Are you wondering where to buy cobalt chrome rings?
You have come to the right place because this guide will answer questions like:
- What is cobalt?
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of buying cobalt?
- What to look for when buying a cobalt ring?
- How to know if you are getting the best deal?
Best Places to Buy Cobalt Chrome Wedding Bands & Rings
Here are the 4 best online stores to buy quality cobalt rings.
What is Cobalt?
Cobalt is one of the best alternative metals used to make rings for men, although it is not widely known. It is a bluish-white hard metal mined in Africa. Cobalt is found when mining other metals like silver, copper, nickel, and iron.
In Rome, cobalt was used for aesthetic purposes such as blue glass for ceramics while in ancient Chinese civilization, it was used to build compounds. Some kinds of cobalt are used to make gamma rays that are used for medical supplies and sterilization. In some places, you find cobalt being used as fertilizer.
George Brandt is the Swedish chemist credited with being the first to use cobalt as alternative metal. What many people thought was bismuth, Brandt proved that it was a different metal in 1735. Cobalt comes from the German word “kobald” which means demon or evil spirit. The miners did not get a good vibe when mining the cobalt ore.
Today, cobalt is no longer thought of in the lines of evil spirits and superstitions but as a great choice for a wedding ring. You can find a cobalt wedding band in any store that sells alternative metals like stainless steel, titanium, and tungsten carbide rings.
Cobalt is a hard but brittle metal. It is a transition metal too. A transition metal is a periodic table element that has an electron in two shells instead of one, known as valence electrons. Other transition metals include silver, platinum, and tungsten.
Pure cobalt cannot be used to make jewelry, it must be mixed with another metal alloy like real gold. The common cobalt alloy metals include iron, chromium, and tungsten. When the content of chromium is high, it is referred to as cobalt chrome, the same as a cobalt wedding band.
Pros and Cons of Cobalt Rings
Many good things happen when you buy a cobalt wedding ring. Let’s look at some of them.
When compared to other alternative metals, cobalt is the prettiest. You will find some jewelers throwing in some carbon fiber inlays and black diamonds to make look even prettier. When light hits it, a cobalt chrome wedding ring shines attractively, the way a white gold ring would shine. A cobalt chrome ring is the best choice if you want something sturdy but classy.
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Cobalt rings have the best luster on a brushed finish or matte finish but you can find other pretty styles that have wood inlays, gemstones, carbon fiber, and two-tone metals. There are options for beveled styles, comfort fit, and domed fit styles. The appearance of a cobalt ring is versatile.
White cobalt chrome rings are the most sought-after rings but people have started liking the black cobalt too just the way they search for black tungsten rings.
Unfortunately, women’s cobalt rings are no so common in the jewelry market, feminine styles are not easy to find especially if you want sturdy designs.
I already mentioned that cobalt is both hard and brittle, sounds confusing, right? When talking about natural minerals, hardness is not what many people think. Hardness refers to the level of scratch resistance of the metal and not how the metal resists dents, breakages, or blows. The same concept applies to gemstones as well.
The Mohs scale is used to measure a metal’s hardness. If a metal reaches 5.5 on this scale, its hardness is half that of a diamond which is considered the hardest mineral ever to be mined. Diamond measures an impressive 10 on the Mohs scale. Metals are harder or more scratch-resistant than gemstones, apart from gold. Cobalt is scratch-resistant and not scratch-proof.
When wearing a two-tone cobalt ring such as one with gold inlay or titanium, keep in mind both gold and titanium are likely to scratch. The cobalt may be safe but the inlay will not be.
Cobalt may not be as tough as titanium or tungsten, but it can surely survive everyday wear and exposure to active lifestyles. It cannot bend and does not need reshaping. It will not crack or chip.
Like most other jewelry products, cobalt rings have drawbacks too. Below are some of the downsides to buying a cobalt wedding band.
The biggest issue with alternative metal engagement and wedding rings is resizing. Some of the metals can be resized but most retailers will not give an option for resizing. mega stores like Jared and Kay’s will allow you to exchange the ring for a new one instead of resizing.
