Using Crypto in the retail environment

Neocrypto-Australia

As we mentioned recently, Alpha Rings will allow you to buy jewellery with cryptocurrency.

There are a few reasons why we made the decision to allow payments with crypto, and as we’ve been asked by a few customers, we thought it was appropriate to write a post for everyone that might have questions about it.

No Fees.

First of all the biggest benefit for us as a merchant is a reduction in the fees we pay. We currently use PayPal as our main gateway. PayPal is a wonderful service which allows seamless integration on our website and securely processes payments without issue. Whilst that has been a real positive for us to use PayPal (and we will continue to use it), the fees do add up.

The big benefit of using NEO and GAS is that transactions between wallets are free. This is a huge huge benefit for us. It means that neither us the retailer, or the client needs to pay a cent for the transaction. Over the course of a financial year, this does add up for us, in an industry where margins are much tighter than they used to be.

 

Fast transactions

The other option we have available to make payments with is bank transfers. The big problem with this is the time it takes. It still takes days for payments to be received. This means the client needs to wait before shipment, until the funds have landed and cleared in our account. Not only that, many banking apps still have a pretty poor UI.

NEO and GAS generally transfer from wallet to wallet within 30 seconds. This is an incredibly quick process. I can be instant messaging someone, and the payment lands within seconds, then I can go to the post office and post their ring.

 

Ease of use

The NEO ecosystem and in particular the NEON wallet are very easy to use. Whilst it takes a little getting used to, once you are set up, transferring between exchanges and wallets is incredibly easy. As long as you take care to always protect your private key, and ensure you double check the destination address, you should have no issue moving your funds around. A test can always be done with a fraction of a GAS, which is a matter of a few cents.

 

Divisible.

GAS is divisible, which means you can get the exact AUD figure you desire. You can also send payments with whole units of NEO and fractions of a GAS, if you wish.

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Mobile Apps

Although products like Ontology are not free, they do have a current Android and iOS mobile wallet with QR code. This allows easy wallet to wallet transfer of funds. NEO doesnt yet have a mobile wallet unfortunately.

 

So that is some of the main reasons why we’ve chosen to accept crypto as payment for our wedding rings. Consumers are always after choices. We’ve tried to provide a great spread of mens rings that Australians can choose from, which are not necessarily the same as every other websites. Likewise we’re offering the choice of payment options.

Should you wish to pay by Crypto, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!!!

Thanks for reading,

Nick

Pay for your wedding ring with Crypto

Neocrypto-Australia

Friends we have good news!

Alpha Rings will now accept certain cryptocurrencies as payment for your wedding ring!

Currently we will accept NEO, GAS, and other NEP5 tokens (such as Ontology, TheKey etc). We believe NEO is the most promising blockchain ecosystem with the ability to make a tangible, positive difference in the real world. NEO’s goals are lofty but they truly have a vision to make the world economy a better place!

At some stage we may accept Ethereum and ERC20 tokens. We do not plan to accept Bitcoin at this stage.

The Wallet address for paying with NEO, GAS or other NEP5 tokens is:

NEO – AU84Wfahev8iYWwFWs62ckqaehcLKybmim

 

We will give 10% off for any payment using Crypto, contact us for a coupon code.

Unfortunately as this is emerging technology, there is no payment gateway that we feel properly embraces NEO and so we haven’t yet implemented crypto into our shopping cart yet – but that will happen at some point. For now, please contact Alpha Rings to discuss the exact amount to be paid to the wallet. We will use https://coinmarketcap.com/calculator/ for the calculation.

Best regards,

Alpha Rings!!

The Edward Mirell Pallas Collection

black-titanium-ring_edward-mirell

Edward Mirell is continually refining and releasing new and exciting products into the market which are both innovative and aesthetically pleasing. But then there are products that have been around for a long long time because they are a staple and they just work. It could be said that they’ve stood the test of time!

The Pallas collection is one such collection in the Edward mirell range. The Pallas collection features necklaces, Grey Titanium Rings and Black Titanium Rings. It does not feature bracelets.

The Pallas collection is distinctive in that each piece is almost gothic in nature. Features of this collection are deeply grooved machining and contrasting layers to create a heavily carved appearance. Generally speaking the Pallas collection is aimed at men because of the size of each piece. Some pieces are 8mm but there are also 10mm wide rings which are very chunky indeed.

