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Over the last several years, more engaged couples are discovering that cobalt rings are affordable, lasting rings that have the look of precious white metals. Cobalt wedding bands are durable and reliable—and many brides and grooms choose them for both their beauty and practicality.
What Is Cobalt?
Cobalt is a hard, lustrous, silver-gray metal and is considered a "transition metal." Cobalt wedding bands are created with an alloy of cobalt and other metals, such as chromium, tungsten, or iron.
However, cobalt hasn’t been used in jewelry for as long as more popular metals like silver and gold. Jeweler Jamie Hollier explains, “For most of history, cobalt was used to add a beautiful blue color to glass and pottery, but in the last century cobalt began to be used in metal applications.”
Meet the Expert
Jamie Hollier is an accomplished jeweler and the owner of Balefire Goods, an award-winning gallery in Colorado.
Considering a cobalt wedding band? Here is everything you need to know about the metal, plus cobalt ring options to shop.
Pros and Cons of Cobalt Wedding Bands
Hollier says, “Cobalt can give you a nice white metal color reminiscent of platinum or white gold.” It’s typically much more affordable, though. It’s also non-tarnishing and non-corrosive, so it’s easy to care for and keep looking great for years to come. Cobalt wedding rings are also fairly lightweight and hypoallergenic, making them a smart option for people with metal allergies.
Cobalt rings are scratch-resistant. Although they’re not scratch-proof, they do typically get fewer scratches than more expensive fine metals.
On the other hand, unfortunately, cobalt rings cannot be resized if you need to change your ring size, and Hollier cautions that many people do eventually need to change their ring size during their marriage. She adds, “Cobalt can have limited design options as it can't be worked with as many techniques as we can use on gold or platinum. Also, while cobalt is scratch-resistant, it can scratch, and once it scratches you can't refinish it to remove those scratches like you can with gold and platinum.”
What to Look for in a Cobalt Wedding Band
Here are a few questions and answers you should know before you look for a cobalt wedding band.
- Should I purchase a ring with a warranty? “The cobalt rings we carry come with a warranty, which you should always look for in alternative metal jewelry,” she shares.
- Can I choose a black cobalt ring? “If you go with a black cobalt ring, look for a design that is black all the way through, not one that is plated black as that can wear off," Hollier adds.
- Can I wear a cobalt ring even if I have metal allergies? She cautions, "Check what metals the cobalt is alloyed with. Sometimes cobalt is alloyed with nickel, and that can cause metal allergies."
- What should a cobalt ring look like? “Like all jewelry, you will want to look for rings that are well-crafted. Look for a nice, consistent finish to the ring and a consistent-looking stone setting,” advises Hollier.
- How does cobalt compare to other precious metals? In Hollier’s opinion, precious metals like gold and platinum are good choices for wedding rings since they are more flexible. They can be sized and repolished. Also, the metal in those rings can be reused to create new pieces in the future and have resale value. Hollier advises looking over all your options for ring metals and carefully choosing the ring that fits your lifestyle.
If you are looking for heirloom jewelry, cobalt wedding rings probably wouldn’t be a fit since they don’t have intrinsic value like rings made of precious metals have.
How to Care for a Cobalt Wedding Band
Although cobalt wedding rings are more durable than gold or silver wedding rings, you still need to care for them. “For care of your cobalt ring, be sure not to wear it during any physical activity as these rings need to be removed with diamond-tipped saws if they get stuck on your finger. Other than that, cobalt rings are pretty low maintenance, and regularly washing your ring with soap and water is one of the best ways to keep it looking good,” says Hollier.
If a cobalt wedding ring sounds like a good fit for you and your fiancé, consider these 15 stylish cobalt wedding bands below.
Shane Co. Modern Cobalt Band with Black Ionic Plating
The modern design of this cobalt wedding ring makes it a fun choice for brides and grooms who want to stray from tradition in their wedding. It has a comfort fit band and a criss-cross design. The cobalt wedding ring has high polished black ionic plating.
Stunning Jewelry Gifts Gold-Plated Cobalt Celtic Wedding Ring
This gorgeous gold-plated ring is made of surgical-grade cobalt. Its silver-colored Celtic design adds an extra layer of visual interest and pizazz, and the comfort fit ring comes with complimentary laser engraving in the font of your choice.
Manly Bands The Reggie Piano Keyboard Cobalt Wedding Ring
Here’s a cobalt wedding ring that is likely to command attention and draw the eye directly to it. With a design that features imagery of a piano keyboard, this ring is great for musicians or music lovers. The piano keys engraving sets the ring apart.
Shane Co. Two-Tone Cobalt Comfort Fit Ring with Satin Finish
Black and silver are colors that complement each other perfectly when paired together for jewelry. This two-tone cobalt wedding ring features that aesthetically pleasing contrast, and it has a satin finish that gives it an extra touch of glam.