Pros and Cons of Alternative Metal Rings | Co-Authors: Suzanne Crudden, Kim Drosdick, Carey Pearson
Pros and Cons of Alternative Metal Rings: Why Select Alternative Metal Wedding Rings?
For sure, your wedding rings do not have to be gold ones! Contemporary metals like titanium, tungsten, stainless steel and cobalt have become quite fashionable over the past decade, influenced primarily by men’s fashion styles. Today, alternative metal wedding rings present beautiful and cost effective choices to break from tradition for both men and women. When clients request them, we always like to ensure they fully understand the pros and cons of this purchase.
Alternative metals are perfect where budgets are tight because they are a fraction of the cost of their gold or platinum counterparts. Typically, an alternative metal ring can cost from $200 to $500. Compare this to precious metal ring, which can range from $1,200 to $3,000! And precious stone settings can add even more to this cost.
Alternative metals vary in hardness but they are quite durable and more scratch resistant than precious metals. Tungsten is the most scratch resistant followed closely by cobalt. Titanium and stainless steel are prone to scratches but then, so are precious metal rings. Depending on how rough you are with your jewellery, daily wear items like wedding rings usually require a cleaning and polish after a few years. Tungsten is the heavier one in the group. If you are looking for a durable, lightweight ring, then we would recommend titanium.
Some people are quite sensitive to specific metals. Nickel is the likely culprit. Contact with this metal causes the skin to itch, turn red and sometimes break into a rash. Nickel is mixed with softer precious metals, like gold, to harden it up before it is forged into jewellery. Alternative metal wedding rings are a superb choice for people with metal sensitivities because they are hypo-allergenic, pure metals.
The durability and strength of alternative metals makes them ideal as daily wear wedding jewellery expected to last a lifetime. However, those very same qualities made them difficult to remove in a hurry.
Because alternative metal rings are so much harder they have no “give”. If it has come to fit your finger snugly after years of wear, this one is going to be extremely difficult to pull off in a medical emergency.
This is why every hospital emergency room comes equipped with a ring cutter. And herein lies the problem. Precious metals rings are easier to cut off. Alternative metal wedding rings usually require sawing – a lot of sawing, actually. The friction can create temperatures high enough to cause burns to your finger.
The thing to note however is this. Those clients who have actually had this happen informed us that, at the time, the pain to the finger was the least of their concerns….!
Alternative metal wedding rings are ordered to size. If you need to adjust the size later, this will only be possible to do in small increments. We can grind out up to a quarter of the material on the inside to make it larger. Anything more and we will recommend you order a brand new ring. In comparison, precious metals rings are much easier to size up or down. However, the cost savings, compared to purchasing a precious metal ring, make this an acceptable disadvantage for many clients.
Your Custom Design
Our studio is equipped to make precious metal jewellery. Alternative metals require a very different setup; we therefore do not make these alternative metal wedding rings in-house. Instead, we order them for you from on-line catalogues featuring many different designs. We have samples available of the different alternative metals for you to touch and get a feel for.
The main drawback with these rings is limited customization. With titanium we can sometimes change the band width and profile. We can also set precious stones. But for the most part, we order alternative metal wedding rings to spec for your size.
Regardless, the price and durability of alternative metal wedding rings continue to make these items very desirable purchases. Drop by and see us if you have questions about alternative metal wedding rings. We will set you up with everything you need to know to ensure this choice is right for you.