So often, men's wedding rings are an afterthought. After all, the engagement ring tends to be the star of the show. It's hard to compete with the glitz and glamour of a diamond. In fact, the United States National average amount spent on an engagement ring is around $6,000. The budget for men's wedding rings varies but averages out to around $500. However, if you're going to be wearing a piece of jewelry that symbolizes commitment and eternal love, you might as well pick out something special. Gold and platinum have had a stronghold on men's wedding bands for decades, but modern metals are starting to gain popularity. One of these metals, tungsten carbide, is a particularly good choice. According to WeddingStats.org, 1 in 4 grooms choose tungsten for their wedding band, and that number continues to grow.
First, some background. Quality tungsten carbide rings are created from 85% tungsten and 15% nickel. Tungsten itself is a powder and must use a binder to become a metal able to be formed into jewelry. Other alloys such as cobalt can be used as a binder, but these rings are inferior to those made with nickel. Rings made with cobalt as a binder can cause allergic reactions and are even known to potentially contain carcinogens. Tungsten with nickel as a binder is definitely the way to go. This alloy makes for an incredibly sturdy ring that is extremely scratch resistant. Tungsten is nearly as hard as a diamond, scoring a 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness. While there are pros and cons to any jewelry metal, here are some of the top reasons to choose a tungsten ring as your wedding band.
Gold prices are based on the market, and fluctuate from time to time. In recent times, the price of gold has reached an all-time high. Tungsten, on the other hand, is not affected by market changes and remains rather constant. This allows for you to purchase a quality wedding band at a steeply reduced cost.
One thing to look for when purchasing a tungsten ring is what sort of warranty the ring comes with. Due to its composition, tungsten carbide is very hard and scratch-resistant, but this also means it is brittle. It is best to choose a ring from a reputable company that offers a lifetime warranty.
Another reason to choose a ring with a good warranty is that tungsten rings cannot be resized. They are created using molds rather than being forged like precious metals. A company that stands behind its products will offer lifetime resizing. If your ring size changes due to factors like weight loss or gain, you will be able to exchange for the correct size. With tungsten, you can choose a cheap wedding ring without sacrificing other important factors.
A classic, plain tungsten band will be the most affordable wedding band option. When budget is the primary concern, stay away from gemstones or precious metal inlays. While tungsten rings are very durable, more ornate styles require slightly more upkeep and the materials are more expensive.
Price is not the only consideration for choosing a tungsten wedding band. Tungsten rings can offer fantastic quality as well. As mentioned before, it is always good to go through a reputable site. While a cheap wedding ring from a discount site may be appealing, paying a bit more for a better ring is worthwhile. If you go with tungsten, you will save hundreds if not thousands of dollars compared to a palladium ring or other precious metal.
Unlike other alternative metals like titanium or ceramic, tungsten wedding rings have a heavy feel to them, similar to platinum or gold. While some people don't like this added weight, many people prefer it, especially for men's wedding rings. The heavier band feels substantial and luxurious. Due to their makeup, tungsten bands are among the most scratch-resistant available today. This makes them a great option for people who work with their hands.
Another factor that makes tungsten rings a quality choice is that they are easy to remove. Tungsten rings can be cracked off using a hammer or pliers. Metals like titanium take specialized pliers, while gold rings will bend, complicating the removal process. An unforeseen benefit of tungsten wedding rings is that they can even be protective. People have had an object fall on their hand, and the ring takes the brunt of the force. Instead of allowing an injury, the ring absorbs the force and cracks due to the pressure.
Since men's wedding rings are worn daily, comfort is a key factor in determining a ring's value and quality. Most tungsten rings are comfort fit, meaning that they are curved on the inside, meaning less of the ring touches your finger. Comfort rings slide over the knuckle with ease, making them easier to get on and off. Since less of the ring touches your skin, this helps to minimize irritation. Quality tungsten men's wedding rings made with nickel are considered to be hypoallergenic since the nickel is used only as a binder with the tungsten. However, people will severe allergies may still react. Tungsten still remains an excellent choice in terms of quality.
Style may be the point where tungsten wedding bands really beat the competition. Tungsten is naturally a silver-tone gray but can be plated in many different colors. Among the most popular are black tungsten, white tungsten coated with rhodium, and yellow or pink tungsten that mimics the color of gold. Tungsten rings, especially those without plating, retain their shine much better than precious metal rings without needing maintenance. Sterling silver rings will tarnish over time, and gold rings will require repolishing. No such upkeep is needed with tungsten wedding bands.
These variations make it so that there is a ring for every groom looking for perfect men's wedding bands. Tungsten rings come in an abundance of shapes as well. Beveled, slanted edges lend interest without being too flashy, and domed rings are exceptionally popular. Tungsten wedding rings can even be square! The finishes of tungsten rings are another adaptable feature. High polish rings look great, as do the more subtle brushed finishes. You can even spring for a hammered or wire-scratched finish, which is more out of the ordinary.
Many tungsten rings feature inlays of other materials. This is a great way to combine style and affordability. Precious metals such as gold make for a very sophisticated ring. You get the look of gold without the hefty price tag. Wood inlaid rings offer a touch of natural elements to your wedding jewelry. From mahogany to rare koa, wood-inlaid rings are eye-catching and unique. Wood inlays can match with other accessories such as watches or bracelets. A cute idea is to buy your sweetheart a matching pendant in the same wood as your ring. Stones such as lapis, malachite or even lava rock are a great way to make your wedding ring stand out from the crowd.
Many tungsten rings feature gemstones. Black stones, such as black diamonds or black sapphires, are decidedly masculine while still adding interest. Blue sapphires are another inspired choice. Of course, white diamonds will always be a classic option. Some rings feature a single stone, while others mimic the appearance of an eternity band, with stones going all the way around the ring. Since the stones used on men's tungsten bands are usually much smaller than those used on engagement rings, it won't be nearly as expensive.
Tungsten rings also look beautiful with engraving, another stylistic advantage. Silver-tone and white, pink or yellow tungsten engrave in a dark gray color, creating a lovely contrast. Black tungsten engraves a golden silver color, creating a distinctive design. Since you have nearly anything engraved, the possibilities are endless. You may want to keep it short and sweet, with something like initials and a date. Or you may want to be more sentimental, and go with an inside joke or popular phrase signifying love. For a one-of-a-kind ring, consider a fingerprint engraved ring. It is very special to have your loved one's touch with you at all times. Nearly all men's tungsten wedding rings can be engraved on the inside of the ring, keeping your message private. However, as long as the band does not have an inlay or texture, you can also engrave the outside as well.
The Benefits are Clear
There are many reasons to choose a men's wedding ring created from tungsten. Whether the appeal is affordability, quality, or style, tungsten rings have a lot to offer. With so many options, it can hard to choose, but that's part of the fun! Some men will even purchase multiple men's tungsten rings to have a variety. A plain band may more appropriate for the office, but a ring featuring a bright inlay or gemstone might be a novel option for weekends or date nights. Since tungsten is so much more economical than gold, this is an option for a larger amount of people. Whatever tungsten band, you end up going with, you are joining millions of other people who have fallen in love with this alternative metal.