Wednesday, April 28, 2010

«The One Ring»

Speaking of tungsten carbide, I've had a ring made of tungsten carbide for nearly a year now. My dad and I bought identical rings; other than their size, they are identical in design and material. My fingers are thinner than his. I wouldn't say smaller though, as my fingers are longer.

I have to say, my finger ended up being more interesting than the ring in this picture. You can see the little hairs and the texture of my skin. This picture1 was taken yesterday (April 27th, 2010).
Tungsten carbide ring.

Click image to view full.

In my opinion, tungsten carbide is one of the best materials for jewelry hands-down. Since it's so hard, it literally takes a diamond, corundum, or something equally hard (and rare) to scratch it. The ring will keep its luster indefinitely under normal wear. It will also keep its shape, unlike rings made of softer materials like gold that tend to form to your finger.

I bought it on May 20th, 2009 at a jewelry store named Rialto in the Commons at Federal Way in Federal Way, Washington. It cost me $136.50. Since I'm a citizen of Alaska, I'm tax exempt in the state of Washington. This picture was taken the day I got the ring.
The Commons at Federal Way
Click image to view full.

Tungsten carbide has some interesting physical properties.
  • Mohs hardness is between 8.5 and 9.0, depending on the trace amounts of other elements such as nickel or cobalt. As a comparison, hardened steel tools are 7.5.
  • Compressive strength is higher than nearly all other metals and alloys (osmium would be one of the exceptions).
  • 3 times as rigid as steel.
  • Impact resistance is in the same range as hardened steel tools.
  • It maintains its hardness and rigidity to temperatures of up to 1400 Fahrenheit. Impact resistance is unaffected by cryogenic temperatures (-453 Fahrenheit).
  • Conducts electricity just as well as steel, and heat twice as well.
  • Density is twice that of steel.
  • Corrosion resistance approaches that of noble metals.
  • Wears 100 times longer than steel in conditions including abrasion, erosion, and galling.
  • Heat treatment is unnecessary; there is no change to physical properties after multiple heatings and quenching.
It's mine... My own... My precious...

1: That was actually a really tough picture to take. I wear the ring on my right hand, and the camera is near impossible to use with my left hand.


  1. Marf…I hate to tell you this but I think few women would be so entranced by a ring of such appearance…and when it comes to jewelry it is only women that really count…

    Hey! I’ve been to that Borders in the photo!

    I like the allusion to the Lord of the rings and Gollum however I think “Tungsten Carbide” would make a good name for a dog…such as a black Labrador retriever…

    This is a test, it is only a test:

    “Come here Tungsten Carbide! Come here!”

    This was a test; if it were not a test then you would have been knocked over by a dog named Tungsten Carbide….


    Nice RING to it….

  2. @ Livingsword: When it comes to what I wear, the only thing that matters is if I like it. I've somewhat conceded the fact that I'm just not going to find anyone. At least not in the short term.

    I don't think I went in the Borders, but it's good you know the location. There's always something oddly satisfying in seeing a photo someone else took, and being able to say "I've been there!"

    Nah, a dog named Tungsten Carbide would have to be a toy poodle or something.

    Geek moment: I just noticed you used the actual ellipses character instead of a series of 3 periods, and the quotation marks are directional. My guess is you used a word processor to type out the comment first, it made some auto-corrections, then you copy-pasted it here.

  3. @Marf: I hear you in that it only matters if you like it, for what it is worth I think it looks like a cool ring….

    My wife is so cool that when we got married it did not matter one bit to her that my wedding band was the same one as from my first marriage…its interesting how many women are offended when I tell them this…

    I like Borders they have a pretty good assortment of books but I admit that since I purchased my Amazon Kindle most of my books are purchased that way…Canada has an excellent book chain called Chapters…have you been to Powell’s in Portland? Very good…

    A toy poodle! I thought it was a tough metal…

    Your geek moment is correct…most of what I comment is written in a word processor…however that is depends on which browser I am using…force of habit from work…

    So why have you given up?

  4. @ Livingsword: Thanks. As I said my dad and I have identical rings, so it's like a father/son ring.

    We had a Waldenbooks in town, they are owned by Borders. Borders gave the order to pull out by the end of January, so now we don't really have a bookstore in town. I've only passed through Portland, never spent any time there.

    The humor is, you give a badass name to a toy poodle or a wiener dog or something equally non-threatening.

    I often times write my blog posts in a word processor. Sometimes I have a few day's worth of half-written posts saved for later that I'll never get around to.

    Basically I've given up due to a lack of experience and confidence coupled with social anxiety. I live the life of a hermit, so I tend to not meet many people.

  5. My gold wedding ring is all scratched up from 29 years of marriage. Tungsten Carbide would certainly be cool and wear better, but there is always the illogical side to these things.

  6. On an interesting note, when Golem first refered to 'my precious' in The Hobbit, he was talking to himself. Later, in LoTR, Tolkien RetConned it so that Golem was refering to the One Ring.

  7. @Marf: Yeah the identical rings idea does act as one that binds them together….

    So you’re from Alaska and living in Washington?

    Portland is not bad, Seattle is much nicer….similar to Vancouver…

    Borders has a good audio book selection…

    Yes I understood the contrarian dog name humour *stopped to convince grammar checker that it is a Canadian program when spelling “humour”*, but you know dog names are not something to joke about, highly irregular…

    Typically I find writing in the word processor to be faster…

    There are a lot of people that are challenged in social situations…I flourish in such environs…

  8. @Looney: 29 years of scarring provides character and uniqueness…gold is also glittery which attracts the eye…its interesting that in other parts of the world the “marriage finger” is on the opposite hand…

  9. @ Livingsword: I was on a vacation with my dad during May of 2009. I live and am currently in Alaska.

  10. @Marf: Alaska is the only state west of the Mississippi I have not been to…which is an irony when you consider that I live in British Columbia…

    I have thought to wait for a trip there when I am older and a cruise is all I am up to…if a person went to Alaska while still physically able where should they go etc?

    By the way you guys should change your license plate to say “Home of Sarah Palin”

  11. @ Livingsword: There's a lot of states I've never been to. But I have been through British Columbia a few times.

    If you were to take a cruise, you'd be stopping here for a day. Pretty much every cruise ship that goes to Alaska makes a stop here. Around here you can go hiking or fishing. Walk around the town, go on a diving tour, or a zip-line adventure through the treetops. There's a lot for tourists to do in this town alone.

    Ugh. Sarah Palin. I wish she'd just climb back under her rock in Wasilla and disappear.


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