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Non-conductive wedding bands

 

Q. A friend of mine wants to propose to her boyfriend who is an electrician, but she wants to give him a ring that he is able to wear even while working. I told her I would try to help her find something, but no jewelry store that I have found has anything that is non-conductive, of course. I was wondering if anyone knows of something that exists that can be made into a wedding band, or if a regular gold band can be plated with something to make it non-conductive. Please help me if possible.

Thanks!

Vanessa O [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Littleton, Massachusetts


A. Hi, Vanessa

Rings are nice, but electricians and many other workers should not wear them on the job. A metal ring is very low in resistance and can carry huge currents even at low voltages. The man's finger could be burned right off his hand from even a low voltage 6-volt supply. Don't take a grossly unsafe practice, like an electrician wearing a ring, and try to make it not quite as unsafe by coating the ring. No rings for electricians.

Ted Mooney   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

Engagement and Wedding Rings



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Try carved ivory or jade.

Christine W [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Santa Clara, California

 

That's not a bad idea to solve the conductivity problem, but wearing rings is not a good idea for mechanics anyway because they can catch on things and pose the same hazard as wearing a tie and working around mechanical things. They can be caught in the works.

The problem is the reflex (knee-jerk) action. If your hand is somewhere close where there is danger, and your ring by chance gets caught, you tend to pull your hand back involuntarily, causing a chance for injury.

tom portrait Tom Pullizzi
Falls Township, Pennsylvania



 

Try this website. I am having the same issues.

www.thecarrotbox.com

Sarah S [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Benicia, California


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As an electrician I have the same problem, I am currently investigating into having a wedding ring either made from Carbon fibre, or Kevlar.

Tim D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- England

January 30, 2010

Ceramic & Carbon Fiber rings are non conductive.

My fiance flies RC helicopters and wants a non conductive ring because of the batteries he deals with. They do have just ceramic, just carbon fiber or ceramic with carbon fiber inlays. That's the best bet, there's just not much selection of those.

Melissa D [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Sacramento, California

July 1, 2010

Zales sells ceramic and carbon fiber rings, I'm getting one for my electrician fiance.

Cory Spellman
- Salem, New Hampshire, USA

March 9, 2008

My fiance is an electrical apprentice and we just figured he would go without a ring while at work. The when we were searching through ebay we found ceramic rings, we wondered if these would be acceptable?

Autumn McKenna
- Charlottetown, P.E.I,, Canada

April 12, 2008

Even ceramic rings have tungsten or titanium inlayed in them. I am an electrician and I found that the only acceptable solution is to have a ring tattooed on my finger. You may have some difficulty finding an artist that will tattoo hands but it is the only safe solution. Any ring I have found contain some form of conductive material. also you must consider that if he electrocutes himself what kinds of effects will it have on a ring wrapped around his finger and in turn what effects will that ring have on his finger. Work safe and don't listen to those who believe rings are safe because they are not.

wade mcrae
- Canada

November 3, 2010

I also wanted a ring that wouldn't conduct and found a bunch of ceramic rings at a place called Wedding Rings Forever, www.weddingringsforever.com. I called and they also make pure carbon fiber rings and ceramic rings in blue, pink and white, which were pretty weird. I'm still not 100% positive if ceramic or carbon fiber rings conduct even the smallest amount of electricity though.

Wade Peterson
- Orem, Utah, USA

August 14, 2011

Hi my fiance does welding on his job frequently. I am wondering if a ceramic with fiber fiber inlay would be a good non-conductive choice.

Thank you

Kali McNeil
- Fayetteville, North Carolina, US

Ceramic & Carbon Fiber Ring



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My husband has the same problem! We have been searching everything we could to think of a way to make it more safe. He works with Telephone equipment, and installs security cameras, so everything he deals with is low voltage. I know it is still dangerous, but we don't really have the issues say a mechanic would. Unfortunately, DH has lost our wedding ring because he took it off at work. He is actually looking into having a Celtic band tattoo put on his ring finger. Small enough that when he puts his normal band on, it isn't seen. It's a thought! I'm not big on tattoos, as a matter of fact, neither of us have any, but it would be a safe alternative. Just be SURE before you get it done! If anyone else has some thoughts on how to accomplish this, I would love to hear. A friend of our family is a jeweler, and I am going to talk to him this week to see what some other options might be.

