What ring sizing system works best?

Sometimes customers ask us why we use the US sizing system, so here we explain why that is!

You’ve seen the different Australian bricks and mortar stores that use the Australian, or more accurately, the “British” sizing system. Why Australia uses this system is beyond the scope of this article but one thing is certain – its here to stay.

At ALPHA Rings, we don’t necessarily think that the British sizing system is as useful as the US sizing system. This becomes apparent quite clearly when men with large fingers try to get sized and their size goes beyond a US size 13.

Moving up or down the scale in US half sizes is very very simple. Going from a 13 to a 13.5 is a pretty simple thing to work out. But in the Australian sizing system, we go from a Z, to a Z2 and Z3 etc. It just doesn’t make much sense and its proved annoying for customers to try and work out. You can see this in our ring size guide here.

Couple that with the fact that most of our products come out of the USA, so we buy all of our products in US sizes.

If you do not know your ring size, we suggest that you go to a jeweller and ask if they can give you a size in both the British and the US size. If you get your exact US size, then you’ll always be able to convert that back to the British sizing system if you need to.

For expert tips on how to find your correct ring size, check out our ring size article.

How to choose a mens wedding ring

Titanium Black Ring edward mirell

Choosing a wedding ring for a man in Australia is rather different than most other countries around the world. Due to our geographic sparsity, shoppers just don’t get the opportunity to look at as many retail outlets as is the case for say, Americans or the Brits. And unfortunately when you get to a retail shop, the big outlets just don’t have a wide range of stock for men to choose from. Simply put, retailers most of the time don’t make enough money off mens jewellery compared to ladies. Its just simple economics really.

The good news is for men that the internet age has brought an enormous array of products to their fingertips. Men can now choose pretty much any product they want, and get it delivered to them, which is awesome.

So with all that choice now presented to us, how do we go about choosing that perfect ring that shows our personality and speaks of the love we have for our life partner? From our years of dealing with people getting married, here is a list of common points of interest that come up time and again. Hopefully this helps you to make informed choices for your amazing day. Some points might be irrelevant to you, some might really be close to home.

 

traditional wedding ring

Craig decided upon a Tungsten ring, with a Silver inlay, for his wedding day

Do it early

I can’t tell you guys this enough. Its really really important to get the ball rolling nice and early. I have seriously had people ring me up a week before to get something custom made – it just can’t be done! If you are lucky enough that the product you want is in stock with a retailer, you still need to allow enough time in case the ring isn’t the right size, or even worse, that the ring is lost or damaged in the mail.

I’d suggest you start checking out stores and the internet a good 6 months before the wedding date. You need to make sure you’ve seen enough products so you’re quite sure of what you’re after.

Please leave at least 2 months before you make your choice of ring and go to make the purchase. This gives the retailer enough time to get it made if it is not in stock, and gives plenty of time to make sure the size is right. Inside 2 months, and the pressure is on the retailer to make sure it is spot on. And while most retailers can ensure that this will happen – what happens if your jeweller gets it wrong?

So best to leave as much time as possible. Please don’t leave your ring purchase to the last minute. It puts heaps of strain on the relationship as often (from experience) the partner needs to sort it out. Not cool!

Black Titanium by Edward Mirell - beach themed wedding.

Black Titanium by Edward Mirell – beach themed wedding. Alpha Rings is Australia’s sole distributor of the incredible Edward Mirell product

 

Contemporary or Traditional materials?

We’ve talked about this to death in various other posts but the reality is that its probably one of the most controversial points in choosing a mens wedding ring. There are just so many choices it is beyond belief these days. Whilst many people enjoy the traditional metals such as Gold, Silver and Platinum, there are so many other great materials now to make rings out of including Cobalt, Tungsten and Titanium.  Its pretty obvious that Alpha Rings prefers modern day metals such as the later due to the cost vs benefit aspect. And the reality is that contemporary metals are so accepted now that the growth in the market paints a compelling tale of the popularity of these metals.

Its a bit like the transition in photography from film to digital. People fought digital and beat the product down, but digital has long since been a superior product to film that no one even bats an eyelid to it now. The same is true in the argument of contemporary metals vs traditional metals. Really, in my opinion, the only benefit that traditional metals have for a wedding ring is the “status” of a gold or platinum ring.

