What ring sizing system works best?

Sometimes customers ask us why we use the US sizing system, so here we explain why that is!

You’ve seen the different Australian bricks and mortar stores that use the Australian, or more accurately, the “British” sizing system. Why Australia uses this system is beyond the scope of this article but one thing is certain – its here to stay.

At ALPHA Rings, we don’t necessarily think that the British sizing system is as useful as the US sizing system. This becomes apparent quite clearly when men with large fingers try to get sized and their size goes beyond a US size 13.

Moving up or down the scale in US half sizes is very very simple. Going from a 13 to a 13.5 is a pretty simple thing to work out. But in the Australian sizing system, we go from a Z, to a Z2 and Z3 etc. It just doesn’t make much sense and its proved annoying for customers to try and work out. You can see this in our ring size guide here.

Couple that with the fact that most of our products come out of the USA, so we buy all of our products in US sizes.

If you do not know your ring size, we suggest that you go to a jeweller and ask if they can give you a size in both the British and the US size. If you get your exact US size, then you’ll always be able to convert that back to the British sizing system if you need to.

For expert tips on how to find your correct ring size, check out our ring size article.

How Tungsten Rings are made

Tungsten Rings

Much has been made of Tungsten Rings recently. Tungsten is one of the modern rings, or contemporary ring materials that has gained incredible popularity of late.
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This popularity is for a few reasons, such as the incredible scratch resistance and the mirror like finish.

However a number of our customers have asked us – how are these Tungsten rings made? With that in mind, it became appropriate to write a post on the topic.
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First and foremost, and as I’ve touched on with other posts in the past, and will certainly do so in the future, the quality of these contemporary metals fluctuates greatly. Poor quality rings are, unfortunately found all over the internet. Due to this, its most important that you do your research and ask questions which you can gain from this, and other posts within our blog.

First of all, Tungsten has the chemical symbol W, and has the atomic number 74. It is a greyish white metal. Importantly it has the highest melting point of all metals, at a whopping 3422 degrees. Tungsten rings are around 10 times harder than 18k gold, 5 times harder than steel, and 4 times harder than titanium.  Tungsten also measures somewhere around 8 to 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. Diamonds are a 10.

Tungsten in its pure form is prone to scratching and is quite brittle, so it needs to be combined with other materials, the main one being carbon. It is only at this point that it gains its incredible strength and scratch resistance. This is where the term Tungsten Carbide Rings comes from.
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Making Tunsgten Rings

Tungsten Rings start as a powder

Each Tungsten ring goes through approximately 30 stages, and they are individually crafted. This is another step in the process where error rates can creep in so it is essential that the quality personnel are used to ensure a high quality end product.
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For the purpose of making mens rings the tungsten starts off as a powder, containing Carbon, Nickel, Tungsten (around 85% is ideal) and various other trace components. This composition is critical to the finished product. This combinatin of powders is then highly compressed & fired in a furnace & this produces a blank ring of incredible strength and integrity.

From there the manual process begins where artisans go through various processes to create the finished product. Diamond abrasives and diamond cutting tools need to be used when machining the Tungsten blank, because of how strong the product is. The main stages to consider are the shaping of the ring which occurs with diamond grinding tools. This includes the inlay channel which is cut out. From there polishing occurs. Because of the hardness of the product, this is one of the most labor intensive stages.
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The resulting product is an astonishingly hard ring with a brilliant shine. If looked after properly these rings will last forever. I have had many tungsten rings over the years and they all look as good as when I got them.
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Alpha Rings for Men

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Here are a selection of my rings. The pictures have a more artistic flavour than purely a photo to showcase the ring for the point of selling to the consumer. All of these rings are Tungsten or Ceramic, with a silver inlay.

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Above is the logo to our webstore, located at www.alpharings.com.au, the home of our “alpha tungsten” range. You will note that the mirror finish of the Tungsten actually soaks up much of the background, giving the rings a much darker feel.

This ring is amazing. It shows how the Tungsten, once brushed, gives a very much gunmetal appearance.

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A stunning polished Tungsten ring with a 4mm silver inlay.

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One of the most amazing rings I’ve ever seen. Polished mens Tungsten ring, this one has beveled edges, and a 3mm silver inlay. The workmanship is quite stunning. This is always our most popular design. The “alpha tungsten” brand ensures its not rubbish that will tarnish aswell. You can see from the second picture how amazing it does look.

Traditional shape for a male engagement ring or mens wedding ring. This Tungsten ring has a domed shape with a silver inlay. The Tungsten is polished and the inlay brushed, which creates the most stunning of contrasts.

This mens tungsten ring is a concave design. It makes the ring almost look like molten metal. A great ring to wear because of the way the ring catches light and the angles of light on its surface.
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Becoming very popular now. The mens Tungsten band which is polished, and has 2 polished Silver inlays. A great ring. Most people get it as a male wedding ring, but also popular as a male engagement ring, and of course a day to day mens fashion ring.
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For this selection of stunning rings, and many others feel free to drop in at www.alpharings.com.au

Thanks go to Alberto for the photography.

