Meteorite rings are unique, ancient, and rare, and are increasingly gaining popularity as people turn towards alternative wedding bands. While meteorite has been used in the past for making various ornaments like stamp seals and jewelry, nowadays, this unique material is used to make men’s wedding bands and other jewelry. So what exactly is a meteorite ring?
Types of Meteorite Rings
As the name suggests, meteorite rings are made from meteorites, the remains of objects that drop out of space. They can be either meteorite falls if their movement to earth is observed and traced, or meteorite finds if they are discovered when they’ve already landed on the earth’s surface.
Meteorites are classified into three categories according to their composition:
- Stony: These rocks mostly consist of silicate minerals. They are the most common as they make up about 94% of all meteorites.
- Iron: This variety chiefly comprises of ferronickel with traces of cobalt and constitutes about 5% of meteorites.
- Stony-iron: They are composed of a mix of metallic and rocky substances. This type forms the remaining 1% of all meteorites. It has pyroxene and olivine saddled in layers of iron, resulting in an amazing and valuable stone.
Some meteorite types that land on earth are not ideal for jewelry making. Of the several varieties, the type that jewelers commonly use include:
Gibeonite – This is a Martian meteorite consisting of iron that was discovered in Gibeon, Namibia (hence its name). Though formed about 4 billion years ago, it was discovered in 1838. It has a crystalline structure that mirrors the most common gemstones.
Muonionalusta – A fine octahedrite type, this variety of meteorite was first discovered in 1906 and is mostly used for creating unique jewelry pieces.
Murchison – This type of meteorite fell near Murchison, Victoria (Australia) in 1969 and is known as a meteorite fall as it was seen landing. It’s thought to have broken from the solar system and contains extra-terrestrial amino acids and inclusions. Murchison is rich in calcium and aluminum.
Esquel – This was found in Argentina close to 70 years ago and has to be sliced to reveal the hidden crystals within it. The common crystals it contains are olivine, which form the gemstone peridot.
Meteorite Ring Designs
This design features a thin inlay of Gibeon meteorite in a black tungsten wedding band. This is an easy to maintain design, as tungsten is a durable metal and will require minimal maintenance.
Featuring a tungsten interior, with beveled edges, this design showcases the beauty of natural meteorite to the fullest.
Featuring a perfect circle of meteorite, this design consists of Gibeon meteorite. The natural patterns and silverish hue turn this into a classic yet unique ring.
By Braverman Oren. See it here.
If you’re on the lookout for a women’s meteorite band, this one should catch your attention. Made from tungsten, with a simulated meteorite inlay and a striking pattern, this ring beautifully imitates the natural look of meteorite. No one will know it isn’t the real deal unless you tell them.
By Wistful Woods. See it here.
Featuring certified Gibeon meteorite pieces, this ring is simply stunning. Note the complex patterns on its external surface, and the smooth titanium interior. This is ideal if you’re looking for something lightweight on your finger.
By Jewelry by Fordos. See it here.
Meteorite wedding bands are popular, but if you’re looking for something out of this world, consider a meteorite engagement ring. Set in white gold, this design features a center meteorite stone, polished to perfection.
By WJ Jewellery. See it here.
If the above ring was just a bit too non-traditional for you, then the one below should do the trick. With a meteorite band and a sparkling moissanite center stone, this ring subscribes to tradition with a twist.
By Renaissance Jewelry. See it here.
If a pair of wedding bands are on your mind, this might be right up your alley. Similar in design, but different in widths and the natural pattern, these rings are made with cobalt sleeves and Gibeon meteorite.
By Renaissance Jewelry. See them here.
Meteorite Engagement and Wedding Rings
Meteorite lovers appreciate meteorite rocks for their age and crystalline nature. They make attractive wedding bands, necklaces, and earrings. Though they are antique objects, meteorites are durable with distinct natural patterns that make them ideal for jewelry making.