In almost every other aspect, contemporary metals out perform, and are far cheaper than Gold and Silver in particular.

Contemporary metal benefits: cheaper, harder, more scratch resistant, often lighter, don’t deform, incredible design possibilities.

Traditional metal benefits: Some people like the concept, uses precious metals.

 

Titanium Black Ring edward mirell

Great shot of an Edward Mirell ring we sold a client for his big day. Looks awesome…..

Getting your size right.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t a perfect ring size for me. Our fingers swell and shrink with the weather and thats a fact of life. In fact my “perfect” size is 8.5, but in winter I can wear a size 8, and in summer I can wear a size 9. So that is one full size in fluctuation!

Not only that, but some men have bony knuckles, with not much meat on their fingers. This means that they need a ring big enough to get over the knuckle, but then it will be quite loose once it’s over the knuckle. This is one of those unfortunate facts of life – there just isn’t a way around it. You should try and get a ring small enough that you can just get it over your knuckle, even if it is tight to get off. You can always use soapy water on your hand and twist the ring off. Its better this way than the ring flopping around all day!

Other men have more meat between their knuckles. the challenge here is that their finger can swell in the heat and subside in the cooler months. You probably need to make your research over a longer period. See if you can try what you THINK is your size, but over different climatic conditions. Try it in the heat and try it in the cool. This is the only way that you are going to be able to see if it is indeed the right size or not. Thats where Alpha Rings ring sizing comes in handy. We can really help you take out a lot of the guess work with sizing.

You also need to make sure that you are sizing on a ring with the correct width. There is no point sizing your finger on a 2mm band if you intend to get a 10mm band as the geometry of the ring will be entirely different!

 

polished Cobalt Mens ring

A polished Cobalt Ring, custom engraved, was the choice for Ren’s big day

 

Ring Width

Width is an often overlooked issue when it comes to choosing the mans wedding ring. I believe that 8mm has become the norm for most men when buying a ring, based on experience and what our clients tell us. However, this can also change depending on the size.

For example, a smaller individual with small fingers who chooses a small size, will not necessarily want an 8mm ring. For example, if you are a size 7.5, then an 8mm ring will look disproportionally fat, compared to someone who has a size 10 finger. And a person who is a size 13 might think that 8mm is actually a touch thin, and may want to go up to a 9 or 10mm ring.

You want your ring to look good! So have a good look around and see what width suits you best.

8mm is fantastic for people with “standard size” fingers. People with smaller fingers may want a 6mm ring, and people with really big fingers may want to look at 10mm rings.

 

Ring Design

This is a huge topic in and of itself. There is just so much range and style variation now that you really should just look at google images for hours on end until you see something you like – thats really the best way to get a handle on whats out there. You will find that going into shops you’ll start to see the same thing repeated pretty quickly.

There are no rules for wedding rings anymore. The old rules that thou shalt buy a gold domed band is well and truly of a bygone era. You can even get rings designed yourself these days, should you be willing to spend enough.

Regarding ring design, the only suggestions I would have is the following

– Is this more of a “fashion ring”, i.e., perhaps cheaper, made of something like steel, or wood, might not last or “novelty” and

– Make sure your spouse is ok with it!!! Its going to be in the wedding photo’s and its going to be shown to your friends and relatives for a while, so please don’t buy something that your partner shudders at the site of. I’ve seen this happen.

Alpha Rings black titanium

We love how this clients wedding pictures turned out

 

Ring Features

The world is your oyster now days when it comes to features of a ring. If you want intricate work on your ring, then Tungsten, Silver and Gold are not the best options. These products are too hard or too soft to be able to handle amazing shapes. Tungsten can handle a simple inlay of precious metals such as Silver and Gold, but it can’t be too much more adventurous than that.

Titanium or Black Titanium are the products of choice if you are wanting intricate designs for your ring. These materials have an almost perfect profile to allow machinists to create amazing and intricate patterns and shapes.

Diamonds, or other stones can be set in most materials.

black ti animal ring

One of our clients chose the Black Titanium Koi fish as his wedding ring. amazing design and matching with diamonds for eyes

How much punishment will the ring get/lifestyle?

