Wooden wedding rings are becoming an increasingly popular choice among couples.
Although wedding rings traditionally use precious metals, wooden wedding rings are a unique option for buyers to consider.
Wooden rings allow the wearer to feel constantly connected with nature. Although made from organic material, wooden wedding rings are just as durable as traditional metal rings. Wooden rings require some special care but are guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind pieces.
Still not sure if a wooden ring is a right choice for you? Keep reading to learn everything there is to know about wooden rings.
From pros and cons to care instructions, you will be able to decide whether wooden rings are a good option for your needs and lifestyle.
Wooden Rings: An Overview
Wooden rings are an excellent choice for many people but may have a unique significance for outdoorsy individuals.
While a wooden ring might sound like nothing more than a fun piece of jewelry, in reality, these rings make for stunning pieces of jewelry.
Many choose to purchase wooden rings as wedding rings.
A wooden wedding ring is excellent for couples who feel united with nature.
Wearing wedding rings made from wood symbolizes a love forever connected with nature and its beauty.
Like traditional metal rings, you can customize wooden rings.
Start by picking the type of wood you want to make your ring with.
Most wooden rings are hardwoods such as oak, maple, cherry, and walnut. Each type of wood will have a unique color and grain pattern.
In addition to unique patterns, each type of wood has a unique meaning associated with them.
The wood’s special meaning may influence your choice of wood type used for your ring.
|Type of Wood||Special Meaning|
|Maple||Balance, Promise, Longevity, Intelligence|
|Cherry||Luck, Love, Romance|
|Birch||Hope, New Beginnings|
Some craftsmen even use items such as whiskey barrels or animal antlers when making wooden rings.
Especially if your ring is hand-carved (which most wooden rings are), it will be unique.
You can further customize your ring with differently colored stains.
Wooden rings do not have to be plain. Like metal rings, wooden rings have multiple setting patterns.
Your wooden ring can either have a simple, braided, or colorful inlay band!
Another misconception with wooden rings is that you cannot incorporate gemstones into the design.
Wooden rings can feature almost any meaningful item inside them, whether it be a diamond, a sea shell, or another piece of wood.
You don’t need to choose a simple or plain design if you want a wooden ring.
Like traditional metal rings, wooden rings can feature engravings.
However, rather than being engraved into the wood, wooden ring makers use a woodburning set.
Wood burning creates a look unique from traditional engravings.
Want a set of matching rings? Wooden rings are also a great choice for this.
While you could purchase two rings made out of gold that look identical, their gold likely originates from two different mines.
Meanwhile, wooden rings come from the same tree. This connection could have special meaning for some couples.
Wooden rings are also a more environmentally friendly option.
Because we do not mine wood, like gold and silver, wooden rings have a smaller impact on the environment.
Pros of Wooden Rings
Wooden rings have many pros associated with them.
As mentioned earlier, wooden rings are just as customizable as traditional metal rings, if not more so.
While you are limited to several different types of metals, each similar in color with a metal ring, wooden rings have many distinctive wood species to choose from that vary in color and grain pattern.
If you purchase a traditional metal ring, chances are it will look almost identical to everyone else’s wedding or engagement rings.
Meanwhile, wooden rings are each uniquely designed and are therefore one of a kind.
This feature makes wooden rings a meaningful choice for a wedding ring.
Just like your relationship, your wedding rings should be unique!
You do not have to sacrifice all the fabulous features associated with a traditional metal ring either.
Wooden rings can incorporate engravings, gemstones, and set patterns just like other rings.
As mentioned earlier, wooden rings are an environmentally-friendly choice.
You can purchase your rings without feeling guilty for contributing to mining pollution.
This is not to say that all metal rings are bad. Many mines are working towards being more eco-friendly. Also, some rings use recycled metals.
If you work with electricity or in high-heat environments, a wooden ring is also a perfect option.
Because wood is less conductive than the precious metals used in traditional rings, electricians can wear it worry-free.
Additionally, while metal rings may tarnish when exposed to sunlight, those who work outside can wear their wooden rings without worry.
Wooden rings are an excellent choice for anyone with a metal allergy.
While precious metals rarely cause allergic reactions, jewelry often mixes them with a series of lower-quality metals.
This mixture can lead to severe allergic reactions when wearing traditional metal rings.
Wooden rings are hypoallergenic and are therefore the perfect choice for people with sensitive skin.
The only thing to be cautious of is the finish used on the wood because some people may react poorly to certain wood treatments.
Because wooden rings are unique items, they make for great conversation pieces.
Nearly everyone has seen a diamond set in a white gold band. However, very few have seen any rings made out of wood.
The final, and perhaps the best, pro of wooden rings is the price.
Purchasing an all wooden ring costs about $180; meanwhile, a similar gold ring costs about $300 (not counting any gems that may be added in later!).
If you are looking to purchase rings on a budget, wooden rings are the way to go.
You get the beauty and impact of a regular ring without the high prices!
Cons of Wooden Rings
As wonderful as wooden rings are, there are a few downsides to them.
Perhaps the most impactful downside to wooden rings is that resizing is not possible.
Because wooden rings are either steamed into shape or cut from a solid wood block, attempting to resize one would break it.
If your ring size changes over time, you will need to purchase a new ring.
Because no two wooden rings are quite the same, you will end up with a different piece of jewelry.
While all jewelry requires some care to protect it from the impacts of time, wooden jewelry requires some special care instructions.
We will discuss the care instructions for wooden rings in the section below.
Another con to wooden rings is that making them takes longer. Because most wooden rings are hand carved, they require more time to complete.
If you need the wooden ring to be completed by a specific date (maybe for a proposal or a wedding), you will need to order it about 6 or 8 weeks in advance.