These natural patterns, also known as Widmanstatten, have strokes of long nickel-iron crystals. It’s what makes meteorite engagement and wedding rings unique and special, as no two of them are the same, making for excellent symbolism.
How to Care for Meteorite Rings
If you’re looking for a low maintenance ring, then meteorite isn’t it. This material requires careful maintenance to ensure that it remains beautiful and rust-free.
As the ring will appear rusty or dull over time, clean the ring with a soft brush and a jewelry cleaner or some toothpaste. This will polish up the ring and get rid of any dirt and rust.
Next, you can use some rubbing alcohol to finish cleaning the ring and dry it out.
The final step is to create a protective coating on the ring. As meteorite tends to rust easily, you can prevent this by coating the ring in either wax or oil to prevent moisture from coming into contact with it.
How to Identify Authentic Meteorite Rings
Being able to tell a real meteorite ring from a fake one is paramount if you’re to get value for your money and be able to take care of it appropriately. Check out the following when you want to establish whether it’s authentic or not.
- It comes with a certificate of authenticity.
Generally, meteorite rings are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity, which has details of where the meteorite was bought. However, this isn’t always the case so it’s best to ask the vendor about the meteorite and for proof of its authenticity. It’s also important to purchase from a reputable vendor to avoid issues. If worse comes to worst, you should at least be able to return the ring for your money back, so carefully check the after sales policies.
- Check the Widmanstatten pattern.
An authentic meteorite ring will have a unique and striking pattern. You will need to check carefully to be able to tell genuine meteorite, because the pattern can be faked. A false pattern doesn’t look as good under scrutiny.
- It is magnetic.
Since meteorites contain iron, it follows that meteorite rings are magnetic and will therefore attract magnets. This is the quickest way of identifying if the ring is authentic.
- Observe the inclusions.
Genuine meteorites have inclusions like tiny holes, cracks, and dark marks since they are natural. If your meteorite appears perfect, know that it’s fake.
- Acids damage it.
Meteorites cannot withstand strong acids like sulphuric acid, as they damage it instantly. Avoid using this method to test your meteorite ring and instead use the other friendly methods in this section. In case your jewelry gets acid and remains the same, know that it’s not a genuine meteorite ring.
- It’s prone to rust.
Iron plays a significant role in helping establish the validity of your meteorite ring. This is because its presence in such a ring can make it rust. If you notice your ring rusting, that’s a good sign that it is real.
With proper care such as avoiding contact with harsh chemicals, you can avert rusting and lengthen your ring’s life. Should it rust, you can remove it easily by wiping it with a jewelry polishing cloth, like this one, and then leaving the ring on the cloth overnight. Apply ring wax to stop any more rust from developing on your ring.
Meteorite Ring Creation Process
Designing meteorites into rings is a long process that requires maximum attention and the right tools. With a meteorite slab and some tools, such as jewelry cutting saw, cutting oil, spring clamp, mini metal lathe, center punch, drill bits, and drill, the ring-making process can begin.
- Loosely cut out a smaller piece of the slab containing the mark of your ring size. To do this correctly, place a ring on top of the slab and mark a circle. Being an iron slab, it’s hard and may take a while and lots of strength.
- Drill a hole using a center punch so that it fits on a bolt mandrel.
- Now shape your meteorite into a ring using a mini lathe.
- Next mount the ring on an expandable mandrel once you achieve the ring size and thickness you need. Make facets and start polishing.
- Complete the polishing process using a cloth and some polishing compound.
- Acid etching finalizes the ring production process. Immerse the ring in an acid, like ferric chloride, for some seconds so that the natural pattern can be more conspicuous.
To prevent rusting of the ring and any possible skin reactions, most meteorite rings have inner bands and rails soldered onto them. This is usually done before etching.
Meteorite rings are stylish and unique, with every ring demonstrating different patterns, which makes them symbolic for use in wedding bands. It’s essential to purchase your ring carefully to ensure that you’re getting an authentic meteorite ring.