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If you’re looking for a unique wedding ring, carbon fiber might be just the thing for you. Carbon fiber rings have been growing in popularity lately as an increasing number of men opt for something different.
Affordable, beautiful and easy to wear, there are many reasons to choose a carbon fiber ring. In this guide, we’ll cover the pros and cons of carbon fiber and what makes this material unique.
What is Carbon Fiber?
Carbon fiber was invented by Thomas Edison about 150 years ago. However, it was only around the 1950s that the material as we know it today was developed when it was created in the US and then refined and improved by aerospace agencies. While carbon fiber can be made from a variety of materials, the most commonly used material is polyacrylonitrile, a.k.a. PAN.
Carbon fiber has numerous uses and is an extremely versatile material. It has only recently begun to be used in jewelry but is quickly distinguishing itself as a great option, especially for rings.
Technically, carbon fiber isn’t a metal but rather a material made of tightly woven fibers. When you initially put one on, you may notice that it feels different to metal rings.
What’s a 100% Pure Carbon Fiber Ring?
Most carbon fiber rings on the market are a combination of metal and carbon fiber inlay. What this means is that a strip of carbon fiber is placed within a groove in a metallic ring. Here’s an example of a black titanium carbon fiber inlay ring. Notice how the parts of the ring that touches your finger is all metal. Wearing such a ring would feel no different to wearing other metal rings.
Now take a look at this 100% carbon fiber ring. There is no metal to it, as the entire band has been crafted only out of carbon fiber. Naturally, you can imagine that this would feel a lot lighter and the texture would be different to a metal ring.
Whether you choose a pure carbon fiber ring or an inlay ring is up to you. The good thing is that this gives you a lot more color combinations, prices and styles to choose from.
Carbon Fiber Ring – The Pros
There are many pros to this space-age material. Here are some:
1- Carbon Fiber Durability
Carbon fiber is one of the strongest materials used for wedding rings and can withstand rough wear and exposure without suffering too much damage. While some metals tend to shatter or crack when dropped, like tungsten or ceramic, carbon fiber does not. In fact, you could drive over a carbon fiber ring and it would bounce right back up.
If your carbon fiber ring does acquire scratches and scuff marks over time, these can easily be polished out with fine sandpaper. It is extremely durable, making it perfect for people who lead busy lifestyles and use their hands a lot for work.
2- Carbon Fiber Weight
Carbon fiber is known for being extremely lightweight, so much so that you may not even notice that you have a ring on. To put this in perspective, carbon fiber is about 3 times lighter than titanium, which in itself is one of the lightest metals used for jewelry.
If you’re used to heavy rings like gold, platinum or tungsten, this lightness may feel a little eery at the start. Most people find that as they get used to this lack of weight, they actually prefer it over a heavier ring.
3- Carbon Fiber is Hypoallergenic
Being hypoallergenic, carbon fiber isn’t known to cause any skin issues to the wearer. This is an important point for people who have metal allergies and have reactions when their skin comes in contact with allergens like nickel, zinc or cobalt. If you suffer from metal allergies, it might be a great idea to opt for a carbon fiber ring.
4- Carbon Fiber Design Options
Carbon fiber is extremely versatile and flexible and can be made using a variety of fiber types. This makes it perfect to create varying patterns and unique textures, allowing for a wide range of design options.
The rings can be polished to appear smooth and glossy like metal or textured to give the design more depth and an intriguing look. It can be engraved and etched on for aesthetically pleasing designs.
As mentioned above carbon fiber can be used in its pure form but it’s frequently paired with other metals for greater style options. While it’s common to use carbon fiber as the inlay in rings, you will also find carbon fiber rings frequently lined with metals and wood either on the inside or the outside.
5- Carbon Fiber Appearance
The touch of black and the high-tech modern material are light years away from traditional gold and platinum rings. If you want to get off that traditional path for your wedding, then nothing says modern like a carbon fiber ring.
6- Carbon Fiber Price
Carbon fiber rings are priced very reasonably, making them great if you are on a budget (and who isn’t!). Depending on the quality of craftsmanship and materials used, these rings range from about $50 to $2000. On average, you can get a beautiful ring for about $200.
7- Cutting off Carbon Fiber in Emergencies
The problem with some durable metals like tungsten or ceramic is that they are very difficult to remove in an emergency and need to be shattered. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, can easily be cut through in emergencies.
8- Carbon Fiber is Conflict Free
Some metals like tantalum are sourced from conflict regions and there is controversy surrounding the using of these metals. However, carbon fiber is conflict free and is also a sustainable choice.
Carbon Fiber – Cons
By now you might be wondering: Does carbon fiber have any cons at all? Unfortunately, there are a couple of things you need to bear in mind before you decide whether carbon fiber is the right choice for you.
1- Carbon Fiber Resizing
Resizing a carbon fiber ring is almost impossible and most jewelers will tell you outright that it can’t be done. While this might not seem like an important factor, don’t forget that people’s finger sizes change and down the track, that ring is going to start sliding around or get too tight.
Because carbon fiber rings aren’t all that expensive, you could always consider replacing a ring that doesn’t fit anymore. Some retailers offer free size exchanges up to a year and others may have warranties that cover changes related to ring size.
However, there’s always an emotional attachment to a wedding band so if this is something you don’t want to have to part with, opt for a ring that can be resized. Note however, that no metal will last forever and each has its pros and cons.
2- Carbon Fiber Color
Currently almost all the carbon fiber rings on the market come in black. If you want more color options, maybe this isn’t the right material for you. Having said that, pairing carbon fiber with colored metals like rose or yellow gold adds that extra touch of color and breaks up the monotony of the all black ring.
3- Limited Range
Because this is a new metal, its popularity is still growing and the range of options can be limited. It’s difficult to find carbon fiber rings at your local store, and even online, you won’t have as large a range as you would titanium, platinum or gold rings, for example. However, as the demand increases, so will the supply.
Should I Buy a Carbon Fiber Ring?
Ultimately, the choice is yours. If you want a durable, reasonably priced, unique, lightweight, aerospace-tech ring, then definitely check out carbon fiber.
If, however, you’re more inclined towards traditional styles and prefer something classic that has lasted the test of time, then opt for gold or platinum.
There is no right or wrong answer here. Go with what you prefer.
Where to Buy Carbon Fiber Rings
You’ll be hard-pressed to find rings made of this modern material in local stores. We recommend taking your search online as you’ll be able to explore all the carbon fiber options available to you.
- James Allen has a limited edition of high-quality carbon fiber rings. But for a greater range, we suggest searching on:
- Etsy: There’s an impressive collection of artisan and hand-crafted carbon fiber rings on Etsy, ranging in price and designs. This is a great place to start your search and to check out the world of carbon fiber rings.
- Amazon: You can’t beat Amazon for variety in designs and price. There’s a wide range of carbon fiber rings on the site and there’s bound to be one that appeals to you.