Mammoth Ivory and Black Ceramic Ring by Steven Wyatt

Making this ring was quite an adventure!  I have never had to individually fracture, shape, and adhere material to make a continuous inlay before.  This mammoth ivory was unearthed in Texas, where mammoths resided between 10,000 and 1 million years ago.  Unlike other mammoth ivory I have used, this material is much closer to stone than horn.  This means it is much too friable to form a continuous ring.  I decided to inlay it into my own matrix mixture- a super fine black stone from Sri Lanka and epoxy resin.  

Hesitation: The Gold and Wood Ring by Steven Wyatt

After much deliberation and a long wait, the WedgeWood GOLD wood ring is here! The gold and wood wedding ring combination is highly sought after by clients, and I can understand why. It’s aesthetically pleasing and holds a place in many wedding traditions. And while is does make for a very handsome ring, there are a few reasons why I’ve hesitated to create and offer a gold wood ring combination in my shop.

14k Gold and Hawaiian Koa and 14k Gold and Woodford Reserve Barrel Oak

14k Gold and Hawaiian Koa and 14k Gold and Woodford Reserve Barrel Oak

Durability

Although attractive, gold is one of weakest metals, with a pitiful 200MPa on the Vickers Hardness Scale -- it’s very soft compared to the modern metal options in my shop. A gold ring will scratch VERY easily, and is extremely malleable, meaning that over time gold will very likely bend, contort, and end up molding to the shape of your finger, potentially unable to pass the knuckle. When given a wooden liner, you have two opposing forces: gold, which wants to contort, and wood, which wants to stay rigid. I cannot guarantee a gold wood ring will have a  lifespan as long as cobalt, titanium, or damascus steel. This ring will not be easy to repair, so it is likely that if the ring should break, the costs will be substantial.

To be more clear and direct: my primary concern with the durability of a gold and wood ring is not daily wear.  Yes, it will scratch more easily (the finish placed on the wood may in fact be more scratch resistant than the gold metal); but it is not going to come flying apart during your normal daily activities.  It is unfortunate, however, that my most expensive offering will be less likely to survive more extreme, but still relatively common mishaps.  If you fall off your bike while wearing one of my cobalt rings, the most severe outcome (for the ring) might be a chip in the finish, a routine and inexpensive refinishing job.  A wooden gold ring, however, might bend.  The wood may snap.  The ring would essentially have to be remade.  Mating wood and metal is not an inconsiderable process.  The metal involved must be milled with exacting precision.  The gold in the ring is very likely to be reclaimed and a new gold liner required.

I do offer many other durable metals for my wood rings. To see a comparison of the different metals I offer, please refer to my blog post here.

 

Rose Gold and Rosewood- Kingwood 14k Gold Ring

Rose Gold and Rosewood- Kingwood 14k Gold Ring

Value

While gold rings have a high price point, gold has a greatly overstated innate value. The value of gold is strictly based on the perceived value by another. If you doubt this fact, try buying a gold ring from any jeweler.  Now try selling that ring back to any store, pawnbroker, or ebay buyer.  You will only get back a fraction of the cost.

At best, the perceived inherent value of gold is very volatile and is directly linked to any twitch in the economical world; political furor, inflation, and recessions brings a wild swing in gold prices, enough to give one whiplash.

 

Environmental

Unfortunately, the gold mining industry is leaving a negative impact on the earth. All of my wood rings are eco-friendly, and I only purchase woods and metals from eco-conscious sellers.
 

Eco-friendly here refers to the responsible harvest of woods, and in the context of metals, the lack of destructive mining processes for acquiring precious metals, such as strip-mining or cyanide processing. With gold, a majority of it is extracted through open pit mines, meaning that masses of the earth are scoured in search of trace elements. It is estimated that one gold ring can be responsible for as much as 20 tons of dislodged earth and rock. This has a domino effect and can clog streams and rivers, taint marine life, produce airborne elemental mercury, and create a chain of chemical reactions that produce sulfuric acid, which can leak into drainage systems.

I take great pride in making sure that my wood rings leave a small ecological footprint, and it is my hope that my gold wood rings will do the same.


