Made from a metal alloy of cobalt and chromium, men’s cobalt chrome wedding bands are currently enjoying a certain popularity, even though some people may have never heard of the material. Offering both “specific strength” (that is, a high strength-to-weight ratio) and biocompatibility, cobalt chrome has been used primarily in the medical industry for orthopedic and dental implants, as well as for use in gas turbines.
While the metallic element cobalt was discovered in 1739 by chemist George Brandt, commercial cobalt alloys (including cobalt-chromium) were not discovered until the early 20th century by metallurgist and entrepreneur Elwood Haynes.
Haynes found that these alloys had at once incredible strength at elevated temperatures, a resistance to corrosion and a naturally bright luster. He accordingly named these alloys the Stellite alloys, after the Latin word for ‘star.’
In some regards, cobalt chrome is nothing short of a wonder alloy, and one that is incredibly well suited for use in jewelry. Here are a just a few reasons why men’s cobalt chrome wedding bands have the potential to become a classic wedding ring option with serious staying power, current demand aside.
They’re durable, crack and scratch-resistant. Unlike softer traditional metals like gold or inexpensive metal options like silver, cobalt rings are generally scratch, crack and tarnish-resistant. In fact, cobalt chrome is five times harder than gold and four times harder than platinum. It also resists tarnishing, not like the oxidization-prone metal sterling silver.
This impressive strength lends amazing durability to chrome rings, making them ideal for everyday wear, as well as a great option for men who serve in occupations that require a lot of work with one’s hands. Men’s cobalt rings also have a pleasant middle of the alternative metal market weight, making them heavier than feather-light titanium but less weighty than tungsten, and in general feel more similar to a higher priced metal.
They’re hypoallergenic and biocompatible. Cobalt chrome is naturally inert, and chrome rings are hypoallergenic. This has made them not only ideal for use in the medical field in surgical and other implants, but an apt choice for those with sensitive or allergic skin, as well as men who work in sterile environments (like doctors).
They look like higher end metals. Unlike some other hypoallergenic materials that have a distinctly industrial appearance (titanium, for example), cobalt chrome more closely resembles precious metals like white gold and platinum. Displaying a signature high luster, these cobalt rings have an attractive traditional white metal look, and there is no plating involved to achieve this appearance (as is the case with white gold).
This allows those with more traditional tastes to purchase a chrome wedding band at a fraction of the price of platinum or gold. As previously mentioned, these chrome rings also wear better than these precious metals, for an ideal combination of a high end look and modern industrial strength and durability.
They’re re-sizeable. The strength and composition of other popular alternative men’s ring materials like tungsten, titanium and ceramic render them unable to be resized, meaning that their wearers are in danger of having to purchase a new ring if their ring fingers undergo any significant changes in size or shape. Cobalt chrome’s malleability allows cobalt wedding bands to be resized if necessity dictates such, which surely provides some degree of relief to those who don’t want to buy a new ring for financial or sentimental reasons.
This malleability also means that there are more styles of men’s cobalt chrome wedding bands available on the market, as the material can accommodate both more detailed designs and popular wedding ring gemstones like diamonds.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.