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How to Care For & Clean Your Jewelry May 01 2017

Some of the questions we're asked most frequently, both via email and during in-person consultations, are how to take care of your new jewelry, be it wedding bands or an engagement ring. There are two ways you can go about doing this. You can try to keep the ring as pristine as possible, taking care not to scratch it, and having it regularly re-finished—or you can wear your ring and consider the scratches and dings as evidence of your years of marriage. 

Bead Set Hand-carved Classic Wedding Band in Yellow Gold and Tiny Rustic Bead Set Band

Top and bottom: Nine Stone Rustic Stacking Ring and 3mm Bead-set Hand-carved Classic Band, both in 10k yellow gold with diamonds

Ring Finishes

Because finishes are just a surface treatment, they will change with continued wear. A matte finish becomes shinier as the metal is burnished, and a shiny finish becomes more matte as larger scratches begin to show up. This happens faster with precious metals than it does with industrial metals, but all finishes on rings will change over time.

 

From left to right: 8mm Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 10k Yellow Gold, 3mm Slim Classic Simple Band in shiny 14k Rose Gold

The matte finish on your ring can be touched up from time to time with the scrubby side of a (clean) sponge, or with a new, unused Scotch-Brite pad. Similarly, as a shiny finish becomes more matte with wear, it can be re-polished. However, this removes material from the surface of the ring and can make your ring thinner over time (becoming less durable), so we don't suggest doing so too often.

Many commercial white gold rings have been rhodium plated, or "dipped." Similar to the finish on your ring, plating is just a thin coating of another metal on the surface of the base metal, and it does wear away with time. If your ring has a rhodium plating, it will need to be re-plated once a year in order to maintain the look. Because rhodium plating is a very toxic process and bad for the environment, we do not plate any of our wedding bands. We also believe that white gold is a really lovely color that doesn't need to be covered up. 

For additional information on ring finishes, check out this blog post.

Cleaning Your Ring

Wedding Bands

To clean your wedding band, simply soaking your ring in a solution of warm water and mild soap (a shallow bowl or glass works best), rinsing it and drying off with a soft cotton cloth is often enough to remove and oil and dirt that may have built up on the surface. If your band has a deeper texture with hard to reach areas, it may also benefit from a gentle cleaning with a new toothbrush.

From left to right: 4mm Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 950 Palladium, 2mm Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 950 Palladium

Because toothpaste (and its residue) is fairly abrasive and can scratch both the surface of your ring and any stones, the toothbrush you use should be new and used solely for the purpose of cleaning your jewelry.

Engagement Rings

As you wear your engagement ring, you might notice the stone(s) becoming less sparklywhat gives? Through your daily activities, things like lotion, oil, and dirt become trapped on the underside of the stone and inside the stone setting, which can dull the appearance of the stone as they build up. The longer the build up remains on there the harder it is to remove, so regular cleaning is important. 

  

From left to right: 6mm Stone Texture Hand-carved Classic Band in matte 950 Palladium with a flush set Australian sapphire, 5mm Classic Engagement Ring in shiny 14k White Gold with an Australian champagne diamond, 5mm Crown Solitaire in matte 950 Palladium with a Montana sapphire

The easiest way to remove the build up at home is by using a brand-new, clean toothbrush with mild dish soap (Dawn is great for this). Very gently clean the underside of the setting, rinse with water and use a soft cotton cloth to dry the ring. If the stone setting has prongs, be careful that none of the bristles become stuck. Always close the drain in your sink when rinsing your ring, as metal can become slippery when wet.

While doing so can often feel tedious, keeping your rings clean also ensures that you're aware if something is wrong.

Ring Care

While it's common to want to wear your new ring 24/7 after receiving it, we recommend taking it off while you sleep, as it allows your skin to breathe. Not doing so traps moisture underneath the ring (similar to wearing a band-aid) which can eventually lead to skin irritation. This is different than an allergic reaction to the metal, but can look similar.

Another reason to take your ring off every night is so that it doesn't become stuck on your finger. Because your fingers tend to swell quite a bit while you sleep, wearing a ring while you sleep can cut off circulation. Additionally, if you take your ring off every night, you will notice if your finger size is increasing. That way you can get your ring re-sized before it gets too tight.

When you do remove your ring, take care to store it somewhere that it won't bump into or be jostled by other jewelry items, as they can scratch and dent one another. 

