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

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!!!

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!

Carbon fiber rings reduced for August, to $99

To celebrate the last days of winter, Alpha Rings are offering a discount on our Tungsten rings with Carbon Fiber inlays. We’ve got Green, Red, Blue and our most popular inlay – Black.

We’ve sold these rings the world over and our customers always give us good feedback about them!

Unlike much of the product that you’ll find in some popular “marketplace” sites that you’ll find for $20 or $30 dollars, these are not made of junk material. Our rings are made of the highest grade materials and we use a nickel binding material, not cobalt, which is consistent with many of the cheaper products you’ll find.

Carbon fiber rings look great because they catch the light in different ways depending on the light that your in. The other thing is that the resin that we use is incredibly scratch resistant. We’ve seen friends who’ve worn this ring for years and there isn’t a single scratch on the face. Thats simply not going to happen with a cheap ring.

So for the rest of the month, all tungsten and carbon fibre rings rings are $99!!

tungsten ring alpha rings green-cf Red-Carbon-Fiber-Tungsten-Ring-300x300 8mmblueandblackcarbonfibertungstenthinner__71260_1335983493_1280_1280

Our new Cobalt rings

Mens Tungsten Ring

Our new range of Cobalt rings are almost here! While we haven’t yet had any come out of production, they are only weeks away. So whats so special about these new Cobalt rings? Well first of all if you’ve followed our posts you’ll know that at Alpha Rings, we’re massive fans of the Cobalt product.

Cobalt is just such a great material to make jewellery for men out of for a variety of reasons. First of all they look incredible. If you’re familiar with Platinum, then you’ll be familiar with Cobalt. The appearance of Cobalt is somewhat similar to that of Platinum with its incredible “clean” colour. Some people think that Titanium and Tungsten look dirty in colour, but Cobalt is most definitely not like that. The high scratch resistance of Cobalt is also a key reason why it is becoming more and more popular. Whilst it isn’t as scratch resistant as Tungsten, it most definitely is more scratch resistant than Titanium, which makes it a great choice for a mens wedding or fashion ring.

So our new range of rings will be the simple domed band. We’ve found that this is a really popular design and we believe our customers are going to love them. At the low price point we’ve introduced them at ($149), we think this offers a great balance between cost and quality. Cobalt rings for men really should last a lifetime, and at that price, its an absolute steal.

We’ll upload some photo’s as soon as they come off the production line!

Edward Mirell Guardian Collection

One of Edward Mirell’s most exciting new ventures has been its unique “Guardian” collection. Edward Mirell has kept this collection very tight, preferring to produce a limited number of designs, but placing a great deal of emphasis on the the appearance of each piece.

In fact, currently there are only 4 products in this current collection, which has fluctuated as the company refines its outstanding, world class catalogue.

At the center of its collection, as always are the rings. The first ring is considered to be one of Edward Mirell’s finest signet rings. Made of high quality Lapis that have an incredible bright blue appearance, it has a Sterling Silver setting which is in turn set in a base of high grade CP grey titanium

Titanium and Lapis mens ring

The intricate work in this ring is clearly visible even from a photograph. True to the Edward Mirell theme, not a detail has been missed. The accenting and highlighting is done by alternating polished and brushed titanium.

The next ring in the collection is a more aggressive look than the Lapis ring. This one features Dia Carnelian which is bright red in appearance against stark Black Titanium. The stone is once again set into Sterling Silver.

849_black-ti-sterling-silver-guardian-08-ctw-dia-carnelian-signet-ring_edward-mirell_r3505o-d1008_l

As one can see from the pictures, this ring is very bold and encaptulates old world charm with modern manufacturing technologies. The Dia Carnelian ring is a great choice for someone looking for an old world gothic ring. Whilst not typical of a wedding ring, for a fashion ring – this one certainly fits the bill.

Black Tungsten vs Black Titanium

When a client wants a black mens ring, there are two main products that they ask us about. The first product is Black Tungsten, the second product is Black Titanium. What clients want to know is, what is black tungsten? what is black titanium? is black titanium or black tungsten better? Lets examine some of those points below.

 

What are black tungsten rings?

There is actually no such thing as “Black Tungsten”. Black Tungsten utilises regular Tungsten, but then uses a PVD (physical vapour deposition) coating. This means that a coating is applied in an environment of extreme heat and pressure, to the normal Tungsten product.