Different people will wear their wedding rings at different times. Tradespeople might only ever wear their wedding ring when they go out on the weekend. Other people have office jobs. In both cases, the ring will not cop a lot of punishment so the ring will most likely hold up better for longer. If this is you, then you can choose from a wider range of rings with a wider range of properties, such as varied ductility and malleability (which ultimately means how much the ring will bend, warp and scratch)

If you are a person that will will wear your ring 24/7, then you really need to have a good hard think about what product you are going to use. Similarly, if you will wear your ring whilst doing any sort of manual labour, then the ring will be under much more stress than the office worker.  If this is you, then products like Tungsten Carbide or Cobalt instantly stand out as more solid options because they are so hard. But don’t believe the hype! No ring is perfect or indestructible. Each material has its positives and negatives, so make sure you email or call someone with industry knowledge to find out if the product is going to work for you.

Typically, Titanium, Platinum, Tungsten and Cobalt can handle more than Gold and Silver. Gold and Silver will scratch even if you have a desk job. Silver will probably scratch the first day you wear it. Thats ok, you can get it buffed – but is that something you are prepared to do?

black titanium ring australia

Final QA inspection before packaging and sending to our client before their wedding day

Cost

Cost is a consideration with every purchase that we make. So, not only does it come into the equation when choosing what material you want, but it also comes into the equation when trying to get a good deal on that product. Gold remains popular as a product, but its popularity has dipped over the last decade due to cheaper and more versatile options. That means people have a much bigger range of products from a financial point of view to choose from. No longer does buying a wedding ring need to break the bank.

When it comes to getting a good deal, you need to do your due diligence on your product of choice. You need to make sure you are getting good bang for your buck. Try and do some research on the product, where does it come from, does the retailer actually understand the manufacturing process? I would hope so.

It is a fact that online stores have lower overheads than shopfronts. Online stores just don’t have the same expenses such as wages, commissions, rent and others. This means that online stores can produce a similar quality product (or better), at a fraction of the cost.

mens black rings

Checking Daniels ring one last time before we sent it on

Choosing a respected retailer

This is true for any product you purchase, not just wedding jewellery. Look to see how long the organisation has been in business for. Do they have an address? What country do they operate out of? Do they accept Paypal which gives buyer protection? Have you heard anything about the company through word of mouth? Are there good or bad online reviews?

Don’t just trust “customer feedback” on the companies own homepage. Unfortunately these can be manipulated to show only good review – or worse, they might even be entirely fictional.

Clearly shopfronts have an advantage here in that you can actually go and meet with someone to discuss your ring.

Two of the most important things when choosing someone to buy a ring off, is their warranty policy, and their knowledge. If you buy a ring and something happens to it – will the retailer do anything to fix it? Thats really really important. Make sure you ask and understand the warranty policy.

Product knowledge is critical. When you are talking to someone about a purchase, don’t settle for wishy washy statements such as “I think so”, or “it should be ok”, or “I’m not really sure”. The person you buy the ring off should be able to confidently answer any question that you throw at them. If not, I’d be concerned they are just trying to “sell” you, that they really don’t care for your big day at all.

 

So there you have it – our comprehensive guide to choosing a mens wedding ring. Do it early and do it right. It will hopefully be on your finger for a long long time so make sure you do some research, and importantly, buy with your head as well as with your heart!

Good luck!

Men’s Wedding Rings – How To Choose A Great Fit

mens-wedding-ring

Compatibility doesn’t stop with your future wife. Ensure your men’s wedding ring is compatible with your ring finger too. A wedding ring is a unique item that only comes around once, (maybe twice, if you decide to marry a Kardashian sister), so choose wisely. It’s important you love the look, feel and fit. Wedding rings are cherished and sentimental symbols, so invest in a ring which stands the test of time.

We’d like to do Australian men a favour and offer these expert tips to ensuring you find a men’s wedding ring you will love forever.

How to find the perfect men’s wedding ring

1. Get your ring size correct

A really obvious first pointer, but you’d be surprised how many rings out there are either too tight, or too loose. You can measure your own ring finger with a soft tape measure. This will give you a measurement in millimetres (mm), on how large the inner circumference of your wedding ring needs to be. Our ring sizing chart helps match up these measurements to Australian ring sizes.

Example: You measure the circumference of your ring finger and it is 55mm, which in Australian ring sizes is an O size. We recommend you go up at least 1 – 2mm to  a P or P and a half size to ensure your wedding ring is not too tight.

ring-sizing-guide

Ring Sizing Guide Showing Diameter Measurements

ALPHA Rings encourages you to go to a jeweller to try out test rings to find the best fit. Or, we can send out test rings to your home for you to try on, before you order.

