How strong is the wood?

How strong is the wood?
The wood – metal strength relationship.

All of the different woods we use are hardwoods and are strong enough to withstand everyday life. This is especially true if they are inlaid in a metal stronger than silver. The ring in the picture is a silver and wood ring which is over ten years old. This ring is a good example of how soft the silver is. As you can see, the silver has become rounded and worn down, and can no longer protect the wood properly.

If there was an issue with the wood inlaid in this ring, we wouldn’t be able to re-inlay it. This is because the channel it would have been inlaid in will have worn down and become too shallow to hold a new inlay. If this was to happen we would offer a discounted upgrade to titanium, which would never wear down in the same way as it’s such a durable metal (titanium is even harder than platinum!).

The wood inlay will wear a little in any ring because it changes over time, tending to darken slightly and take on a driftwood feel. These changes tend to settle after the first couple of years of wear. When the wood is worn continuously the natural oils in your skin will prevent it from drying out and cracking. If there are periods of time when it is not worn then the wood would benefit from a little oil. We use teak oil but olive oil will be fine.

The settling period.

All of our wood inlaid rings (regardless of the metal) will go through a settling period when first worn. For the first 3-6 months of wear there’s (approximately) a 10% chance of the wood cracking. This is because it will expand and contract in reaction to the wearers lifestyle and fluctuations in temperature. If the wood cracks just let us know and we’ll repair it for you straight away, free of charge. In the very unlucky instance that the wood cracks again, we’ll discuss the options with you to move forward. Often we can assume that the original piece of wood contains a flaw in the grain that we can’t see. If you like, we’ll re-inlay the ring for you instead. Though this does mean that the wood will need to go through the settling process again.

Once in a blue moon we have a customer who has no luck with wood inlaid rings and needs to seek an alternative to wood. In these rare cases we offer to re-inlay the ring with silver for free (this looks particularly lovely in titanium rings). Alternatively, we can inlay any colour/carat of gold at the cost price of the metal, and carry out the work free of charge.