 

If you wish to proceed with your purchase of a gold wood ring, please refer to my blog post giving a step-by-step guide on how to place an order.

 

14k Gold and Ancient Russian Bog Oak

14k Gold and Ancient Russian Bog Oak

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Steel Bearing Ring by Steven Wyatt

A little break from wooden rings.  Ever since I made the Sr-71 Blackbird Titanium and USS North Carolina Deck Teak ring a year ago, customers have regularly contacted me to commission similar rings with their own custom fantasy aircraft/vehicle parts (A-10 Thunderbolt, P-51 Mustang, you get the idea)  Unfortunately, I have no better idea how to source famous aircraft parts than the average person.  Furthermore, this type of thing really isnt what I do!  All of my typical offerings include a wood ring component.  I am, above all, a woodworker.

Nevertheless, when a customer contacts me with both the awesome idea AND resources/ appropriate parts in-hand, I will absolutely do my best to make whatever project they have in mind happen.  Luckily for us both, the customer who commissioned this Blackhawk ring had this stainless steel bearing to work with.  I have no idea what function it serves in the helicopter. But it makes a fine ring.  Without further delay:

 

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Steel Bearing Ring Completed

Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk Steel Bearing Ring Completed

Some build pics:

The Black Hawk bearing, untouched.

The Black Hawk bearing, untouched.

Mounted on the lathe.

Mounted on the lathe.

Flattening out.

Flattening out.

No joke, if you can source parts from a mission-flown SpaceX rocket, that is MY fantasy project.  Contact me, Mr. Musk!

 

 

The Original Whiskey Barrel Wedding Ring by Steven Wyatt

Like most woodworkers, I have an appreciation for the whiskeys of the world.  Cooperage, that is the making of barrels, is an ancient woodworking tradition that is a critical part of creating a fine whiskey.  Naturally, all woodworkers seek to combine these passions in some way. The idea to use a spent whiskey barrel stave for small woodturnings is not mine.  Used Jack Daniels wood in particular has been available for small projects for quite a while.  However, the practice of using the material for rings is my creation.  

After some research, I was able to get my hands on some of the uncut, un-dimensioned Jack Daniel’s cask staves made of American White Oak, and from there the original whiskey barrel wedding ring was born. The bourbon and scotch themed ring quickly became the #1 favorite in my shop amongst customers, and this style has since been featured on many websites such as gizmodo.com , gq-magazine.co.ukringtoperfection.com , buzzfeed.com , and uncrate.com .

Distillery Options  

Once I secured a steady supply of the Jack Daniel’s barrel staves, I and my customers became obsessed with getting my hands on staves from other brands of whiskeys. Currently, I have over a dozen different distillery options to choose from to customize a whiskey barrel wedding ring:

 

Jack Daniel’s

Woodford Reserve

Four Roses

Stranahan’s

Pappy van Winkle

Old Rip van Winkle

Buffalo Trace

Angel’s Envy

Knob Creek

Jim Beam

Maker’s Mark

The Macallan

The Balvenie

Yamasaki

Hibiki

Hakushu

(March 18, 2017 Update):

Blanton's

High West

 

When ordering a whiskey barrel wedding ring, the default barrel stave is Jack Daniel’s. This is what will be used if a specific distillery is not specified in the “wood choice” section at checkout. Be aware that all of these barrel staves, regardless of source, will look very similar in color and pattern, as they are all charred American White Oak (I believe this is law, to be called bourbon (or in the case of The Macallan, scotch, which is aged in USED barrels, versus new barrels for bourbon) and only vary slightly in color from a light blonde to a dark caramel (the darker the stock, the closer that piece was to the charred part of the cask). Even scotch barrel rings specifically, which in the case of The Macallan or The Balvenie may be French oak or sherry cask, the appearance is essentially the same.  If you would prefer a darker or lighter piece of the cask, simply place your request in the “notes” section at checkout. I will do my best to accommodate this in your whiskey barrel wedding ring.

Each whiskey barrel ring will have something that is called ray fleck, which runs vertically to the grain of the wood. This is completely normal, and not a flaw in the wood, although to some it may look like the wood is somehow scratched. This is an unavoidable part of using oak! It will appear in your whiskey barrel wedding ring. 