5 things to look for when buying a wedding ring online

First of its important to note at the outset that there is no one perfect wedding ring. The perfect mens wedding ring is the ring that you, the groom, thinks is perfect. And what the groom thinks is perfect is purely a matter of taste and fashion.
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There are, however, some basic points to note when choosing a wedding ring. Our experience in the industry has taught us that not all wedding rings, and indeed not all online retailers are created equally. We have experienced the good and the bad, and this has served to teach us what we want to deliver to our customer, and importantly, what not to deliver. So here it is then, our top 10 things to look for:
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1/ What is the retailers reputation?
Reputation is very important in the online world. Unfortunately many things can be manipulated. Facebook likes can be bought, google + 1’s can be bought, as can twitter followers. That is why word of mouth is such a powerful tool. Your friends will tell you their exact experience. If they had a poor experience with a retailer, chances are you will too. Look at the retailers facebook page and search their name on search engines for complaints.
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2/ Do they know their product?

It continues to baffle those at Alpha Rings, when we do our industry research, how poor some companies product knowledge is, of their own products!! Ask pertinent questions, which gives a good starting point for the questions you should be asking.

3/ Customer service, does it exist?
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We can probably all agree that customer service standards are on the slide. You are probably already under stress thinking about the wedding, last thing you want is the purchase of your ring to be a poor experience. Make some initial enquiries. Ask questions like “whats your policy if my size is wrong”. This is a BIG one. You really need to be comfortable with this policy, because each and every week we would need to do a size exchange when the original order was slightly out. Also see if they charge a restocking fee. A restocking fee is a fee…… For restocking the ring!!!!! We cant see how anyone would feel comfortable paying that.

4/ Wedding Ring quality
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Broken Tungsten RIng

Making fine wedding rings is an art. That is why you need to be absolutely certain when you purchase, that you are purchasing from a legitimate retailer. If your retailer cannot tell you the composition of their rings, then unfortunately they are either buying a mass produced ring in bulk, or they have no idea. In some instances they will however use a patented process, and that would be a legitimate reason for not divulging compositions. Alpha Rings utilise Spectore BlackTi™ which is a patented black titanium ring and these are without peer as far as the quality of the product goes.
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Price of the Wedding Ring

Everyone is looking for the best deal. There’s no doubting that. However you need to be careful when looking for the best deal. As mentioned before, there are so many variables when making wedding rings, that it is critical to not go on price alone. If you go for the cheapest price, purchasing a product that costs $30, $40 or $50, where you have seen it generally more expensive on other online stores, there is a reason. It is most likely mass produced using inferior products and processes, and your wedding ring will be of very poor quality. Middle of the road price points are always fair. You shouldnt need to buy the most expensive ring, but one thing is for sure, you should never ever go for the cheapest. We’ve seen whats out there and its not a pretty sight!
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So there you have it, hopefully you’ve found this article somewhat helpful on your quest for the perfect wedding ring

The Quality of Men’s Wedding Rings from Alpha Rings

Quality wedding rings

The Quality of Men’s Wedding Rings from Alpha Rings
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Choosing from the numerous types and styles of men’s wedding rings is no simple task. You may be surprised to learn what different kinds of materials these bands can be made with. From gold to silver, tungsten and titanium, your options are endless.

Alpha Rings Are High Quality
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Men’s rings from Alpha are a great example of the diversity in mens wedding band design. As a company based in Australia, this manufacturer specializes in particular materials such as ceramic, tungsten, and titanium. Since Cobalt is not a great fit as a binder for Tungsten rings, Nickel is the only binder they use for hypo-allergenic quality. It won’t react with your skin or tarnish the ring itself. Their state-of-the-art production process brings exquisite Alpha rings to the market for men who are looking for a solid band with a stunning appearance.  In fact, the quality of some foreign rings is so poor, that it was recently reported in the media that some Titanium rings contained radioactive compounds. You can rest assured that will never happen with an Alpha Ring.
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What to Look for When Buying Men’s Rings

If you’re looking for a high quality ring made of tungsten or titanium, there are certain things you want to look for. First, be sure that cobalt isn’t being used as the binder as mentioned above (only for Tungsten rings). Next, look for warranties and terms of your purchase. These are important details that some men tend to overlook.
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Cobalt mixed with Cr & Mo is completely hypoallergenic. There is no risk with Cobalt when in this compound; in fact it creates an incredible silver hue. Perfect for mens rings.
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Finally and most importantly you want to be aware of the exact composition of the ring itself. When you see Titanium rings or Cobalt rings on the market, you may not be sure of exactly how much is comprised of that material. The balance matters – a high concentration means better quality and appearance. That’s why Alpha Rings prides itself on their 85% Tungsten rings. When you’re looking for the perfect ring, consider Alpha Rings.