Titanium Rings Studio News


Custom Titanium Ring Design - The Joy and The Horror 0

   So, this guy sends me an email. I get them all the time. “Do  you make custom designs?” My reply, sent with a mixture of hope and foreboding is “Yes, as long as it is something we’re equipped to create. Send me a picture or sketch of what you have in mind and I will let you know…” You see, titanium has its limits. While the metal works nicely as jewelry, given its hypoallergenic, lightweight qualities, persuading it to behave as a malleable metal is just plain impossible. In addition, casting titanium requires a vacuum since in its molten stage it becomes highly explosive if exposed to oxygen. Therefore, we have set ourselves up quite nicely with a working studio, in which we deal only with cutting titanium, not casting. In most cases, requests for custom designs are therefore denied due to these and numerous other limiting factors in the realm of titanium ring designs. In addition, when we are considering experimenting, we have to weigh in the initial cost as well as the potential for loss in materials and time if the design doesn’t work out. Now, back to my “guy” and his email. In his message, he tells me a story of a lost custom-made titanium wedding band. The company who made the band is no longer able to make them and his wife is upset that he is currently running around with no visible proof of being wed. Additionally, he has put in his request far and wide with no success. I’m not sure it’s a good thing that I work in customer service because it is really, really hard for me to say no. Especially when the wife is brought into the discussion. The ring in question is worth something more than just the metal and craftsmanship that went into making it. There are all the memories attached, starting from the first day of their marriage, the honeymoon, the hand-holdings, the pillow talks etc. Anyone who’s been married knows about the ring and all that it holds. Per my instructions, he sends me a picture of his long lost, custom titanium ring and I can see right away, without consulting my bold craftsman, Jake, that making this ring will require some work (if not a miracle). But I can’t rule it out because: #1) I can’t say no. #2) I believe in miracles. And #3) The ring design is not completely impossible. And sure enough, when I consult do with Jake, he has to agree. We both have a hard time saying no, and making a custom design offers us an opportunity to step outside of the box, which is always exciting. The design required hand pressing a platinum inlay into a Celtic knot pattern. After a practice run using silver, Jake felt confident he could manage the design using platinum. We were off and running! The entire project took some time as there were many details to attend to; sending out a sizing kit to our customer to confirm size, getting our machinist to cut the Celtic knot into a domed ring etc. In the end, I have to say, it was well worth it, and in the words of our dear craftsman Jake, “This ring was one of the most frustrating and at the same time satisfying rings I have ever made. I do love a challenge! It pleases me so much to work so hard on a project and to see it come to fruition so beautifully. I love to think of the person who will wear it and all that it will mean to them. It is why I do what I do." And yes, our customer, and his wife, are extremely pleased!
  • Susan Smith
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What is a Frost Ring / Frost Finish? 0

"Frost" is a certain kind of finish that makes up the outer face of a titanium ring. It looks like the ring is covered in silver-colored frost (like things in your freezer, but the color of titanium), hence the name. But there are many rings which combine frost and other styles, too. Check out this collection of Frost rings to get an idea. Frost is unique in that it can take the most punishment out of all the rings out there. It's mainly due to the textured finish, which is patterned in a way that makes scratches unnoticeable. As titanium is extremely scratch-resistant in the first place, a Frost ring virtually guarantees that it will be unaffected by even the most high-impact lifestyles. It's recommended for people who engage in activities like hiking, construction, contact sports, and so on. How is Frost created? The Frost technique is a trade secret, and can only be achieved through handcrafting. Many rings you'll find come straight off an assembly line, but a Frost finish ring won't be one of them - so this makes it a recognizable indicator of quality. They're stunning to look at too; Frost rings sparkle in bright light, while in low light they are a subtle-yet-compelling sight to behold.
The History of Titanium Jewelry

The History of Titanium Jewelry 0

For some reason, there seems to be almost no information out there about the history of titanium jewelry. We figured we’d have to at least impart a bit of information for the curious out there.

Here is what we do know. The use of titanium in jewelry is a modern phenomenon, not something that human civilization has been involved with for a long time (as with gold). Titanium was only discovered in 1791, and an efficient method of adapting titanium ore to a usable metallic form for jewelry has only been with us for a matter of decades.

As far as we can remember, the first titanium jewelry was being sold in the early 1990s. Well before the craft reached its maturity (i.e. now), initial jewelers had even figured out “anodizing” – the almost magical process of bringing brilliant color to titanium (and some other materials) by applying an electrical charge to it.

It seems to be a complete mystery as to who exactly was the first to make titanium jewelry; however all we can offer is that Eric Pless here at Titanium Rings Studio was one of the first, so we often put these questions to him.