2. Choose a ring that matches your personality

A wedding ring is a symbol of love and a life long commitment. Ensure you love the look of your ring and that it’s an extension of your personality. This way, you’ll feel comfortable wearing it and showing it off. Today there are so many styles and different designs available. So much more than the traditional gold or silver wedding ring. Truly, there is something for every man’s taste.

Are you bold and daring? Maybe a black titanium wedding ring could be the striking statement of your affection that you are looking for.

Black mens ring with silver

Something more conservative and classic? Gray titanium rings are naturally glossy, strong and come in a variety of styles. They also inlay well with gold, silver and diamonds.

Do you want a unique wedding ring which shows off your unique character? Our tungsten rings come with carbon fiber, pearl, silver, wooden and coloured inlays. Our tungsten range also comes in a variety of bevelled, domed and faceted edges.

faceted tungsten ring

3. Choose a ring that suits your lifestyle

If you are going to be wearing your wedding ring all the time (it’s ok – we won’t tell your wife if you don’t), give consideration to choosing a ring that is constructed of material that’s appropriate.

Example: a concreter, builder, plumber or mechanic might want to choose a ring made of titanium as opposed to gold or silver, because titanium rings are much stronger and scratch proof.

A man employed in non-manual labour will not have to be so concerned about scratching or ring wear and tear.

We hope this has helped you with your decision to choosing a men’s wedding ring. Please feel free to contact us for any further questions or concerns.

CJM

ALPHA Rings

How to get the correct ring size

ring size tool

The most important issue when purchasing a new ring is an obvious one, choosing the ring you like best!! The next most important point to consider is, what is my ring size, and how do I find out?
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Finding the correct ring size is extremely important. Firstly, if a particular ring is not in stock (and in most instances with more complex designs, this will be the case), then the ring will need to be custom made. With this in mind, its critical to get the ring size absolutely spot on. Failure to do so will require the ring to be returned, and another ring made. This can certainly become an issue if there is a Wedding date fast approaching.
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There are several mechanisms you can use in order to get your ring size correct. We will give a brief discussion on each, from least effective to most effective method.

1/ Paper ring size tool

ring size tool
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This is probably the least effective method for getting your ring size correct. It involves printing a piece of paper and sticking your finger through a hole that you create in that paper. The big problem is that the paper is far too flimsy, and its also way too thin, so you dont get the correct size because your only measuring a width of a fraction of a millimeter. Alpha Rings do not recommend you use this at all.
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2/ String

string to get correct ring size

This method is pretty much the same as the above method in terms of effectiveness – Not at all effective. This method involved getting string, wrapping it around your finger until a “string ring” is formed. From there, the joining point is marked and cut. Once that is done, it is measured and cross referenced against a ring size chart off the internet to give a size. The big problem with this method is:
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– Is the string ring too tight/too loose?

– Does it overlap slightly?

– The string is far too thin, so it doesnt give the correct width perspective.

Just as with the first method, we do not recomend you get your mens ring sized this way at all.
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 3/ Plastic ring size tool

Ring sizer tool

The plastic ring size tool is a reasonably popular method for getting the correct ring size. It has its positives and negatives, but it is a much better method than the first two. You should generally be able to get close to the correct size with this, we would suggest with between 1/4- 1/2 size error margin. The issues with this method are that generally the plastic tool is not “comfort fit” (an inner domed effect) and that point alone will fractionally alter the size. Also, the material is plastic, and prone to flexing.

 

4/ Jeweler – professional steel ring size apparatus.

ring-sizer mens rings

This is one of the best methods for getting your ring size correct. It involves walking into a jeweler and asking them to size your finger. This generally produces a favorable result. There are a couple of issues with this method however. The first and probably worst for most people is going in to a bricks and mortar store to get their finger sized when they have no intention of buying. Savvy customers are well aware that these stores are selling essentially the same product, but at greatly inflated prices.

The other issue is that the actual tool itself is usually only a few millimeters wide. That creates an issue in that the jeweler often has to use two rings which can create a slightly false result. This, however is probably one of the best methods for getting the ring size correct.