Seen here, rather artistically I think, following the lines of the steel from the bottom right toward middle left.  See the light lines in the oak?  Ray fleck.

Seen here, rather artistically I think, following the lines of the steel from the bottom right toward middle left.  See the light lines in the oak?  Ray fleck.

 

There is one exception to the similar coloring and look of the staves in the whiskey barrel wedding rings: Angel’s Envy. This brand is unique in that after the whiskey is aged in the American White Oak casks, it is then finished in port wine casks. This will give the wood a brown/purple hue, which adds a more unique look to the standard whiskey barrel wedding ring. Because I am dedicated to preserving the wine stain in the ring, the wood must be cut a certain way that limits the size of rings using this stave to size 11.5, maximum.

A pair of Angel's Envy Bourbon (sherry cask finished) barrel oak wedding bands

A pair of Angel's Envy Bourbon (sherry cask finished) barrel oak wedding bands

 

NOTE: Your whiskey barrel wedding ring will NOT come with a certificate of authenticity.  Customers have been sourcing their own staves directly from the distillery of their choice for years now.  With the exception of scotch brands, who tend to be more stingy, no one has had any trouble getting their own wood.  You are welcome, even encouraged, to source your own wood from your own whiskey oak ring! 

 

Style Options

Any of the styles seen in my shop can be made with the whiskey wood. Here are examples of some of the more popular whiskey barrel wedding rings:

Beveled Cobalt Wooden Ring Lined with Bourbon Barrel oak

Beveled Cobalt and Whiskey Barrel White Oak Wood Ring

Beveled Cobalt and Whiskey Barrel White Oak Wood Ring

 

 

Cobalt Mokume-Gane Whiskey Barrel Oak Wood Ring

White gold mokume-gane flanked by cobalt, used whiskey barrel white oak interior.

White gold mokume-gane flanked by cobalt, used whiskey barrel white oak interior.

 

 

Black Ceramic Ring with Whiskey Barrel White Oak

Whiskey barrel oak flanked by practically unscratchable and non-conductive black ceramic.

Whiskey barrel oak flanked by practically unscratchable and non-conductive black ceramic.

 

If you’re not sure about which metal to choose to go with your whiskey barrel, check out this blog post I wrote about the comparison of metals I offer here. If you need help with other portions of the process to order your whiskey barrel wedding ring, I have a step-by-step guide here.

 

Don’t see your favorite distillery?

Even though I have a large selection of barrel staves to choose from, there are some I have not yet been able to acquire. If you don’t see a specific brand you want for your whiskey barrel wedding ring, I have had customers in the past have great luck with acquiring their own staves. If you would like to contact your favorite distillery, and have the stave sent to me, I would be more than happy to work with it! If you are able to get ahold of the distillery (via email or phone), I will provide a shipping address for them to ship it directly to me. Please note that it may take some time to receive an answer from a distillery, so make sure you contact them with plenty of time before you need your whiskey barrel wedding ring! Once I receive a stave and your order is placed, it will take about 4-6 weeks for me to complete, and ship your ring.

How to Order a wood Ring by Steven Wyatt

So you’ve finally picked out the metal that’s right for you, and you’ve picked out the perfect wood for your unique wedding ring. You’re ready to place your order! Here, I’ve listed out the steps to take to purchase your one of a kind wooden rings:

Step 1: Getting to the shop.

Follow the link to my shop page. This gives a list of styles of and prices. Don’t see the exact combination you’re looking for? That’s okay! Select the style of the unique wedding ring you are looking for, such as the cobalt wooden ring.

 

 

Click the “add to cart” button.

 

Step 2: Order Form.

You will be presented with the order form like the one shown. It’ll be slightly different for wooden exterior rings as there are fewer options, but it is the same basic principle.
 

 

Step 3: Size

The first part you will have to fill out is the size of your unique wedding ring. I offer rings sizes from 4-15 in quarter size increments, meaning that I can make, for example, a size 7.25. Something of importance to note here is that all of my wooden rings are comfort fit, not standard fit! This does have an impact on your ring size so be absolutely sure that you were sized in a comfort fit band by the jeweler.