Grey and Black titanium is used in Pallas, although each ring or necklace is either Grey or Black. There are no two tone pieces as such. Each design is replicated in grey or black however.

The mens necklaces in the Pallas collection are without doubt our most popular mens necklaces that we stock. They look good on the website but they look incredible in real life.

So if you are after something big and bold in one of our contemporary metals, check out the Pallas band, available at Alpha Rings today!!

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grey-titanium-australia

black-rings-adelaide

grey-titanium-rings-melbourne

dog-tag-necklace

grey-mens-dogtag-necklacemens-cross-necklace

 

Mens Wooden Rings

mens_wood_rings

One of the most popular group of rings within our extensive range would have to be our range of mens wood rings. For some time now, several of these rings have been amongst Alpha Rings best sellers. Our amazing customers repeatedly come back to these rings and decide that these suit their unique needs. But why is that? Lets examine why these wood rings might be as popular as they are….

 

Tungsten Base

Probably the most obvious attribute of our range of wood rings is the fact that the base is made of Tungsten. This is extremely important. Tungsten is exceptionally scratch resistant and tolerant to normal wear and tear. If you wear Tungsten for many years you’ll find that it just doesn’t scratch. That’s very important when you have an inlay made of wood. The Tungsten ends up being almost perfectly flush with the resin inlay which means that if you scratch the ring along a flat surface, it is going to be the tungsten which bears the first impact. This should offer great protection over time.

 

Tungsten & wood ring

Tungten and KOA wood creates stunning contrast that will be eye catching in any light

Protected Wood inlays

 

Alpha Rings uses “Koa” wood for most of its inlays. Koa wood is generally chosen because of the wonderful contrasting patterns that permeate through each piece. Koa wood is quite often the wood of choice for guitars!

 

The unique attributes of the Koa creates exceptional visual textures no matter what angle the ring is held on. The layer of wood is quite thin to create the desired affect, and this is where the protection of a very hard resin inlay is critically important. The wood is not exposed to the surface which makes the ring that much more durable.

mens_wood_rings

The simple domed mens wooden ring has become a very popular choice amongst Alpha Rings’ customer base because of its simple elegance

 

Resin protection

As we know, wood is very very soft. Wood simply wouldn’t stand up to the daily wear and tear that a wedding ring of fashion ring will go through daily. With that in mind, the wood needs to be protected with something hard enough to offer adequate protection, without detracting aesthetically from the product. Alpha Rings uses state of the art resin compounds that offer advanced scratch resistance. The wonderful thing is however, that this does not come at a cost of appearance. The wood will be highly visible underneath this resin compound.

 

Although very few compounds offer genuine long term scratch resistance against all surfaces, our resins do a wonderful job to hold up against most abrasions that you will come in contact on a daily basis

Tungsten Wood ring

The Tungsten and Wood ring with bevelled edges is the number one favourite in this range, a stunning ring for the price

 

Care tips

The nature of the wood ring products is that although the are extremely durable, nothing is infallible. We recommend using common sense when it comes to protecting your ring. People with manual labor jobs such as bricklayers, concreters and similar, really should not be wearing these rings during their job. These jobs will expose the ring to high levels of abrasion where the ring will almost certainly get scratched. If you really do want to wear a ring in this case, you’d be better off just with a simple domed plain tungsten ring.

 

Alpha Rings prides itself on making high quality, affordable and durable products for its customers all around the world. Our Mens wooden rings have proven to be a range of rings that our customers have embraced. We’ve never had a single customer dissatisfied with one of these rings. Not one of this range has ever been returned due to damage. Given that these are amongst our biggest selling range of rings, we think that’s a fantastic endorsement from our amazing customers!!!

Buying Rings online in Australia

When it comes to purchasing jewellery in Australia, only 10 short years ago, you almost certainly would have walked into a shopping centre, or a mall in the main city to look through jewellery stores.

I know when I was married about 12 years ago, I didn’t look at one online store! In fact I think I was still using dial up internet!!

But how times have changed. When we at Alpha Rings look at the type of questions that we received when we first started trading many years ago, its amazing how much those questions have changed over the years.

When we first went into business, it took some time to get some traction, not only being found online, but moreso gaining credibility in the market. One of the best things to happen was the proliferation of review websites and Social Media. Social Media has a way of flushing out extremely dodgy operators. If you are stitching people up online, you won’t start around long these days.