 

5/ Using actual rings

When you purchase your ring from Alpha Rings, we will call you or email you and have a discussion with you about your purchase. True to our mission statement, we want every customer to have the best experience possible. That means first and foremost finding the best ring for you, and secondly getting the size right. If you have any uncertainty in your size whatsoever, we will actually send you a few rings to size your finger. Whilst it can add a couple of days to the production time, there are significant benefits.  The big benefit of this is that you will be using an 8mm ring which is the exact width of the majority of rings we make. Secondly, it is comfort fit, like all our rings. And thirdly, you have rings with sequential sizes, so if one is a touch tight and one is a touch loose, you will be able to pick which one is going to be best for you.

Unfortunately some men have fingers which make it hard to get the correct ring size. Big knuckles on lean fingers creates a problem in that the ring is hard to get over the knuckle, but loose in its resting position. Its only when you use actual rings that you can ensure your fit will be perfect.

The other issue is that Edward Mirell Rings cannot be returned if the size is wrong, as they are custom made and ordered. This then means that it is essential we get the size spot on.

Here at Alpha Rings, we use the US sizing system. This system is a much more straight forward and methodical system to allow you to get the correct ring size. We also purchase most of our products in America using the US system. So when we get an Edward Mirell product custom made for you – we need the US size. Thats no problem because once you have your size in the British/Australian system, you can use this ring size guide to convert the size easily yourself.

Alpha Rings ensures that you have every opportunity to get your size right the first time.

 

5 things to look for when buying a wedding ring online

First of its important to note at the outset that there is no one perfect wedding ring. The perfect mens wedding ring is the ring that you, the groom, thinks is perfect. And what the groom thinks is perfect is purely a matter of taste and fashion.
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There are, however, some basic points to note when choosing a wedding ring. Our experience in the industry has taught us that not all wedding rings, and indeed not all online retailers are created equally. We have experienced the good and the bad, and this has served to teach us what we want to deliver to our customer, and importantly, what not to deliver. So here it is then, our top 10 things to look for:
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1/ What is the retailers reputation?
Reputation is very important in the online world. Unfortunately many things can be manipulated. Facebook likes can be bought, google + 1’s can be bought, as can twitter followers. That is why word of mouth is such a powerful tool. Your friends will tell you their exact experience. If they had a poor experience with a retailer, chances are you will too. Look at the retailers facebook page and search their name on search engines for complaints.
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2/ Do they know their product?

It continues to baffle those at Alpha Rings, when we do our industry research, how poor some companies product knowledge is, of their own products!! Ask pertinent questions, which gives a good starting point for the questions you should be asking.

3/ Customer service, does it exist?
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We can probably all agree that customer service standards are on the slide. You are probably already under stress thinking about the wedding, last thing you want is the purchase of your ring to be a poor experience. Make some initial enquiries. Ask questions like “whats your policy if my size is wrong”. This is a BIG one. You really need to be comfortable with this policy, because each and every week we would need to do a size exchange when the original order was slightly out. Also see if they charge a restocking fee. A restocking fee is a fee…… For restocking the ring!!!!! We cant see how anyone would feel comfortable paying that.

4/ Wedding Ring quality
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Broken Tungsten RIng

Making fine wedding rings is an art. That is why you need to be absolutely certain when you purchase, that you are purchasing from a legitimate retailer. If your retailer cannot tell you the composition of their rings, then unfortunately they are either buying a mass produced ring in bulk, or they have no idea. In some instances they will however use a patented process, and that would be a legitimate reason for not divulging compositions. Alpha Rings utilise Spectore BlackTi™ which is a patented black titanium ring and these are without peer as far as the quality of the product goes.
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Price of the Wedding Ring

Everyone is looking for the best deal. There’s no doubting that. However you need to be careful when looking for the best deal. As mentioned before, there are so many variables when making wedding rings, that it is critical to not go on price alone. If you go for the cheapest price, purchasing a product that costs $30, $40 or $50, where you have seen it generally more expensive on other online stores, there is a reason. It is most likely mass produced using inferior products and processes, and your wedding ring will be of very poor quality. Middle of the road price points are always fair. You shouldnt need to buy the most expensive ring, but one thing is for sure, you should never ever go for the cheapest. We’ve seen whats out there and its not a pretty sight!
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So there you have it, hopefully you’ve found this article somewhat helpful on your quest for the perfect wedding ring