There are a handful of durable and masculine ring metals to choose from. Some of the most popular styles include platinum, tungsten, silver, gold, titanium and tantalum. With so many options available, how do you choose the right one?
It all depends on your lifestyle and preferences. However, if you want a durable and affordable wedding ring, you’ve likely explored both tungsten and titanium. These industrial metals are fairly comparable, however there are differences worth exploring.
Let’s take a closer look at tungsten vs. titanium men’s wedding rings to help you decide which one is right for you.
Read on to learn about durability, style, value and the key differences between tungsten and titanium.
Both titanium and tungsten are highly durable metals perfect for daily wear. Furthermore, they are masculine, minimal and sleek designs optimal for men that work with their hands. Tungsten is becoming increasingly popular with mens wedding bands.
A metal’s durability depends on its hardness. Using the Mohs scale to measure hardness, tungsten ranks highest among metals. What does that mean?
Ultimately, tungsten carbide falls at 8.5-9 on the hardness scale, whereas titanium ranks at 6. As you can see, this means that tungsten is harder than titanium and essentially more durable. How does that metric translate to jewelry?
Well, the harder a metal is the least likely it is to get scratched. As Tungsten is the hardest metal, can it become damaged from scratching? Yes, however it can only scratch from a substance that is harder than itself.
If durability is the greatest factor when deciding between tungsten and titanium jewelry, tungsten is a solid choice.
That said, because tungsten is hard doesn’t mean it’s invincible. In fact, tungsten is quite brittle. Titanium is actually more resistant to breaking than tungsten. Based on this factor, it’s easy to deduce that both tungsten and titanium are highly durable metals.
Let’s talk about the aesthetics of tungsten and titanium. While both options are widely available in silver and gunmetal gray, there are important differences to consider.
If you’re a fan of minimal and sleek designs like titanium and tungsten, you’ll have many design options to choose from.
That said, titanium is available in a wider variety of colors, designs and textures than tungsten. This is due to the fact that designers can anodize (coat) titanium in an oxide layer which provides more design flexibility. To alter tungsten to another color or texture, it must be plated. As with any jewelry plating, time and daily wear will require replating.
When it comes to unique designs, you may notice that titanium has more options.
No jewelry metal is 100% pure. In fact, it’s common to use alloys to strengthen metals like gold and silver. With that in mind, how pure are titanium and tungsten?
The common mixture for titanium alloy is 90% titanium to 10% aluminum and vanadium. Tungsten alone is very brittle and is mixed with nickel, cobalt or carbon to create a more durable metal, which leads us to safety and biocompatibility.
When a jewelry is biocompatible, it essentially means it is safe to wear and will not inflict allergic reactions. Titanium is biocompatible, making it a safe option for piercing and jewelry metals.
Tungsten on the other hand is a little more tricky. Ultimately, it depends on the alloy mixture. While tungsten is commonly hypoallergenic, it can cause irritations if cobalt or nickel are used in the alloy.
If you have sensitive skin and are leaning more toward tungsten, you’ll want to discuss the alloy mixture with your jeweler, or look for the “cobalt-free” label.
Unfortunately, both tungsten and titanium have issues with resizing. Tungsten cannot be resized, and if your ring size changes you’ll have to completely change your ring. Titanium can be resized, however it’s extremely difficult.
The resizing process involves soldering the ring to change its size. Titanium can’t be soldered which makes it a very complicated process. Bottom line, you’ll likely have to replace your ring if your size changes.
Yes! However, don’t be surprised if a jeweler tells you they can’t engrave your tungsten ring. Why? Titanium can easily be engraved the same way gold or platinum is. However tungsten can only be engraved with a laser.
If one jeweler won’t engrave your tungsten ring, find another jeweler who uses a laser engraver. Ultimately, laser engraving creates a more smooth result that’s easy to maintain.
Although both tungsten and titanium are highly durable, there is a significant gap in heaviness. For example, tungsten is solid and very heavy. Titanium on the other hand is light as a feather.
While many make the mistake of thinking light means cheap and weak, this is simply not the case for titanium. As previously mentioned, titanium is extremely durable despite its lightness. So, how does weight translate to value?
Titanium and tungsten are both affordable jewelry metals. In fact, compared to gold or platinum, both metals are relatively inexpensive. So, which is more valuable? In general, tungsten is more expensive than titanium.
However, both tungsten and titanium fall into a class of everyday metals. Rather than investing into an expensive or fine jewelry wedding band, tungsten and titanium are durable and long-lasting.
Bottom line: they’re meant to be worn every day and resist damage or scratching that less durable metals are susceptible to.
Now that we’ve thoroughly compared tungsten vs titanium, which one is right for you? Fact is, titanium and tungsten are both very popular. It ultimately comes down to which style you like best.
What’s important to remember is that resizing is not an option, so you’ll want to be certain of your ring size before purchasing either tungsten or titanium wedding rings. Both options are long-lasting, durable and sleek.
While you’re here, why not explore other men’s wedding ring metals? Let’s have a look at an emerging style: tantalum rings and bands.
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