If hardness and scratch resistance are ring qualities that are most important to you, then tungsten is the clear winner. Tungsten ranks 9 out of 10 on the hardness scale compared to 6 for titanium. This is not to say titanium is a slouch in the hardness department though. Titanium is a very lightweight metal that is still incredibly strong, especially when compared to gold or silver. If you are trying to find a good compromise of strength and weight, titanium might be your goldilocks.
Read on to find out why tungsten and titanium are the #1 trend in wedding rings.
Mohs Hardness Scale
The hardness of the metals greatly impacts the appearance and durability of rings. The Mohs Scale of Hardness measures the strength of minerals and metals and assigns them a number between 1 - 10, with 10 being the hardest. Diamonds, for instance, are ranked a 10. Tungsten rates a 9 and titanium a 6, both strong numbers. Gold and silver come in at a low 2.5, which reveals their vulnerability to denting and scratching. Tungsten and titanium are much less likely to bend or scratch than gold and silver. Tungsten is the clear winner in this department, however, and can only be scratched by a substance higher on the scale, such as diamonds. As a result, it continually retains its polished look. Titanium is also quite resistant to scuffs, scratches and breaks.
Should you automatically choose tungsten or titanium for your ring? Not at all. You should keep in mind the durability of the metal before you choose any ring, however. If you are in a profession that is tough on jewelry, hardness is certainly an important consideration. Construction workers, farmers, firefighters and others need jewelry that can stand up to daily punishment. Gold and silver rings will bend and scratch when under duress. Tungsten does have one weakness that titanium does not. It is quite brittle and will shatter when it is under enough pressure. Titanium will only bend.
When considering a ring purchase, color is an important consideration. Tungsten and titanium are often found in silver or dark gray colors that have lasting appeal. Titanium offers more color versatility than tungsten does, however. It can be anodized into different colors as well as be given a satiny finish. Tungsten must receive a colored plate in order to achieve a different color. However, both substances allow you a variety of color choices.
Metal alloys are sometimes used during the smelting process to improve the finished ring's appearance. Quality rings are constructed using a nickel binder which is vastly superior to the alternative cobalt. A very small number of people are allergic to nickel but these people will be happy to know that nickel, when combined with tungsten, is considered to be completely hypoallergenic. Even to people that are allergic to nickel! That means no rash, no irritation, and no oxidation of the ring. In this category, titanium is equally hypoallergenic because additives are not used in the smelting process. Titanium is naturally inert and reactions to this metal type are extremely rare.
If you tend to like a heavier ring, tungsten will work best for you. It is heavy and substantial, and for wedding rings, in particular, is a good symbol of a serious commitment. Titanium is extremely lightweight. So light, in fact, that some wearers think it feels cheap, which it is certainly not. Others love the lightness of titanium because it is beautiful without feeling restrictive, also a fitting symbol of marriage. On this front, personal preference is the only thing that matters.
Of course, prices vary depending on size, design, color, etc., but both tungsten and titanium rings are both quite affordable, certainly more so than gold in most instances. You can spend thousands on these rings if you want to, but we offer many for under $200. Their affordability is not a reflection on their appearance, however. Our customers regularly tell us how much they prefer their new Alpine Ring over their outdated gold ring.
Check out our selection of beautiful wedding rings made from titanium or tungsten to get a sense of the style you prefer. Be certain to weigh the pros and cons of each metal, then go with your gut. We offer a hassle free 30 day guarantee so you can be confident you made the right choice.