People are always interested to talk about their recent purchases, they get excited about them and want to share the experience with their friends. And this is great for the retailer if they’ve done a good job. Alpha Rings could probably do a better job to harness these great reviews. However one thing we are confident of is that we give such exceptional service with every client we come in contact with, that we simply do not get negative reviews. If there is ever an issue with a purchase, we always resolve the issue.

And this is where so many other online retailers are different, particularly many of those overseas. We’ve heard some horror stories from our clients, who actually sometimes come to us to purchase a ring because of how bad their experience had been at some other online retailer. The main two issues that we see come up are that they have experienced poor product quality elsewhere, or that they’ve been charged for a ring re-sizing.

Alpha Rings never charges for a ring resizing. We generally direct our potential clients to this page on ring sizes which assists them to get the right size, or at least how to go about getting the right size. If someone has the opportunity though, we do suggest people can go in store and get sized up by a jeweller in a shop. This is where a physical shopfront does have some superiority to an online store – they can give you the correct ring size there and then. However if you have an approximate size of your finger, what we often do, if its a lower priced ring, is that we might send you two or three sizes for you to try on. You can try them over a few days and send the ones back that don’t fit. If the product you would like is an Edward Mirell ring, then we usually ask you to make the purchase, and we will send you some rings to try on to get the exact size. We Absolutely want to ensure the ring is the correct size when we get it made by Edward Mirell. Failure to do so will need another ring to be sent made and sent over. This is where we thing we offer a superior service to most online stores.

We never charge a re-stocking fee for a ring that isn’t the right size. Many other stores do. This is a joke of charge. The retailer isn’t remotely customer focussed if they charge a restocking fee and we will never do it. We do ask that the customer put a little thought into making sure that the ring size they choose is correct, but even so, we still won’t charge you a fee. Thats crazy!

No longer do we ever really get questions from our customers about the security of online purchases, and that was without doubt the number one question that we would receive in the early days. I don’t think anyone has asked a question like that in years now, because online shopping is just so common. Alpha Rings uses Paypal as its merchant and we do not store credit card details online which makes it very safe indeed.

Really, the main questions we receive now are about size, and we have those responses down to a fine art, so whether you’re looking to buy a mens ring in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, our friends in Perth or right here in Alpha Rings’ home, Adelaide, don’t stress about getting the right ring size – we will make sure we help you do that every step of the way!!

Happy hunting,

AR.

New Edward Mirell rings!!

mens black rings adelaide

Edward Mirell have been at it again! Some great new designs that have been produced and released to the market! And Alpha Rings is lucky enough to be able to take advantage of it!

As Australia/New Zealands sole Edward Mirell distributor, we’re always delighted when new stuff comes out of Florida. There are a range of collections that have either expanded or newly introduced.

Edward Mirell’s rigorous design and QA process ensures that these new products are very well tested before they are sent out to market. This gives the consumer the assurance that the product won’t in anyway be adversely damaged or be prone to breakage over time.

Many new anodised designs have been introduced which offers a range of colours to suit a variety of peoples needs.

As always, if you’re interested in any of these products, please contact us first to discuss the product availability.

Brushed black titanium thorn ring offers a much more subtle contest than the Silver

titanium thorn ring

The incredible contrast of Silver and Black Titanium

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Black Titanium and anodised copper

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Anodised grey titanium creates stunning coloured within the protected titanium channel

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The anodised blue offers a wonderful cool contrast against the grey titanium

 

Engraving Edward Mirell products

When it comes to symbolic ceremonies, its hard to go past weddings. There are so many aspects of a wedding that elicit profound acts and statements. Love can move mountains!

We often get asked when people purchase an Edward Mirell ring, if they can be engraved. Engraving allows a small but impactful statement to be added to the inside of the ring for its entire life.

However the question is not so simple. Titanium rings are generally quite easy to engrave. They are of a reasonable hardness and colour where a laser engraver will be fine to engrave them. We generally have no issue recommending laser engraving for Titanium Rings.

Black titanium however is a different story. Black Ti rings are so black and hard that engraving them generally doesnt give terrific results. The laser engraving will often be very subtle, and not always deliver the results the client is after. Alpha Rings doesnt recommend engraving Black Titanium Rings.

The other issue is that if a customer wants a manufacture engraving, there is no opportunity to do a size exchange if the sizing is wrong. Thats a big worry because if your size is not 100% spot on, then unfortunately the customer is stuck with the ring.

