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When you think of wedding band materials the typical metals of gold, silver, and platinum probably come to mind. But what if you're looking for a unique material to create a ring that's equally one-of-a-kind? Meteorite might just be the wedding band material for you.
What Is Meteorite?
Meteorite is a piece of a comet, asteroid, or meteoroid that passes through the atmosphere and reaches the surface of a planet or the moon. Experts estimate that meteorite material travels at an estimated speed of seven miles per second.
Nothing formed on Earth is quite like meteorite. The material's striated design, known as a Widmanstätten pattern (figures of long nickel-iron crystals), is formed by bands of alloys called kamacite (nickel-iron found in meteorites) and taenite (a mineral found naturally on Earth, mostly in iron meteorites).
According to jeweler Ryan Atlas, what makes meteorite rings so special are their natural patterns, which are the result of nickel-iron crystals growing as the heated meteorite cools very slowly over millions of years. The resulting crystalline pattern is very distinct and unique. Jeweler Johan Rust compares a meteorite ring to a snowflake: no two are the same. “Meteorite is such a perfect material to incorporate into a ring to make it something extraordinary. After all, finding the perfect partner is a pretty astronomical feat!”
Meet the Expert
- Ryan Atlas is an experienced jeweler. He oversees all aspects of the jewelry design process at Brilliant Earth.
- Johan Rust is the master jeweler and innovator behind Jewelry by Johan.
Considering wearing meteorite on your finger? Ahead, Atlas and Rust explain everything to know about meteorite wedding bands.
Pros and Cons of Meteorite Rings
Considering that the material is rarer than platinum, meteorite jewelry has a surprisingly modest price tag. Rust says, “Pricing runs the gamut depending on the ring metal, amount of meteorite, and other materials in a design.” For a thinner, single inlay meteorite ring crafted in an alternative metal, you can expect to pay about $400. Precious metal meteorite rings are closer to $1,000.
As for durability, Atlas says considering meteorite rings are originally derived from an extinct planet’s core, several billions of years ago, the jewelry is extremely strong and resistant. Rust agrees, saying, "Meteorite is made up of metal elements, primarily metallic iron-nickel, making it very hard and durable on its own. When inlaid into a ring crafted in tungsten, titanium, or another hard metal, it makes for a ring that can withstand the tests of time.”
A con, however, is that meteorite is prone to oxidization because it contains a high amount of iron. “As part of Brilliant Earth’s production standards, we apply a protective layer over the meteorite material in order to safeguard it from moisture," ensures Atlas.
What to Look for in a Meteorite Ring
Here are a few questions and answers you should know before choosing a meteorite ring.
- What metals pair best with meteorite? “Meteorite has a natural, beautiful texture, and its striation provides each ring with a unique pattern of swirling gray hues. To complement this natural texture and finish, we like to pair it with a clean metal such as white tungsten that allows the meteorite to be the focal point, or with a bold metal such as black tungsten that creates a contemporary look,” explains Atlas.
- Are there different types of meteorite? The three main kinds of meteorite are Gibeon, which is composed of an iron-nickel alloy containing significant amounts of cobalt and phosphorus; Muonionalusta, an iron meteorite; and Lunar, which is known to have originated on the moon.
- How can I incorporate meteorite into a custom ring design? "Customers come in with an existing ring design from another jewelry store, and then we work together to find a way to incorporate meteorite into it to create a completely one-of-a-kind piece," explains Rust of his own experience. "This includes adding bezel-set diamonds within a meteorite inlay and using faceted meteorite stones for engagement rings.”
How to Care for a Meteorite Ring
"Meteorite material isn’t something to wear unmindfully," cautions Rust. However, rusting can be prevented by protecting your ring with wax or oil, avoiding submerging it in water, and periodically using rubbing alcohol to clean and dry out your ring.
He also advises using a toothbrush and some regular toothpaste to remove any rust or grime. Next, soak your ring in some rubbing alcohol to dry out any moisture. Finally, seal the meteorite with some oil to protect it from rusting in the future.
Ahead, scroll through 17 meteorite rings.