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Lord of the Rings

FAS-focus-Lord-of-the-RingIt was a rainy day, maybe it was dry. Who knows? Chase Lucas didn’t. He couldn’t separate the days honestly. After searching to the ends of Wilmington, NC several times to search for Crystal’s engagement ring, all Chase remembered was ending up at Reed’s Jewelers and talking to jeweler Melissa Beck. Finally he had the ring.

“I’m not a shopper, I can’t stand shopping,” said Chase.

But that was for the engagement ring. After months of searching and planning he still had to shop for his wedding band; another expedition for the perfect ring. This one would be easier. Right back to Reed’s.

Examining a couple of jewelry cases for the band that would work for him, Chase’s hunt for his wedding band was brief. One store, two options, one decision. The man might hate shopping but he knew exactly what he wanted in his wedding band.

“I knew the color I wanted. I knew I didn’t want gold or diamonds. I just wanted plain and simple,” said Chase. “I want something I can put through hell.”

For the man who does a lot and wants to look good, it can be difficult to marry the need for strength and appeal. Wedding bands have been known to crack, chip or even break. Men often buy one of the popular metals such as platinum, silver or gold for the wedding bands hoping to avoid this disaster. But new to the world of wedding bands and often overlooked is cobalt. While each metal possesses strengths and weaknesses, cobalt probably has the longest of pros to go with a limited list of faults.

When initially approached by Scott Kay to carry their SK Cobalt line, Heather Manytis, buyer for Reed’s Jewelers, originally balked. The thought of yet another wedding band, not to include the never-ending style options, didn’t seem likely. After taking a closer look, the combination of price, strength and style changed their mind.

“To be honest, I think there are way too many choices for men,” said Heather. “With cobalt, especially with what Scott Kay offers, it’s 100% solid. And I think men are okay with wearing something they can be a man in.”

In the afternoon, Chase often heads home to work on his 1995 GMC Sierra. More than a tinkerer, Chase is rebuilding his everyday car. Checking sanding and welding off his list before he starts working on his engine, he needed a strong ring.

After doing some research with her fiancé, Brittany Elliott and Tyler also bought a cobalt ring from Reeds. A combat engineer in the Marines, Tyler was searching for a ring that could keep up with the rigors of his job. Having heard about the strength of cobalt, they decided to look even as he headed to 29 Palms, California for duty.

It’s no surprise in the world of men and jewelry price is a big concern. One of SK Cobalt’s true strengths is its flexibility in style compared to price. Available at prices as low as $250, this metal doesn’t pinhole you into one specific price point. Rings are available with diamonds, inlayed gold, braids and many other styles you may prefer.

While an affordable price is wonderful, a $250 ring has no value for you if people can’t tell whether your cobalt ring is faded gold or not.

According to Heather, the buyer at Reed’s, cobalt is naturally white. That means its color is brighter than platinum, palladium, white gold and many other popular metals. Cobalt’s color will blast from your hand and stand out with a lasting brightness.

And just like Chase has to maintain his truck, most jewelry also needs some level of maintenance. Many wedding bands such as white gold and silver are often rhodium plated. Rhodium is a bright white metal that adds the brand new shine and bright white feel to many rings. It is too soft itself to be jewelry so usually a one-millimeter thick layer is applied to create that finished look. But rhodium wears away. After wearing, using and beating up your ring for a while, you’ll have to get your ring re-plated to return the brand new luster—only to have it wear away again over time. Cobalt, on the other hand, only needs occasional polishing.

“I feel like this metal works for men because there isn’t a lot of upkeep,” Heather pointed out.

For Chase, cobalt just made sense. As a man who works an everyday job, hits the gym and spends time working with his hands, he was very much in need of a ring that is as flexible as he is. Today’s modern male needs the flexibility to work and play in the same ring—and hey, we like to look good doing it.

Chase plans on finishing his Sierra by the end of this summer. Already knocking out the welding, his engine should get rebuilt soon. Then he’ll paint it dark gray, throw on a Rhino liner and add some larger tires. By fall, He will have finished working on his car and on to his next project. But he knows his SK Cobalt wedding band will have fewer scratches than anything else and won’t break or lose it’s luster. Chase won’t have to drive his truck around Wilmington looking for a new ring—at least not for himself.

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