 

Ring storage idea: try one of our walnut ring boxes--they’re handmade from sustainable wood!

While there’s no need to remove your ring when you wash your hands, we do strongly suggest removing your ring before working with bleach-based cleaners and chemicals, or before swimming in chlorinated water (swimming pools, hot tubs, etc) or in the ocean. Both chlorine and salt water can damage gold jewelry and cause it to become brittle, which can lead to discoloration, cracking, and lost stones. Hot tubs are even worse, as the increased chlorine concentrations and the heat speed up the chemical reactions that damage your jewelry.

Additionally, never wear your ring during high-impact activities like rock-climbing, weight lifting, and moving furniture, as they pose a risk for damaging (denting, scratching, etc) your ring. In some cases, you also run the risk of seriously injuring your finger if your ring gets caught on something. The easiest way to prevent this is to use your best judgement, take your ring off, and keep it somewhere safe so that you don’t lose it while you're doing these things--the pouch or ring box you receive your ring in are both great options.

  

Last year, a customer reached out to us to let us know that his ring had gotten caught on a piece of equipment while at work and had been damaged. While he was fortunate that his hand hadn't been injured and that the damage to the ring was reparable, the outcome could have very easily been different. The takeaway: remove your ring before high impact activities.

With silver, palladium, platinum, and gold bands, it is important to remember that it is fine jewelry. If you do not want your ring to bend, scratch, or gouge, it should be treated with care for it to last. Anything (metal, stone, metal twist caps on bottles, etc.) harder than your ring can leave a mark.

However, oftentimes what people think are scratches on the surface of their new ring are actually scuff marks, similar to how a pair of shoes will show scuff marks when worn. Unlike scratches, scuff marks can be seen but not felt and they can be made by hard leather, wood, and plastic (such as purses, briefcases, dishes, steering wheels, etc), and are part of the burnishing process. This will be less evident with more textured bands, as the marks can "blend in" to the texture and make them less obvious.

 

From left to right: 7x1.5mm Flat Band in matte 10k Yellow Gold, 7mm Wood Texture Flat Band in matte 10k Yellow Gold

That said, visible wear on your wedding band is inevitable. Some metals, regardless of how diligent your care for them, are softer and will begin to show wear more quickly than other, more durable metal alloysWide, flat, smooth surfaces will show wear more quickly than textured surfaces and narrow bands.

Looking for more information on metal durability? Check out this blog post!

Still have questions? Send us a message!

 

 


Compare + Contrast: Hand-carved Classic Band & Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band April 17 2017

Let's be honest—even with great photography, it can be difficult to tell differences between things online, let alone being able to see the minor differences between something as small as a wedding band. One of the most common questions we get, both online and in-person, is about the differences between our Hand-carved Classic Bands and our Comfort Fit Classic Simple Bands.

 

From above: 6mm Hand-carved Classic Band (left) in 14k Yellow Gold, 6mm Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right) in 14k White Gold

Both bands have a rounded, comfort fit interior and a "classic" rounded exterior band shape. On hand, they appear very similar, although they feel very different (which is due, in great part, to the thickness of either band). The Hand-carved Classic Band is approximately 1.7mm thick, whereas the Simple Band style is a little bit thicker (approximately 2.2mm thick) and, thus, feels a little bit heavier/heftier because there's slightly more material between your fingers.


In both images: Hand-carved Classic (left) and Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right) 

Our Hand-carved Classic Band styles are made, as the name suggests, by hand with an initial wax model. This process translates to the finished product yielding a softer, more organically shaped ring with more of a handmade look and feel, whereas the Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band is made on a computer-operated lathe. This gives the band a much more perfect, uniform look and feel. 

4mm Hand-carved Classic (left), 5mm Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right)

While both bands have a similarly shallow exterior curve, the edges of each band differ. The Hand-carved Classic Band's edges taper to a more gradual, rounded shape, while the Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band has a more distinct walled edge on either side.

The last difference is each band's lead time, which is the amount of time that it takes after an order is placed for us to be able to make and ship an order. While both rings are made-to-order with recycled metals in your choice of metal/width/ring size, the Simple Band styles on our website are made for us by another company. This means that they can ship within one to three weeks of ordering, versus five weeks for the Hand-carved Classic Bands.

4mm Hand-carved Classic (left), 5mm Comfort Fit Classic Simple Band (right)

Like this post? Have an unanswered question? Send us a message!


