Saturday, February 25, 2012

Titanium

Is titanium more valuable than gold?  Seemingly not, but it's a lot tougher.   (If Aaron had made his golden calf of titanium he could have picked it up and run off with it - though probably God would have caught up with him just as quick, if Moses didn't get there first.)

I have a gold wedding ring that's 9-carats.  I hadn't ever thought much about what a carat was, but seemingly you can't have more than 24 of them in any piece of gold -24/24 means basically 100% in gold terms.  However, 24-carat gold is not much good for wedding rings: by the time your marriage was a few years old, a good deal of the gold would have rubbed off on your ring finger.  Gold might seem hard, but it ain't. So even though nine carat gold isn't as valuable as 24 carat, it's a bit more sturdy - not because the gold is better but because the other 15-carats are made up of some other metal.   A 9-carat gold ring is actually mostly something other than gold.

Of course you knew all this, even if I didn't until now.   So, if you want a wedding ring that's more durable than gold, you can do one of several things: wear a steel one.   Not so attractive maybe, and probably a good deal heavier.  (I'm guessing here based on some bits of info I skimmed.)   Or you can have a 24-carat gold wedding ring that's actually got a bit of titanium in it - 1% is enough to make the gold tougher, and that small percentage of titanium doesn't undermine the 24-carat value of the gold.

The other alternative is for people to wear titanium rings for their wedding bands (see the photo).  Titanium rings can be found in all manner of designs, and are non-allergenic.   They're durable, dent-resistant, non-corrosive and, most importantly, light weight.  My wedding ring, on the other hand, is not so resistant to wear and tear: for many years now it's had a crack around the inside.  I tried to see if this could be mended, but apparently it 'wasn't worth it.'  So much for my 9-carat feller.  However, our marriage has survived nearly 40 years, so I guess the value of the ring is mostly sentimental.   If those wearing titanium wedding bands can do as well, more power to them!
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