Comfort fit rings are the most common band type and have a slightly domed interior to provide a more comfortable fit. It is preferred amongst those with large knuckles as the domed interior makes it easier for them to slip the unique wedding ring on. To determine the size of the comfort fit band, the exact middle of the ring is used.

Standard fit rings have a flat interior. To determine the size of the standard fit band, the edge of the ring is used. For this reason, the standard fit ring size is typically about ½ size larger than the comfort fit size. I have found that this style is not ideal for a handmade wooden ring and do not offer this style to my customers.  


 

 

Note on size: When you get sized, keep a couple things in mind-- your fingers are slightly swollen in the morning (don’t ask me why), your fingers are larger during warm weather, your fingers are larger after a meal (especially salty meals). This means that if you have your finger measured on a chilly evening before dinner, the result will be on the low end of your actual size.   

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE BE 100% SURE OF YOUR SIZE BEFORE ORDERING! Wood interior rings can be adjusted up or down about ¼ size (by removing or adding finish to the interior), and wood exterior rings CANNOT BE RESIZED AT ALL! Every ring is made to the exact size provided. An error in sizing that exceeds the margin provided above will necessitate a completely new ring. REFUNDS AND EXCHANGES WILL NOT BE POSSIBLE. BE 100% SURE OF YOUR ACCURATE AND CORRECT SIZE BEFORE ORDERING.

 

Step 4: Width

I get a lot of questions regarding width, and which would be best for the customer’s unique wedding ring. In every listing, I have a recommended width chart:

Recommended width is calculated in this way: Size 5 is 5mm wide. Width increases .5mm per size above that. So:

Size 5- 5mm

Size 6- 5.5mm

Size 7- 6mm

Size 8- 6.5mm

Size 9- 7mm

Size 10- 7.5mm

Size 11+ - 8mm

 

There are some wooden rings that are exceptions to this rule, such as the black ceramic and tungsten styles, which are only available in 6mm and 8mm, and others, such as the cobalt mokume-gane, which only come in a 6mm width. The Hand-wrought Twisted damascus steel is another exception- the default width for this unique wedding ring is 6mm. I do offer 7mm and 8mm for this style, however there is a $40 upcharge per 1mm. These are separate listings you will have to add to your cart before checking out. For 7mm, click here. For 8mm, click here.

If you are a larger size, for example a size 11.5, but you prefer a smaller width for your unique wedding ring, you are more than welcome to select any width between 5mm-8mm. Please keep in mind that a smaller width will have a slight impact on your ring size, so it is important to get sized in the width you plan on ordering and ideally, try on a ring of the appropriate size and width before ordering. Again, wooden rings cannot be resized, and returns and exchanges will not be possible.

 

Step 5: Profile

I offer three different types of profiles for my unique wedding rings-- flat, domed, and beveled. Here is an example of the different profiles:

Beveled. Black zirconium with special grade Cocobolo Rosewood

 

This is a cosmetic customization for your wooden ring that will not impact size or fit. This purely depends on which is more comfortable for the wearer of the unique wedding ring. There are a few exceptions for this customizations: any wooden exterior rings will have a flat profile, and the damascus steel rings are only available in the profile shown. The best way to figure out which profile is best for you is to try a few on at a store when you get sized.

 

Step 6: Finish

This is another cosmetic customization for your unique wedding band ring that will not impact size or fit. This is also limited to the wooden interior rings, with the exception of damascus steel. For cobalt I offer three finishes-- satin, polished, and hammered:

Polished finish, domed profile cobalt ring lined with Bethlehem Olivewood

 

Hammered finish, flat profile, cobalt ring lined with bourbon barrel stave

 

For black zirconium I offer two finishes, satin and polished:

Polished finish, flat profile black zirconium ring lined with exhibition curly Koa

 

And finally, for titanium I offer three finishes-- polished, satin, and stone:

 

 

 

Step 7: Wood Choice

The final customization for your unique wedding band is the wood choice. My selection of woods is far too vast to list, but to get an idea of what I have in stock, browse around my website and Instagram.

If you’re looking for a specific kind of bourbon barrel for your wooden ring, I have a list of what I currently have in stock here.