The Difference Between 14k White Gold and Palladium August 11 2015

So you know that you want a white metal band. But what metal alloy should you use? What is the difference between palladium and white gold, and which one is more durable? 

 
Men's Hammer Texture Wedding Band in 14k White Gold

14k white gold and 14k palladium white gold both contain 58.5% pure gold, but are alloyed with other metals to make them more white in color. 14k white gold contains gold, nickel, copper, and zinc. Whereas 14k palladium white gold contains gold, copper, silver, and palladium. 14k palladium white gold does not contain nickel, which is a metal allergen for a lot of people.


Men's Hammer Textured Band in 14k Palladium White Gold

950 palladium (also referred to just as palladium) is 95% pure palladium, and is a “white metal” that is slightly more gray than platinum or sterling silver. Palladium is in the platinum family, and shares many characteristics with platinum – durability, tarnish resistance, and is hypo-allergenic. It is about 1/3 the weight of platinum (it is comparable to the weight of 14k white gold), and about 1/3 the price of platinum. It is a precious metal, and in addition to being used in jewelry, has often been used in catalytic converters. Its use in jewelry is a newer application for this metal, so not all jewelers and jewelry repair shops feel confident working with it yet, but that is quickly changing. 

 
Men's Hammer Textured Band in 950 Palladium

14k white gold is a hard and rigid metal that is more resistant to scratching than palladium or platinum. Even though palladium and platinum may show scratches and dings earlier than in gold, with palladium no metal is removed when scratched, just displaced. Whereas a gold band will become thinner over time because the metal is slowly rubbed away over time. By comparison, we would say that in the first year, a palladium band will show more signs of wear, due to the evidence of scratches and dings. But, in 20-30 years, the 14k gold band will be thinner than it was originally, whereas a palladium or platinum band would retain its original weight.


Wedding Ring Profiles / Cross Sections April 06 2015

What is a ring profile anyways? A ring profile is also known as a cross section. Here's one way to think about it – imagine that you put a ring on a cutting board, chopped it in half, then looked at the exposed edge. That would be the profile. Sometimes when you are looking at rings in person, the differences are hard to determine, so we've god these diagrams to help you out. 

Wedding Band Profiles / Cross Sections

The Flat Band is flat on all sides, whereas the Comfort Fit Flat Band has a rounded inner edge. Flat bands are also sometimes referred to as pipe cut. The Edgeless Band is flat on the face but has all the corners rounded. The Hand-carved Classic Band is similar to a traditional wedding band, but has an oval cross section which makes it very comfortable. The Chunky Hand-carved Classic Band is the same as the regular Hand-carved Classic, but thicker.  

Simple Wedding Band Profiles / Cross Sections

 

A Classic Band has a rounded exterior and a flat interior. Classic Bands are also sometimes referred to as half-round and low-dome. The Comfort Fit Classic Band and the Light Weight Comfort Fit Classic Bands have a slightly domed exterior and and rounded inner edge. 

And here is an illustration explaining the terms for the different dimensions of a band.

 


Simple Bands by Aide-Memoire Jewelry August 06 2014

We are adding a new line to Aide-Mémoire Jewelry: Simple Bands. Simple Bands are custom-made to order, and are crafted in the United States with 100% SCS certified recycled metal. Since they are not made in-house, it affords lower prices and faster lead times than our handmade bands--taking just 2-3 weeks from the time of order.

Clockwise from top left: 6mm Slim Classic in 10k Yellow Gold (shiny), 6mm Slim Classic in 10k Yellow Gold (brushed), 5mm Hammer
Textured Slim Classic in 10k Yellow Gold (brushed), 5mm Hammer Textured Slim Classic in 10k Yellow Gold (shiny)

Simple bands will be offered in a variety of customizations including:
• Men's & Women's styles

• 10k, 14k, or 18k Gold (Rose, Yellow or White), and 950 Palladium
• Brushed & shiny finish

Simple band will also be available in a variety of styles including:
• Lightweight Flat Band
• Comfort Fit Flat Band
• Slim Classic Band
• Classic Band
• Comfort Fit Classic Band

We're very excited about this brand new line. Some styles are available now, with more being added in the next couple of weeks. Please email us with any questions you may have! 


