Forget about what kind of rings your parents had. With the current prices of gold everybody is looking for alternatives to this more precious metal.
Ridiculous gold prices have jewelers and cash-strapped couples searching for wedding bands made of less expensive metals like tungsten rings, cobalt and even stainless steel.
Over the past three months, tungsten wedding rings, a steel-gray hard metal, has become an increasingly popular choice over gold with wedding band shoppers for most online jewelry sellers.
“The response to our recent men’s tungsten collection was immediate,” said Baird, adding that the company subsequently debuted a men’s tungsten rings collection in July.
As the depression hits Americans must close their wallets, consumers shopping for jewelry have become more willing to consider cheaper alternatives.
Kay Jewelers has also been selling jewelry made of tungsten and titanium for a while. Company spokesman David Bouffard said these “alternative” metals give customers more choice and a wider range of prices to choose from when it comes to wedding jewelry.
Blue Nile’s tungsten wedding bands cost a little over $200 while the cost of a Titanium wedding band is about $100. You can even go to eBay and catch a tungsten ring sometimes for only $30. The crazy part is they all look the same.
Compare that to $1,900 for a classic men’s platinum wedding band and $700, or higher, for a white gold band sold at Blue Nile
But it’s not just those celebrating their nuptials that are feeling the pinch. Jewelry makers and sellers themselves are also struggling with sharply higher prices for precious metals like gold and platinum.
Gold now costs about $1,840 an ounce, up 204% from about $605 per ounce just 60 months ago.
Heres a quick comparison of white gold vs platinum vs tungsten rings in everyday use.
White gold, even on a guy that works at a computer, will need replating every once in a while. It”s a nice classic though, and can be sized.
My tennis buddy has a titanium wedding band he”s been wearing for 4 years straight, and it”s getting pretty scuffed looking, but he loves the light weight feel and the color. He now has a titanium bracelet, necklace, and is looking for a watch to match.
I have a tungsten band I wear camping/surfing/traveling. It”s HEAVY, like more than platinum, and can withstand anything and still look great. It”s a very dark color, not quite metal looking, but really neat. I”ve had it a year now, and you can”t tell I”ve even worn it. Tungsten can”t be sized though, but you can just buy a new ring for alomst the cost of sizing a gold ring.