About Tungsten Jewelry
How Tungsten Metal Becomes Tungsten Jewelry
Tungsten is a hard and dense metal, with a high melting point; science and geology buffs might recognize it as W on the periodic table of elements. However, when it is combined with carbon alloy, it transforms into tungsten carbide (WC): one of the coolest metals on the jewelry market. Because this is relatively new metal to be used in jewelry, some common misspelling of "tungsten" are tungston, tungstan, tungstein and tungstin. The proper composition of tungsten carbide to have in a wedding ring is about 85% and the rest nickel, which is the purity level of all tungsten carbide rings carried by us. This optimal purity level gives the metal the most scratch resistant. Any more, the ring will become too brittle and any less, the metal will become too soft.
Thorsten, Benchmark, and Triton Rings' unique formula of tungsten carbide allows our tungsten rings to be both visually stunning and incredibly durable for years of everyday use. Washing dishes? Working in the yard? You don't need to remove your tungsten ring to protect its finish or because it's uncomfortable. Tungsten Carbide is four times harder than titanium and twice as hard as steel, so tungsten jewelry is virtually scratch-proof. And because our tungsten rings and tungsten wedding bands are comfort-fit, you won't ever have a reason to take it off.
Tungsten vs. Titanium
Many people think Tungsten and Titanium are very similar metals, but in reality they are actually very different. If you were to hold a tungsten ring and a titanium ring in your hands, the first thing you would notice is the weight. Titanium is very light weight. It feels as if the ring were made of plastic, many people do not believe they are holding a metal object. Tungsten, on the other hand, is a very dense metal. It feels as if you are holding a gold ring. Many people prefer the weight and heft of tungsten because they feel that their wedding ring should be something strong and heavy feeling. After all, one of the reasons people cherish platinum is because it also has a heavy weight. A difference between the metals that is not noticeable immediately is that tungsten is very hard, so it is very difficult for a tungsten ring to get scratched. In fact it is the hardest metal on earth, only non-metals such as diamonds are harder than tungsten. Titanium is about 4 times less hard than tungsten. It is quite easy to scratch a titanium ring. One drawback of tungsten being so hard, is the metal does not bend. If enough force is applied the ring can crack or break, whereas titanium will bend out of shape. This is why we offer a lifetime warranty on our tungsten rings if breakage should occur.
Why is "Tungsten" and "Tungsten Carbide" used throughout your site?
All of the tungsten rings on our website are made of 85% pure tungsten carbide. We do not carry rings made of 100% pure tungsten, as they would basically turn to powder without carbon to alloy. Throughout our website we use the words tungsten and tungsten carbide interchangeably. This is because often times having to say "tungsten carbide wedding bands" is a bit of a mouth full and we, as well as other retailers, just write "tungsten" when we mean "tungsten carbide". It is like saying "Gas" instead of "Gasoline".
Should I worry about a tungsten carbide allergic reaction?
Nope. Larson is a tungsten jeweler devoted to quality. All of our tungsten jewelry is made with nickel-binder alloy, which is superior to cobalt-binder alloy. Nickel-binder alloy is hypoallergenic, chemically inert and does not oxidize, cause rashes, or irritate the skin. Cobalt-binder alloy, on the other hand, can cause a tungsten carbide allergic reaction and can oxidize when the cobalt binds with you skin's natural oils. Virtually all people who are allergic to the nickel in white gold rings, are not allergic to the nickel in tungsten because there is such a small amount. However, in rare cases of super sensitive people, there may be an allergic reaction. Not to worry if you happen to be one of those few people. In most cases, we can make the ring in another metal to get around your allergy. We also offer a return policy that gives you 100% of your money back if it is within 30 days.
Women's Tungsten Rings Get a Popularity Boost
Tungsten rings are traditionally more popular for men, who enjoy their strength and commanding style. However, tungsten rings for women boast the same durability but in a wide range of delicate, feminine designs. Take a look at our tungsten rings for both men and women; many are available with stylish textures, precious metal inlays, diamond settings and custom engravings.