Custom Made Rings and Sets January 20 2014

In 2013 I had the opportunity to work with a lot of great customers creating bespoke rings. Here are some of the custom rings and wedding band sets that I made in 2013. One of my favorites was a ring for my friend Kristen. Her (now) husband Bob contacted me about a surprise engagement ring, and it was so fun to work on an engagement ring for a friend. 

Diamond and Rose Gold Engagement Ring for Kristen

Kristen's Ethical Diamond and Rose Gold Engagement Ring

Kristen's Engagement Ring and Wedding Band

Engagement ring + Wedding Band

Polka Dot Wedding Band for Ellie and Emily

Aquamarine and 14k White Gold Engagement Ring

Then later (post-wedding) Ellie decided to surprise Emily with an engagement ring. It's 14k white gold with an aquamarine.

14k Yellow Gold and Peridot Ring

Another fun one for a friend. This ring was given to my friend KT for Christmas from her 3 year old son. It's 14k yellow gold with a peridot (Perry's birthstone). 

14k yellow gold bridal wedding ring set.

14k yellow gold and white sapphire engagement ring and wedding band set for Oliver in Spain. 

palladium and rose gold wedding band set

Who says a wedding band set has to match? Palladium ring for Leigh, and rose gold ring for Nora.

palladium and rose gold wedding band set

Another mis-matched set. 

Palladium Yellow Gold and White Gold Wedding Band Set

Then the smallest rings I've made to date were these two in a size 2.5. 

14k Palladium White Gold

I loved this set. Same metal and shape with different textures. I think that is a great way to represent the connection between two unique individuals. 

14k White & Yellow Gold Ring

For this one she wanted a ring that looked like it was changing colors from white gold to yellow gold. 

These rings are all about the contrast. They have a rounded interior and mostly flat exterior. Then a shiny smooth inside and the textured matte outside. 


Finishes and Care December 02 2013

 

Matte and Shiny Finish Comparison Photo of Rose Gold Rings

Metal finishes are a surface treatment. Satin, matte, and brushed finishes are different names often used to describe the same finish, or variations of a non-shiny finish. Since finishes are a surface treatment, they will change with any wear, and will eventually wear away entirely. But finishes can be re-applied from time to time. 

During the course of wearing a wedding band it will acquire scuff marks. This can happen fairly early into wearing a ring, just like a pair of shoes will show scuff marks pretty quickly. Scuff marks (unlike scratches) are superficial – they can be seen but not felt. Scuff marks can be made by hard leather, wood and plastic (such as purses, briefcases, dishes, steering wheels). Scuff marks are a process called “burnishing”. Scuff marks on a matte band will be shiny, whereas scuff marks on a shiny band will be matte. Some people feel that they are not as obvious on a ring with a shiny finish than on a band with a matte finish. Scuff marks can be easily removed by re-finishing the ring.

Matte & Shiny Finish Comparison Photo of Yellow Gold Rings

Scuff marks do not effect the integrity of the ring. So if left, the finish will take on its own patina which is considered to be the normal look of a wedding band. Many people take pride in this as it signifies the passage of time. 

Deeper marks on a wedding band (the kind that can be felt) are scratches, dings, and gouges. No metal is impervious to scratches, and wedding bands take a lot of abuse. Any metal can scratch, but how quickly that will happen depends on metal, care and lifestyle. Some rings (like silver) will change immediately, where as gold, platinum, and palladium rings will hold up much better. Industrial metals like stainless steel and titanium will resist scratching for much longer. Textured bands will hide scratches much better than a smooth wide band. 

Matte and Shiny Finish Palladium Ring Comparison Photo

Palladium and platinum will scratch and ding faster than 14k gold, but on palladium and platinum no metal is removed when scratched. So over many years a platinum or palladium band will hold up better than gold. A gold band will become thinner over time because the metal is rubbed away.

When caring for your ring, there are two ways you can go. You can try to keep the ring as pristine as possible, taking care not to scratch it, and having it regularly re-finished. Or, you can wear your ring and consider the scratches and dings as evidence of your years of marriage. 

With silver, palladium, platinum, and gold bands, it is important to remember that it is fine jewelry. So if you do not want your ring to bend, scratch or gouge, it should be treated with some care for it to last. Any metal or stone harder than it, can scratch or gouge it. Remove your ring before doing heavy work (like moving furniture or rock climbing), and always store it in a safe spot where you won't lose it. See this blog post about taking your ring off. 