If you have a piece of wood that holds meaning to you, I would be happy to work with it! I have done many projects where the customer sent a piece of wood and the results have been amazing! Check out some of these examples:

 

Satin finish, domed profile cobalt wood ring with Gibson headstock.

 

Satin finish, flat profile black zirconium wood ring with skateboard deck

 

Screen Shot 2016-06-19 at 10.11.46 PM.png

Cobalt wood ring with wine barrel stave

 

Step 8: Check-out

You’ve gone through all of the customizations for your new wooden ring, and now it’s time to proceed to check-out. You will be brought to a page where you can enter your contact and shipping information (note: please understand that my turnaround time for your unique wedding ring is about 6 weeks as every ring is custom made to order. If you are moving during this time, please enter the address that you want it delivered to within that time frame. Also, please please PLEASE double check your shipping address and make sure you put in the CORRECT address!)

 

Important note on ship date: If you need your ring sooner than the 6 week turnaround time I do offer rush order, which will have your order shipped within 21 days. This is a separate listing that you will need to add to your cart before you checkout! To add rush order, click here.

Once you fill out your contact and shipping information, you will be shown a few different delivery options:

 

USPS priority mail usually takes about 2-3 business days. USPS Express mail takes about 1-2 business days. International orders take between 3-6 business days.

For customers outside the US:

Due to changes in USPS policy, international packages sent to countries other than Canada can no longer be tracked past the US border. Insurance claims are also not possible. Due to this change and for your protection, international customers outside of Canada will be required to pay for USPS Global Express shipping ($60.95), which in addition to guaranteeing arrival within 3-6 business days (excepting intervention from your country’s customs department), also can be tracked and insured. I wish I could offer a more economical solution, but cheaper options are too risky.

International customers are responsible for all fees associated with shipping to their respective countries. Orders that are shipped to countries outside of the United States may be subject to import taxes, customs duties and fees levied by the destination country. The recipient of an international shipment may be subject to such import taxes, customs duties and fees, which are levied once a shipment reaches your country. Additional charges for customs clearance must be borne by the recipient; I have no control over these charges and cannot predict what they might be. Customs policies vary widely from country to country; you should contact your local customs office for further information. When customs clearance procedures are required, it can cause delays beyond the original delivery estimates. It is against the law and I will not mark an item as a “gift” to avoid any fees.

 

Step 9: Sit tight, your ring is on its way!

Now that you’ve placed your order for your wooden ring, sit back and relax! Soon you will receive an automated confirmation email, letting you know that I’ve received your order and have noted any customizations. Your order will be shipping within 6 weeks for a regular order, and 21 days for a rush order. Be patient! In practice, I typically ship 1-2 weeks early, but it is not something I can always guarantee. When your order is ready for shipment, you will receive an email with a USPS tracking number and pictures of your unique wedding ring! Please do not send me emails at the one week, two week, or three week mark for updates! I understand you’re excited about your ring, but please understand that I am a one man show, and taking time to answer your emails for an update request takes time away from the shop, and time away from creating your ring. Should any problems or changes occur during the production process, I will email you immediately and let you know.
 

Thank you for your order!

On the Durability of a Wooden Ring by Steven Wyatt

The single most common inquiry I receive is regarding the durability of a wooden ring. Will it stand the test of time? Will I have to get it repaired/refinished/replaced within five years?

I say without ego (I hope you believe) that I make the most durable rings with wood components available - made anywhere, by anyone.  I will stand by that without hesitation, based on the effort, care, and testing that has gone into employing the adhesives and finishes for my wooden rings.  These are a combination of epoxies that are advanced well beyond the readily available and easily employed consumer grade ones to be found at a hardware store. More specifically they are proprietary blend used in the construction of hot tubs. They take special techniques and conditions to cure fully.  Once cured they are stronger by far than the wood they used to protect.  There simply aren’t stronger adhesives and finishes out there.

The resulting surface is clear as glass and is similar to that on a boat or car. It can be expected to endure similar conditions.

They are made to withstand daily wear. That said, no ring with a wooden component can withstand outright abuse.  No matter how hard the epoxy finish, it can be damaged mechanically - scraped, cut, chipped etc. When the epoxy finish on the wooden ring is compromised, the wood is vulnerable to warping and other damage relating to moisture, oils, and the various nasty things hands come into daily contact with. Therefore, though all of the wood I use is dried and dimensionally stable and does not have a tendency to warp or change shape, this does not mean you can abuse it indefinitely and expect it to last forever.

