Wooden rings are not new, and alternative wedding bands are gaining popularity over the traditional precious metal rings. These wood wedding rings are in tune with today’s values – higher regard for the planet, yearning for a connection with the natural world as well as with your life partner.
Why Choose Wooden Wedding Rings pros and cons
You are preparing for your big day, booked a venue, film crew, caterer, and sorted out the seating plan with the grace and wisdom of a topline diplomatic ambassador. Now you need to consider your wedding rings.
Tell Your Story
A wood wedding ring’s value is its meaning and the emotional connections with you as a couple. It has no scrap value, and only time will tell if they have an antique resell value.
Choosing wood rings allows a couple to show their history, journey, and hopes for the future. You can select a bit from the park where you proposed, a childhood garden, part of a significant bit from home chattels, or a ship – it contains meaning at every level.
A plain ring may be inexpensive but are more elaborate and embellished. You get to add all the designer flourishes you want without the high price tag associated with working with expensive metals.
The possibilities and materials are endless when crafted with carving, multiple layered, wood inlay, semi-precious stones, gemstones, along with laser printing and pyrography. Creating your perfect wood wedding band with unique personal touches is inexpensive and straightforward when you opt for a solid wood ring.
Environmentally Good and Less Damaging
Hardwood is a renewable resource – you can crop one branch and leave the tree to carry on growing and thriving. Ore production is a whole other process -mining, refining, and, at best, recycling. You cannot reseed a goldmine – when the aurum is gone, the mine closes, and the workers are laid-off.
Realistically, exploiting metal makes life better for everyone, and there are some uses where only these materials will do, but wedding ring metals are not one of those uses. You can choose an option that does not use up a scarce resource or scar the face of the planet.
Nickle-free and Hypoallergic
Contact allergy with a finished wooden item is exceptionally rare (less than one in a million). It happens with certain toxic species like Walnut (Juglans regia) cause trees are plants, and some are poisonous. But we use hundreds of safe woods with a long history of furniture and kitchen use.
Compare with Nickle – 30% of women and 3% of men have an allergic reaction to the presence of Nickle in an alloy. Gold rings use an alloy – Nickle is added for increased strength and sometimes as an impurity.
Perfect for people with allergies in response to mineral elements. Plus, your body’s response to a wood ring remains without problems for life.
Wood is a Poor Conductor
A wood spoon is ideal for stirring a hot bubbling pot of soup because it does not pass heat (or electrical current) the way alloy does. This property increases your comfort – a wooden ring does not overheat in sunlight nor feel excessively cold in winter. Metal rings change shape as they get colder and hotter, and although the difference is slight, it is enough to make a difference – that’s why running a jam jar lid under the hot tap allows you to open it.
Stable on your finger in all weather conditions and don’t conduct electricity. Here is a safer option if you are an electrician or work near electric motors.
It is straightforward to burn, engrave, or etch a heartfelt sentiment inside or outside. Plus, you can choose to use the woods language and symbolism to put a hidden message in plain sight – two birth woods joined together in harmony or olivewood for communication, trust, and insight to build a loving union. Add in some stone bands, and you can create layers of meaning.
Affordable and Unique
The sky is the limit for spending on a wedding dress, catering, gifts, and the entire event. But more couples prefer to run their ceremony on a budget, rather than starting married life paying for an over-the-top and meaningless celebration. A small budget is more meaningful because every item must earn its place.
Give you more in terms of meaning for less money – so you win on both counts. You are still paying a substantial amount because you are buying a one-of-a-kind handcrafted product. Yet, you spend considerably less in comparison to the equivalent metal ring. Plus, you have more input into the layout.
Wooden Wedding Ring Cons
Wood is beautiful, hardwearing, and durable, but some cons are associated with a wedding or engagement ring.
All rings are not indestructible, although these are incredibly strong. But wood as an organic material can get damaged or break. Some damage in wear is easy to repair, and some are not. Your design can dent or scratch if involved with an impact or rubbed along hard surfaces.
The best designs have a hardwearing epoxy coating to enhance the beautiful wood and protect against normal wear. But if you continually expose your wooden ring to mechanical and chemical damage, it will lose its stunning good looks and show signs of age.
It’s worth noting that silver, white gold or platinum rings will also corrode with repeated exposure to bleach and will scratch and wear in abrasive conditions. Any jewelry item, wood or metal, needs some tender loving care to maintain its appearance.