Additionally, be aware that chlorine, especially at high temperatures, can discolor gold jewelry. Do not wear gold jewelry while using chlorine bleach or while in a pool or hot tub.

Many commercial white gold rings have been rhodium plated, or "dipped". Plating is just a thin coating of another metal on the surface of the base metal, and like finishes they will wear away over time. If your ring has a rhodium plating, it will need to be re-plated once a year in order to maintain the look. Rhodium plating is a very toxic process and bad for the environment. I do not plate any of my wedding bands for these reasons. 

Rings can be re-finished from time to time, which will remove many scratches, gouges, and scuff marks. However, every time it's re-finished it removes a little bit of metal making the ring thinner over time. 


Ring Engraving November 07 2013

 

Inside ring engraving is such a wonderful way to personalize a ring and make it even more special. Engravings can be personal, comical, sentimental, and poetic. But, sometimes it’s hard to think of what you want to say, on top of the 1,000 things that you need to think about, when planning a wedding. So here are some ideas to get you started, but don’t spend too much time agonizing over it. Something as straightforward as the wedding date makes the ring more meaningful.

  • names
  • nickname
  • wedding date
  • date you met
  • first date
  • (Initials) + (Initials)
  • (Initials) & (Initials)
  • (Initials) ♡ (Initials)
  • (Initials) + (Initials) (wedding date)
  • (excerpt from your vowels)
  • I Do
  • To Have and To Hold
  • In Sickness and in Health
  • From This Day Forward
  • Always
  • Forever
  • All my love
  • I love you
  • Never Doubt My Love
  • Or from Shakespeare - Never doubt I love
  • My Best Friend
  • Kismet
  • My Soulmate
  • âme soeur (French: Soulmate)
  • In perpetuum et unum diem (Latin: Forever and a Day)
  • Semper Amemus (Latin: Love Always)
  • Amore Mio (Italian: My Love)
  • Mon Amour (French: My Love)
  • The location of the wedding – latitude in one ring, longitude in the other ring
  • Put me back on!
  • No Take Backs
  • Nonrefundable
  • I want to grow old with you.
  • Through Thick and Thin
  • Truly, Madly, Deeply

Information on my engraving services is available here.


Metal Alloys November 07 2013

 

Most gold that is used in jewelry is a gold alloy. An alloy is a substance composed of two or more metals. In the case of gold, in the US, it is denoted by karat. The karat refers to the amount of pure gold in it. 24k gold is pure gold, and is a extremely soft and malleable metal. For jewelry, gold is most commonly seen in 18k, 14k, and 10k alloys, where pure gold has been combined with other precious and non-precious metals (alloying). This alloying makes gold stronger, harder and more durable. It also is what gives gold its amazing range of colors. The carat denotes the amount of pure gold in the alloy. 10k gold contains 41.8% pure gold, 14k gold contains 58.5%, 18k contains 75.2%, and 22k contains 91.8% pure gold. 

Color Comparison of 10k Yellow Gold, 14k Yellow Gold, and 18k Yellow Gold

 Pure gold is always a very rich yellow color. So when talking about colored gold, you are always talking about a gold alloy. It is the other metals that are mixed with the pure gold that give it it’s color.

14k rose, yellow and green gold are all made up of 58.5% pure gold, then the remainder of the alloy is silver, copper, and zinc. It is by varying the proportions of the silver and copper that you get the three different colors. Green gold contains more silver than yellow gold, and rose gold contains more copper than yellow gold. 

14k Green Gold Ring

Rose gold is a gold alloy that is similar in color to copper. This is due to its higher copper content. It is also referred to as red gold and pink gold. It is much more pink in color than 14k yellow gold, but a bit less pink than copper. Pure copper is not a good choice for a wedding band because it tarnishes very quickly, it is extremely soft, and will turn most people’s skin green. Which, is not harmful, just unsightly. 14k rose gold is a great option for someone wanting a copper colored wedding band.

The white metals that I typically work with are 10k, 14k and 18k white gold, 14k palladium white gold and 950 palladium. 14k white gold and 14k palladium white gold both contain 58.5% pure gold, but are alloyed with other metals to make them more white in color. 14k white gold contains gold, nickel, copper, and zinc. Whereas 14k palladium white gold contains gold, copper, silver, and palladium. 14k palladium white gold does not contain nickel, which is a metal allergen for a lot of people. 