Candy O [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Olympia, Washington

Hi, Candy

A tattooed "ring" sounds like the ideal solution for an electrician (or mechanic), Candy.

Low voltage does not greatly reduce the hazard of a ring for an electrician, it only offers a false sense of security! Ohm's Law tells us that current is equal to the voltage divided by the resistance. The resistance of the human body is quite high, such that the current flowing through the body is low if the voltage is low. So you may put your fingers across 6 or 12 volts, maybe feel only a little shock, and conclude that it's not dangerous because it doesn't feel dangerous.

But the resistance of a precious metal ring is close to zero, so the current flowing through a shorted ring will be absolutely enormous even at low voltage. It can instantly make the ring white hot with a finger still in it. If you feel that this is exaggerated, ask a welder what voltage s/he uses that creates that blinding sizzle. Hint: s/he'll use a 12-volt car battery for power in a pinch.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

December 27, 2008

I agree the minuses outweigh the pluses of having possible injury or death just to prove you're committed and if you really want to please her get a tattoo of one.

Jay Hall
electrician - Long Branch, New Jersey

September 11, 2009

Rings or any kind of jewelry, in any occupation are dangerous. A couple that I have been friends with since high school, had their rings tattooed on their fingers. I wish I had a photo to share, they are very ornate and tasteful. The husband is an engineer in a car factory and his wife is in a part of customer service, that requires her presence on the factory floor at times. Both jobs have a "zero" jewelry policy, when in any production areas. Just an idea... google "tattoo wedding ring" for examples... good and bad...

Donnie L
- Lafayette, Indiana

November 8, 2010

I have been an electrician/lineman for 20+ years, and never have had a problem with a wedding ring until last week. I caught it on something, and like to near tore off my finger. My point is, all it takes is one incident. I feel like I have been dodging that bullet for years, and it finally caught me. Luckily, I just lost a bunch of skin on the deal, and not a whole digit. Saturday, I am going to have one tattooed on my finger. No more wedding bands for me, conductive, non-conductive, or otherwise. Besides, after being married to mama for 23 years, she trusts me enough to not wear one anymore. :-)

Douglas Batey
- Morrison, Illinois, USA

August 6, 2008

My husband is also an electrician and I am a commercial construction Safety Manager. We have been married 28 years and in all that time he has not worn a ring other than at home after work. I don't understand the compulsion to have your husband wear a ring all the time and disregard the hazard he is exposing himself to. Get the ring of your choice and only wear it when not working or tattoo one on. Besides the electrical hazard he poses the hazard of having his finger torn off because it gets caught on something.

Dana B [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Las Vegas, Nevada


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(2007)

My fiance is also an electrician, and we were told by our jeweler that titanium and tungsten are both non-conductive metals. They had several rings in both metals, both were very attractive, and much less expensive than gold.

Lenora Z [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Greensboro, North Carolina

(2007)

Hello, Lenora

Titanium is still almost as conductive as stainless steel and is certainly not non-conductive. Tungsten is quite a bit more conductive. Speaking of white hot, the filaments of most incandescent bulbs are tungsten. It's a metal ring and an electrician should not wear it.

Ted Mooney, finishing.com   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

June 7, 2008

I'm a mechanic and I have a titanium ring and a can tell you first hand that it is conductive; not as much as gold, but enough to still burn the hell out of my finger. I'm looking for a new ring now

Evan Wingate
- Dallas, Georgia

June 3, 2014
13189-2

!!! Titanium is highly conductive. I just melted my titanium ring a few days ago on a 12 volt battery. 3rd degree burn all around my finger. Very lucky I didn't lose my finger! Hospital said it will take at least a month to heal, and could possibly require a skin graft.

Was working on a battery cabinet at a cell tower. These are 48V supplies with 16x 12v batteries similar to a car battery. You may not feel the current while touching the battery terminals, but it will definitely fry your titanium/gold/silver/etc rings. Mine turned white-hot and melted through, although most of the ring held its shape and I was able to pull it off. Any precious metal would have melted into my finger and probably ended up in amputation or dismemberment. Stupid mistake!

