WEDDING RING

Damascus Steel Rings – A Comprehensive Guide

Damascus Steel pattern in wedding rings closeup

Once upon a time, men’s wedding rings were limited to a choice of gold, platinum or silver bands. Thankfully they’ve come a long way in style due to the creativity and out-of-box thinking of men’s jewelry designers.

Damascus steel rings are the perfect mix of old-world metalwork techniques, history and modern design. Discover everything you need to know about Damascus steel rings to help him find the perfect band that suits his style and personality.

Let’s first take a look at Damascus wedding rings followed by a detailed look into the mysterious history of this type of metal.

Damascus Steel Pros and Cons

Damascus steel is a durable, beautiful metal but it also has some downsides.

Pros:

  • Extremely durable and scratch resistant
  • Easy to maintain
  • Reasonable price (compared to similar metals like mokume gane)
  • A talking point – it’s sure to get attention
  • Unique and off-beat wedding ring choice

Cons:

  • Can’t be resized
  • Harsh chemicals like chlorine can damage the surface
  • Not hypoallergenic (typically contains nickel)

What are Damascus Steel Wedding Rings?

Production of patterned swords gradually declined and Damascus steel methods were eventually lost by the 1800s due to the advent of firearms.

But the technique has resurged in modern times for knifemaking and wedding bands. The lore of Damascus steel has made it a popular metal for men’s wedding rings.

It is also a great choice because of its long-lasting properties. Its workability also makes it easy to fashion into a wide variety of styles.

What to Look for When Shopping for a Damascus Steel Ring

You’re unlikely to find a true Damascus steel wedding band made of wootz as the material is incredibly rare. Advances in metallurgy have produced materials that are more suited to jewelry.

The best quality Damascus steel rings are made of layers of stainless steel. Stainless steel is durable and hihgly rust-resistant which make it ideal for everyday wear.

Although the metal composition is different, the techniques used to make modern Damascus steel rings are still similar. Artisans still fold, twist and hammer the metal to create patterns that are truly unique ring as markings will never be exactly alike.

If tradition is secondary to the look of Damascus steel, you can look for rings that are produced to mimic Damascus steel.

This is done by etching the pattern into metal. This can be a much more economical option. Once you’ve decided on the technique, you can start looking at the many design adaptations that add another layer of individuality to Damascus steel wedding rings.

Damascus Steel Wedding Band Styles

Damascus steel wedding rings can be designed in many different ways, but the most common designs feature an inlay inside the ring or a strip along the outside of the ring in various materials.

For the Classic Gentleman

Damascus steel wedding ring

Damascus Steel Wedding Band by Sterling Holmes Rings. Check Price Here.

Men with classic style should look for Damascus steel wedding bands with a subtle pattern. Rings made of metals in similar tones will produce a pattern that is less contrasted. Similarly, rings made of metal that has been folded multiple times will produce a tighter pattern. Both will look cleaner and more uniform which will suit men with classic tastes, but have just enough detail to make the ring interesting. Etched gold and platinum rings are also a good choice for men that want traditional metals with the Damascus steel pattern.

For Nature Lovers

Bone inlay damascus steel ring

Damascus Ring with Antler Bone Inlay from Exotic Rings by ANL. Check Price Here.

Damascus steel wedding bands are a great choice for outdoorsy men because of their durability. The look of natural elements such as wood or stones also compliments the natural-looking pattern. Keep in mind that natural materials such as bone or wood won’t be as durable as metals and stone, so an inlay on the inside of the ring is a good idea.

For Whiskey Connoisseurs

Damascus steel ring

Damascus Ring with Whiskey Barrel Inlay by Pillar Styles. Check Price Here.

A popular trend for Damascus steel rings is to incorporate wood from whiskey barrels into the design.

Barrel wood can be used for the inlay for something more subtle (as it can only be seen from the side while the ring is worn), or through a more visible strip on the outside of the ring.

The wooden components are treated with durable resins similar to what is used to proof marine wood but can still be scratched. If you are worried about keeping your ring pristine, consider an inner inlay.