Is Tungsten Never Supposed to Scratch?
Tungsten carbide is the hardest and most scratch resistant or wear resistant metal known to man. This means it will resist scratching better than any other metal. This does not mean it is scratch proof, i.e. it cannot be scratched. Tungsten can be scratched by non metals, such as diamonds, sapphires and other crystals found in rocks. This is how tungsten rings are able to be machined and shaped into rings. If it cannot be scratched at all, then that would mean it can never be made into jewelry with different designs and finishes. Even the hardest material on earth, diamonds, can be scratched. If it could not be, then it would be impossible to cut and polish diamonds into the beautiful shapes that we see at the jewelry store. It is normal to see small scratches on a tungsten ring over time, especially if the person wearing the ring is constantly working with their hands or comes in contact with rocks, construction materials, or any hard non-metallic materials. Tungsten does withstand scratching better than any other metal. This means if there is some amount of scratching on a tungsten ring, it would be 10 times worse if the ring were a gold ring. Every material on Earth has different physical properties that make it suitable for some things and not suitable for others. Consumers should take the time to get past the hype and become educated about the products they want to purchase. This will reduce the unpleasant surprises that come from lack of knowledge. Reputable jewelers would be happy to explain all the pros and cons of their products when asked.
Tungsten Rings and Engraving
Many retailers claim tungsten rings are so hard, they cannot be engraved, or only a laser engraver can engrave it. The truth is tungsten rings can be engraved with diamond tipped engravers that etch the engraving on to the surface of the ring. Remember, tungsten can be scratched by a diamond, so it is possible to engrave it. Laser engravers do not actually engrave tungsten rings. What they do is burn your personal message on to the surface of the ring with a very high powered laser. It is just as permanent as traditional engraving. When it comes to engraving on tungsten, laser engraving is best. Many jewelers try to get out of their warranties by saying engraving weakens the ring so it voids the warranty. This is also not true. Our manufacturers honor their lifetime warranties, whether the rings are engraved or not.
Tungsten is a naturally light grayish colored metal, similar to stainless steel. Recently, people have come to appreciate black colored rings, such as onyx or black ceramic. These materials are non-metallic. There are many people who like the black color, but still prefer their wedding rings to be made out of metal. Black tungsten combines the strength and weight of tungsten with the beautiful black color of onyx. The black material is a titanium alloy coating that is applied to the surface of the ring by shooting atomic particles at extremely high speeds, so high that the particles embed themselves into the surface of the tungsten ring. This process is called physical vapor deposition, or PVD for short. This type of plating process creates the most durable coating and is used in many industrial applications. While the coating is tough and not easily scratched off, it is not as scratch resistant as the tungsten ring itself, because it is a titanium based material. Depending on the individual's lifestyle, the black coating can wear off over time. Larson Jewelers can refinish your black rings if needed for a nominal fee. Please contact us for details.
Mokume Gane Tungsten Rings
Pronounced "Moe-ku-may Ga-nay", this unique metal working technique originated from Japan during the middle ages. Japanese blacksmiths found they could make much stronger and lighter weight steel Samurai swords by pounding different pieces of metal together rather than forging one piece of metal into a sword. The result was a layered look in the metal, which resembled the look of wood grain. This technique was eventually incorporated into jewelry making. Mokume Gane can be made by pounding together gold and copper, silver and copper, and palladium and silver. Afterward, the metal is dipped into an acid bath to give it a wood pattern look. This type of metal can be made into a piece of jewelry by itself, but is very common as an inlay in tungsten rings.
Please Note: Tungsten carbide rings, while incredibly strong, are not indestructible. Therefore, our manufacturers will void the warranty if a ring is altered in any way, including sizing, drilling, stone setting, polishing, boiling, chemical damage from cleaning, soldering, burning or showing evidence of obvious repeated physical abuse, such as striking with a hammer. View our warranty page for more details.