Popularity: 16 percent in 2011 versus 13 percent in 2009
Why Guys Like It: "Titanium is great because of its durability and price point," says Elaine Simon, who works at deBebian's Jewelers in Los Angeles.
Drawbacks: It's hard to resize titanium rings, so it can be a risky proposition if a guy's size changes with age.
Popularity: 27 percent in 2011 versus 19 percent in 2009
Why Guys Like It: "Younger or less traditional customers often like tungsten for its industrial look," says BlueNile's Josh Holland. Daniel Horning, who works at HireAHelper.com in Boulder City, Nev., got a tungsten carbide wedding band in 2007 because of the durability. "I'm working on DIY projects--gardening, and doing my own car repairs, but to this day there's not a scratch on it," he says.
Drawbacks: It's also difficult to resize.
Why Guys Like It: "There are many techie guys that want something high-tech versus a precious metal ring like their father and grandfather had," says Etienne Perret, a jewelry designer in Camden, Maine, with a collection of zirconia ceramic rings. Plus, Perret says, many gay couples who get married are gravitating toward something less traditional.
Drawbacks:These rings may draw more attention, as they are rarer and different in appearance from most other metal options.
Popularity: 4 percent in 2011 versus 3 percent in 2009
Why Guys Like It: deBebian's Simon says the added interest in palladium stems from the fact that it is like platinum in properties and appearance but much cheaper.
Drawbacks: Though it is a sister metal to platinum, it is lower quality. But with the savings, you may have the last laugh.
Cost: $1,049.99 (14-karat)
Popularity: 34 percent in 2011 versus 39 percent in 2009
Why Guys Like It: Sometimes only traditional will do. Ben Nettleton, social media director at the Global Healing Center in Houston, wouldn't consider anything but gold when he got married last month. "I did not go with tungsten or any of the other newly used metals, because, quite frankly, all that stuff resembles gas station jewelry," he says.
Drawbacks: The price.
Popularity: 7 percent in 2011 versus 7 percent in 2009
Why Guys Like It: It has a flashy look and is more durable than gold. Gold can erode from wear over time; platinum can simply be polished if marred.
Drawbacks: The price.