Men’s wedding bands: titanium vs tungsten, which is best?
Wedding planning is usually all about the bride, but this article will put men’s wedding bands in the spotlight. Well, kind of, since we’re still helping the bride choose the perfect ring for her partner. I mean, his wedding ring should be beautiful, too.
The jewelry industry offers wedding and engagement rings that cater to every taste and lifestyle. Traditionally, the bride does all the shopping for the man’s ring. In recent times, the couple might choose to buy it together, or the groom will give the bride options to choose from.
Knowing what’s trending can help you navigate the variety of colors and different materials offered in jewelry stores. For example, traditional metals are taking a back seat, while men’s titanium and tungsten wedding bands are quite a popular choice at the moment. While the two metals look similar, they are quite different in many other aspects. And, when compared to traditional precious metals, these alternative metals are more durable, scratch resistant, and affordable.
Discover below everything you need to know about the key differences and common misconceptions of titanium and tungsten rings.
Men’s wedding bands: titanium vs tungsten, which is best?
Affordability: tungsten vs titanium rings, which is more expensive?
Tungsten wedding bands are usually more expensive than the ones made of titanium. The prices can vary based on style, manufacturer, and material quality.
Given titanium’s abundance in nature and its easy production process, the metal is priced lower compared to other jewelry metals. Similarly, tungsten carbide wedding bands are also an affordable alternative compared to other precious metals, such as gold, silver palladium, or platinum.
To exemplify, titanium can have a starting cost of $50 and high-quality tungsten bands of $200. In contrast, precious metal bands have a starting price range closer to $500 and can even go as high as $1,000.
Hardness: which metal is the most resistant?
The hardest metal on earth is the tungsten carbide. The hardness of tungsten makes long-lasting rings compared to other metals in the market.
When choosing your man’s wedding ring, his job and lifestyle might play a defining role in the final decision. You may want to opt for hard surface metals that can withstand high temperature, such as tungsten if he’s a hard-labor worker in construction or welding.
The Mohs scale of mineral hardness compares and evaluates the relative resistance and durability of gemstones, metals, and other materials. It ranks material hardness from 1 to 10. Titanium ranks on level 6, only beaten by hardened steel. Wheras tungsten ranks between levels 8 and 9. Diamonds rank at the highest level, 10.
So, for the hardest materials in men’s wedding rings, titanium and tungsten are better choices than most precious metals.
Durability: Does tungsten have better scratch resistance than titanium?
The hardness of tungsten beats titanium’s when it comes to scratch resistance, according to the Mohs hardness system. But titanium is still far superior in this category to any other popular metals.
With tungsten bands, there are virtually no materials other than a diamond that can scratch or damage it. One of the cons of titanium is that stronger materials, such as hardened steel and tungsten carbide, can easily scratch it.
Tungsten is also four times stronger than titanium. So does it shatter? Yes. Even as one of the most durable materials on earth, tungsten rings can shatter if enough force is applied to them due to their brittleness. In contrast, men’s titanium rings are better at resisting cracks than tungsten carbide.
Titanium bands are the best way to go if men want to have something durable that will last against multiple scratches and cracks.
Weight: Lightweight or a weighty feel for men’s wedding rings?
Titanium jewelry is durable but lightweight. In contrast, the weight of tungsten doesn’t go unnoticed. As one of the heaviest metals for wedding rings, tungsten carbide has a weighty feel on the finger.
Both metals offer completely different experiences when it comes to how they feel on the finger. For guys who like to make a big statement with their looks, tungsten carbide rings are a fantastic choice. If the groom prefers something tough that doesn’t feel like jewelry, titanium rings are the clear winner.
What colors and styles are available for tungsten and titanium wedding bands?
Titanium and tungsten are similar in appearance with a natural grey color. Both metals offer a more contemporary look steering clear of the traditional metal colors, which includes the classic yellow gold, rose gold, and silver color.
