Iridium (Ir) 24 karat ring


Iridium ring -- 24 karat (99.95% pure)


Iridium was discovered by Smithson Tennant in 1803 and named after the Greek goddess Iris due to the brilliant colors of its salts. A member of the platinum group metals, iridium is the most corrosion resistant metal, is the second most dense and has the second highest modulus of elasticity (edged out by osmium for both of these properties) and has a very high melting point. It is one of the rarest elements in the Earth's crust with an estimated concentration of 0.001 parts per million (gold is about 40 times more abundant). It is estimated that 3 tonnes of iridium is produced worldwide annually (compared with about 3000 tonnes of gold). 
Wedding bands have traditionally been made of gold with 14 karat (or 58.5% pure) being the most common and 18 karat (or 75% pure) also available. Gold is too soft to make a durable ring out of at 24 karat purity (99.9% pure and up). There are many other alternatives to gold which are becoming popular including silver, platinum, palladium, tungsten, cobalt and stainless steel. The hardness, corrosion resistance, durability, purity, beauty, and cost are all factors to be considered. There are also several alloys out there that include iridium. PT950 (95% platinum and 5% iridium) and PD950 (95% palladium and 5% iridium) are the most common iridium containing rings. Iridium is the most corrosion resistant metal and is a close second to osmium as the most dense metal (weighing 22.56 g/cm3 compared with osmium at 22.59 g/cm3, platinum at 21.45 g/cm3, gold at 19.30 g/cm3 and silver at 10.49 g/cm3). Iridium also has a very high melting point of 4435 degrees F and Moh's hardness of 6.5 compared with gold (1948 degrees F and 2.5) and platinum (3215 degrees F and 3.5). Our iridium rings are about as durable a ring as you'll find anywhere. They are also essentially pure, unlike most other conventional rings in which the precious metal is alloyed with other metals to make it more durable. Other such rings are therefore less pure, often much less so. For example, the common 14 carat gold ring is only a little more than half gold (not to knock it too much as I've worn mine proudly for the past 23 years!).

There something else very special about iridium. Most of the iridium in the earth's crust is thought to have come from outer space via meteorites as it is so dense that most native iridium is postulated to have sunk to the earth's core when our young planet was a molten ball of magma. Its relatively high concentration in meteorites and the K-T boundary of the earth's crust as coupled in the Alvarez hypothesis support these assertions. If you want a wedding band cast from a pure precious metal that rained down from the heavens 65 million years ago in a ball of fire so devastating that it ended the dinosaurs reign on earth, passing the torch on to mammals and ultimately to man (and woman!); one that is among that is among the rarest, hardest and most corrosion resistant metals in the universe; and certainly one that will reflect a pure, timeless love as boundless as the universe from which it came, then we believe this is your ring.

Our first batch of 24 karat, 99.95% pure iridium rings have been cast in the most common US men's sizes 8-12, with at least two initially available in each of these sizes. Our prototype had a minor surface pitting issue which we detailed in our blog posts over this past winter. Fortunately with a longer melting time used for this batch, it is no longer much of an issue, though occasional tiny imperfections do occur. The inner circumference of our rings are inscribed with RWMM - Ir .9995 - XXXX, reflecting our brand, the element symbol, purity (99.95%) and XXXX is a four digit serial number which is unique for each ring. These rings cannot be re-sized, but as with our other products we will allow up to 30 days for returns in case it doesn't fit or you don't love it for any reason.

Each ring will be shipped with an assay certificate, our custom ring box and with our velvet logo bag. If you are not completely satisfied with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to return it for a full refund (buyer to pay return shipping). Domestic shipping is free for all orders over $199 (enter code free shipping at checkout). For orders of $199 or under, domestic shipping is $9.95. International shipping is now via USPS international priority express and costs $45 for shipments up to a pound (9 one ounce ingots or less including packaging materials) and $10 for each additional pound.

In case you missed our previous blogs on iridium, please take a look:
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