By Åse Anderson
Durable enough to withstand an active lifestyle - whether that constitutes playing sports, all-night clubbing or hours of gardening - and with a handsome patina that only improves with age, it's no wonder that more and more men are choosing platinum wedding bands.
For many men, a wedding band is the first and only piece of jewellery they will wear and, as it is likely to stay on the finger almost constantly, it's important to choose a ring that is hardwearing, stylish and comfortable.
With all the emphasis being placed on the bride's engagement and wedding rings, the groom's wedding band can easily end up becoming something of an afterthought.
These days, the choice now extends far beyond the traditional smooth, unadorned yellow gold band, so it is definitely worth taking the time to try on a few options in the run-up to the big day.
Platinum has several advantages over gold: it is the stronger of the two metals, scoring 4-4.5 on the Mohs scale, as opposed to gold's 2.5-3. There is no carat rating for platinum and, unlike white gold, which is created by alloying yellow gold with white metal such as silver, nickel or palladium, platinum wedding bands contain at least 95% platinum. The gold alloy is also often coated in rhodium, giving it a whiter finish than the more greyish platinum. Another benefit of platinum is that it is hypoallergenic and therefore a good choice for those who are allergic to the nickel in gold alloys.
Despite its durability, platinum will get scratched and become more muted with constant wear and tear. It can be professionally polished to restore its lustre, but many people prefer the patina that platinum wedding bands develop over time. White gold, on the other hand, needs to be re-polished and re-plated every few years to prevent the metal from turning yellow. Platinum weighs up to 60% more than gold so a platinum wedding band will be heavier than a gold one and, due to the density and purity of the metal, they are also more expensive.
If you do decide to go for platinum, there is a great choice of men's wedding bands, from contemporary designs to more classic options. Anyone who thinks that diamonds are just for women has obviously not seen the Cartier LOVE ring featuring the jeweller's trademark screw motif, set with one or more diamonds. If you're not one for flashiness, but you would secretly love to wear one, the De Beers wedding band with bold lines of platinum on the outside and a diamond concealed on the inside is the ring for you.
The Liens de Chaumet platinum wedding band, with a simple link on an otherwise unadorned ring, is a contemporary choice for the style-conscious man. Or, if you love a jewel with a story behind it, the Epi Louis Vuitton platinum wedding band was named after, and inspired by, the distinctive grain of the maison's emblematic leather. Fittingly for a wedding band, the elegant pattern that stretches all around is said to symbolise a union forged for life.
At 6mm wide, the double milgrain wedding band from Tiffany & Co is a chunkier version of the women's wedding ring from the same collection, and perfect for couples that want to co-ordinate their rings without looking too matchy-matchy.