Buying jewelry online

Redliner

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Any of you guys know a reputable site to buy "unusual" wedding bands, as in, wedding bands made of Tungsten, Titanium or Zirconium?
Adunaphel pointed me to Boccia, but they only have Titanium.
I obviously found a lot of places, but I fear they might not be selling genuine articles and the alleged "Zirconium" might as well be tin or whatever...
Thanks in advance!
 

LeVeL

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Amazon?

Slightly off-topic but what are you looking for specifically? I've been geeking out over this hardcore. Palladium and Cobalt seem like good choices.
 

Redliner

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Amazon?

Slightly off-topic but what are you looking for specifically? I've been geeking out over this hardcore. Palladium and Cobalt seem like good choices.
Most items on Amazon don't ship to Brazil. :|
We want something black, so Zirconium seems like the best candidate because it's not as brittle as Tungsten and the black comes from oxidation, not a coating like some Titanium or Tungsten rings, BUT some "ceramic" coatings look really nice, so we're still deciding.

Tungsten with ceramic coating:


Zirconium ceramic:

 

LeVeL

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The only naturally darker materials you'll find are ceramic and tungsten - both are very scratch resistant but might break if dropped (it takes quite some force though). I'm off topic though....
 

Redliner

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The only naturally darker materials you'll find are ceramic and tungsten - both are very scratch resistant but might break if dropped (it takes quite some force though). I'm off topic though....
No, that's pretty much on-topic! Information about those materials is welcome.
Yeah, the only downsides I came across for Tungsten are weight and that it might break if dropped, but not as easily as some might make it to be, so I dunno.
 
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MWF

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If you can find a UK seller, be that via Amazon, eBay or selling directly I'm happy to sort out shipping for you if that helps. I'm sure the same applies to our North American brethren for US and Canadian sites.
 

LeVeL

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If you can find a UK seller, be that via Amazon, eBay or selling directly I'm happy to sort out shipping for you if that helps. I'm sure the same applies to our North American brethren for US and Canadian sites.
I'd gladly help.
 

CrzRsn

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Ditto. If you find anything local to SE Michigan I can pick it up and ship it.

If you like cool stuff, you could look at meteorite. Not sure if its actually from space, or just rock, but I was looking at those before I found out I'd be getting my late grandfathers wedding band. Most are gaudy as hell, but there are a few nice designs out there.
 

Redliner

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If you can find a UK seller, be that via Amazon, eBay or selling directly I'm happy to sort out shipping for you if that helps. I'm sure the same applies to our North American brethren for US and Canadian sites.

I'd gladly help.

Ditto. If you find anything local to SE Michigan I can pick it up and ship it.

If you like cool stuff, you could look at meteorite. Not sure if its actually from space, or just rock, but I was looking at those before I found out I'd be getting my late grandfathers wedding band. Most are gaudy as hell, but there are a few nice designs out there.
Thanks, guys. Thankfully, all the places I checked so far had very reasonable shipping rates, so I guess this won't be necessary. In case help is needed, I'll call you. :thumbsup:
Meteorite is cool, but were aiming for maximum discretion, hence the choice of plain black, with a polished or maybe brushed/satin finish. :lol:
 

Redliner

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UPDATE:
They're on the way. DHL overnight. Should arrive soon. Thanks everyone. :thumbsup:
 

Eye-Q

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None anymore...
...and here I thought a spammer took over your account... :p


(Hey, at least I waited until the question itself has been answered...)
 

NecroJoe

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Ditto. If you find anything local to SE Michigan I can pick it up and ship it.

If you like cool stuff, you could look at meteorite. Not sure if its actually from space, or just rock, but I was looking at those before I found out I'd be getting my late grandfathers wedding band. Most are gaudy as hell, but there are a few nice designs out there.
I know a couple who got meteorite rings, and they both rusted pretty bad. I'm not sure if most are finished in any sort of way, but these just seems like they were polished and that's it.
 

CrzRsn

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I know a couple who got meteorite rings, and they both rusted pretty bad. I'm not sure if most are finished in any sort of way, but these just seems like they were polished and that's it.
Good to know. I have a buddy considering one right now, I'll pass this on.
 

Nabster

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Well, looks like I missed the main opportunity to offer advice, but regardless-

With unusual or new materials there are things to look out for. I don't recommend titanium. It doesn't really bend or crack- if there's an accident and your hand gets caught in something or crushed with the ring on the outcomes are pretty bad; finger amputation, de-gloving, etc. Additionally, because titanium is so hard normal cutting tools that jewelers and firefighters/ERs have may not be able to remove it in these circumstances, which means they may have to remove the finger instead. Also worth noting the rings can't be resized- if your finger size changes you have to buy a new ring.

Tungsten- it's OK but brittle. Drop it on a hard tile or concrete floor from more than 3 or 4 feet up and it will likely shatter, especially if it flies off a finger. Surface finish is hard and holds up well, but it can still scratch over time- concrete can contain particles and stones hard enough to scratch it, also keep in mind aluminum oxide (corundum- ruby/sapphire) is also hard enough to scratch it so if you work with aluminum handled tools you'll probably see this over time. In case of emergency these can't be cut off, they have to be broken. Vice grips or a ring cracker do the trick, most places will have these now at least for these circumstances. Again, they can't be resized, you have to buy a new one.

Zirconium would be a better choice, but a dark color will still show scratches and marks over time. I don't think these break, but they're still quite new in the industry so I really haven't heard long term how they hold up. Again though, no resizing, buy a new one.

For what it's worth, anything with a coating is generally prone to scratching, as there is no good bullet proof coating available, full stop.

