Alternative metals have made their mark during the past several years in the wedding band industry – and it seems Vitalium could be the hottest of the hot.
As the developer and major supplier of Vitalium, “The Perfect Contemporary Metal,” Jewelry Innovations of Sandy, Utah, couldn’t be happier. The manufacturer/wholesaler, which prides itself on excellent customer service with prompt turnarounds, stunning custom designs and cutting-edge manufacturing techniques, offers other alternatives as well, including titanium, ceramic, Damascus steel and black zirconium. Jewelry Innovations is the company to remember for contemporary metals.
Vitalium, a composition metal, is a brilliant pure white non-plated color, closely resembling white gold. Rings made from Vitalium are very scratch resistant. Jewelry Innovations states it is stronger than tungsten carbide, twice as hard as cobalt chrome, five times as hard as titanium, six times harder than platinum, and nine times harder than silver. It won’t oxidize, tarnish or discolor. The company offers the rings in polish, satin and stone finishes.
While the lower price of alternative metals is appealing, it’s not the main draw for men 30 and younger, says Jewelry Innovations’ CEO and President Allen McIllece. “The reason these metals are so popular is that they’re cool. If the price of gold comes down, they’ll still sell. Young men don’t care so much about intrinsic value.”
Vitalium is particularly stylish, and Jewelry Innovations is expanding its offerings to women’s bridal and popular camo styles as well.
Evolution from Diamonds
Allen has been in the jewelry business since he was 19, when he attended diamond cutting school in Nevada. After a dozen trips to Africa to buy rough diamonds in the bush, he decided to change gears. “It hit me as dangerous and stupid; you don’t take cash into the jungle. After my last trip to Africa I opened two retail jewelry stores in Salt Lake City.
“Cash flow was tough during my early years in the retail jewelry business. I came up with the idea to create a sample ring engagement line made of sterling silver and cubic zirconia. Jewelry Innovations, Inc. was founded and the sample ring line took off.”
Allen started Jewelry Innovations with his wife, Paula, at his side, in 1989. The company, now with 19 employees, grew and moved three times, always staying in the Salt Lake City area.
About 12 years ago, Jewelry Innovations started working with alternative metals. “They took off and sold like crazy,” Allen says.
The company now has a patent pending on Vitalium, and after waiting almost two years, expects the patent to come through in the next month or two. “Vitalium is pure white and it never discolors,” Allen says. “It’s also the safest metal on the market.”
Unlike cobalt, which Jewelry Innovations stopped selling because it is so difficult to cut off of a finger, Vitalium can be removed with a simple pair of vice grips, which the company supplies to retail stores. “It can be removed in three seconds,” Allen says. Vitalium beats other alternatives in additional ways says Allen; for example, tungsten breaks and oxidizes, and titanium scratches easily, even though it’s super strong.
“Vitalium is ‘The Perfect Contemporary Metal,’” Allen says. “There’s no down side to it.”