September 25, 2020 in Wedding Rings
Titanium wedding bands, like tungsten, are made out of a unique metal. Just what is titanium, and how does it change the jewelry for better or worse?
There are many unique metals used for modern jewelry, with titanium wedding bands being one of the most popular choices, followed closely by tungsten wedding bands. The two metals are quite similar.
While they may be similar in terms of properties and appearance, they are still different. It’s important to know what separates these two metals, and others, when choosing jewelry, especially men’s and women’s wedding bands, which will hopefully be worn indefinitely.
Before diving in, let’s get the obvious question out of the way first. Which is better, titanium or tungsten wedding bands?
This question does not have a straight answer because it depends on what the buyer — in this case, you — is looking for. If the concern is durability, then tungsten is a much harder metal and has vastly superior durability, but there are caveats. Because of its hardness, however, tungsten cannot bend or flex. If it’s overextended in some way, like during a drop or fall, it may crack or even shatter.
The reality is that both metals are excellent choices for jewelry, and wedding bands especially. As you come to learn their differences you’ll understand why you might choose one metal over another.
Titanium is a type of natural metal, and it’s also an element (Ti) on the periodic table — it’s number 22. It was discovered in 1791 by the Reverend William Gregor. Moreover, it can be produced or manufactured, like many other metals.
When exposed to oxygen, the metal essentially creates a ceramic oxide film. This provides excellent corrosion and erosion resistance properties, namely because the metal can heal itself. A scratch or scuff will usually heal in time thanks to the oxide film.
The metal is even biocompatible, which means it can be used inside the body, and it’s the go-to material for applications like knee or hip implants, plates, and pacemakers. What this means for jewelry is that it’s hypoallergenic, so it’s perfectly suitable for those with sensitive skin.
It looks fantastic, like tungsten, and some of the unique men’s wedding bands employ the metal alongside other stunning components, like wood inlays or distinct framing. It’s also a myth that tungsten and titanium cannot be engraved because they absolutely can. Titanium is softer than tungsten so traditional methods can be used, but only laser-engraving is possible with tungsten.
This question is subjective, but yes, titanium wedding bands are awesome! To help you decide, however, let’s go over some of the titanium wedding bands pros and cons:
Like all rings, unisex titanium wedding bands come in a wide variety of sizes. The hardened metal is shaped and manufactured this way, and for the most part, cannot be changed. So, titanium bands cannot be continually sized like other metals. Most importantly, titanium cannot be soldered so a ring that’s too big cannot be cut to shrink its gauge.
It’s best to choose a size that matches your body — whether you need room to grow or not — and that’s true when choosing any of the stronger metals, titanium and tungsten included.
Yes, if need be, titanium wedding bands can be cut off, and it’s easier to do so than tungsten because it’s a softer metal. Take note, however, that once a titanium ring has been cut it cannot be mended.
Because it’s a natural metal that’s abundant, and also because it’s relatively easy to manufacture compared to other metals, titanium is much cheaper than gold, platinum, and similar precious metals. This bleeds over into the jewelry world, and it’s why titanium and tungsten rings tend to be quite a bit more affordable.
They also look fantastic, which explains why some of the best titanium wedding bands are so popular.
Yes, titanium wedding bands are safe on multiple levels. The material is hypoallergenic so it’s an awesome choice for those with sensitive skin or metal allergies, as it won’t irritate your body. It’s also a softer metal than tungsten, by comparison, so it can be cut if the ring is stuck on the finger or grows to be too tight.
If ring tightness is a concern, we recommend going with something like one of our men’s comfort fit titanium wedding bands, many of which have a domed shape or profile. This provides a little added clearance, especially when sliding the ring over the knuckles.
For those in a trade profession, it’s always a smart idea to leave the metal rings at home, and swap for a more malleable band temporarily like silicone or plastic. That’s true of any metal material from silver and gold to titanium.
Titanium rings will not turn your fingers any color, let alone green, because they are hypoallergenic. Even the colored rings with a unique finish won’t leave residues on your skin. The color may fade after quite some time, but that won’t affect your skin or body.
Titanium rings, like tungsten, will last a very long time with appropriate care. You don't have to clean titanium frequently like many of the other metals, but proper treatment is still appropriate. Try not to slam them against surfaces or treat them poorly.
Women’s titanium wedding bands and men’s wedding bands alike come in many different styles and colors. Bear in mind, with a unique color besides the usual polished or brushed chrome looks the ring may eventually need to be retreated — colors can fade after some time. However, this is not a concern and should not deter you from choosing your favorite style. It’s an easy fix, and the ring itself will remain just as strong as the day you bought it.