Wedding rings: worth their weight in gold

A gold wedding band symbolizes permanence, but bits of it fade away as a marriage endures, scraping against the marital skin every moment that metal and finger convene. Georg Stein hauser, a chemist at Vienna University of Technology, calculated how much goes missing, how quickly and at what cost.

Stein hauser's study, Quantification of the Abrasive Wear of a Gold Wedding Ring, appear in a 2008 issue of Gold Bulletin, a quarterly journal published by the World Gold Council, whose stated goal is "to excite desire for gold by articulating core truths and discovering new opportunities".

diamond gold

Stein hauser got married. A week later he weigh his wedding ring. He weighed it every week over the next year. The report shows a graph of the weight, revealing an average loss of about .12mg a week.

Stein hauser estimated that, every year, the city of Vienna, with somewhat more than 300,000 married couples, suffers an collective loss from its rings of about 2.2kg of 18-carat gold, worth (at the time) approximately 35,000 euros.