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Your wedding ring is an important piece of jewelry and one that you never want to see broken or lost. To minimize the chances of damage being done to this special piece, you should pick a metal that is right for your lifestyle. The design, style, size, and cost are all important factors in choosing your wedding band, but the type of metal you use also should be part of your selection so that you can get a band that will stand the test of time.

Gold

If you prefer a classic metal for your wedding band, gold is the way to go. You can choose its durability to a point. Twenty-four-karat gold is the softest, while 10-karat gold is sturdier. You can choose the color of gold that you want for your rings, although less-common colors might be more expensive. Yellow gold is the most common, while white gold is close behind. There are also green gold and rose gold, which are more rare. Since gold is a softer metal, it does tend to scratch and bend more easily.

Silver

Because silver is a softer metal, it has to be mixed with other metals to have enough strength to keep its shape. The downside to silver is that it tarnishes more easily and it gets scratched easily as well. Although silver is more common for other types of jewelry, as it is an affordable metal, it may not make a durable wedding band. It may get scratched, marked, and bent over time.

Platinum

Platinum is a more durable metal than gold, and because of this durability, it has been used for prongs to hold diamonds for years. More recently, it has become popular for wedding bands because of its ability to stand the test of time. As a heavier metal, it keeps its shine and does not scratch, bend, or dent easily, and it never gets tarnished. Because it is slightly more rare than gold, it has a higher price than gold as well. Although a platinum band will get slightly scratched over time, your jeweler can polish it up to make it look brand new once again.

Palladium

Palladium is a metal that is very similar to platinum. Although it is not as white as platinum, it is a rarer metal. It is also more durable and resistant to scratching, is cheaper to purchase, and is hypoallergenic for those with sensitive skin.

Titanium

One of the biggest downsides to having a titanium band is that if there is an emergency involving your hand, you will have to have your titanium ring cut off of your finger. While it does scratch, it will not crack when put under pressure. It is also a hypoallergenic metal, good for anyone with sensitive skin, and a lightweight metal that is worn easily and is very comfortable. Titanium bands come in several different colors, from dark gray and black to a lighter silver tone. They can either have a polished finish or a softer satin finish. A titanium band is never able to be sized, so once the ring is ordered in a certain size, your only choice to change it is to order another band.

Tungsten

Although they are shiny and brilliant, tungsten bands are much harder than titanium ones. Tungsten is similar to titanium in that it also cannot be sized, and it is also hypoallergenic. It is the metal that is the most scratch-resistant, but it is also fairly affordable. Although a tungsten band will not bend, it will break if put under enough pressure.

Stainless Steel

Most commonly thought of when talking about flatware, this strong metal is not only an affordable one, but it is also durable. Stainless steel is shiny and can easily be polished to keep that beautiful look. This more modern metal is resistant to oxidation and can easily be cleaned with dish soap or brushed with a soft jewelry cloth.

Cobalt

Used mostly in finer bridal jewelry, cobalt is hypoallergenic and is an extremely durable metal, as it is harder than platinum. It looks very similar to platinum because of its bright white color. It is a heavier metal, meaning that the wearer will be more aware that they are wearing a wedding band. Although cobalt rings are extremely durable, they can scratch, though they are fairly scratch-resistant. A cobalt ring may be sized but must be cut off in case of an emergency.