In this blog I will discuss some of the base metals that are used for making mens wedding rings and mens engagement rings, and how they stack up.
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I remember the first ring I ever had, my girlfriend at the time bought. It was a 6mm 9ct gold ring that had a brushed pattern on it. It took that ring about 2 wear’s, until it was showing noticeable scratching on it. Problem with that is, because the entire ring was gold, the scratches showed up in a very pronounced way.
Second ring I ever had was my wedding ring. 9ct White gold with 2 titanium inlays. The ring was brushed and had a wonderful matte finish. This was a great ring, but again, very quickly it started to look worn, at least it did until my wife lost it!
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I’ve dealt with men’s fashion rings, mens engagement rings and mens wedding rings in one way or another for many years. What has struck me is how much of a pounding some men’s rings will take over the life of the ring. This ultimately makes a stunning ring look very second rate.
The benefit to men these days is the explosion of choices that we have these days. No longer are men just limited to silver, gold and platinum, thankfully.
Platinum is really little more than a status symbol now. Although it is nice to say you are wearing Platinum, the cost for a ring that is only about a 4 on the Mohs scale (scale of hardness) is really not providing great value. All my friends that wear Platinum have a scratched up beaten up ring in no time at all.
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925 Silver. Its probably the worst choice to have a rings made entirely from. Scratches very easy because it is such a soft metal. Its good for inlays because it creates a stunning contrast, but for the full ring, its not good. No way is this metal strong enough to deal with the day to day stress of a mans world
Gold is very similar to Silver. Now that the price is approaching $1400 ounce, it is becoming a tough decision to balance the distinctive look and status of gold against the obvious downfalls. This metal is only a fraction harder than silver and scratches almost as easily. Wonderful as an inlay as it creates a very distinctive contrast, but you will have a second hand ring in no time if your ring is made only of gold, no matter what carat. The benefit of Gold is that it has such a unique look, that nothing can really replicate its appearance. If your wearing something yellow, its a strong chance its gold, and people know it.
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Titanium rings were the big rage 5-10 years ago. A rage that has never really stopped. Titanium was a step up because of the strength and durability of this new age metal. We’ve all heard the stories of this being used to great effect in the aviation industry. If you get a rod or sheet of Titanium, and feel the weight and strength of that against any other metal, you will understand why. Its makes a very tough ring. Machining of Titanium used to be exceptionally difficult. It is perhaps the fact that it had so much potential in the Defence industry that the production cost has dropped so much. The Americans and Soviets invested enormous amounts of money into improving methods and techniques for machining titanium to reduce production costs or equipment. Examples such as the “SR-71 blackbird”, the amazing supersonic spy plane that was so fast that the Soviets scampered to build new missiles that could actually outrun and catch the SR-71, mainly because of the incredible characteristics of its titanium fuselage. The Russian “Alfa class” submarines became the fastest and deepest diving subs ever built, owing to the incredible crush resistant titanium alloy hull.
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This type of investment in technology flows all the way down to the lay person, as it did with Titanium manufacturing. Titanium remains a very versatile material to make rings out of. It can be drilled, cut and joined relatively easily these days. It is far more scratch resistant than gold, silver or platinum, but less than Tungsten. It does still scratch however. I’ve seen some amazing rings made with Titanium as its base, and its a sure bet that this metal will be in vogue for years to come because of the variations that can be afforded with Titanium.
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The Mohs scale gives us a guide for how a material will stand up over time. An expensive wedding ring can look like a cheap wedding ring very quickly if care is not used when selecting the material. You need to work out what you will be doing with the ring on. If you are doing manual work, you know you need a harder material to avoid scratching.
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Next blog I will be discussing my personal favourite metal, Tungsten, as well as Ceramic rings
For a selection of fine mens rings, feel free to drop into Remarkable Mens Rings at www.alpharings.com.au