Color Comparison of 950 Palladium, 14k White Gold, and 14k Palladium White Gold

950 palladium is 95% pure palladium. Palladium is a metal in the platinum family, and shares many characteristics as platinum – durability, tarnish resistance, and is hypo-allergenic. It is a precious metal, and in addition to being used in jewelry, is has often been used in catalytic converters. It is a “white metal” that is slightly more gray than platinum or sterling silver. Palladium is much less expensive than platinum, but very as durable as platinum. But, like platinum is is more prone to scratching and dinging than white gold.

To find out more about the differences between white gold and palladium, check out this blog post: The Differences Between White Gold and Palladium 


Taking Your Ring Off November 07 2013

His & Hers 14k Wedding Band Set

I hear a lot of people say, when they pick up their rings, that they won’t be taking them off much. However, it is always a good idea to take your rings off at night. This is especially true of wider bands. The reason is that the skin under your ring needs air to stay healthy. If you don’t take your ring off regularly, the skin under the ring can start to turn white (like when wearing a bandaid), then eventually turn red and start to peel. A lot of people think this is an allergy to the metal, but is really caused by moisture being trapped under the ring.

Another reason to take your ring off every night, is so that it won’t get stuck. Fingers tend to swell quite a bit while you sleep, and wearing a ring can cut off circulation. Also, if you take your ring off every night you will notice if your finger size is changing so that you can get your ring re-sized before it gets stuck.

This said, I don’t recommend taking your ring off to wash your hands. That’s a sure way to lose your ring. If you want your ring to stay in a nice condition, it is a good idea to take your ring off if you know you are going to be doing something like moving furniture, rock climbing, lifting weights, and other things of that nature. But, always store it at home in a safe place.

The best thing to do is to get a nice little dish or box to store your rings in every night, or if you need to take it off for an activity. Like in one of these lovely dishes. 

That way you always know that if it’s not on your finger, it’s in the ring dish.

Porcelain Ring Dish by Tiffinstudio

Porcelain Ring Dish by Tiffinstudio

Small Partial Zag Dish by upintheairsomewhere

Small Partial Zag Dish by upintheairsomewhere

Black and White Lined Ring Dish by MelissaMayaPottery

Black and White Lined Ring Dish by MelissaMayaPottery

Gold Speckled Ring Bowl by AnnKayDesign

Gold Speckled Ring Bowl by AnnKayDesign 

Berry Ring Dish by hopejohnson

Berry Ring Dish by hopejohnson


Getting The Right Size November 07 2013

Determining ring sizes

Ring sizing is very tricky since fingers can change a whole size depending on the temperature and time of day. It’s always best to get sized several times, by several different people, on different days before ordering a ring. That way you can come up with a sort of average.

Since ring sizes change quite a bit depending on the weather, if you get sized in the winter, then receive your ring in the summer, it will likely fit a bit more snug than you expected, and vice versa. It is common to have any wedding ring or engagement ring re-sized at least once until you get the fit dialed in. 

It’s always best to get sized by professionals using metal ring sizers before ordering a ring. We use the "True Size" ring sizing system

There are printable ring size charts, but those will not give you the correct size. Mostly because a piece of paper or string conforms to the shape of your finger (which isn’t round) in a way that a metal ring will not. Also, if you wrap a string around your finger, then measure it, you are likely to stretch it differently when wrapping it around your finger, or when measuring it on a ruler. And even a fraction of a millimeter off will make for ring that is too big or too small.

Some things to keep in mind and pay attention to when going to get sized:

  • Fingers typically are bigger in the morning and when you are hot.
  • They shrink quite a bit when you are cold.
  • Bigger in the summer and smaller in the winter.
  • They swell a lot when you sleep, and are bigger in the morning.
  • Wider bands fit more snugly than narrow bands, so the width of the ring sizer bands that they used will affect the size. Generally you would go up 1/4 size for rings 5-6mm wide and 1/2 size for rings 7-8mm wide. 
  • A band without a comfort-fit is going to fit tighter than one with a comfort-fit.
  • Ideally you want to be sized with bands that are the same width and fit as the ring that you are getting.

