The Value of Scratch Resistant Wedding Bands

Do a quick search of the most common problems couples have with their wedding rings and you’re likely to be overwhelmed with blog posts, message boards and stories full of angst over scratching. In addition, wedding sites are full of articles advising ways to keep your ring looking “like new” and other household ways to clean your wedding ring.

It’s seems fairly obvious; when it comes to wedding bands, scratches are Public Enemy No. 1.

Scratching is actually the absence of something. In technical terms, a material can only be scratched by another material that is as hard, if not harder, than itself. The result is the removal of a minute amount of the scratched material which becomes visible as a scratch. Wedding bands are especially susceptible to this because of the predominant materials used in making them: precious metals.

For all their popularity and substantial costs, the one thing precious metals can’t promise is scratch resistance. In fact, gold was historically renowned for its softness in comparison to other metals. Sadly, while your wedding ring is made of soft precious metals, the rest of the world around us is being made from hard, durable materials like steel, which can have an adverse effect on your wedding ring.

Fortunately, there are many ways to remedy the nasty scratches and nicks that manifest themselves on wedding bands. There is no shorter of jewelry care tips out there in magazines and online. But what these care tips rarely tell you is the monetary and unforeseen costs of restoring a wedding band to its former glory.

Jewelry Cleaning Kit: You can get a decent jewelry cleaning kit for about $5. It’s inexpensive but the results are so-so. Cleaning kits do exactly what they say; they clean. Unfortunately, they are more likely to polish up a ring making scratches more noticeable than to remove them.

Polishing Wheel: Smaller versions of professional polishing wheels are around $80 to $90 and they work. Unfortunately, they really should be utilized only by professionals. The polishing wheel buffs scratches by removing thin layers of your ring to below the scratch. Incorrectly using a polishing wheel can lead to lopsided rings greatly reduced in the amount of material. Gold and platinum are measured by the ounce, so every extra bit of material removed is more dollars out the window.

Professional Jewelry “Cleaning”: When it comes to your wedding band, you always want to deal with professionals. A jeweler is your safest bet for buffing out scratches to your ring and usually costs about $40 to $50. Because they know what they are doing, they are usually good at removing surface scratches while not removing too much of the rings material, although there are a few horror stories out there. The real problem is the cleaning is never a one-time thing. Once you get your ring back, you’ll likely notice scratches creeping back in within days. So it’s back to the jeweler at least once a year for your cleaning. That adds up.

So, when you debating between alternative metal wedding bands like tungsten and traditional precious metals, you might want to ask yourself: how much is scratch resistance worth to you?


Posted by: Vincent LR, Press Officer

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