All Metals Scratch.
It's the answer I give to a question I get every once in a while. I got en e-mail form a client recently in a slight panic after he saw some scratches and nicks on his brand spankin' new wedding ring.
More than most, I know how jarring it is when you scratch a pristine metal surface that you have worked to so hard to keep, well, pristine! The smallest things can leave scratches so imagine what turning door knobs, carrying grocery bags, lifting weights, etc. might do. The trick is not to be alarmed by each and every scratch when it happens because you can't do much to stop it except take it off and put it away for special occasions. It's your wedding ring so that is not a great solution.
My small, but very useful piece of advice is to embrace the patina that life will leave on your ring. After the first few scratches will come more and within a few months there will be overall look that will become the new surface of your ring. Yes, you can have the surface re-polished often to keep it looking new but each time it gets polished, by someone like me using a high-speed polisher, a tiny amount of metal is removed. So try to embrace it and it will be fine.
Factors that affect the visibility of scratches
Here are some of the factors that can affect how visible the scratches seem. Keep these in mind when making your wedding ring decision.
- Width - If your ring has a wide surface you're going to see more scratching.
- Surface Treatment - If your ring has a smooth perfect mirror-like surface you will see more scratching. I finish many wedding rings with a matte finish or hammered texture. Hides all sorts of wear and looks awesome too!
- Metal Choice - The metal you choose for your rings will probably be the most important factor in how your ring wears over time. Most precious metals are not as tough as you might think. Take a metal like Platinum, people love the idea of Platinum. It is an amazing metal and beautiful to work with but after a few years of everyday wear on an active person and it can look like it was chewed by a dog. Even more so if it is a wide and has a high polished surface. New blog post about Platinum pros & cons coming soon!
Metals Ranked According to resistance to scratching
Here is a list of metals I have worked with. Organized according to toughness starting at the top with the toughest. I have another blog post ready to go shortly about the good and the bad of each metal listed below so stay tuned!
10k Nickel White Gold
14k Nickel White Gold
18k Nickel White Gold
14k Palladium White Gold
10k Yellow Gold
14k Yellow Gold
18k Yellow Gold
22k Yellow Gold
The reality is that all metals scratch and there is not one single metal that can resist it but knowing how they rank can help you choose what is best for you. My job is to help you navigate each and every road on the journey to your perfect piece of jewellery.