A new trend in wedding rings has taken the form of ceramics and has given men more options when selecting the ring they will wear for the rest of their lives. Ceramic rings carry many benefits over classic materials such as gold, silver or platinum. Aside from ceramic's more affordable cost, its functionality and strength are some of its main attributes.
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Titanium carbide, or TiC, is also known as high-tech ceramic. It is used to make many forms of contemporary jewellery including men's wedding rings. All carbide ceramics are known for their extremely high melting points; TiC melts at 3,100C or 5,612F. Other uses of high-tech ceramic include as plating for bulletproof vests and in cutting tools and coating to prevent wear and tear. The material has also been used to partially form space-shuttle shields.
Safe and Comfortable
If you are one of many people who suffer from allergies to metals, such as the commonly used nickel, ceramic rings may be a safer, more comfortable alternative to metal rings. Ceramic rings are hypoallergenic. While hypoallergenic materials are not guaranteed to prevent allergic reactions, by definition they decrease tendencies to have one. Ceramic rings are also comfortable due to their option for a "comfort fit," which is a rounded inner surface that hugs the finger.
While metals such as steel and platinum are durable enough to create lasting products, high-tech ceramic is even harder. According to the Mohs Scale of Hardness, which ranges from one to 10 with 10 being the highest, high-tech ceramic rates at a nine while steel is at a seven and platinum a 4.5. Because high-tech ceramic is so strong, it will not only be hard to break but will also resist scratches, nicks and imperfections that other pieces of jewellery may incur over time.
Pricing and Style
According to retailers such as Superior Wedding Rings and eWeddingBands.com, ceramic bands can range in price from about £74 to £243 as of June 2010. Prices increase with added design elements such as laser imprinting, or when other metals such as silver or tungsten carbide are included in the construction. Ceramic rings come in many different styles and colours, although the most popular colour for men's wedding bands is black. Options for cut include bevelled and domed edges.
Caring for Your Ceramic Ring
While ceramic rings are known for their durability, this does not mean they are completely invulnerable to chipping. For this reason, Overstock.com suggests storing your ring it its own case when not in use. Cleaning the ring is simple: Carefully wipe the ring with a water-dampened cloth and dry with another lint-free cloth. If your ceramic ring happens to be white, you will want to clean the ring often with water and mild detergent. Always make sure the ring is dry before storing it away.
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