Hesitation: The Gold and Wood Ring

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

Steven Wyatt