Put another way: you don’t need to wear my rings carefully, but you do have to wear them consciously. I recommend taking the wooden ring off during any strenuous activities such as landscaping, moving heavy and rough objects, rock climbing, weight lifting, etc., as it may not be able to withstand such trauma. My rings have been tested and found able to withstand exposure to common solvents such a chlorine and hand sanitizer.  However, I cannot recommend excessive exposure to these, as it is possible that it can wear down the finish of these wooden rings over the very long term.  

Some customers elect to buy a companion ring.  If, for example, they work with their hands for a living and understand that a truck mechanic should probably not wear a wooden ring while elbow deep in things that scrape, bash, and cut, they have a solid cobalt ring they wear to work and a wood-lined version for other times. If you decide that your lifestyle is just not fit for a wooden ring, I do sell solid metal rings:

http://www.fireflyrings.com

To customers who are self-described as hard on their hands who do not want to wear a stand-in for those occasions, I cannot recommend a ring with a wooden component at all.

If you are deciding on a ring with a wooden component, the wood you choose can have a slight effect on the durability of your ring. In general, rosewoods such as Cocobolo and ironwoods such as Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl are much sturdier than woods such as Buckeye Burl and Spalted Tamarind. However, as long as the finish of your wooden ring remains intact, they are all almost equally durable.

If you would like to move forward and ensure that you choose the most durable wooden ring, check out this blog post where I have a comparison of durability of the metals I offer:

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/blog/2016/1/18/comparing-metals-for-wood-rings

 

 

SR-71 Blackbird Ti and USS North Carolina Teak Wooden Ring by Steven Wyatt

The metal portion of this ring is made from the ejector nozzle of an SR-71 Blackbird.  It was sourced by a customer who liked the idea of my Cobalt/ USS North Carolina deck teak ring, but had an idea to make it even more badass.  She commissioned the Ti portion of the ring from a fellow named Dan Freeman, who was an Airforce machinist (now ret.) supervising fabrication, maintenance and repair of the SR-71 Blackbird.  He makes rings and other objects out of reclaimed/recycled, mission-flown parts.


The wood inner portion is teak reclaimed from the deck of The USS North Carolina (BB-55).  She participated in every Pacific naval engagement during WWII collecting 15 battle stars thus becoming the most highly decorated ship in that theatre.  Following her decommissioning, she became a memorial and museum ship in Wilmington, NC. Following a visit from Myanmarese officials, the museum was gifted a large portion of the high quality teak needed to rebuild her decking. Teak of the quality used in a battleship is very difficult to acquire and very expensive - the USS North Carolina required over an acre of material. The old material is now available to the public. My original stock came from Woodcraft, but since then Ive sourced it straight from NC based sawyers, who, it seems, snatched up quite a bit of the material.  

April 5th EDIT:

I am no longer taking commissions to produce this ring.

Comparing Metals for Wood Rings by Steven Wyatt

Which Metal Should I Choose for my Wood Ring?

When shopping for a unique, one of a kind wedding band, many come across the idea of a wood ring. No two such rings are ever alike, and it stands out more than the traditional, plain wedding band. To enhance it's durability, a metal component is ideal. This leads to probably one of the most pressing questions for someone who has decided to purchase a wood and metal ring: “which metal is right for me?” From the standpoint of aesthetics, the choice is straightforward. If you love the non-traditional and striking appearance of a black ring and want a wood interior, black zirconium is the material for you! If you want your ring to resemble a traditional white gold or platinum ring, you are going to favor cobalt. However, beyond the purely visual impression each material gives, there are many factors one might want to consider when choosing a wood and metal ring.
 

Titanium and Wood Rings

Titanium has become an increasingly popular choice for those with metal allergies. It is completely hypoallergenic and biocompatible. It is fairly scratch resistant, much more so than gold, earning titanium a 950MPa on the Vickers Hardness Test scale while gold scores a mere 200. It is also resistant to corrosion or tarnish, unlike silver- even in salt water! It is very lightweight and, if you choose a satin finish,  doesn't give off much of a shine, making it a comfortable fit for those who don't normally wear jewelry, or don't like anything too flashy.

