Tungsten vs. Titanium Rings: What You Need to Know
There are several popular wedding ring materials out there, but two that always seem to be at odds are tungsten and titanium. Both materials are two of the most popular options for men's rings because they are solid, look great, and are quite affordable.
However, those bonuses make it hard to choose between them.
Though it is easy to see the similarities in the debate of tungsten vs. titanium, there are stark differences you should be aware of before purchasing a ring.
Here we will cover both materials to analyze those differences and help you pick the one that better suits your preferences.
High Quality at a Low Price
The first aspect we'll cover is the one of the most important things to consider in the debate of tungsten vs. titanium: the price.
Jewelry, men's or otherwise, can be quite expensive. However, both titanium and tungsten are cheaper options than other popular metals out there. They each save you some money without causing you to sacrifice aesthetics or quality.
In terms of price, both metals are in the same ballpark. Though it would be easy to simply say one is cheap and the other is expensive, that is not the case.
Both are affordable and they look great as well.
Some bands can even be made of both materials, providing you with extra options that won't break the bank or overwhelm your budget.
Rings are important, but you don't have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars to get quality. Each of these materials provides you with a strong alternative.
To understand the differences in the fight of tungsten vs. titanium, we need to break down what each one is made of. This will help you better know the discrepancies in how they feel as well as their inherent durability.
Titanium is a metal crafted (or alloyed) with other elements so that it can be used in jewelry. Though there are different additives, you will usually find it mixed with either aluminum or vanadium, depending on the grade.
When it comes to finding a good grade, it is best to get ones that are at least 85 percent pure titanium.
In contrast, tungsten carbide (which is the form of tungsten you'll find in most rings) comes from a blend of tungsten and an equal number of carbon atoms.
Both of these metals are extremely durable. However, when it comes down to it, this is an area where tungsten has a slight edge.
There is no doubt that titanium is strong (which is something that will assure of its long-lasting capabilities) but tungsten is one of the most durable metals on Earth. It has a 9 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, 3 more than titanium's 6.
Both will last, but if you want a bit of extra insurance from bumps and scrapes, tungsten is the way to go.
Scratch and Crack Resistance
Weddings bands are likely going to be exposed to the elements and, depending on the groom's job, can also be put through various rough conditions.
For that reason, it is important to get a ring that can resist both scratches and cracks. Tungsten and titanium each work towards that end, but they do it a bit differently.
As mentioned, tungsten is one of the most durable metals on Earth. For that reason, it is much more scratch-resistant than titanium.
While titanium will still provide you with a great deal more scratch resistance than other popular metals, it doesn't quite have the power that tungsten does. Nothing short of a diamond will break through the metal.
However, while tungsten will stay scratch free and more luminous over a longer period of time, titanium has an advantage when it comes to resisting cracks.
The reason for this is, while tungsten is no doubt harder and more durable, it is also quite brittle, when compared to titanium's unique composition.
That brittleness then makes it so that the material can chip or even shatter, if hits a tough surface.
Though that brittleness can be reduced by paying for higher-grade tungsten, titanium is still the way to go if cracks are something you worry about.
Light vs. Heavy
Another important characteristic to keep in mind when looking for a wedding band is the weight. Though most rings are relatively light, some can be a bit weighty or solid (which certain people prefer).
Though the above sections have shown the two materials in this guide to be similar, this is one section where they starkly differ.
Titanium is an incredibly light material, which makes it a great option for people who don't want to ever feel as if they are wearing jewelry. At the opposite side of the spectrum, tungsten (as a result of its durability) is heavy and dense.
In that way, titanium will seem as if it's not there, while tungsten is something that you can feel.
Everyone has their own preferences when it comes to ring weights. If you don't like the feel of jewelry, go with titanium. If you're not afraid of some extra weight, or if you want something a bit more solid, you should choose tungsten.
Also keep in mind any accents or additions you might put on a ring. If you want to dress the band up, titanium can be a good choice because it won't get overloaded.
Take Note of Allergies
Something else to keep in mind when debating tungsten vs. titanium is how the wedding band material might affect your skin.
Almost all titanium rings on the market are hypoallergenic, meaning it is unlikely to cause a negative reaction.
That makes the material great for anyone with skin allergies. However, most tungsten rings do not come with that bonus.
As a result, this decision is quite simple. If you have skin allergies or find your skin easily irritated, choose a titanium ring over tungsten.
Removal and Resizing
It is an old myth that people should be wary of both titanium and tungsten rings because they cannot be removed in the case of an emergency. Though that sounds scary, it could not be further from the truth.
While both materials are undoubtedly strong and durable, they can be cut should a problem or tricky situation arise.
When it comes to titanium, the ring will need to be taken off with a powerful tool like a jeweler's saw. In contrast, tungsten bands can be cracked with hardy, vice grip pliers.
Though neither of those options is easy to get (and honestly, they can sound a bit daunting) removing a ring shouldn't be easy. The point of a wedding band is to stay snug and fit for life.
Even so, both metals have enough give that you can remove them in a pinch.
However, though the materials can be broken when needed, they unfortunately cannot be resized.
That may be a turn off to some, but it is not that big of a deal considering the cost. Both rings are so inexpensive that you can simply replace them with little worry should something happen.
A Clean, Pleasing Appearance
The final part when considering whether to buy a titanium or tungsten ring is the look. While all of the above properties are important, at the end of the day your ring is a fashion statement that will be on your finger forever.
For the two materials in this guide, the final look almost always comes down to craftsmanship.
Both bands are extremely similar in appearance, which can be confusing to some shoppers. Yes, the metals look quite alike, but there are ways to adjust them to your liking.
Do not think that you only have a single choice, and never assume that your look has to be one tone. There are plenty of options with each metal.
Tungsten and titanium are both clean bands with a sharp look. As a result, you can freely add on small accents or choice additions as you see fit without ruining the overall aesthetic.
Perhaps you want a single streak running through your ring, or perhaps you'd rather have an intricate pattern. Sometimes you can choose something simple, and sometimes you can go for a more complex appearance.
There are endless choices here.
In addition, don't skimp on the color. Many companies offer each metal in grey (the more classic), black (which is stylish), and white (for a more formal appearance).
Two Great Choices, One Important Decision
The fight of tungsten vs. titanium is a close one. Both metals are aesthetically appealing, hardy, and create great bands. However, they have their differences as well.
It is important to take all of those differences into account when making your choice between both metals because they will allow you to accurately differentiate between the two.
Odds are that both metals will make you happy, but if you do your research you will find your perfect fit.