Is Tungsten a Good Choice for a Wedding Ring?
Choosing the right style and material for a wedding band is an important decision. After all, it’s a symbol of love and commitment that is going to be with you for a long time. One option for wedding rings that has become increasingly popular in recent years is tungsten.
But is tungsten a good choice for a wedding band? For many people it is, so let’s explore the properties and characteristics of tungsten and evaluate its suitability as a wedding ring for you.
Table of Contents
What is Tungsten?
Tungsten (meaning “heavy stone”, tung sten, in Swedish) is a rare metal that is known for its high melting point, strength, and hardness. It is popular in industrial applications and commonly used for industrial tooling, aerospace, electronics, medical instruments, sports equipment, and of course, for making wedding bands.
Tungsten is most often combined with other materials to create hard materials for a final application. One of these hard materials is tungsten carbide, a combination of tungsten and carbon, which is used to make tungsten wedding bands.
Interesting fact: Even though it is often referred to as - and even looks like - a metal, tungsten carbide is technically a high-density ceramic.
For most jewelry applications, nickel is added to the tungsten carbide as a binding agent to improve the luster of the tungsten when polished. High-quality jewelry-grade tungsten carbide may also contain additional materials, such as titanium, to make the ring more impact resistant.
When it comes to jewelry, tungsten, and tungsten carbide are often used interchangeably, although a reputable jeweler will generally use a nickel-binder tungsten carbide.
Advantages of Tungsten Wedding Rings
The strength and hardness of tungsten offers several advantages when used for a wedding band — primarily durability, scratch resistance, and affordability.
Additionally, tungsten rings are generally easy to maintain and resistant to corrosion. Unlike gold, platinum, and titanium, which do require occasional re-polishing, tungsten carbide holds its luster extremely well.
Tungsten wedding rings are also available in a variety of styles and designs, making them a versatile choice for couples.
Disadvantages of Tungsten Wedding Rings
Despite their advantages, tungsten wedding rings do have some disadvantages. Most importantly, tungsten carbide is a hard and dense material that cannot be resized, which can be a problem if your ring size changes over time (although most reputable jewelers will offer some form of a size exchange with your purchase).
In addition, tungsten rings are not inherently valuable, so once you buy the ring you are not likely going to be able to sell or pawn it in the future.
Tungsten wedding rings can be difficult to remove in case of an emergency, although many emergency rooms have special tools for removing tungsten and titanium rings.
While we’re discussing emergency rooms: We recommend you avoid wearing any metal rings when you are doing any highly-physical activities, working with machinery, manual labor, lifting weights, rock climbing, etc. Your ring can catch on an object and result in a ring avulsion, or degloving of your finger. Either avoid wearing your ring entirely or wear a silicon ring while engaged in the activity.
Durability of Tungsten Wedding Rings
Tungsten wedding rings are incredibly durable and resistant to scratches and wear. They are also highly resistant to corrosion, making them an ideal material for everyday wear.
However, it is important to note that tungsten wedding rings can crack or break if they are dropped or hit with a hard object, and rings with inlays require special care.
Most inlays have a resin coating that is far less resilient than the rest of the ring. This resin can be scratched more easily that the rest of the ring or damaged with prolonged water exposure.
Comfort of Tungsten Wedding Rings
Tungsten wedding rings are heavier than other metals commonly used in wedding rings, such as gold and platinum. This can make them less comfortable to wear for some people, especially those with smaller fingers and depending on the width and thickness of the ring.
However, tungsten wedding rings featuring a comfort-fit design will reduce the pressure on the finger and provide a more comfortable fit.
Tungsten Wedding Rings and Skin Sensitivity
Tungsten carbide is considered to be a hypoallergenic metal, which means that it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in people with sensitive skin. This makes it a good choice for people who have metal allergies. However, there is an unlikely chance the nickel-binder alloy used in the manufacturing process could trigger a reaction in extremely sensitive skin
Styles and Designs of Tungsten Wedding Rings
Tungsten wedding rings are available in a variety of styles and designs, from classic and traditional to modern and contemporary. They can be polished to a high shine or finished with a brushed or matte surface for a more subdued look. They can also be accented and inlaid with other materials, and coated with colored accents.
However, tungsten rings cannot be cast or formed, so intricate designs are not possible, They can only be shaped, cut, bonded with other metals, or engraved.
Tungsten Wedding Ring Pricing
Tungsten wedding rings are generally more affordable than other metals commonly used in wedding rings, such as gold and platinum. The price of a tungsten wedding ring can vary depending on the design and style of the ring, production quality, as well as the presence of any accents or embellishments.
A high-quality ring will usually be around $150 - $200 or more. Inexpensive tungsten rings, especially those under $50, are often made with sub-standard or less material, inferior coatings, and poor craftsmanship, so they are more likely to shatter or break, cause skin reactions, and tarnish.
Lifetime warranties and size exchanges are included in the price or offered as an add-on option when you purchase from reputable a reputable jeweler.
Maintenance of Tungsten Wedding Rings
Tungsten wedding rings require very little maintenance, as they are highly resistant to scratches and wear. However, they should be cleaned on a regular basis with a mild soap and water solution, and dried with a microfiber cloth to maintain their shine and luster.
We’ve broken down the pros and cons of tungsten rings, discussed pricing, and summarized what it takes to maintain one.
So, does this mean Tungsten is a good choice for a wedding ring?
Personal preferences aside, yes, overall tungsten is a generally good choice for a wedding ring. The combination of durability, scratch resistance, and affordability are unmatched, and with a variety of styles and designs to choose from, it’s hard to go wrong.
However, you should be ready to say goodbye to wearing your original ring if you need a new size, which may mean an entirely new style if your original ring is no longer manufactured.
Is tungsten a good choice for a wedding ring?
Yes, tungsten is a good choice for a wedding ring due to its durability, scratch-resistance, and affordability.
Can tungsten wedding rings be resized?
No, tungsten wedding rings cannot be resized, so it is important to get the correct ring size when purchasing a tungsten wedding ring.
Are tungsten wedding rings heavy?
Yes, tungsten wedding rings are generally heavier than other metals commonly used in wedding rings, such as gold and platinum.
Are tungsten wedding rings hypoallergenic?
Yes, tungsten is a hypoallergenic metal, which means that it is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in people with sensitive skin.