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Weighing in on Wedding Bands

The world’s heaviest ring is a ring only in a technical sense. On display in Dubai, this $3 million ring weighs in at over 140 pounds and is studded with 11 pounds of gems and 615 Swarovski crystals. The portion of the band that is not gems or crystals is made of 21-karat gold. The Najmat Taiba—or Star of Taiba—was commissioned by the Taiba Jewelry Company in 2000 and has held the world record for largest ring ever since.

But, if you are looking for something you can actually wear, you’re probably seeking jewelry that’s a bit lighter on your hand. In general, the weight of a ring depends on what combination of metals (aka, alloys) are used in its creation. If you’re looking for the lightest option, titanium is probably the way to go. With a density of about 4.4 g/cc, it’s by far the least dense metal used in jewelry-making. (It also has the added bonus of not tarnishing.) On the opposite end of the spectrum is iridium, the heaviest material used for rings. Given that it is one of the densest elements on the entire Periodic Table, and five times heavier than titanium, it is safe to assume that you will feel it on your finger.

Between those two extremes are a number of other metals with varying densities. Stainless steel and cobalt chrome, for example, are about double the density of titanium. There are also sterling silver, palladium, tungsten, platinum, and, of course, the perennial favorite — gold. In the end it comes down to personal preference. If you want a lightweight option, the ever-sturdy titanium is your best bet. But if you prefer weightiness when a ring sits on the finger, perhaps iridium is your choice.  Or maybe you can even give that Star of Taiba a try.

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