Serinium® | Ceramic | Tungsten Carbide | Cobalt | Stainless Steel | Titanium
Know your Metals
Did you know that the most popular fine jewelry metals for men’s rings are not gold, silver or platinum? With so many options available today here is a breakdown to help you understand what ring is best for you.
Serinium®, the Precious Contemporary Metal®, is a trademark for the newest and most beautiful of the contemporary fine jewelry metals. This high-tech metal is patented by and exclusive to Jewelry Innovations.
- Durability: Serinium® is tough, hard and scratch-resistant. Serinium® is twice as hard as cobalt chrome, five times harder than titanium, six times harder than platinum, seven times harder than 14K gold and nine times harder than sterling silver. Despite its hardness, Serinium® will not chip or shatter if dropped on a hard surface, unlike more brittle metals such as tungsten carbide. Serinium® will never oxidize, tarnish, or lose color.
- Safety: Serinium® is easily and safely removed in emergencies by applying pressure with hand held vise grips. It will not bend in the removal process, and breaks off cleanly in 2-3 pieces with no sharp edges. Serinium® will not crush onto a finger in the event of an impact or compression accident.
- Color: Serinium® is a silver-white color, nearer in color to platinum and white gold than any other contemporary metal.
- Retail Price: Serinium® rings are available at a wide variety of price points, starting at $330 MSRP
Ceramic used in fine jewelry is a high-tech ceramic compound that is extremely hard and light weight, resulting in a beautiful and enduring ring.
- Durability: Extremely hard and scratch resistant (rated a 9 on Mohs hardness scale). Ceramic has an elegant lightweight feel, only half the weight of tungsten carbide.
- Safety: Ceramic is hypoallergenic and non-conductive, will not crush onto a finger in the event of an impact injury, and can be broken off in an emergency using vice grips or a ring cracker.
- Color: Ceramic can be made in many colors, including black, white, and brighter colors such as pink. All colors are solid throughout, eliminating the effects of wear even if scratched or worn.
The original contemporary jewelry metal, tungsten carbide is technically a ceramic. It is the hardest of contemporary metals, but it is brittle and can chip or crack if dropped on a hard surface.
- Durability: tungsten carbide is extremely scratch-resistant, heavy and hard, but brittle.
- Color: tungsten carbide begins as a bright, light grey metal, but due to oxidation will turn to a dark grey color over time.
- Safety: tungsten carbide is too hard to cut and must be broken off with a ring cracker or vice grip pliers, but when removed in that manner it can shatter into sharp pieces that may cause further injury. Tungsten carbide may also shatter in the event of an impact or compression accident, but will not crush onto a finger.
- Retail Price: Widely available, good quality tungsten carbide rings are available at prices starting around $20.00.
Cobalt Chrome (Often referred to as “Cobalt”)
Cobalt Chrome is a bright white alloy similar in color to Serinium, but without Serinium’s hardness and safety.
- Durability: Cobalt Chrome is less scratch-resistant than Serinium and tungsten carbide, but more scratch-resistant than titanium, stainless steel and precious metals.
- Emergency Removal: Cobalt is the most difficult jewelry ring to remove in emergency situations. Cobalt will crush onto a finger in an impact or compression injury, cannot be broken off, and cannot be cut with basic metal cutting implements. Removal requires diamond edge cutting tools in the hands of a trained professional. Extremely high heat is generated during the cutting process, which can cause 3rd degree burns to the wearer’s hand if not managed properly.
- Color: Cobalt is a silver-white color, similar to white gold.
- Retail Price: Cobalt rings are economical, with retail prices generally beginning at $30.00.
The least expensive contemporary metal, generally not considered a fine jewelry metal, stainless steel is relatively soft and inexpensive.
- Durability: A fairly soft metal compared to other contemporary metals, stainless steel is harder than silver or gold and is lightweight. Stainless steel tends to scratch easily.
- Emergency Removal: Stainless steel can be quite difficult to remove in emergencies. It will crush onto a finger in the event of an impact or compression injury. Stainless steel will not break off and cannot be cut with basic metal cutting implements, but rather requires diamond cutting tools and a trained professional. High heat is generated during the cutting process, which can cause 3rd degree burns to the wearer’s hand if not managed properly.
- Color: Typically stainless steel is significantly darker than white gold and often has a bluish tone, but is still slightly whiter than tungsten carbide.
- Retail Price: Widely available at retail prices from about $15.00
- Hypoallergenic: No
A popular and relatively inexpensive metal, titanium is lightweight and soft but durable.
- Durability: Titanium is lightweight and somewhat harder than sterling silver, but much softer than Serinium, tungsten carbide or cobalt, so it scratches easily. Good quality titanium will not tarnish or break.
- Emergency Removal: Titanium is flexible and tough, making it quite difficult to remove in emergency situations. It will crush onto a finger in the event of a compression or impact injury. Titanium cannot be broken off or cut with basic metal cutting implements, but rather requires diamond cutting tools and a trained professional. Extremely high heat is generated during the cutting process, which may cause 3rd degree burns to the wearer’s hand if not managed properly.
- Color: Titanium is generally light grey, somewhat lighter in color than Tungsten Carbide but not as white as Serinium, white gold or platinum.
- Retail Price: Widely available at around $20.00 and up; however, there are different quality levels of titanium alloy and some are quite a bit more expensive.
- Hypoallergenic: Yes (high quality alloy)