Men’s accessories are making a major comeback for Spring and Summer 2012, with new styles allowing men to accessorize from head to toe without looking like they borrowed something from their girlfriends’ or wives’ closets. Retail reports are hailing the return of the male shopper, and men everywhere are seeking to enhance their wardrobes while maintaining a certain masculine style. Nowhere is this more apparent than men’s rings, which serve as perfect statement pieces that can cover all of the current trends and range in appearance from rugged to retro to flashy, complementing any man’s personal and individual style.

While spring and summer collections are generally thought of as being sunnier in nature and lighter in appearance, men’s jewelry is taking a decided turn for the intensely masculine in the upcoming seasons, with tribal-inspired and blackened jewelry emerging as key trends. Black ceramic (sometimes known by the trade name Seranite) is becoming an increasingly popular choice for jewelry due to its durable, scratch-resistant nature and wholly unique appearance. This alternative material has an appealingly mysterious quality, and gives men’s rings an almost obsidian-like look.

Blackened accents are also appearing in men’s rings, “toughening up” shinier metallics like sterling silver, titanium, gold and cobalt chrome. Usually created by oxidizing sterling silver, brass or copper materials, black accents can be used to add patterns, the impression of texture, or just a little something interesting and special to jewelry items.

Tribal-inspired fashions have been white hot on the runways and in stores for the last year, and they remain just as au courant as far as men’s spring and summer accessories are concerned. While the first thoughts brought to mind when one thinks tribal might be bright, vivid prints and exotic prints, men’s tribal rings can feature intriguing and almost understated geometric shapes and patterns. While some men’s rings might offer more general or abstract tribal designs, others feature specific words, phrases or symbols that can hold a personal meaning to their wearer and serve as more than just a trendy accessory.

Thanks in part to prominent popular culture phenomena like Mad Men and Boardwalk Empire, retro-inspired styles are also making a comeback, encouraging men to dress and accessorize with a little extra flair. Retro style doesn’t have to be just about the obvious or dated, like fedora hats or boxy striped suits. Retro men’s rings can be a perfect way to add a signature and seemingly vintage touch to an outfit without looking costume-y. Signet rings offer a regal look and imposing shape, and are stamped or engraved with a pattern or insignia (usually a coat of arms). 14K yellow gold can lend an attractively retro look to men’s rings, as can detail accents using precious colored gems, like rubies or sapphires. Oversized, dome, knuckle and pinkie rings can also boast a retro look.

Men are reaching for more “bling” infused jewelry styles as well. Benchmark titanium wedding ring and fashion men’s rings are seeing a surge in diamond-accented items, as men look to add a little luxury to their wardrobes. Diamonds are being incorporated into otherwise ultra-manly black titanium men’s rings for a look that balances masculinity with a touch of opulence. Black diamonds are especially in vogue, and offer an alternative look to standard white diamonds.

While these jewelry and accessory trends are likely to continue on well past summer, it’s entirely possible to choose items that are both of-the-moment and timeless. Many of these current trends have a classic streak that will allow them to be worn season after season. Men should always keep their own personal style in mind when shopping for men’s rings and other jewelry – looking and feeling comfortable in one’s own skin is one of the best accessories that money can’t buy.