If you would like your ring to show more of the wood, or if you would like to add a stone inlay such as turquoise, titanium gives the wearer an opportunity to customize their wood ring, with a wood exterior and titanium - no sacrificing durability.

Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl and Turquoise Deconstructed

Arizona Desert Ironwood Burl and Turquoise Deconstructed

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/arizona-desert-ironwood-burl-wooden-ring-and-turquoise-deconstructed-wood-ring-titanium-ring

 

If you have heard any rumors that titanium can not be cut off in emergency situations, please put that out of your mind.. This may have at one time been true, but today it is just an urban myth. To read more about this ludicrous claim, click here.

 

Cobalt and Wood Rings

If you are someone who wants to stick with the traditional look of a wedding band, but want that wooden interior look, cobalt is probably the ideal metal for you. It is similar to white gold or platinum in appearance, but is about four times harder than platinum, with an MPa of 1043 on the hardness scale. Similar to titanium, it is hypoallergenic and biocompatible. However, in many circumstances under which a titanium ring might scratch, cobalt will not.

Cobalt is another metal that can be customized with exterior inlays to enhance your wood ring. A Mokume-gane or gold inlay can be added such as in these styles here:

Cobalt Mokume-gane Whiskey Barrel Oak Wooden Ring

Cobalt Mokume-gane Whiskey Barrel Oak Wooden Ring

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/cobalt-mokume-gane-whiskey-barrel-oak-wooden-ring

 

And if you are one who wants to show the wood of the ring inside and out, cobalt offers that chance as well:

Kingwood Rosewood and Cobalt Wooden Ring

Kingwood Rosewood and Cobalt Wooden Ring

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/kingwood-and-cobalt-wooden-ring

 

Black Zirconium and Wood Rings

Probably the most strikingly non-traditional metal I offer in my shop  would be the black zirconium. This has been favored amongst those who want something a little “edgier” for their wood ring. The zirconium is heat treated until the extreme heat causes oxidization, forming a very hard, durable black coating. This coating has a hardness rating of 1940MPa - the same as sapphire. Although it is very scratch resistant, if it scratched deeply enough, it can reveal the natural silver coloring of the zirconium underneath and is therefore not ideal for those who have a higher tendency to scratch phone screens, watch faces, etc.

For those who like a little flare to their black zirconium and wood ring, a 2 point precious stone inlay (including diamond, ruby, sapphire etc.) can be added:

Diamond Inlay Black Zirconium and Wood Ring Lined with Ancient Russian Bog Oak

Diamond Inlay Black Zirconium and Wood Ring Lined with Ancient Russian Bog Oak

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/diamond-inlay-black-zirconium-wood-ring-lined-with-ancient-russian-bog-oak

 

Tungsten Carbide and Wood Rings

Tungsten Carbide, with an incredible 2600MPa on the hardness scale, is one of the most sought after metals if you value its unparalleled scratch resistance. Because it is 10x harder than gold, and 5x harder than steel, it makes for a perfect match for a wood ring as it will not bend or deform in any way. It can be filed or hammered, and not only will it not scratch, but it will maintain its perfect shine. Because of its density, however, it makes it heavier. MUCH heavier than titanium, for example.  One factor to consider when shopping for a tungsten carbide ring with a wooden component is the relationship between hardness and brittleness.  As with all superhard materials, a tungsten carbide ring, if it is dropped from head height onto concrete, has a good chance to crack.  All rings in my shop are made using only US sourced materials, so the tungsten carbide I use does not crack easily, as comparable, cheap Chinese, poorly casted rings do.

Tungsten Carbide with Bourbon Barrel Stave White Oak Wooden Ring

Tungsten Carbide with Bourbon Barrel Stave White Oak Wooden Ring

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/tungsten-carbide-ring-with-bourbon-barrel-oak-stave-wood-ring

 

Damascus Steel and Wood Rings

Damascus steel is my personal favorite amongst these metals. It is incredibly scratch resistant and heavier, making it ideal for tougher lifestyles. Damascus is made from many layers to create a stronger, superior metal. Throughout history and fantasy, this was the preferred choice for superior weapons- nothing says manly like blade steel.