For Scientists

Dinosaur meteorite ring

Dinosaur Meteorite Ring by Alchemical Fusion. Check Price Here.

If your groom loves all things science look for a Damascus steel ring that features rare materials in the design.

Designers use meteorites and even fossils to create truly unique wedding bands for science enthusiasts. These materials are often raw in appearance and make for a stark contrast against finished Damascus steel.

Pair this with the deep history of Damascus steel and you have a ring that is worthy of being on display in a museum!

For a Man That Loves Color

Purple damascus ring

Purple Wood Damascus Steel Ring by Rob and Lean. Check Price Here.

If your husband-to-be has colorful style, look for a Damascus steel ring that pops with color. A strip or inlay of gold, rose gold or turquoise is a good choice for men with more traditional jewelry tastes.

For those that prefer things loud, look for rings that incorporate inlays of colored wood that are available in bold colors such as purple, deep blues and reds.

For a Man with Quirky Style

Unique damascus matching wedding rings

Etched Damascus Steel Wedding Band by Forever Sworn Jewelry. Check Price Here.

Damascus steel rings are an alternative look on their own, but if your new husband has really out-there style, there are many different designs to suit.

Damascus steel’s malleable properties allow it to be carved into interesting shapes. Look for rings that are faceted or etched around the outside to add unusual dimensions to the interesting watery pattern.

For a Man That Loves Diamonds Too

Damascus steel diamond ring

Damascus Steel Wedding Band with Diamond by Rings Paradise. Check Price Here.

Diamonds have been associated with the commitment of marriage for a long time and there’s no reason why men shouldn’t be able to indulge in a little sparkle too.

The pattern of Damascus steel is quite masculine and the addition of a diamond makes for an interesting contrast. The unmatched hardness of diamonds paired with the legend of Damascus steel also makes for strong symbolism, perfect for a ring that symbolizes ‘forever’.

The History of Damascus Steel

Damascus steel wedding band

Damascus steel wedding band by River Dale Ironworks. See it here.

Damascus steel is a metal made by forging two different types of stainless steel together to create a durable metal and a distinctive water pattern.

It is thought to date back as far as 300 B.C. to the time of Alexander the Great. However, the legend of Damascus steel began when the Crusaders reached the middle east region (near Damascus) in the 11th century. This is when accounts of the remarkable characteristics of the metal begin to appear in recorded history.

Damascus steel swords were described as having the ability to cut through feathers and barrels through mid-air. It was also known for maintaining a sharp edge, and for its workability as a hard yet flexible metal.

damascus steel sword

By Rahil Alipour Ata Abadi – Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons., GFDL,

Damascus steel also had mystique because it was so difficult to reproduce. Medieval armorers who made weapons were fiercely secretive about their method – back then, protecting these techniques were akin to protecting national security. And because the technique incorporates a mixture, it is difficult to get it exactly right.

How is Damascus Steel Made?

The secret to Damascus Steel is believed to lie in ‘wootz’ – a type of steel produced in ancient India and Sri Lanka.

The composition of wootz comes with its own lore. In the 1800s, the Paris Mint conducted 300 experiments in a period of six weeks to try and replicate wootz. Platinum, gold and even diamonds were added to steel to try and reproduce wootz – all to no avail.

Today, metallurgists understand that wootz is made of porous iron and wood or charcoal to add carbon. This gives it its malleability when heated and hardness when cool.

There are two types of Damascus steel: cast Damascus steel and pattern-welded Damascus steel.

Cast Damascus steel is produced by pouring the mixture into a cast, whereas pattern-welded Damascus steel is produced by hammering and folding metal into shape.

It is believed that medieval Damascus steel was cast, however, pattern-welded steel was just as legendary.

According to Dr. Helmut Nickel, curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the finest blades ever made were Samurai swords of Japan, whose blades contained a million layers of steel as a result of constant folding.  

Wrapping Up

Damascus steel is an ideal choice if you’re after something unique, stylish, modern yet with strong ties to the past. It’s the perfect bridge between the old and the new, the warrior and the groom, the tough yet gentle. Damascus steel brings together opposite traits, creating a beautiful wedding ring that’s incredibly durable and stylish.