Its for this reason that we urge customers to very strongly consider after market engraving. Edward Mirell has become reluctant to offer manufacture engraving because its never desirable to leave a customer anything less than 100% satisfied.

Ring size and changing seasons

Well most of us will agree that change is upon us! With Spring well and truly here we can all start to feel that the weather is warming and our body responds to that change in season. Having worn wedding and fashion rings for many many years now, this change is evident in swelling of the fingers.

Apparently this swelling occurs as a natural mechanism for the body to help regulate temperature. This means that the circulatory system is more able to get blood to the surface of the skin and keep the body at its optimum temperature.

So what does that mean for jewellery? Well quite obviously if our bodies are swelling then our fingers are too. This funnily enough can be a big issue for some people, and not much of an issue at all for others.

People with quite fleshy fingers will often be affected by this phenomenon, where as people with very bony fingers will often not notice all that much. From a personal perspective, from the coldest to the warmer days, my fingers will swell a bit over half a size. In the coldest months I can wear a size 8 comfortably, but in the warmer days an 8.5 fits me (albeit a fraction tight).

So the question is how do you address this issue before you purchase a ring? Well what we ask our valued customers to do is that when they receive their ring, they should try it on under different conditions. For example, they should have a hot shower or do the dishes, and then try the ring on. Balance that out by putting their hands on a much cooler basin of water and see how much of a difference there is in the apparent size of their finger.

From there an educated decision can be made on what the most appropriate size is. The middle ground is always the best option.  There is an old saying that there is no “perfect” ring size, and this is exactly the reason why. However when you take a bit of time and thought to work out what will happen in the opposite season, you can’t really go too wrong.

Happy spring!

Spring is here!

Tungsten & wood ring

Spring is here at last! Amazing flowers, snakes and Hayfever are but some of the wonderful things we can look forward to over the next few months! At ALPHA Rings we love spring because it marks the ramping up of the wedding season. We start to notice a lot of people desperately needing a ring at rather short notice from about late August onwards.

So if you are planning to get married over the next 6 months, we strongly suggest that you do your research nice and early so you have a good idea what you’re after nice and early. Then you can make sure, if the ring has to be made, that you’re getting it made with plenty of time to spare.

Theres nothing worse than finding your ideal ring, only to find out that its not possible for the ring to be made in time! At this time of year, Alpha Rings works on about 4-6 weeks to turn around rings that we do not have in stock. Almost all Edward Mirell stock is made fresh for our customers, in their Deerfield Beach, Florida manufacturing facility.

We hold a good selection of Tungsten, Titanium and mens Cobalt Rings but again, please contact us nice and early so that if we do not have it, we are able to project how long this will take to get made.

Here at Alpha Rings we’re all about making sure that you’re experience is as good as we can possibly make it. If that means we don’t have the ring you’re after, we’re never going to try and sell you something you won’t be happy for you. We want you to have the product you love, and we hope that you find that product right here!

Do Cobalt rings scratch?

cobalt rings

If you’ve been following Alpha Rings for long enough then you’ll know that we’re a massive fan of cobalt rings. Cobalt rings offer plenty of reasons to make them an addition to your wardrobe. They combine an incredible lustre with unparalleled value in our opinion. When you consider that the Cobalt product was designed to closely resemble Platinum, you can see just from the cost difference alone the value that it offers.

cobalt rings

rings made from Cobalt offer a lustre very similar to Platinum, at a fraction of the price

However price to people is (correctly) not the deciding factor when choosing their ring. The more important question is “how long will it last”. And thats really a question that every bride or groom should be asking before they make their purchase.

If you have a look at our ring material comparison chart you can see that we have Cobalt right near the top of the tree. Cobalt’s ability to withstand the rigours of daily wear are quite exceptional. Probably the only products of note that hold their original form better would be Black Titanium and Tungsten. And neither of these have the same “silverish” lustre that Cobalt offers.

cobalt ring scratch

Cobalt Rings are very hard to scratch

The above image is one of the rings I wear most days of the week. This ring has been worn for almost 3 years. Although only taken with a phone camera, you can clearly see an absence of obvious scratches. There are a few very fine scratches, but the form of the Cobalt ring is very similar to how it was when I first started wearing it. This is one of the reasons I wear Cobalt.

So when deciding if Cobalt is the right product for you, consider the incredible scratch resistance that it offers, as well as its amazing appearance, smooth feel and low price point. With all these factors considered, Cobalt is truly one of the prime materials to make a wedding ring out of.