Titanium and tungsten have taken the jewelry world by storm, and why shouldn’t they? Gold, platinum, and silver have had their fifteen minutes of fame (and then some) but titanium and tungsten have now taken the lead as two of the most popular wedding band materials for modern times. Their surge in popularity comes as men realize that a wedding band can be an expression of who they are and have driven demand for more choices in men’s wedding and engagement rings.
Although titanium and tungsten are both very affordable and can be similar in appearance and have some common features, they each have unique properties that make them excellent choices for men’s wedding rings.
Which metal is the best overall for men’s wedding and engagement rings? We’ll let you be the judge. But first, let’s have these metals battle it out in each of ten categories.
Here’s Jordan Jack’s Titanium vs. Tungsten Showdown:
You really can’t go wrong with a metal named after the all-powerful, superhuman Titans of Greek mythology. Given such a name because of its remarkable strength, titanium is as strong as steel but much less dense. Titanium has the highest strength-to-density ratio of any metallic element on earth, making it an excellent material for day to day wear.
Super dense and one of the toughest elements in nature, tungsten is remarkably strong and very durable. Although pure tungsten is very soft, alloying it with other metals makes a compound that is one of the strongest materials for making wedding bands. Because of this strength tungsten is often used in drill bits, bullets, and missiles.
2. Hardness/Scratch Resistance
Titanium is considerably harder than traditional wedding ring materials. Rating a solid 6 on the Mohs scale, titanium handily beats gold’s 3 rating and platinum’s 4-4.5. Its hardness makes it extremely scratch resistant, as only materials with a higher rating on the Mohs scale can scratch it.
One of the hardest materials on earth, tungsten registers a jaw-dropping 9 on the Mohs hardness scale. That 9 rating is substantially harder than titanium’s 6, making it the hardest jewelry making metal available. This hardness means that it beats titanium (and all other wedding ring metals) in the scratch resistance contest as well. There are very few materials in existence other than diamond that can scratch tungsten.
3. Tarnish & Corrosion Resistance
Titanium is highly resistant to corrosion in all its many forms. It can even withstand chlorine and salt environments, making it a good choice for those who swim often, even in the ocean. Titanium is a great choice for wedding bands as it will not tarnish and is very good at keeping its original finish and shine.
More resistant to tarnishing than even titanium, tungsten is also corrosion resistant and is often touted as being “forever polished.” Tungsten will keep its finish and still look brand new after years of wear and tear.
Jordan Jack’sTungsten Step Edge Brush Finish Wedding Bandwill look stunning for a lifetime.
4. Crack Resistance
With a significantly greater resistance to cracking than tungsten, titanium is a very durable metal that can withstand dropping and knocking against hard surfaces. Titanium will flex or bend rather than cracking in high impact situations.
While tungsten’s extreme hardness means it will not bend or buckle it also means that it is prone to cracking and breaking. Tungsten is a naturally brittle metal and not nearly as crack resistant as titanium. If you drop a tungsten ring hard enough or hit it against a hard surface, it can shatter and break on impact. This said, tungsten rings do not break easily.
Crack resistant and beautiful, thisTitanium Diamond Solitaire Bandhas an added hint of sparkle.
Often called “weightless” or “featherweight”, titanium is remarkably light. It’s the perfect material for those who are new to wearing jewelry or who don’t like to wear jewelry because it’s almost like wearing nothing at all. Titanium is exceptionally comfortable and great for men who don’t necessarily enjoy jewelry but still want to wear a wedding or engagement ring.
Tungsten is very dense and very heavy. People often equate weight with quality so if having a weighty ring with a real presence on your finger is your idea of luxury then tungsten is the wedding ring metal for you.
*Winner: Draw. The weight of your ring is a truly personal preference, so we can’t declare a winner on this one.
If you prefer a lightweight yet strong-as-steel ring check out thisTitanium Black and White Two-Tone Bandfrom Jordan Jack.
For a solid band with nice weighty feel, try Jordan Jack’sTungsten Center Groove Satin Finish Wedding Band.
6. Skin Compatibility
Used extensively in surgical implants and for body piercings, titanium is 100% biocompatible, which means it is not known to cause allergic reactions. It is completely hypoallergenic and great for people with skin allergies or sensitivities, even those with allergies to other metals. Its skin compatibility is one of the greatest advantages of titanium wedding bands.
Generally hypoallergenic, tungsten typically doesn’t cause skin reactions even though it sometimes contains a very small amount of nickel. Even people with nickel allergies can usually wear tungsten. Tungsten containing cobalt can sometimes cause skin reactions or sensitivities but this is not common.
7. Colors & Finish Options
Titanium is naturally a beautiful metallic silver color. Popular colors include gunmetal grey and black but titanium can be anodized to create a wide variety of other colors. It can also be polished or texturized, giving titanium almost limitless design potential.
In its natural state tungsten is a striking gunmetal grey color. It is also available in black and a white option that resembles white gold or platinum with the same brightness for which platinum is valued. Other colors can be obtained but are often achieved by means of plating. This plating has the potential to wear off over time, requiring maintenance to have your ring re-plated. Tungsten rings can be brushed or polished and can come in several choices of finish.
8. Heat Resistance
Titanium is a poor heat conductor that keeps its cool when exposed to heat. This makes it a good choice for those who work in high heat environments as it doesn’t become hot on your finger in such conditions.
Tungsten is extremely heat resistant and is used in industrial applications where heat tolerance is necessary. In fact, tungsten has been a top choice for light bulb filaments since the early 1900s. With an extremely high melting point tungsten beats out titanium in the heat resistance department.
9. Emergency Removal
Despite myths to the contrary, titanium can be removed in an emergency using a jeweler’s saw.
Tungsten also is prone to a bad rap when it comes to emergency removal but the myths are not true. Tungsten rings can be removed in an emergency by using vice grip pliers.
*Winner: Draw. Both are equally easy to remove using the correct tools.
10. Engraving & Resizing
Titanium can be engraved but is notoriously difficult to resize. It is possible, and some jewelers may offer titanium resizing services but this may be expensive and/or hard to find.
Tungsten can be laser engraved. It cannot be resized.
*Winner: Titanium, only because it is POSSIBLE to resize (although difficult and potentially expensive.)
So, who’s the ultimate winner? That’s for you to decide. There are clearly some advantages of titanium wedding bands and some advantages of tungsten wedding bands and each also have their weaknesses.
Using this guide, you can weigh the pros and cons of titanium and tungsten to decide which is best for your tastes and lifestyle. When you’re ready to choose a titanium or tungsten ring, visitJordan Jackto find just the right one.