Eric is our chief designer (and, no less, our chief in general) and remembers experimenting with a sheet of titanium during the early 1990s. How he came to having the titanium to experiment with in the first place almost didn’t happen: Eric was on the phone ordering jewelry materials from his supplier, and decided on the spur of the moment to request a sheet of titanium, too. It was an off-hand decision that forever changed his destiny.

During these experiments, and watching how versatile and beautiful titanium was to work with, Eric knew that he would from that point on devote his working life to titanium jewelry.

To understand the gravity of this decision, you have to understand the craft at that point in history. For the experienced jewelry designers who made the switch to titanium, this was risky stuff. On the one hand, there is thousands of years of jewelry-making tradition (using materials like gold and silver) and a guaranteed market for it; on the other, a brand new metal for which there was no demand, let alone even common awareness (at the time). Eric chose the big question mark, but it paid off.

That’s about it from our end, but if you can fill us in on some of these blanks, please get in contact with us. It’s not surprising that there’s now a Wikipedia page about titanium rings, given their rising popularity. We’ll add to this as we know more!

Blood Diamonds and Why You Should Consider The Alternatives 2

It's 2010 and the blood diamond problem still has not gone away. For the time being, buyers are urged to consider alternatives.

A Search Spanning Millennia: The History of Rings 1

Once upon a time, there lived ancient peoples who wanted to symbolize eternal love. They believed that symbols held special, magical powers. For these ancient people, a circle represented eternity, and it was not long before lovers exchanged small rings that fit on one's fingers. At first the people used grasses, bone and wood as rings, but these were no good because they could break or come undone easily. This was a very serious problem for the ancient peoples, because if the symbol itself was broken, that meant the powers of the symbol were broken...

Custom Designed, Handcrafted Jewelry. A Personal Experience 0

In my experience with gift giving, jewelry is always a winner and this has caused me to explore the option of custom designed, handcrafted jewelry. You see, when I am looking for a piece of jewelry, I want to find something unique and “out of this world”. I search for that impossible, sparkling item containing the magic quality that says, “Look! I know you and I care enough to invest time and energy in finding the very thing you most wanted! Aren’t I sneaky?” I want to see utter astonishment on the recipients face, a look of disbelief and genuine heartfelt appreciation, along with the awestruck statement, “How did you know?” This is the kind of response that makes me, the giver, just as happy as the recipient; it becomes a mutual receiving fest.

For me, gift giving has become a watered down experience since shopping for jewelry has made me weary. Most merchandise looks the same and if it doesn’t, the price is ridiculous whether or not the item is desirable. Most jewelry is being manufactured now in batches and duplicates by someone I don’t even know, and will probably never meet let alone talk to. Who are these people and where do they live?

I know crafty people who make crafty gifts catered to the recipient’s tastes! My daughter makes earrings and necklaces for her girlfriends, who are always thrilled to wear her personalized art pieces. These talented craftspeople are to be respected, if not worshiped for their saintly pursuits. I mean really. Who has the time? Which leads me to discuss the subject of this long-winded dissertation, I design it. The artist makes it. This is what “custom designed, handcrafted” means. And if you look online, you will find many resources for handcrafted custom jewelry.

I like the idea of working with an experienced craftsman, who not only has the time and talent, but the desire (if not the obsession) to make jewelry, beautiful jewelry, wonderful, magical jewelry. The very pieces of personalized jewelry I seek as gifts for the loved one’s in my life. I can see the two us, the craftsman at his workbench, and I with a picture in my mind working together to alter the blueprint for my plan just enough to make the creation feasible. But, I have never pursued this dream of mine as I simply assumed the cost would be way over my budget.

I have discovered and want to share with you that a custom designed product does not necessarily mean an expensive product. As I stated before, the craftsman who will be skillfully handcrafting my jewelry piece is an artist. He wants to make my jewelry. And he has never seen a design quite like mine. He is excited, even anxious to get started. If you come across one who isn’t, keep looking. There are many willing artists to interview. He will be willing to negotiate a price just to have the opportunity to make something he has never made before. Who knows, his customer may have come up with a design that he would not have created without her. And this design could become wildly popular-you get where this is headed, don’t you? The relationship between customer/designer and artisan has deepened. We contribute to each other and a quality piece of jewelry art is born at the agreed upon price.

I am already dreaming of the next handcrafted, custom design I will manifest. It is a titanium ring with my daughters name engraved on the outside. Fitted for her pinky finger and flush set with a delicate blue sapphire. The words “My One And Only…” engraved inside the band. I can already see the look on her face!