Keep in mind, the more custom designs you have on your ring, the longer it will take to produce.
Add two or three weeks for custom designs and plan accordingly.
While it may take more time for the ring to arrive, it will be well worth the wait.
As mentioned earlier, wooden rings can be fairly environmentally friendly.
However, if producers do not follow environmental protection standards, they may also harm the environment.
If the materials for your wooden ring are ethically and sustainably sourced, you are doing the environment a favor.
However, if your ring contains unethically gathered gemstones or non-sustainable collected wood, it loses its eco-friendly appeal.
One type of wooden ring combines wood with precious metals to create an inlay ring design.
Using metals on your wooden ring likely means harsh mining techniques had to be used to obtain it.
If possible, find a jeweler who uses recycled metals to make your wooden ring.
Using recycled metals reduces waste and greatly minimizes your ring’s impact on the environment.
While many wooden rings are environmentally friendly, some wooden rings are the opposite.
Some craftsmen use endangered woods to produce their wooden rings. Wood types to avoid are Brazilwood, Spanish Cedar, Madagascar Ebony, Mahogany, Rosewood, and Sandalwood.
Wood gathered from broken branches or fallen trees is considered ethical for use; however, cutting down endangered trees for wooden rings is highly unethical.
Because it is difficult to know how the company obtained their wood, it is best to avoid these wood species when choosing a wooden ring.
When researching wooden rings, look for companies verified for ethical and sustainable practices.
How to Care for Wooden Rings
As mentioned earlier, wooden rings require some special care instructions.
In other words, wooden rings need different care regimens than metal rings, not necessarily more care than metal rings.
Special care instructions may vary depending on the ring’s type of wood and finish.
However, there are some general instructions to follow for all wooden rings.
Do not wear wooden rings in water for long durations of time. These situations may include bathing, swimming, showering, or washing dishes.
If the wood absorbs the water, it could warp and change sizes.
In general, wooden rings can stay on for handwashing so long as it has a water-resistant finish.
Take off your ring if you are working with chemicals, including household cleaning products.
In addition to chemicals, remove your wooden ring before using lotions, gels, sunscreens, personal cosmetics, or using water.
The wood could absorb the substance wearing off the finish or damaging the ring.
Do not wear wooden rings in environments where they will be exposed to excessive pressure, scratching, or bumps.
Some wooden rings will require the finish restored.
If the finish begins to wear off your wooden ring, speak with the craftsmen about restoring the finish.
Wood laid in a metal ring will not require as much care as other wooden rings.
Types of Wooden Rings
Before we discuss what to look for when purchasing a wooden ring, you first need to know the different types of wooden rings available.
There are three types of wooden rings: metal & wood, bentwood, and block wood.
We will discuss each type more in-depth below.
Metal and Wood Rings
Metal and wood rings referred to as wood inlay rings, feature a metal core with a strip of wood set in it.
These rings have more variety in wood choice. Because the metal core provides all the strength, you can choose softer woods.
Metal and wood rings are the best choice for using your own piece of wood.
Combining the natural feel of wood with the durability of the metal makes these rings much more resilient than other wooden rings.
In addition to the stronger core, wooden and metal rings feature a hardier finish than other wooden rings.
Exposure to both fresh and saltwater should not damage metal and wood rings.
They may even be chemical resistant (speak with your jeweler to verify your ring has these features).
Avoid exposure to strong solvents such as paint removers which may strip your ring’s protective finish off.
Bentwood rings are made from several layers of wood, bent into the shape of a band, and glued together.
These rings are made entirely from wood.
While not as strong as wooden inlay rings, bentwood rings are much stronger than block wood rings.
Bentwood rings have acrylic finishes that do wear off. They will need to be re-finished periodically.
This service should be free from the craftsmen who sold you the wooden ring.
Do not expose bentwood rings to hand sanitizer as the chemicals will strip the acrylic finish off, and the chemicals will absorb into the wood.
Avoid sandpaper or other rough surfaces when wearing a bentwood ring as this could scrape the wood.
Although bentwood rings are usually waterproof, you should avoid wearing them in water for long durations of time.
Block Wood Rings
Block wood rings are cut directly from a block of wood into a band.
These rings are fragile and cannot withstand any extra pressure or weight on them.
Other than these characteristics, block wood rings are nearly identical to bentwood rings in care.
Wooden Ring Buying Guide
The first step in purchasing a wooden ring is knowing your ring size. Because you cannot resize the wooden ring, this is a crucial step.
Visit a jeweler to have your ring size taken. Visit the same jeweler about two weeks later to be sized again, both times in the afternoon.
Measuring twice will give you a better idea of how your ring size changes over time and hopefully reduce the need for resizing later on.
Before looking at rings, ask the jeweler or ring maker what services they offer with purchase.
Metal rings often include extended warranties and free cleanings. Your wooden ring should feature similar benefits.
However, instead of cleaning, the jeweler should cover finish repair services for free or for a reduced fee with purchase.
As mentioned earlier, wooden rings usually take several weeks to make. Prepare for delays by ordering your wooden ring at least four months in advance.
Like a metal ring, you can customize a wooden ring.
If you have a piece of sentimental wood or want specialized designs incorporated into the design, speak with the craftsmen about them.
Do not feel rushed to pick a ring design. Wooden rings, especially wooden wedding rings, should be carefully designed for good results.
Wooden rings are becoming more popular, meaning you can purchase them from almost anywhere.
Check with your local jeweler to see if they have any wooden rings available. If a jeweler is too expensive, you can always look on Etsy!
Etsy has many excellent wooden ring makers.
Although it is harder to verify quality when ordering off Etsy, you will likely be able to get a custom wooden ring for a low price!