A Guide to Tungsten Wedding Bands: Pros and Cons

b2ap3_thumbnail_tungsten-wedding-bands.jpg

If you are in search of a wedding band or a stylish ring to wear for many occasions, and you find that you're having trouble deciding between a traditional gold or platinum ring and a more contemporary item like a tungsten carbide wedding band, this basic breakdown of the very popular modern metal's strengths and weaknesses may be helpful.

If you are in search of a wedding band or a stylish ring to wear for many occasions, and you find that you're having trouble deciding between a traditional gold or platinum ring and a more contemporary item like a tungsten carbide wedding band, this basic breakdown of the very popular modern metal's strengths and weaknesses may be helpful. Tungsten's low price point is often what attracts a customer's initial interest, but it's important to know what's right for your personality and lifestyle as well as your budget.

The basis of tungsten's reputation is the unusual hardness of this metal, and its resistance to the problems that commonly plague metals like gold, platinum, and sterling silver. Tungsten carbide is much harder than any of these materials, ranking closer to diamonds on the scale used to measure such things; this is why tungsten is not prone to the scratching, scuffing, or bending that can happen to a more traditional metal under even the lightest routine.

Tungsten carbide is also non-reactive, meaning it will not tarnish or discolor. Compared to other, more standard types of wedding ring, tungsten wedding bands are far more likely to look as good as they did the day you put them on. Much of tungsten carbide's attraction also lies in the uniqueness of the base material and the interesting ways in which tungsten can be formed and accented. The unmistakeable grey hue of tungsten carbide rings can be brightened with a mirror finish or warmed with a brushed finish like other metals, but it can also be laser engraved with complex designs and formed with facets and ring shapes that are impractical for metals that aren't as likely to hold their shape and brightness. A tungsten ring simply doesn't look like anything else, and you won't find a tougher ring with this kind of versatility and beauty. It must be addressed, however, that even a great product will require considerations of its potential drawbacks.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Tungsten-Wedding-Bands-Pictures-1.jpg

This is where personal tastes and lifestyle become very important, and decisions must be made regarding which qualities in a wedding bands are desired or necessary, which are negligible, and what problems are deal-breakers. Most of us, for any number of reasons, are going to change ring sizes in our lifetime. With a fashion piece, this isn't necessarily an issue as it can simply be moved to another finger, but wedding rings obviously don't have that kind of flexibility. Like many traditional styles that involve eternity settings or intricate details, tungsten rings cannot be resised by conventional means. Resizing a tungsten ring means simply getting a different ring that was manufactured in the size you need. Also, a harder material that does not bend is more likely to break; this means that a tungsten wedding band will never bend out of round and cause the wearer any of the related problems that can occur when a gold wedding band bends, but under too much force it is possible for them to break.

Even this issue has its good point, though; breaking the rings under gentle pressure is the way they're removed in emergencies, and there are many stories out there about people whose hand were accidentally closed in doors or otherwise endangered, and their tungsten rings absorbed the trauma and broke but prevented more serious injury. While there is no guarantee that a tungsten ring would prevent injury and we certainly don't recommend testing this theory, it never hurts to improve one's odds. The store or website where you buy your ring will have some sort of policy in place to help you get a new ring at a reduced cost if you run into either of these problems– if not, find someone else to work with.