Every electrician/engineer knows better than to EVER wear a ring while working on ANY equipment whether High Voltage AC or Low Voltage DC, even in telco applications. Low voltage DC is most dangerous because its deceptive. Lose the ring, or you might lose a finger. One time I was in a hurry and forgot to take my ring off. Just one mistake.

Heath [last name deleted for privacy by Editor]
- Ohio



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June 8, 2008

I work in commercial and industrial HVAC/R & have considered the same dilemma. For safety reasons, I wear NO jewelry...earrings, rings or necklaces.
A ring would have to have two characteristics:
-be non-conductive because I deal with electricity a lot
-be designed to breakaway, in case I caught it on something. I'd rather lose a ring than damage a finger.

The only material I can imagine feasible is wood. But the design and production of a quantity of breakaway wooden rings of a unique enough design would be daunting. Additionally, wood contains moisture so it is NOT non-conductive, just less so.

So I'm still traveling incognito.
(Thanks to the gentleman who is a P.E. for his most prudent insights!)

Liz Barker
- Atlanta, Georgia

June 25, 2008

A company named Touchwoodrings sells some really cool wooden rings. They have a great website if you're a Googler. :)

Lisa Kmiec
- Lakeville, Minnesota

September 10, 2008

What was the end result on wooden rings? My husband is an electrician and I was wondering if this is safe?

Thanks

S Nieves
- Orlando, Florida

January 12, 2009

As a maker of wooden rings (MnMWoodworks), I have had several electricians (and electricians' wives) purchase wooden rings from me. Wood has about as much resistance as some types of rubber, making it safe for someone working with electricity.

Matthew Paige
- Cleveland, Tennessee

April 13, 2010

Hey just a thought about wooden wedding bands...something like teak so it would also wash and weather well. I am sure a local craftsman would do the job.

Alayne Cromer
- Hattiesburg, Mississippi

August 27, 2012

A. What about the rings made from wood? There are some really nice options that are custom made, and each wood signifies different traits, characteristics that might match your sentiment.

maddi avel
- worcester Massachusetts


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December 16, 2009

A. Caterpillar Yellow Silicone O-Ring Kit: search google or ebay, find one that fits, order 10 pack.

He could wrap his metal ring with several layers of electrical tape on the job, but why fool around with life and limb?

I tried wearing mine on a gold chain around my neck, but I didn't feel comfortable wearing a necklace. The chain and ring have been in the safety deposit box for twenty years, still married, still breathing.

Peter Howard
- Portland, Maine

December 16, 2009

A. Hmm, I don't know, Peter ... that 10-pack of rubber things might broadcast the idea that a guy was interested in quite the opposite of chaste fidelity :-)

Regards,
Ted Mooney, finishing.com   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


April 14, 2011

A. SafeRingz are a silicone wedding band. They have a sparkly looking metallic pigment so they look like gold, platinum, copper etc. but they are non-conductive & totally safe. They are comfortable, flexible, durable. These would be good for electricians, mechanics, athletes, & anyone who works w/ their hands!

Sheena Broek
- Stanfield, Arizona, United States
13189-3

April 21, 2011

Q. I am so happy to find this site. My future husband is an electrician and I am researching rings for him. His health and safety is my #1 priority. But I am curious what the overall opinion is on the SafeRingz? I just visited their website and I am curious as to what Ted Mooney's opinion is on this. Thanks for the help!

Stacey Glaze
- Houston, Texas, USA

April 21, 2011

A. Hi, Stacey. I'm just the guy who runs the website, not a ring expert, but I thank you for the vote of confidence. I believe in safety but not obsession, so my personal opinion is that those SafeRingz sound good. Good luck.