If the word “steel” makes you nervous for fear of it rusting- not to worry. The natural oils in the skin as well as the quality steel alloys used in these rings actually prevent it from rusting.

I offer a few different styles of damascus to add to your wood ring. The CNC damascus is cut by machine, and there are little variations. It is brighter in color, and lightweight. Alternately, the hand wrought damascus is unique because it is like fingerprints- no two rings are ever alike. This makes it special to pair with wood, as both pieces are strictly one of a kind. It is also heavier and much more durable than the machine made damascus.

(Machine-made) Damasteel and Whiskey Barrel Oak Wooden Ring

(Machine-made) Damasteel and Whiskey Barrel Oak Wooden Ring

Hand-wrought Twisted Damascus Steel and Bourbon Barrel Oak Wooden Ring

Hand-wrought Twisted Damascus Steel and Bourbon Barrel Oak Wooden Ring

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/copy-of-hand-wrought-damascus-steel-and-bourbon-barrel-wood-ring

 

Black Ceramic and Wood Rings

Black ceramic is an ideal choice for electricians as it is non-conductive. It is extremely durable and scratch resistance, with a 2035MPa on the Hardness scale, making it more durable than any metal except tungsten carbide. Unlike the black zirconium, the black ceramic color is not coated- that is to say it is black through and through. Should it get scratched (which is unlikely), it will not reveal a different color underneath. This makes it a good choice for those who are more likely to scratch phone surfaces, watch faces, etc, but also like the black coloring. It makes for a handsome contrast with a wood ring:

Black Ceramic Ring with Exhibition Grade Hawaiian Koa

Black Ceramic Ring with Exhibition Grade Hawaiian Koa

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/black-ceramic-ring-with-exhibition-grade-hawaiian-koa

Now, what is so wrong with traditional ring materials such as gold, silver and platinum that I don't like to pair them with my wood rings? Here's why:

 

Gold

The only thing nice about gold is the aesthetic. With a pitiful 200MPa on the Vickers Hardness Scale, it's just too soft. It scratches VERY easily, and is extremely malleable, meaning that over time it will bend, contort, and end up molding to the shape of your finger and unable to pass the knuckle. For a wood ring, this is just not an ideal match (unless strengthened with cobalt!), as to make the wooden portion more durable, the metal needs to be a sturdy material. Not only that, but it is, inexplicably in my view, EXPENSIVE! However, for those who just can't shake their love of gold, it makes a nice touch to a more durable titanium style, like this pinstripe ring:

Wooden Ring with Titanium and Gold - Bourbon Barrel Stave White Oak Wooden Ring

Wooden Ring with Titanium and Gold - Bourbon Barrel Stave White Oak Wooden Ring

http://www.wedgewoodrings.com/purchase/gold-and-cobalt-ring-with-arizona-desert-ironwood-burl-wooden-ring

 

If you must have solid gold, it is an option.  Please consult this blog post before placing your order.

 

Sterling Silver

Like gold, it is a softer metal, making it prone to scratches, dents, and warping. It has an MPa of 250, making it only slightly more durable than gold. It also tarnishes easily- a five year old ring can look about twenty years old in person. The finish you choose won't last- a polished finish over time will become matte, and a satin finish will become brighter. Silver requires a lot of maintenance such as polishing, buffing, etc, to keep it looking nice.

 

Platinum

Out of the traditional materials, platinum is by far the best choice, with a 450-500MPa on the Vickers Hardness scale. However, platinum is even more expensive than gold, with not much more benefits than gold. While it won't corrode or tarnish like silver will, it will still scratch relatively easily. It will also lose its shine and sparkle over time.

 

While the traditional metals are nice at first, they just don't compare to cobalt, tungsten, damascus, or the other precious metals I've mentioned. They're extremely high maintenance, and are just unlikely to stand up to the test of time while still looking nice. My goal in combining these metals with wood rings is to give my customers an eco-friendly, hypoallergenic, and unique option that will last decades, while still looking brand new.

 

Summary Chart