HOW HARD IS TUNGSTEN? ______________________ Mohs Scale of Mineral Hardness Scratch Resistance of Tungsten vs. Titanium and other Metals (Moh's Scale of Hardness Chart) Ever wondered about how tungsten carbide stacks up to titanium and other materials commonly used to make mens wedding bands? Below is a chart using Mohs Scale of Hardness to measure the scratch resistance of common materials used in the jewelry business, and as a comparison we have included some materials everyone is familiar with, such as your fingernail or tooth, so you can get an idea of how hard something is. As you can see, diamonds get a perfect 10 for being the hardest and most scratch resistant material on earth, which means nothing can scratch it except another diamond. Tungsten is the hardest and most scratch resistant metal, but non metals such as diamonds, sapphires and other hard crystals can still scratch. Titanium is far less scratch resistant than tungsten. Choosing the Perfect Metal for Your Wedding Band When it comes to choosing the perfect metal for your wedding band, it really comes down to what qualities you are looking for in that metal. Most people want a durable metal that will not easily get scratch or look worn, like tungsten or ceramic rings. Some want a certain color, maybe a white metal, maybe a dark one. Some prefer a metal that has a high value, like platinum or gold. What ever the case may be, we can help you make that choice. Take a look at the chart below, which compares each metal by the most common criteria that couples feel are important to them when selecting what type of metal their future wedding bands should be. Also listed below, are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of each type of metal. Please feel free to contact us if you have further questions. Metal Type Scratch Resistance Affordability Metal Purity Hypoallergenic Level Density (Weight) Tungsten Carbide Cobalt Chrome Titanium Black Ceramic Platinum Palladium 14k Gold Silver Pros and Cons of Metals Tungsten – Pros: Most scratch resistant metal, very affordable price. Very easy to remove in case of medical emergency, no cutting or sawing, hypoallergenic. Cons: Not naturally as white as platinum, due to its hardness, it doesn’t bend, it breaks if enough force is applied. Ceramic – Pros: Just as scratch resistant as tungsten, black color is not plating like black tungsten, so can’t scratch off, won’t set off metal detectors, hypoallergenic. Cons: due to its hardness, it doesn’t bend, it breaks if enough force is applied. Cobalt Chrome – Pros: Color of Platinum, Better scratch resistance than titanium, hypoallergenic, doesn’t crack under pressure. Cons: Scratches easier than tungsten, must be sawed off in medical emergency. Titanium – Pros: Hypoallergenic, does not crack under pressure, affordable. Cons: Not as white as platinum, must be cut off in emergency, scratches easiest of all alternative metal rings. Palladium – Pros: High precious metal content, almost as white as platinum, more affordable than platinum or gold rings, better scratch resistance compared to platinum, silver, and gold, hypoallergenic. Cons: Not as white as platinum, harder to cast compared to gold and platinum. Platinum – Pros: Most luxurious metal, very white color, hypoallergenic. Cons: Most expensive metal, scratches easier than palladium. Silver – Pros: Least expensive precious metal, very white color, hypoallergenic. Cons: Tarnishes, but can be cleaned at home, only more scratch resistant than gold. Gold – Pros: Good store of value, easy to work with, can be made into many colors. Cons: Scratches easily, high cost, white gold is plating that scratches off and needs to be re-plated.