Update Oct. 2014: Again it's just my opinion and I'm sure no expert, but I've come 'round to believing that tattoo rings are the right answer for workers. And if it's hard to remove tattoos, good :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey

September 2, 2012

A. After reading through this thread, I came across these silicone weddings bands. Definitely a cheaper alternative, but will get the job done: saferingz

Ashlee Mcnulty
- Los Angeles, California, USA


February 19, 2013

A. I found this site by accident, maybe it could be helpful for you.
saferingz.com/

Jessica Tuttle
- Hopkins


January 26, 2014

A. What you need is silicone with a metallic appearance. They are very flexible heat and electricity resistant.

Nathan Wolfram
- Grand Blanc, Michigan


June 25, 2014

This company sells smaller silicone rings:
fitnessgarage.storenvy.com/

Robert Smith
- Columbus, Ohio, USA

----
Ed. note: You have to search for "silicone ring" on that page.



October 8, 2014

A. Rubber wedding bands are the ONLY, nearly 100 %, non-conductive solution for this question besides tattooing. Though still you need to address the safety side. DEGLOVING is a VERY serious issue. Google rubber wedding bands if still looking.

Anthony Dykes
- Brazil, Indiana USA


October 2014

Hi Anthony. Thanks. Personally, I've never found tattoos to be very attractive, but I'm rapidly becoming convinced that they are the best answer to the wedding band issue for workers :-)

Regards,

Ted Mooney, finishing.com   Teds signature
Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
finishing.com
Pine Beach, New Jersey


November 9, 2014

A. As an electrician I can tell you ceramic rings are non conductive as long as it has no metal inlays. Electric insulators on top of power poles and such are also ceramic so it would be a good choice. Wooden rings are a bad idea because if it gets wet it will conduct electricity. Silicone is a good option too because if it gets caught in something the ring will give before your finger does.

Richard Brewster
Electrician - Cushing, Oklahoma, United States


January 26, 2015

A. I just came across this page looking for some properties of metals. I wanted to interject something. Wearing rings or any jewelry while working in hazardous environments should always be considered forbidden.

Take off your rings, necklaces, loose clothing, or anything else that could be a hazard. Wear the required safety gear. It's ok to be too careful. Virtually every manual says that on the front page. The first day of training should always have a safety lesson where they say the same. There are good reasons for that.

We've all made mistakes. "Oh, this is a quick..." and ignoring safety rules can end you up injured or dead.

Cleaning agents, such as carb cleaner and brake cleaner can reacted with the metal ring and gave me a minor chemical burn. Even the wood, silicon, or carbon fiber rings leave a space where the chemicals can be trapped and give you chemical burns. If the chemical causes swelling, the ring can block circulation to the finger. I gave examples of some relatively harmless chemicals. Know what you're working with. If you aren't sure, look it up online, and/or ask.

I've seen what happens if a ring completes a circuit. I knew of someone who lost a finger in high school because he was jumps starting a friend's car, and the ring finished the circuit. Yes, a kid, who has to live his life missing a finger.

Even if there's a chance it might be conductive, it's a bad idea. Even the idea of wood is bad. While wood itself isn't conductive, it will absorb water. That could be sweat, or just moist from the last time you washed your hands. Even if it is lacquered, that will wear over time.

As someone else said, there is the risk it will get caught on something. It doesn't matter what. That "something" could mean losing the finger or worse.

Would you rather your significant other show their love by wearing a ring in a dangerous environment, or would you like them to come home alive and in once piece after work? Are you worried that they're going to cheat on you because they don't have their ring on at work? Then you have more serious problems than just a ring.

Please, don't look for ways to cheat the safety rules. I don't want to have a friend or coworker injured or dead because they thought they found a loophole in the rules.

The rules aren't written to be arbitrarily annoying. All those "stupid" warnings that come with every product were written because someone in the past hurt themselves that way.

Justan Ouser
- Tampa, Florida, US


January 29, 2015

A. Try looking at Qalo ring they are made of silicone and some of the proceeds go to lupus research. As an IBEW electrician it's all I recommend to people in that trade!

Jordan asbill
- Broken arrow, Oklahoma


June 23, 2015

A. I know this thread is a little old but I just ordered wedding bands. I work in the IT industry and am about to change career paths to a more industrial type job. I purposely ordered mine a half size larger than I needed and bought a pack of ring snuggers so I could remove the ring while working with electricity and heavy machinery. Rubber and silicon rings just don't seem like they would be durable or comfortable to wear.

Allen Waddell
- Ohio USA

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