As the lathe turns: Chris & Sandy’s blog on titanium rings
No, you don’t have to lose your finger in the process! There are several techniques to get the ring off, some of which can be combined. All the techniques are designed to make your finger smaller temporarily.
You’ve probably heard that titanium is hypoallergenic, but what does that really mean? Although the term is not used in medicine, for practical purposes it means the body does not try to reject it and does not produce annoying reactions such as rashes and other allergic responses. So, even if you’ve had an unhappy experience with silver, low-karat gold, or other less expensive jewelry, you will not have a problem with titanium!
Over the years we’ve had a number of unusual jewelry requests. One recurring request is for us to make a ring out of titanium implants—screws, rods, plates, etc. Well, we haven’t been able to do this because, among other problems, titanium has a very high melting point: about 3,034 °F.
We mill our rings out of solid blocks of titanium and most implanted items are too flat or just not big enough.
We’re fortunate to live in a gorgeous area with mountains close by in several directions. One of our first “theme” rings featured a carved mountain range encircling the ring, much like the mountains near us.
Sometimes people wonder what they should have engraved inside their rings. How about, “My first round draft pick”? There aren’t any rules about engraving—you can get whatever you want—or nothing. We have a limit of forty characters (counting spaces as one character each) or you can pay a little extra to get two lines, doubling the length available. We like to include our logo and the metal content but this isn’t absolutely necessary.
Yeah, we’re kinda geeky—the Van de Graaff generator and massive slide rule collection confirm it. Numerous times, at art and craft shows we’ve done, we have traded jewelry for electronic oddities. So, it was only a matter of time before some of that started morphing onto our titanium wedding rings.
Our first mathematical ring had Euler’s Equation (also called Euler’s Identity) carved into the titanium and anodized in rainbow colors:
We can emboss or carve these and many other themes into titanium wedding rings. If those themes don’t thrill you or your fiance, how about skiers, fish, barbed wire, waves, mathematical formulas, airplanes, flames, or oak leaves?
We have incorporated all these themes into titanium rings and many have been very popular. Sometimes we carve directly into the titanium ring and sometimes we make dies and strike the images into the rings. What’s the difference?
How about some gemstones inside your titanium wedding ring? Wha-a-at? Where no one can see them? Why would anyone do that?
Well, one way of looking at it is it’s the couple’s secret that no one else knows about unless the wearer chooses to tell them. Others may like the symbolism of gemstones but don’t want visible bling on the ring they wear every day.
Here’s an example:
A custom ring is obviously not what you see if you walk into a store and buy something already made.
We make all our rings from scratch to the customer’s specifications, so in one sense, all of our rings are custom-made. Besides changing the overall width of the ring or just the width of an inlay, we can often mix-and-match other elements.
Don’t like the shoulder cuts of this one?
Since launching our titanium ring resizing service, we’ve had the opportunity to see the diamonds that other manufacturers use in their titanium rings. From smaller to larger, many times these diamonds are inferior stones, especially when viewed next to diamonds of higher quality. The sad thing is that for smaller diamonds, the price difference is not that big.
There are a couple of myths circulating about titanium wedding rings. These false tales are believable because of, quite accurately, titanium’s incredible strength.
As artists, we really enjoy making titanium rings that hold special meaning for our customers. Over the years we’ve made many unique custom titanium bands that represent those ideas and dreams.
Read part one about how we turn YOUR design into YOUR titanium ring!
We have done lettering on rings for awhile now, spelling out whatever message someone wants:
Your design carved into your titanium ring!
In 1990, we were honored with a commission to make a plaque of titanium commemorating the discovery of titanium in Cornwall, England. We were given some materials by the Titanium Development Association (now the International Titanium Association) to help design the plaque, including a copy of a painting of the discoverer Rev. William Gregor. We included a glass vial of ilmenite (from which titanium can be refined), titanium sponge, an ingot of titanium, and some mill products.
Here’s a fascinating connection between a technique I use with titanium wedding rings and really, really ancient knowledge. I am using a twentieth-century metal employing a process that was first described by Homer in The Odyssey circa 800–600 BCE.