Volume of a sword versus a ring
June 1, 2018 5:00 PM   Subscribe

Please help me settle an argument regarding swords and rings.

What is the approximate volume (i.e., water displaced if submerged) of a typical sword? Any kind. And the volume of a plain wedding band? How many average sized wedding bands would you need to melt down in order to cast a full size sword out of gold, handle and all? Not worried about actually using the sword, because that would be heavy as hell. Thanks!
posted by Sternmeyer to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Google says that the average weight of a medieval sword is 3 pounds, and the density of steel is 8 grams per cubic centimeter.

3 pounds / (8 grams per cubic centimeter) = 170 mL

Google says that the average gold ring has 2g to 10g of gold, and the density of gold is 19 grams per cubic centimeter.

2 grams / (19 grams per cubic centimeter) = 0.1 mL
10 grams / (19 grams per cubic centimeter) = 0.5 mL

170mL / 0.1 mL = 1700 rings
170mL / 0.5 mL = 340 rings

That seems like a reasonable rough range.

Also, your sword would be very soft.
posted by clawsoon at 5:27 PM on June 1 [7 favorites]

Thank you, that's great. I didn't think to use density at all to solve this.
posted by Sternmeyer at 7:14 PM on June 1

A broadsword/claymore could be up to 6 pounds, so double the numbers if that's the sort of sword you're interested in.

So who won the argument?
posted by clawsoon at 4:17 AM on June 2

The two people arguing were neither of them even close so I told them both they lost. It was for a tabletop RPG campaign, which probably doesn't surprise too many people here, heh!
posted by Sternmeyer at 9:08 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]

One more possibility: Maybe they're thinking of something like a Super Bowl ring, which can weigh 30 grams to 100 grams. That brings us down to 34 - 113 rings. Is that closer to what they were thinking?
posted by clawsoon at 3:20 AM on June 3

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