This seems a completely counter-intuitive process however. The main benefit of a Tungsten ring is that its surface is extremely scratch resistant. So why on earth would you add a coating to that? Despite what retailers might say, Black Tungsten has very poor scratch resistance. The reason for this, is that when you scratch the coating, the grey of the tungsten shows through very easily.

Black Tungsten is normal tungsten with a PVD coating

Black Tungsten is normal tungsten with a PVD coating

So the facts are that there is no product that in and of itself, is real “black tungsten”, and the PVD coated Tungsten which is sold as “black Tungsten”, offers very poor scratch resistance.

 

What is Black Titanium?

Much has been written on this site about black titanium. However it is important, once again to distinguish the difference between Edward Mirell patented Black Titanium, and what is marketed in the industry as black titanium.

The only real Black Titanium product on the market is the Edward Mirell manufactured product. This is made in the USA at their South Florida facility. Edward Mirell has over 40 patents, with Black Titanium being one of them.

Black Titanium fashion ring

Black Titanium is superior in almost every way to Black Tungsten

This product is truly unique in the jewelry industry. It takes regular commercial pure grey titanium and a well guarded, proprietary blend of alloys, and subjects it to super heating. The result is that the outside of the grey titanium product turns black. The incredibly unique thing about Black Titanium though, is that it maintains much of the malleability and ductility of regular grey Titanium, with the added benefit of the ultra hard black  surface.

Non Edward Mirell Black Titanium is very similar to Black Tungsten jewelry – it is a PVD coating which is highly prone to scratching and fading, leading to an inferior product.

 

So which is better, Black Tungsten or Black Titanium?

After examining the facts about the two products, it really isnt a contest between the two materials.  The only place that black tungsten has the edge is with cost. Black Titanium is quite a bit more expensive. However you are without question paying for quality. Black Tungsten will definately scratch and fade over time, showing a grey colour underneath the black. Black Titanium is magnitudes more scratch resistant than Black Tungsten, and will stand the test of time well beyond that of other cheaper, inferior products.

5 Popular Mens Wedding Ring Styles

Titanium Wedding Rings

Gone are the days when Australian men have a limited choice of a plain gold or silver wedding ring. Bland and simple is a thing of the past, with mens wedding rings catering to a much broader range of tastes and styles.

Let’s face it – men today are more fashion conscious and willing to make a statement. Today, wedding rings incorporate all sorts of materials; wood, leather, black titanium, diamonds, gold cable and combine inlays of just about every kind of metal you can think of.

We have taken out the guess work for you – here are some of the most popular purchases from the ALPHA Rings online store over the past few years. Make your ring a stand out with one of these 5 popular men’s wedding ring styles.

 

1. Gray titanium ring with black cable and diamond – $699 AUD

gray titanium ring with diamond and black cable

An elegant, modern ring which combines naturally glossy gray titanium, a black cable inlay and a .10ctw round diamond. A stylish stand out on your wedding ring finger from famous United States jewellery designer, Edward Mirell. Includes bevelled edges and is completely scratch proof.

 

2. Flat titanium ‘Heritage’ ring – $289 AUD

heritage titanium ring

A bold ring cast with strong symbols, this titanium ring is intricately set and designed. A definite ‘man’s man’ ring which is sure to make a statement. Flat at the top and tapering to 8mm in width underneath.  ALPHA Rings is the only supplier of the Heritage series by Edward Mirell in Australia.

 

3. Titanium ring with gold cable – $529 AUD

titanium ring with gold cable

At 10.5mm in width, this is a wider titanium ring which adds to it’s power. Setting off the gold cable and  gold studs, the gray titanium provides a strong contrast in colours. This ring is ALPHA’s first venture into gold jewellery. A popular choice for men who enjoy a classy gold look with a modern titanium style.

 

4. Tungsten Ring with wooden inlay – $169 AUD

tungsten ring with wooden inlay

A popular men’s fashion ring, but also a unique wedding ring, this tungsten ring combines beautifully with a natural wooden inlay. If you’re looking for something different, this ring is also made to order for a comfort fit. Check out this ring from our selection of tungsten rings.

 

5. Tungsten and silver wedding ring – $169

tungsten and silver wedding ring

A classic domed wedding ring, set with a silver inlay in the middle. The silver offsets the tungsten well and this is the perfect example of a more traditionally styled wedding ring with a unique touch.

We hope you now have some new ideas when it comes to choosing your next wedding or men’s fashion ring. By no means a full representation of our range of rings, but a small selection of some of our most popular purchases. If you do purchase from ALPHA, we provide free shipping Australia wide and all purchases are supported by our 30 day money back guarantee. Just a little added incentive!