Cobalt is a good choice if you get one without a coating. Solid metal so it won't break, can be cut off or altered slightly in size.

Palladium is also good, it's a precious metal so any jeweler experienced in white gold or platinum should be able to handle anything needing done with it. The metal has actually been in use in jewellery for upwards of 100 years. Good white color (like polished silver or platinum) which doesn't wear like traditional rhodium plated white gold alloys.

Meteorite is neat, but it is an iron alloy and does rust. If you go this option get one with a precious metal lining (silver or gold) on the inside where finger contact will occur. Some rings will have a clearcoating over the meteorite which helps but here again it's a coating and will wear off over time.

If you go with an exotic material, that's OK but just be aware of potential risks and downsides. I say this because if they're going to be wedding rings those typically have special meaning and people get attached to the original ones they have and generally aren't OK with having to willy nilly replace them. If this doesn't matter to you then no problem. I'd highly advise you make sure to buy from a well known vendor that offers one of the lifetime warranties on them to help with this.
 

Redliner

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Well, looks like I missed the main opportunity to offer advice, but regardless-
Whoa.
Thank you very much. That's quite helpful.
In our case, we knew most of this already, but it reassuring to hear it from someone that works in the industry.
We ended up with tungsten carbide, because it looked nice and the price was within our budget. We are aware of the downfalls but we're not worried because we don't have a particular attachment to those, so if they break or we don't like it it's fine, we just buy something else.
Regardless, thanks for the input. :thumbsup:
 

Nabster

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^someone who knows what he's talking about?
Well I'm a trained watchmaker, but I attended a jewelry school where I got a bit of hands on experience as well as a certification in CAD/CAM jewelry design and production. Then I worked at a small independent jewelry store for about a year where we sold a fair number of rings. So yes, I do know a bit about this sort of thing :mrgreen:

what do you know about Mokume-gane? if i ever buckle and ask my gf to marry me (and i probably will some day), i'll definately get rings like that!

examples: http://www.chrisploof.com/galleries/traditional-mokume-gane/
I like it, quite a bit. My school did have a couple small classes on making material with the technique and working with it, though I didn't get to do them. If you're getting some done with precious metals it's great, nothing really to worry about. The lesser expensive versions done with brass or copper may have issues down the road because both metals can and will react with skin and sweat to oxidize and discolor. I'd highly suggest silver and gold at minimum, preferably solid gold or with palladium/platinum if you want to go that route. Just about anything from that gallery you linked would be good (I can't quite tell if the images of those rings are renders or just very well done studio photos, but regardless those rings look very well made and have the nice comfort fit rounding inside), though I'd caution the meteorite ones on the basis of the rust/corrosion issues I touched on earlier.


Whoa.
Thank you very much. That's quite helpful.
In our case, we knew most of this already, but it reassuring to hear it from someone that works in the industry.
We ended up with tungsten carbide, because it looked nice and the price was within our budget. We are aware of the downfalls but we're not worried because we don't have a particular attachment to those, so if they break or we don't like it it's fine, we just buy something else.
Regardless, thanks for the input. :thumbsup:
Sounds good then, knowing any potential downsides and being OK with them is great. Of the exotic materials tungsten is probably one of the best choices. I do have a white cobalt ring which I quite like, but for the look you get the tungsten is great.
 

Kiki

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Ooh, I totally missed this thread too, but this is a lot of good info!

If it's any help, we actually ended up with tungsten rings as well, and I've been really trying hard to break my ring over the years. So far, I haven't cracked it yet ... which is a feat considering I'm about as nice to my things as a bored soldier. (Like, seriously, we need to SSD everything for me.)

I wear mine about 24/7, and it hardly has any scratches. I don't work with a lot of tools, but I used to scrape it on concrete on a weekly basis (working at the track, leaning over the pitwall), and it's been really nice in and out of the lab when you're murdering through a dozen gloves a day. It's also nice when I spend ~3 hours in chlorine every week, and I don't have to think about taking it off.

We looked at titanium and tungsten back in the day, and we both really liked the weight of a tungsten. You definitely know when it's off. I'm curious to see how you guys like yours.
 

Redliner

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Ooh, I totally missed this thread too, but this is a lot of good info!

If it's any help, we actually ended up with tungsten rings as well, and I've been really trying hard to break my ring over the years. So far, I haven't cracked it yet ... which is a feat considering I'm about as nice to my things as a bored soldier. (Like, seriously, we need to SSD everything for me.)

I wear mine about 24/7, and it hardly has any scratches. I don't work with a lot of tools, but I used to scrape it on concrete on a weekly basis (working at the track, leaning over the pitwall), and it's been really nice in and out of the lab when you're murdering through a dozen gloves a day. It's also nice when I spend ~3 hours in chlorine every week, and I don't have to think about taking it off.

We looked at titanium and tungsten back in the day, and we both really liked the weight of a tungsten. You definitely know when it's off. I'm curious to see how you guys like yours.

Oh, really glad to hear that!

I was a bit worried about using it at the lab and the gym, but from what you're telling me I have nothing to worry about.
The bad news is that they're still sitting in customs, because apparently they're on strike...26 days and counting.
Anyway, where did you buy it? Would you mind posting a picture of yours?
 

LeVeL

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I have a friend who broke a tungsten ring as an experiment. Said it took some effort but nothing crazy. I've also heard of people dropping their rings and cracking them - won't happen 99 times out of 100 but that one time it might fall the wrong way.... Idk, most people really like them but I'm slightly weary since I want it to last my lifetime.
 
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