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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Scott Kay’s Cobalt Wedding Bands


With the price of gold, platinum and even palladium and silver breaking records daily, jewelry designers and manufacturers have been looking for low-cost alternative metals. For jewelry designer Scott Kay, an answer for men’s wedding bands is Cobalt.

More specifically the answer is BioBlu 27, a metal alloy made of 65 percent cobalt, 29 percent chromium, and 6 percent molybdenum. According to Dan Scott, Scott Kay chief marketing officer, this non-magnetic, naturally white metal alloy has high strength, corrosion resistance, and wear resistance.

"This metal is as white as platinum. It doesn’t tarnish, chip or fracture,” Scott said Monday. “And it isn’t plated. It’s white, through and through.”

Scott Kay introduced the product two years ago in a limited launch, under the brand name SK Cobalt. However, now the company has begun full-scale product push with eight collections that will be shown at the upcoming Couture Show in Las Vegas, June 2-6. The product is already available at Helzberg Jewelers where it is marketed as Scott Kay Brute Cobalt and at Jared the Galleria of Jewelry marketed as Brawn Cobalt by Scott Kay. By the time the jewelry tradeshow begins, Scott Kay cobalt wedding bands will be available at 1,000 retail locations, Scott said.

BioBlu 27 received its name from the metal alloy’s creator, Carpenter Technology, a Reading, Pa.-based metals developer, manufacturer and distributor. “Bio” refers to the biocompatibility of the material, which can be used in other applications such as prosthetics, and “Blu” refers to the cobalt in the material. The number 27 is the number on the atomic table for cobalt.

The rings, without additional precious metals or gemstones, run from about $225 to $370. This is competitive with other wedding bands made with alternative metals, particularly tungsten carbide rings. This is the second part of the story.


In addition to talking up the benefits of its BioBlu 27 rings, Scott Kay has been literally hammering home the message (more on that later) that tungsten carbide rings are not as strong and resilient as many claim, such as on this website. In fact its extreme hardness is most likely its ultimate weakness, according to Scott.

“We came to a shocking revelation that when you drop a ring on a hard surface it breaks,” Scott said. "It cracks and shatters after being dropped and in contact with a hard object.”

To attempt to prove this, two years ago Scott Kay himself held a press conference where he broke tungsten carbide rings with a hammer. I included the video below of the event along with a video by Titanium Kay, a company that sells tungsten carbide rings, that provides some perspective and balance on the “hammer test.”

This is as far as I’m going with these dual claims, at least for now. However, if you have any experiences with either of these metals as jewelry, please share them in the comments section below.



5 comments:

  1. All my customers love how durable, smooth and comfortable the SK Cobalt rings are. After all their wedding expenses, it's really nice to be able to provide them with a quality designer ring that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. It is also very popular as a secondary ring.

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  2. I just purchased my cobalt ring the other day.. an I love love the tough an stylish look of it.. I love tungsten darker style but really it'z like the bride.. there not going to settle an buy some wedding dress.. they want THE wedding dress.. it'z all about what makes it the ring to you that will alwayz an forever symbolize an remind you of your bonded love of the one you marry..

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  3. I purchased this ring and began wearing it on June 27th.
    It has gone from silver color to a burnt blue color and now a brown color. I have not been in contact with any chemicals other than swimming in the ocean and normal dove soap while showering. Jared's has never seen a ring do this. Has not done anything to my finger. Any ideas??

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    Replies
    1. Hi Kenny, I've never heard of such a thing. Is it possible to return it?

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    2. It is and they are willing to do that but for sentimental reasons we are keeping it.

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