CJM

ALPHA Rings

 

 

 

 

 

The Pea Coat: We salute you!

 

There are many reasons why winter might not be your favourite season, but one thing it does have is great style. From durable coats to cosy knits, make sure you wrap up in sartorial panache for the colder months ahead.

 

There is one particular style of outerwear that we believe every man needs to invest in: the pea coat. Whether it’s for work or weekend, this military-inspired staple is effortlessly stylish and will remain in your wardrobe a lifetime.

 

Nautical Origins

 

There are certain pieces of clothing that withstand decades, or sometimes even centuries, of ever-changing trends. A pea coat is one of these timeless garments, originating as far back as the 1720s where references to the pea jacket first appeared in American newspapers. Today, the distinctive style remains consistently relevant and often true to its original design.

 

Originally worn by sailors of European navies, pea coats are recognised by their wide lapels, double-breasted fronts and often over-sized wooden or metallic buttons. Traditionally made from 30-ounce wool, pea coats were designed to keep sailors warm at sea by retaining their body heat.

 

Mod to Modern Day

peacoat

The next stage of the pea coat’s journey was when it became more of a style statement than a practical piece. Although the parka is the first style of outerwear you would associate with the 1960s mods, a smarter approach to the look is to don a classic pea coat.

 

Today, the pea coat remains one of the most stylish pieces of men’s outerwear, while also remaining entirely practical. In recent years it has made a huge comeback, particularly with the resurgence of military style.

 

How to Wear the Pea Coat

 

What’s great about the pea coat is how versatile the piece of outerwear is. Whether you’re heading to the boardroom or the bar, this durable style will keep you both warm and naturally on-trend.

 

When you’re heading off on your commute to work, a classic navy pea coat will keep your tailored charcoal suit dry while ensuring you stand out from the crowd. When heading out with friends at the weekend, a black or grey style will work perfectly over a sporty polo or striped tee teamed with indigo jeans and loafers.

 

So what are you waiting for guys? Sail on in style…

Alpha Rings speaks to Adam Rosenberg – Part II

 

Nick Fox – What does Edward Mirell stand for, and how do you want to be known in the marketplace?

Adam Rosenberg – The brand Edward Mirell stands for, again with the background, history and heritage of our company, absolutely stands for quality, innovation – we’re definitely leaders in this category, we’ve introduced this category and we continue to lead in it. New processes, materials to achieve all the different looks that consumers are wanting to see in the market today.

Design is really important to us, we have some of the world’s most amazing designers on staff, headed by Eddie Rosenberg. So you will see as you look through our collection we’ve got about 20 men’s collections, we’ve got about 13 women’s collections and a countless number of wedding band programs in different materials. And again we stand for the quality of the materials that we use, but each collection is truly inspired. There is a real thought and emotion behind each collection that we bring to the market, that really brings something much more tangible to the consumer, something real.

NF – The Pallas band is the perfect example of that.

AR – Yeah the Pallas bands were actually inspired as we were thinking “what really gets the male customer excited?” And its that code of valour, strength that we like to adhere to, or like to at least believe we adhere to. And so we look back to the roman warrior era’s and samurai era’s and that’s where we actually came up with the Pallas collection. Looking at the different adornments on the swords and shields and armour from those time periods. The Templar collection actually came from the samurai era’s, so that’s two examples.

Edward Mirell Pallas Titanium Band

NF – And you’ve got the Samurai collection and Stealth aswell, they’re inspired collections

AR – Yeah each of the collections, even in the ladies, have the ordinary miracles collection which is the Koi fish and frogs and it really speaks of the strength of the female spirit. The Koi fish for example swims against current and survives in frozen water to come back in spring. And the frogs represent that metamorphosis of personality and person through their life so its definitely representative of the female spirit.

black-titanium-koi-fish-ringTitanium Frog ring

NF – And I love the Timoku bands, the joining of two separate materials

AR – Timoku is a really exciting new process that we have patented, it’s the first time that contemporary metals have been used in the Mokume process. The Mokume process is a Japanese metaling where they take two different materials and literally fuse them together through isostatic pressing and heat. It creates a sort of banded look which is why they normally call it the wood grain metal. But the story that the Japanese actually created for us, they say because it actually a merging of two metals, they say it’s the binding of two spirits that together make a stronger unit, but still retail their individuality. So it definitely speaks well for our wedding band program.

Bevelled Timoku Ringdomed Titanium TimokuTimoku Ring

NF – Thanks very much Adam!

You can see the full video here