Many of us dream of witnessing a match between Jordan and LeBron. Or finally settling the argument over whether Messi is better than Ronaldo. But before you got engaged, we doubt many of you had many sleepless nights worrying about men’s wedding bands, and whether yours should be made from titanium or tungsten.
However, in the jewelry world, this debate has been raging for the last few years. And the recent popularity of these two wedding ring materials has only fueled the fire.
Titanium and tungsten have become the two most requested metals for men’s wedding bands due to their durability, look, and cost-effectiveness over the more traditional precious metals of gold or silver.
Both alternative metals, on the surface, may look pretty similar. But actually, both materials hold some unique properties that make them more suitable for certain individuals, and their lifestyles.
Need to know the difference between titanium vs. tungsten wedding bands? Today, we’ll explore just that, and hopefully help you decide which of these jewelry metals you should have on your finger.
To make this debate over wedding ring metals easier to quickly understand, we’ve broken each section down into major factors.
Strength & Durability
Tungsten is the 80s era Stallone of metals. It may not be the hardest element on earth, but it’s pretty damn hard. On the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, it’s up there with hardened steel, emerald, and boron.
Tungsten carbide wedding bands are extremely durable, and most importantly, highly scratch-resistant, meaning you won’t have to worry about it every time you do a bit of gardening or work on the car.
Tungsten can only really be scratched by a diamond. So, the only thing you need to watch out for is your other half!
You probably walked into this debate assuming titanium wedding bands would be the strongest, right?
This is a common misconception, and although it is still very, very strong, titanium is just a bit softer than tungsten, at 6 on the Mohs scale, compared to the 9 of tungsten.
However, it is extremely durable and only liable to deep scratches or marks from stronger materials.
Liability to Crack
Even though we’re talking Rambo levels of hardness when it comes to tungsten rings, it is still liable to breakage.
In fact, it’s the extreme hardness of this metal that can make it crack, as its composition will not allow it to bend, or flex. This isn’t good if your lifestyle will involve the possibility of your ring being hit against a hard surface regularly!
However, in general, a tungsten carbide wedding band will hold up against general abuse.
As we mentioned, titanium rings are softer than tungsten rings, meaning they’re able to withstand a bit more give and take.
It is one of the most durable metals and will show much greater resistance against cracking, which should gift you more security if you’re intending to take it on and off frequently.
If you’re the type of person who equates heaviness with quality, a tungsten carbide wedding ring is certainly the right choice for you.
This highly dense metal is so very heavy and offers that much desired hefty feeling.
In comparison to the heavyweight of tungsten, titanium is featherweight. An ideal choice of metal if you would rather your jewelry be seen, and not felt.
It is supremely comfortable to wear and would suit a man not used to wearing rings all the time.
Possibility of Skin Irritation
In general, tungsten carbide rings are hypoallergenic, and not prone to causing allergic reactions.
Even those with a nickel allergy, who are worried about the amount sometimes found in tungsten, needn’t worry. The amount is often so small it could never cause a reaction.
On the other hand, cobalt can be found, and this can create flare-ups if you’re allergic. However, this allergic reaction and the likelihood of it happening is rare.
If you have body piercings, or if Grandma recently had her hip replaced, it was probably made from titanium.
This biocompatible metal makes it ideal for surgical implants, as it is light, strong, and will be accepted by the body tissue surrounding it.
Not only that, but it’s also hypoallergenic and ideal for sufferers of skin allergies or sensitivities!
For many, its skin compatibility is one of the greatest advantages of titanium rings over not just tungsten, but other precious metals.
Many men cannot see themselves wearing a gold or silver ring on their finger, and this reason in particular has increased the popularity of both titanium rings and tungsten.
The natural color of tungsten is a modern, gunmetal gray. This original finish is highly desirable, but it can also be finished in black, or white plating, along with several different options of brushing, or polish.
This plating, over the top of the initial gray color, can wear off over time, and mean that if you want a pristine finish at all times, you may need to have it re-plated from time to time.
Unlike tungsten, titanium has a natural silver color, much as you’d imagine. But this original metallic tone can be anodized to offer a variety of different color options.
Plus, it can also be polished or texturized, giving titanium rings almost limitless potential for design.
Many fear the composition of tungsten and titanium renders them unable to be engraved. This, fortunately, is a myth. However, laser engraving is not easy, and therefore can be expensive.
The difference between tungsten and titanium is that the former cannot be resized. So if you lose some weight, don’t expect to be able to change your ring size too.