Tungsten Carbide (or Tungsten for short) versus Titanium - metals of choice for making contemporary popular jewelry, for both men and women. Tungsten, the toughest metal in the world and Titanium, one of the lightest metals. Each with its own strengths and weaknesses. No such thing as a perfect metal that is superior in every situation - it all depends on what you want in a ring. Different in metallic composition, but similar in appearance and affordability– so what is the hype?
Titanium, a silver-coloured metal (with properties of extreme hardness and durability) is alloyed with other metals, to form aircraft or commercial pure grade, for use in jewelry.
Tungsten Carbide is a compound sintered by mixing roughly equal parts of the rare metal Tungsten with powdered carbon atoms to form one of the hardest metals in the world. It needs to be alloyed to become workable.
Most metals, even platinum, silver and gold are alloyed and mixed with other elements to ensure durability.
Toughness, strength, and durability - sought after qualities in men’s wedding bands. For the rough and tough conditions, they will have to endure in the lifespan of the average man.
The MOHS scale compares the hardness of materials and elements by which materials can scratch each other. Titanium and Tungsten Carbide are both harder than other metals such as platinum, silver, and gold. In fact, one of the weaknesses of Gold is that it is a soft metal and will bend when struck with force and scratch easily.
Titanium (ranking 6) is twice the strength of aluminium and just as strong as steel, but approximately 45% lighter than steel. Titanium is not as scratch-resistant as Tungsten and might become deformed when put under pressure. However, it is more crack-resistant than Tungsten.
Tungsten carbide (registering 9) is one of the hardest materials in the world, second to diamonds, which rank 10 on the Mohs scale. This means that Tungsten can be scratched only by diamonds, a material that scores higher on the Mohs scale. The attributes ‘forever polished’ and “most durable” is given to Tungsten because the surface of the metal keeps that polished look free from scratches and marks. But extreme hardness paired with brittleness in Tungsten means that it might crack, chip, or break when dropped on a hard surface or put under enough pressure.
What about a diamond – ranking 10 on the hardness scale? Yes, it can be scratched - by another diamond! So, are diamonds indestructible? No, they can be destroyed. Slam away with a hammer to a diamond, it will chip, crack or shatter.
Resizing – is that a myth or not that Titanium and Tungsten Carbide can not be resized. The hardness and strength of these metals makes resizing impossible. You will have to exchange it for the better size. However, these rings are affordable and replacing them is a viable option.
No such thing as a super metal or a super ring!
Do you need a weighty feeling on your ring finger, or are you jewelry-phobic and not keen on wearing jewelry. Titanium and tungsten carbide rings, despite their durability, are opposites in the weight department and how they feel on the finger. Titanium, although stronger than steel is a true lightweight, eerily so, while Tungsten rings have a weighty feel, and substantially so.
Tungsten Carbide and Titanium rings are biocompatible, meaning that it is non-toxic and hypoallergenic – suitable for those with allergies to other metals. Both metals are used in the medical field, Tungsten for medical tools and Titanium for surgical implants.
A common myth for both titanium and tungsten carbide rings - these cannot be removed in case of emergency! Myth Busted! Both types of rings can certainly be removed in emergency situations, though the methodology for removal will vary – Titanium rings will need to be cut through using something like a jeweller’s saw, while tungsten carbide rings will have to be cracked using vice grip pliers. Tungsten Carbide rings can shatter on impact, a safety property that prevent more serious injuries if your finger should catch in something like a car door.
Titanium and tungsten carbide are both very affordable alternatives to pricy precious metals and are comparable in price. Exceedingly difficult metals to work with, both exceptionally durable but prices may vary based on style, manufacturer, and quality of the material.
Little maintenance is needed for both Tungsten and Titanium rings. Tungsten rings are scratch- and bend-resistant and will keep the polished look, however, these rings are more brittle and will most likely shatter if dropped or struck by something heavy. Titanium rings will not tarnish but will get scratched from harder materials, like Tungsten. These scratches can be removed by a jeweller.
Both tungsten and titanium rings are extremely popular and in high demand because they have properties which make them an excellent choice for a wedding ring. Durable, affordable, hardwearing, and great fashion items!
Tungsten Carbide versus Titanium: the choice is yours! You need to decide what you want in a ring. Tungsten if you want extremely durable with no tarnish or scratch and still looking polished after many years. Titanium if you want something light, hypoallergenic, crack-resistant and corrosion free.