Thursday, November 8, 2007

Band Geek

With 73 days to the wedding, it's time I find and choose a band. Unfortunately, I haven't. In fact, I had gotten discouraged with a lot of fruitless searching, and hadn't done much of anything in weeks, unless you count whining about pawn shops.

Mens heirloom/estate/vintage/whatever rings are actually pretty hard to come by. I don't know why. And my distaste for gold (personal, not environmental) narrows my already limited options to a tiny sliver. Let me just say this has been significantly more difficult than selecting the engagement ring. So now what? SheBunny found a few great rings on ebay, but all were snatched up in the tide of rising platinum prices and the falling dollar. It's time to broaden my search...

A couple of nights ago, SheBunny sat me down and got me back on track with this. We looked at several rings, discussed the abhorrent gaudiness we were seeing, and eventually found ourselves on the far side of yet another fruitless search. I gave serious thought to spending the weekend combing pawn shops and jewelry and antique stores, but our weekend plans are to finish the invites, and there certainly won't be time for doing both.

And then she discovered Rob and Lean (Leighanne). Rob turns wood and metal into gorgeous rings, and they sell them on Etsy. And I love them. In fact, I wrote a little song 'bout it! Like-a hea' it? Hea' it go'!

The Spirit of Abraham Lincoln
The first ring to catch my eye is 100% copper. This is a material I had been thinking about for a while, but due to its tendency to tarnish and the fact that I'd never seen it used for jewelry (just pennies, pipes, pots, and pans), I never really pursued the thought. Now all my wildest dreams can come true. The only downside is that copper tarnishes green, and this can stain the skin. The likelihood of this totally depends on the wearer, and I have no idea how my skin will react. It is supposed to be good for the joints and things, though. Maybe it would help out with my wrists... Another Bonus: C'est très bon marche!

Darker and Darker Still
Titanium and Tungsten have also been on my mind. Neither are good candidates for vintage, as they haven't been around that long, and no one is really recycling these metals into rings at this point (or at least not that we've found). Fortunately, it's quite a bit less resource-intensive than the more "precious" metals. This particular ring is pure titanium and the dark finish on it is simply gorgeous. Very simple, pure, and classy. Also crazy strong, hypo-allergenic, and non-oxidizing.

Best of Both Worlds?
What could be better than Copper or Titanium? Copper and Titanium! Or could it? This ring places the titanium against the skin, with the copper exposed. I'm not sure if it looks amazing, or like cookware. Either way, the copper will come into contact with the two adjacent fingers. I think if I'm going to do copper, I'm going to do it all the way, but I do love the inlay. I've been torn on it. Initially, I did dismiss it as cookware, but I can't bring myself to remove it from the final round. That means something, right?

Just Add Nature
Metal may not seem the greenest and most natural substance, but wood rings are entirely too delicate for me to consider a wood band as a symbol of our marriage. I'd like to make a stronger statement than that. Here we have all the appeal of wood with all the strength of titanium. And they replace worn wood inlays for only $10, so if I do end up damaging the more delicate part of the band, it can be mended. That sounds like a good symbol. The core is strong, but it is not entirely impervious to damage. It requires care, but is at the same time incredibly difficult to significantly damage. Hmm... I may have just talked myself into the inlay.

Excellent Response
I wrote the seller late last night and received a response before noon today. They answered every single question I asked, and did so very much to my satisfaction. I have but a couple more questions to ask, but am certain their response will be excellent. At this point, could I let anyone OTHER than Rob make my ring?

Rob is basically willing to make any ring with any inlay and any stones at any size. They have 100% positive feedback on over 400 responses, and from what little correspondence we've had, I'm convinced that this is an excellent couple to work with. I'm thinking of other inlays, as Walnut doesn't strike me as great, and I'm not fond of the toxicity of Cocobolo.
I much prefer Maple and Birch, but they have several reclaimed woods available as well. How awesome would that be? Cypress is one of the reclaimed options. If you're not sure what that wood looks like, we have something in the common. Fortunately, they made an all Cypress ring, so we can take a good look. It might be too light to go with polished titanium, but if I could get a dark titanium ring like the one above, this might look amazing inlaid with it. Clearly, I've got some thinking to do in the next couple days.

(Feedback is encouraged)


bunnybride said...

I am so happy that you like RobandLean's etsy shop. Once you gt everything figured out let me know what you want <3

NoleGirl0923 said...

Hope I didn't just double post. Effing computer...
Anyway, tough call Terry!! I like them all for different reasons...except the copper. I'm not a big fan of that one. It reminds me of pennies and cookware. I'm partial to the titanium or tungstun b/c I like the dark metals. But, the wooden inlay one is awesome and very unique. I think that's my favorite of all your pics=)

Baby K said...

Hey bunnygroom!

FI and I have just been checking out your choices...

we both think similar thoughts.

The titanium
The tungsten
The wood and titanium mix.

FI worries about the copper, thinks you've got too much of a chance of getting stained hands.
He really likes the fact titanium is light...are you used to wearing rings? If not, then titanium might be easier to get used to than heavy tungsten.
FI also loves the fact that tungsten (and supposedly it has to be tungsten CARBIDE?) is completely impervious to damage...
also titanium is self healing.
Environmentally, he said you may want to research which has the more friendly refining process?
Gold manufacturing used to use cyanide (not sure if it still does) and the resulting dumped chemical slag doesn't allow anything to grow around it. A big issue in South Africa (where FI is from).
Finally, we both like the wood inlay as well. Good that you can get it replaced- but how often might that have to happen? Do you spend a lot of time around water or oils?
Possibly something to think about...
Good luck!

Hanneke said...

Hi Terry! Kia asked to leave a comment so here it is. I absolutely love the titanium band with wood inlay. And from what I've read on Kia's Bio, it totally suits your style. It would definately be my favourite.

wendy.lynn said...

I like the "Just Add Nature" ring...very cool!

Kami said...


I like the titanium and wood or the titanium and copper. If you want to see other designs using wood, check out It's a store in Soho that has really amazing jewelry. Good luck!


Christy said...

Hi Terry!
I like the Best of Both worlds one & the Just Add Nature one. GL with your decision. My FI also likes the Just Add Nature one and just mentioned something about him wanting like 3 different rings for different outfits---WTH?! :D