Tungsten carbide’s light grey color and masculine-looking designs set it apart from classic wedding bands. It’s possible to obtain a brushed or satin finish with this type of metal. However, customizations can be difficult to achieve given the metal’s extreme hardness. An option is to pair it with diamonds or set the ring with precious metal inlays for more unique looks. Finally, for men steering toward a more classic look but still looking for durability, white tungsten rings are an option that resembles white gold or platinum.
Naturally light grey, titanium rings can develop a darker color when a textured finish is applied. Black titanium wedding bands are available, and customizations with a wide range of inlays, such as white gold, platinum, and yellow gold. You can find titanium rings in different colors, such as magenta, blue, and others. Extremely durable, titanium rings don’t exhibit material loss due to wear and may look very shiny when polished.
If you’re looking for engraved rings, a laser engraving machine should do the job for both metals.
A closer look into tungsten and titanium’s hypoallergenic properties
Although platinum is the most hypoallergenic jewelry grade precious metal and safest for those with sensitive skin, titanium rings are the budget-conscious option.
Most titanium rings are hypoallergenic. These are recommended for those with skin allergies because the material is nickel-free. Unfortunately, most tungsten rings employ cobalt, known to cause allergic reactions in most skin types.
Are tungsten and titanium easy to resize?
Finally, when comparing men’s wedding bands: titanium vs tungsten, it’s important to consider resizing. Fingers and knuckles usually get bigger with age, which leads to the resizing of wedding rings. Because of tungsten’s hardness, most rings made from this metal can’t be resized.
On the other hand, titanium rings could be resized. Because titanium wedding rings come from a solid piece of titanium, jewelers consider several factors before taking on this task. Expect higher costs for resizing and repairing titanium rings, it’s not a matter of just melting the metal to make the necessary adjustments.
However, because tungsten and titanium are inexpensive materials, most people choose to simply replace them.
Can titanium and tungsten carbide rings be removed in case of emergency?
Many stages of life might lead to the emergency removal of your wedding ring as people put on weight and the human body changes with age.
If the ring isn’t coming off by using natural and industrialized lubricants, you might need to use some specific removal tools. For emergency situations, both types of materials will require different removal methods.
Titanium rings will need to be cut through using something like a jeweler’s saw, but also manual or power ring cutters. Tungsten carbide rings will have to be cracked into pieces using vice grip pliers. To do this, lock the vice grip’s pliers over the tungsten wedding ring. The important thing is to adjust the jaws to clamp lightly and repeat this process a few times until the ring cracks.
How do tungsten and titanium impact the environment?
Tungsten and titanium are mined in developed countries and have a lower environmental impact due to enforced regulation standards and laws. On the other hand, mining for precious metals and gemstones, like diamonds and other stones, induces losses of biodiversity and harms natural landscapes.
Known as low-environmental-impact metal, titanium has low toxicity and is 100% recyclable which makes it more appealing to environmentally conscious buyers. Tungsten has a less harmful mining process than traditional precious metals, but it’s found that it can negatively affect plants and earthworm reproduction when absorbed by the soil. Therefore, titanium rings are the clear winner in this category.
Which one is best?
In sum, shopping for a man’s wedding band is a fun undertaking but can get overwhelming looking at all the options out there. Over the years, tungsten and titanium became popular materials in the industry and made a dent in the monopoly of gold wedding rings.
When choosing men’s wedding bands, both metals offer stylish and trendy design options. Cost-effective, titanium wedding bands combine beauty with durability and are better for people with sensitive skin. Eco-friendly, titanium earns a few extra points against tungsten carbide in the environmental aspect.
Tungsten carbide wedding bands are a budget-friendly option with a strong masculine but elegant design. Made of the hardest metal on the planet, the ring is scratch-resistant and fits well with the lifestyle of men that do a lot of harsh manual labor. For a combination of durability and classic look, white tungsten wedding bands are a perfect choice.
So, when it comes to men’s wedding bands: titanium vs tungsten, which one is best? Both offer similar benefits, but in the end, it all comes down to the groom’s personal preference. A wedding ring will be worn for the rest of your life, therefore it’s important that the groom pick a band that works best for him.