Resizing is Challenging
There are limited options for altering the size of the completed rings. Depending on the rings, a slight adjustment is possible, but it is best to order the correct size. Tungsten carbide or a stainless steel ring with wood can not be resized.
A metal ring is re-sized by cutting and adding or removing materials. The fresh join is then polished to hide the signs of change. Resizing ornate rings with inlays and patterns is not straightforward, and stainless steel is also difficult to resize.
If you need to alter the wood rings after decades of marriage, you have the option of incorporating hardwoods inlaid from the original into a new one. You keep continuity with the original, and the upgrade is cost-effective.
The finish on a wooden wedding ring can suffer disfigurement if regularly exposed to bleach, hand sanitisers, and other chemicals. It makes sense to take off when washing, applying lotion or doing any work with chemical solvents because rings can suffer through chemical use and harbour dirt and viruses.
For infection control, it makes sense to remove your rings, wash or sanitise your hands and then use paper towelling to wash and dry it.
Plus, leave your wooden wedding ring on the beach when swimming in the sea. Saltwater is notorious for damaging all finishes, and it also attacks yellow gold.
Check the Environmental Info.
A naturally renewable resource, but not all wood classes as ecofriendly. Some of the points you must think about are:
- Can the wood be harvested through sustainable means?
- If the wood is renewable, what impact does its removal have on the eco-system?
- Does harvesting impact indigenous communities?
- Does the profit from this wood support more impoverished communities?
A reputable craftsperson will use sustained wood and adhere to FSC best practice with their timber sources. Leaving aside the question of the wood for the wooden wedding rings, if you are looking for eco-friendly rings, you also must consider the origin of any metal and stone elements.
Although an eco-friendly choice, you must pay attention to all the components’ details and design to obtain a wooden wedding band that meets your values.
Need for Refinishing
Wooden wedding rings are not unique in needing caring attention. Both metal and wooden wedding bands will need a regular polish and refinish to eliminate surface scratches and restore their lustre.
If a wooden wedding ring suffers deep scratches that penetrate the epoxy finish, water can penetrate the wooden interior, and rings can warp and swell. But, checking your rings for imperfections and arranging for refinishing if necessary will keep them in excellent lifelong condition.
Check your supplier’s policy; most offer a replacement/refinishing service and provide plenty of practical advice on special care and maintenance.
Art Takes Time
You can walk into any jewellers, pick out a couple of gold bands, get them sized, and available to walk down the aisle in days or a couple of weeks. You can also buy a stock wooden wedding ring in your sizes on the same timescale. But if you opt for unique matched wooden wedding ring set created to your vision and specifications, you might need to wait a couple of months while the craftsperson completes your commission.
If you intend to use wooden wedding rings in your ceremony, don’t leave commissioning them to the last minute because they are handcrafted products made by an individual.
Don’t assume your wooden wedding rings are suitable for vegans- ask about the finishing techniques. Some finish processes use beeswax to bring out the wood’s beauty or old fashioned shellac (made from beetles). If wooden wedding rings in tune with your vegan values are part of your celebration, ask about the finishes to check that no animal or insect products are involved.
No Scrap Value
Hallmarked rings always have a scrap value – the amount a dealer will pay to melt it down and recycle it. A wooden wedding ring does not have an intrinsic scrap value. The value is in the owner’s feelings and, in some cases, the style.
A well-designed object accrues value with age – especially in the jewellery market, cheap plastic jewellery from the 1930s does not have a scrap value but now resells for substantial sums. A beautifully designed pair of wooden wedding rings may become valuable through age and design quality or may only ever mean anything to your family.
Last Woodly Thoughts
Wooden wedding bands are not new – the tradition of designing and creating them is ancient because wood is widely available and relatively easy to shape. You can find wooden rings in the archaeological collection in the British Museum. Opting for modern rings in durable hardwood or a combination of stone, gems, and heavy metal gives you a unique piece of art for fingers that will last a lifetime when worn.
There are pros and cons when worn, but it also needs considering that metal wedding bands also have their downside and fewer choices for the money. Wooden wedding rings have the significant advantage that you can afford to commission a unique wedding band incorporating some of your stories as a couple and built to your specifications. Your values and history give wooden wedding rings their meaning and significance – now that is priceless.
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