While working in jewelry repair for a couple of years I was sometimes surprised at the materials people turned to for their wedding rings and bands.I love non-traditional materials and I love new materials. What I do not love is telling someone that the ring they bought to last a lifetime and to hand down to their child is not going to last long or that it cannot be re-sized.
I totally get why you’d turn to an unusual or alternative ring!
If your heart is set on an alternative wedding band, do your research!
Here are just a few of the materials that can cause you woes:
Wood: Wood is beautiful, interesting and it holds a lot of meaning to me. I like rings made of wood, but not for a wedding band.
True Story: A customer came into the shop, crushed that her wooden wedding ring was splitting. The etsy seller assured her that it wouldn’t (please note that this is not an etsy dis). That is the nature of the material. Wood expands and contracts and can split. As an everyday piece of jewelry (especially on the hand where it gets lots of wear and tear, and exposure to washing with soap, water or chemicals in hand lotions and so forth) this can be a big problem.
If your heart is set on a wooden ring then look into rings that are encased in resin (an industrial strength adhesive that is nontoxic can reinforce the ring). There are designers who use non-volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Also, look for designers who create rings using a single piece of wood to create the band so that the structure follows an uninterrupted, single-direction grain.
You can also find rings with wooden inlay or accents rather than the entire ring being wood. Again, these can crack or fall out.
Another big problem can be: It can’t be resized!
This is a great choice for a super active groom or bride. Also if your job has you using your hands a lot or if there’s machinery that could snag your ring, this may be a great option. My friend is a hairstylist and her silver ring stays “mushed” flat on one spot because she is constantly pressing brushes and blow dryers into it day in and day out.
Silicone can also be a good substitute ring. I use a silver band as a substitute ring when we travel. That way I’m not worried about losing my sentimental, expensive wedding ring and engagement ring. If you’re off to a vacation where you’re swimming, snorkeling and being all sporty, this is a nice choice.
Again, as a forever ring, it will likely not last too long. And resizing is not going to be possible.
Okay, okay you get the idea. There are just too many interesting and beautiful unique materials to list.
The three big takeaways:can it be resized? will it crack? how do I take care of it?
Here are just a few materials to get your creative, ring planning juices flowing:Whiskey barrel rings, antlers, zirconium, damascus steel, stainless steel, rubber, titanium and on and on and on.
Some sellers offer warranties (maybe for a fee) that include resizing, resealing and replacements.
Have fun looking at all the cool options!