedy, and The Ford. We're skipping the fancy descriptions this time. These two former-presidents-turned-awesome-wedding-bands speak for themselves.
So, we hope we made amends to the Ring Gods by paying some overdue respect to the classics of Ringdom. Yeah, precious metal wedding rings bring a bit of a price tag. But their pedigree, and versatility, are worth it, and that value will stays with you, ya know in case you need to um grab some Scooby snacks on the road. Doomsday prepping, anyone?
How To Care For Your Ring
Wash with mild soap and water or fine jewelry cleaner. Gold is a softer metal than the others, so it may scratch over time. You can take it to a local jeweler to get it buffed out for a small fee.