by CHRIS JAEGER on SEPTEMBER 1, 2011
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Forget about sentimentality and tradition.
Skyrocketing gold prices have jewelers and cash-strapped couples clamoring for wedding bands made of less expensive metals like tungsten, cobalt and even stainless steel.
Over the past three months, tungsten, a steel-gray hard metal, has become an increasingly popular choice over gold with wedding band shoppers at Blue Nile (NILE), said John Baird, public relations director with the online jewelry seller.
“The response to our recent men’s tungsten collection was immediate,” said Baird, adding that the company subsequently debuted a men’s Titanium wedding band collection in July.
“In 30 days, one in every 10 men’s wedding bands we sold that month was titanium,” he said.
As the economic downturn forces Americans to tighten their belts, consumers shopping for jewelry have become more willing to consider cheaper alternatives, Baird said.