A cobalt ring can be cut in case of an emergency but a jeweler will not be able to resize it. Most alternative metals are hard to resize and the cost of resizing them may be more than the value of the jewelry piece.
This means that when you go to buy a cobalt ring, make sure you get the right size, or that the seller has a policy that allows you to exchange for the right size. The same applies if you are buying a cobalt ring that has stones in it. If the prongs and channels are not made of precious metals, they cannot be reset.
Looking for a cobalt ring online can be a bit of a hassle. It seems like every web page you turn to is full of tungsten carbide or titanium rings.
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Cobalt rings are not so popular which makes them unique. However, not many people will notice the wedding ring on your finger since it looks just like any other plain metal ring.
Cobalt rings are not in high demand and for this reason, they will not come in many intricate or eye-catching designs. Like tantalum rings, you will also find a few feminine designs not only decreasing with width. There are not so many options for females with cobalt rings.
Are Cobalt Rings Expensive?
You have noticed by now that affordability is an important factor when buying an alternative metal ring. Are cobalt rings affordable? The answer will depend on what you consider as affordable.
Cobalt rings are not as expensive as platinum or gold rings, an exception is made if the width of the gold band is less than that of a cobalt band. Also, the price will be high if it is two-tone or features gemstones or diamonds.
Generally, you will find cobalt rings with price tags ranging from $50-$400. The prices are even cheaper if you shop at Amazon, although you will not find it easy getting an actual cobalt ring.
If you have decided to shop from Amazon, make sure you read the product description and specifications before committing to a purchase. You will type cobalt rings on the search tab but even noncobalt rings will pop up in the search results. You will be surprised to see titanium and tungsten rings as part of the search results.
Also, remember that expensive cobalt rings look fancy and are usually brand jewelry. This is common with tungsten and titanium rings sold online. You may find a tungsten ring that costs $25, which tells you the ring is cheaply made too.
Other alternative metals are made with better techniques and built stronger than others although that may not be the case always.
Why Buy a Cobalt Ring
Still wondering whether you should buy a cobalt ring? Here are more reasons to convince you.
If you are shopping for jewelry for the first time, finding an alternative metal ring that fits well may be difficult. Most customers complain about tungsten bands being heavy and titanium rings being too light.
A cobalt wedding band does not have these problems. Their weight is average and it will feel like you are wearing a gold ring. It may feel a little off if you are not used to wearing rings but soon you will get used to it and learn how to balance the weight.
2. Hypoallergenic options
Cobalt is categorized as a reactive metal, although it is not the cobalt itself but the metals that form the alloy. Nickel is known to cause allergies and only a few jewelers still use it to make jewelry.
If you are allergic to nickel, try to find nickel-free cobalt wedding bands. You just may have to take more time looking for them and when you find them, the designs are also limited.
Although it is nickel that causes allergy, some people are still allergic to cobalt. If you did not know that you have an allergy until you started wearing the ring, both metals could be the cause.
However, it is unlikely that the allergy is from cobalt. Cobalt allergy is normally mild.
3. Low maintenance
Most alternative metals used by jewelers to make engagement and wedding rings do not need a lot of care. That however does not mean that you mishandle and not clean them. Cobalt rings should be cleaned with mild soap and warm water.
You can soak the ring in the mixture for about 15 minutes then rinse it underwater. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the dirt from the ring. Make sure to wash away all the soap from the grooves in a ring that has gemstones.
Cobalt chrome rings resemble white gold rings but they don’t need as much care. All white gold jewelry needs rhodium plating from time to time, that is what makes the jewelry retain its silver shine.
As time goes by, dirt natural oils, dust, and daily wear cause the rhodium to fade. The white gold starts to look slightly yellow and needs to be replated.
If you don’t have a lifetime warranty that takes care of rhodium plating, the maintenance cost will be high. The average price of rhodium plating ranges from $40 to $120. That’s why we suggest you buy white gold jewelry from an online jewelry retailer that provides a lifetime warranty.
If you want a cobalt chrome wedding ring because of the way it resembles white gold you will be delighted to know that cobalt chrome rings and platinum rings will keep the silver shine.
Cobalt does not tarnish, so you can wear it in water. However, not all jewelry can be worn in water or the pool.
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