Two contemporary wedding band materials that often find each other at odds when the happy couple decides against a more traditional (read: expensive) alternative. Tungsten or titanium is a battle for the ages, and Simple Shine is here to give you the skinny on the pros and cons of each. You might already have one or the other in mind and are simply looking for a bit of perspective, and we're more than happy to help!
If you have a certain color in mind, or if your darling often works with his hands then the question can be easily deciphered in one direction or the other. We will break this question down into categories and outline differences of each material in the categories of price, durability, weight, color, and much more! So let's jump in!
Tungsten or titanium wedding bands are both extremely easy to maintain. They resist all sorts of wear and tear, but you'll probably want to give them some attention now and again just to keep them looking amazing. Simple Shine's complete gentle cleaning jewelry kit can work wonders. If you're looking for a more ecological approach, I'd highly suggest our all natural jewelry cleaner made of 100% biological ingredients!
If you've chosen titanium or tungsten (also called wolfram) for your wedding band, then cost is probably a large factor. While one is fairly competitive with the other from a pricing standpoint, titanium is slightly less expensive overall. This is owed to the fact that it's much easier to work with titanium than tungsten. Your results might vary, of course, depending on the size and design of your chosen ring.
Both tungsten and titanium wedding bands are significantly harder than other precious metals such as gold or platinum. Titanium scores a 6 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, while tungsten carbide scores a whopping 9! That is quite an impressive number, but it isn't always a question of how hard something is, as you shall see in the next two sections.
Due to that massive hardness, tungsten is the reigning champion when it comes to resisting scratches. One of the only materials that can scratch tungsten is diamond. Titanium offers a decent level of scratch-resistance as well when compared to traditional precious metals, but it really has no hope of beating out tungsten in this department. Few things can.
Tungsten isn't perfect, and the cracks are starting to show! Quite literally in this case. The gigantic hardness of tungsten comes at a heavy cost, and the humongous hardness leaves tungsten brittle. If it strikes a hard enough surface tungsten can crack or even completely shatter. Titanium is the clear winner when it comes to the question of crack-resistance.
Titanium and tungsten couldn't be more opposed when it comes to their weight. Titanium rings are so light that you'll forget you're wearing it from time to time. On the other hand, tungsten rings are impressively dense. Tungsten rings have a weighted feel to them that is quite pleasant. Whether you prefer a lighter or heavier ring is simply a question of preference.
If you like a natural grey, that is the natural color of both titanium and tungsten wedding bands so just take your pick. Couples that prefer a sleek and modern black color are also in luck, both metals are available in black as well. Finally, if you're interested in a white ring there is only one possibility for you, and that would be tungsten. White tungsten carbide shines a brilliant white that brings white gold or platinum to mind.
If you have skin allergies, you'll be pleased to find out that titanium rings are completely hypoallergenic. Tungsten rings do contain allergens and can cause symptoms. This happens because most tungsten carbide rings contain cobalt which can be a fairly strong allergen for certain types of skin.
If you're looking to resize a titanium ring, you are out of luck. Same story with tungsten rings. Why? Well, it has mostly to do with how hard these metals are. Double and triple check that you are buying the proper size because there are no jewelers out there that want to bother with a resize. The positive point here is in the pricing. Titanium and tungsten are both inexpensive enough that they don't need to be resized, since you can replace the entire ring for numbers in the double digits.
While discussing this topic with a friend of mine he brought up an interesting point. To quote him: "You shouldn't get either one because they can't remove them in case of emergency." I was a bit taken aback... That couldn't be true, could it? Over 2000 years of technology and we can't figure out how to get a ring off?
Well, less than a minute of Googling and I found that it was patently untrue, and that friend dropped a peg or two in my book. Titanium rings can be sawed off, while tungsten rings are generally snapped off with a set of vice grip pliers. If it's a question of speed, the tungsten ring would win this oddly-specific category.
Both tungsten and titanium make fantastic choices for a wedding band, the only thing left to talk about that might break a possible tie is activity levels. Titanium is lightweight which means it's an ideal choice for runners or workout nuts. It isn't as durable as tungsten though, as previously stated. If your significant other is working with their hands often a titanium ring will suffer much more damage on a day to day basis.
If you don't work with your hands and also avoid work-outs, I'd highly suggest that you do both as they're both very good for your mind and body, but I'm not here to judge anyone. I suppose in the end you can simply pick based on whether you enjoy a lighter or heavier feel. People who don't enjoy wearing jewelry will be overjoyed by forgettable titanium, those who revel in it will be please by tungsten's heavier feel.