A Quick Guide to Guitar String Rings
When it comes to picking out a ring that stands out from the crowd of plain metal bands, guitar string rings are near the top of the list.
Over the years people have grown tired of the typical, traditional silver and gold wedding bands and have been searching for something new.
Bringing inspiration to the wedding ring industry, guitar string rings take the unique touch of specially wound guitar strings that are entwined into a distinctive pattern or embedded into precious metals or wood to create a complex, eye-catching design that breathes new life into the design aspect of ring making.
What Are Guitar String Rings?
Guitar string rings are rings that are either completely made from guitar strings, or that incorporate them into their body.
Guitar strings are generally available in a variety of materials including steel cores plated with nickel, pure steel, pure nickel, brass, bronze, and nylon. Gut, which was the original guitar string material that was used until after World War I, is also a popular choice for guitar lovers that want a piece of history in their ring.
Rings that are made primarily with guitar strings are a much more rare choice, and are typically fashioned by welding together several bands into a simple circular ring, or are wound into more complex shapes that show a distinct style.
For guitar string rings made of multiple materials, the string itself is typically inlaid into precious metals or alongside other materials such as wood or antler to provide a more distinctive look and feel.
How Did Guitar String Rings Become Popular?
Guitar strings began to be used as a more common form of jewelry as the popularity of rock and roll grew in the 50s into the 70s. Guitarists, musicians, and music enthusiasts would wear guitar strings as jewelry as a way to openly express their love and commitment to music.
Some wearers don guitar strings that are specially made, or that hail from a brand that holds significance to them, making guitar string rings a much more sentimental choice for music lovers than other options. Some rings are made from used guitar strings adding an even greater value to the wearer.
Are Guitar String Rings for Me?
What makes guitar string rings especially unique is that they can come in any style for any personality type.
They can be made with or without gems and can be set beside materials such as meteorite, whiskey barrel oak, Hawaiian Koa, tungsten, antler, and even precious metals such as gold and silver. There is also no shortage of embellishments that can be added to guitar string rings either: gemstones, engravings, and wood-burning techniques can all be used to add an individual touch to these pieces.
If you’re a more chill personality type looking for a more simple ring that doesn’t outshine everything around you, you might choose a tungsten ring with a guitar string inlay.
If you’re looking to catch attention with a unique wedding band, you might decide on a mix of meteorite and whiskey barrel oak with a jewel or two to set yourself apart.
An outdoorsman type that loves music and simplicity might choose a more lowkey guitar string ring set beside deer antler or white oak.
What Styles Are There?
Guitar string rings can be combined with almost any ring element you can think of, so a list of all of your choices is bordering impossible. That said, let’s take a quick look at some popular ring styles so you can determine what best fits your personality and daily needs.
- Tungsten is one of the most popular metals for men's rings and wedding bands. Known for its incredible durability and resistance to both damage and corrosion, tungsten retains its luster for decades with minimal care. When combined with an inlay guitar string, this metal-on-metal style is the perfect choice for someone looking for meaning and simplicity.
- White Oak is another popular choice for guitar string rings. Often hailed as “whiskey barrel rings” due to typically being crafted from the white oak of aged whiskey barrels, the wood of these rings has lived a life. Whiskey barrels go through a complex process of charring and humidity conditioning as master distillers work to craft the perfect whiskey.
- Damascus Steel is the perfect choice if you’re looking to show off your band. Known for the superior craftsmanship required to create this famous steel, Damascus is renowned for its history as the steel of choice for hundreds of years. The process of creating these rings holds a deep history in master forging, and as the small strips of iron and steel are welded together to create this highly durable material a pattern is formed that cannot be copied by anyone else - making your ring one of a kind.
- Antler rings are a popular choice for the outdoorsman type that wants to stay in touch with nature wherever they go. Typically crafted from deer, moose, or elk, antler rings are simple and low maintenance. Combining these rings with a guitar sting inlay sets them apart while maintaining their simplicity.
- Koa rings are the perfect choice for grooms interested in a ring that has both history and meaning. Derived from the Hawai’in Islands, this wood represents integrity and strength. Requiring minimal upkeep, and available in a variety of colors from deep red to golden blonde, these rings are suitable for men that lead a more active lifestyle due to the durability of the hardwood. Combining Koa with a guitar string creates a ring that holds a tremendous amount of meaning for the wearer.
- Gold rings are the most traditional option for wedding bands, and are sometimes regarded as being tired or overused. That said, combining gold with guitar strings and other design elements such as Damascus Steel, wood, tungsten, and even jewels creates a revitalized option for lovers of gold that want to stray from the traditionalist route. If you still want to stick with tradition, but also want a touch of something unique, a ring of gold with just the guitar string is more than enough. If you’re leaning towards the gold option, keep in mind that it is a soft metal that is easily tarnished and requires consistent maintenance to keep its luster.
- Hammered rings are typically made from precious metals that are hammered into shape. Created by highly-trained smiths, these rings don a one-of-a-kind pattern that combines traditional smithing techniques with a more modern style to create a distinctive, unforgettable piece.
Can these rings be resized?
Generally, guitar string rings are impossible to resize up because the resizing process requires the ring to be cut which can destroy the design. Resizing smaller is much more feasible since an insert can simply be added to the inside of the ring to create a more secure fit.
As a general rule, any ring that has a continuous design, that is made from a difficult metal such as titanium, or that has an eternity ring (a loop of stones set in the band that encircles the ring) cannot be resized.
How Durable are Guitar String Rings?
Durability is typically dependent upon the materials used in the ring. Hardwoods such as Oak and Koa are very durable and easy to care for - requiring little more than a quick polish with a soft cloth.
Metals such as tungsten and titanium are popular choices due to their durability as well, though titanium is a better choice if you’re likely to drop your ring often since the hardness of tungsten makes it more likely to shatter or break. That said, if you like to feel the weight of the ring on your finger, you might prefer tungsten.
Soft metals, or precious metals, such as silver and gold are much less durable and require much greater upkeep. These metals should be kept away from water and hard surfaces and may require trips to the jeweler for professional cleaning and replating.
Keep in mind that guitar string rings are typically coated in resin to prevent corrosion, so if you don’t expect a lot of wear on your ring a coated guitar string is a great option. For daily wear, however, the most durable choice for guitar strings is those that are made from corrosion-resistant alloys such as stainless steel.
How Do I Clean My New Guitar String Ring?
These rings typically require minimal maintenance due to their protective coating, so a quick wash with gentle soap and a dry with a soft towel should e more than enough to keep your ring looking brand new.
If your ring has more complex elements such as jewels or soft metals, wipe them gently with a soft towel or cotton ball. Soft metal rings should also be kept from making contact with other metals or hard materials that can cause denting and corrosion, and you might prefer to place them in a small pouch to keep them protected during travel or outdoor activities.
Whether you’re looking to shine or hoping to find the right wedding band for your personality, guitar strings are a great choice for music lovers looking to incorporate passion and artistry into the perfect ring.