Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: Titanium rings can be removed from swollen fingers only through amputation.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, October 2003]
Origins: We started collecting sightings of this belief about titanium rings in 2003 when that substance began to find favor among the about-to-be-weds as wedding band material. This lustrous element is a strong, light, corrosion-resistant material of a greyish color whose strength-to-weight ratio is the highest of any metal. It appears to offer very good value for those seeking a less expensive alternative to traditional gold for their wedding bands because it's tough, lightweight, and a fair bit more scratch-resistant than other metals commonly used for such purpose.
Titanium rings are perfectly safe to
Titanium can be cut with a bolt cutter or a jeweler's saw, or indeed by just about any other implement that can slice through stainless steel. Most such jewelry items (including rings) are fashioned of commercial-grade titanium, which is 99% pure. A common ring cutter, standard equipment in most emergency rooms, is all that is needed to remove a titanium ring from whatever body part it adorns. Aerospace (or aircraft) grade titanium is more difficult to saw through because it is not pure but rather a special alloy meant to be used under high stress conditions, and it should therefore be eschewed by those seeking titanium jewelry in favor of its commercial grade version because its removal could present additional problems. One could still be cut loose from it, but the process would be a bit more involved.
There is one additional difference between removing a titanium ring from a swollen body part and freeing said digit from a band fashioned of a different metal:
Those worried about getting titanium bands off their ring fingers should consider that such circlets have been successfully removed from other body parts, some a great deal more sensitive than fingers. For example, in 2005 a German medical journal described the removal of a titanium thumb ring of
One noticeable downside to a titanium wedding ring is its innate inability to be resized should the wearer gain or lose weight or should the configuration of the finger it's worn on change over time.
Barbara "immutable, in a way that brides and grooms are not" Mikkelson
Last updated: 24 April 2008
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