Right now I am working on a ring set for a woman in Australia, and she was sized twice and given dramatically different sizes.  It is also tricky because of international ring size conversion. Then, there is the factor of if the size is off, it’s more expensive to send the rings back and forth for re-sizing. Given all of that she had the great idea of sending me a cheap ring that fit her perfectly. Once I received it I was able check the size on my ring mandrel, and now I can make her rings to the right size.

This ring is a hair smaller than a size 6. Ring size is measure by where the bottom of the ring lines up, or where the ring touches the wider part of the mandrel. So if it is a wide band, the top of the ring might be up around 5.5 or 5.25, but it is the bottom of the ring that you size from. If it is a comfort fit band, then it is sized from the narrowest part of the inside of the band.

Another way to size a ring is by using calipers and measuring the inside diameter of the ring. This is a more precise way to measure a comfort fit band, and in some European countries ring sizes are given as the inner mm diameter, which is really the most accurate way to size a finger and ring.

If you are fairly sure of your ring size, but want to double check before you order your ring, contact us about getting brass rings to try. For a small fee we will send you a brass ring in the ring size that you request plus one 1/2 size larger and one 1/2 smaller -  in the approximate width of the ring you plan on ordering. This is especially useful if you are planning on ordering a wider band or a band with stones. 


How Wide Should My Ring Be? November 07 2013

 

I’m always trying to come up with ways to make it easier for people to order rings online, and today I was thinking about determining widths. So today I created a printable .pdf that you can use to make paper rings to determine what width you’d like your band.

Free Printable Ring Width Guide

Download this handy .pdf chart and print it out at 100%–> Ring Width Guide

Soon I’ll add one to show the different thicknesses and profiles of bands.


Durability November 07 2013

8mm Hand-carved Classic Band

I get a lot of questions about durability of rings, metal and finishes. There are some metals that are more durable (meaning they hold up better over time), but no wedding band is impervious to wear and tear. Rings take a lot of abuse. Much more so than any other jewelry. All finishes on rings will change over time. A shiny finish will become less shiny and a matte finish will become more shiny. All rings, regardless of the metal, over time, will have scratches and dings. Finishes on rings can be re-done, but at the sacrifice of losing material.

Traditionally wedding bands are made of precious metals (as opposed to industrial metals). The most durable precious metals for wedding bands are going to be platinum, palladium, 10k and 14k gold.

With palladium (platinum too), it has what is called a “fluid surface”. What that means is that unlike gold, when it gets scratched it actually just displaces the metal as opposed to removing it. A gold ring after years of wear will weigh less because metal has been removed through wear, a palladium band will not. However, this does not mean that it won’t scratch or ding. Platinum and palladium can scratch and ding faster than gold, but over many years the band will not become thinner due to wear the way that gold will. 

With gold, 10k is going to be harder than 14k, which is harder than 18k. In general, the higher the gold content, the softer the alloy becomes. 14k is preferred over 18k for durability, and 22k is not recommended for a wedding band. Of the typical gold color alloys, traditional white gold will be the hardest, followed by yellow, then rose. If you are concerned about durability consider a 10k yellow gold, or a 14k white gold band, and steer clear of 18k rose gold.

Sterling silver is a very soft metal, and I don’t usually recommend it for a wedding band. However, there are a few reasons you might choose a sterling silver band:

  • You like the idea of a ring that develop a patina from wear, with each mark demoting the passage of time.
  • For a men’s engagement ring, or a less expensive "starter" wedding ring that will be replaced with a gold, palladium, or platinum wedding band.
  • For someone that knows they are likely to lose it, and don't want the responsibility of something too valuable.
  • To try out the fit and dimensions of a band before committing to a more expensive ring.

Because sterling bends easily, if you do choose a sterling silver ring, consider a thicker band (1.5-2mm thick), or a sterling palladium band. Sterling palladium is a 92.5% sterling silver alloy which contains 3.0% palladium. It is intrinsically harder than standard sterling silver and is more tarnish resistance. However, it is still a type of sterling silver, so it will not be as durable as some other metals.

I offer rings in 1mm thickness because it is often requested. Usually it’s for someone that is looking for a very slim fitting ring. However, if you are very active and do a lot with your hands, a 1mm band is fairly thin and is likely to bend or mis-shape over time. Even going from 1mm thick to 1.25mm thick will increase the durability. But if you do a lot of work with your hands, consider at least a 1.5mm thickness.


Metal Color Reference November 07 2013