A big portion of a tungsten ring's value and quality depends on the amount of labor devoted to each ring. I will explain how to tell if a tungsten ring is high quality ring or low quality ring without looking at price. When talking about quality of a ring, we are talking specifically about the craftsmanship or design of the ring. In general, if a ring a ring's thickness is 2.5 mm or thicker it is an indication the manufacturer was trying to "cut corners" by not spending more time grinding the ring down to a comfortable thickness level. A comfortable thickness level should be maximum 2.3 mm +/- 0.1 mm. Thickness is measured from the inside of the ring where it touches your finger to the highest point on the outside surface of the ring. On a dome shape ring the highest outside point on the ring would be the center point between the edges. High quality tungsten rings will not only be thinner than 2.5 mm, but they will also become thinner as the sizes get smaller. A high quality manufacturer pays attention to ring thickness and ring size. A size 12 ring that is 2.3 mm thick will feel comfortable to the wearer, but a size 6 ring that is 2.3 mm will actually feel too thick because the ratio of size to thickness on the size 6 ring is greater than that of the size 12 ring. A size 6 ring should be at about 1.8 mm thick. When asking your retailer about thickness of the ring, be sure to check if the rings they carry become thinner as the sizes get smaller.
Another feature you will find in the best quality tungsten rings is symmetry, meaning one side of the ring looks the same as the other side of the ring. Low quality wedding rings lack symmetry. For example, if a tungsten ring is supposed to have beveled edges, make sure the bevel on one side is equally as wide as the other bevel. Another example would be if a tungsten ring is supposed to have a brushed stripe in the center of the ring. Make sure it is not off centered, unless it is intentionally designed that way. Rings showing signs of asymmetry mean the manufacturer is using machinists that do not have enough experience making tungsten rings. The reason the manufacturer would hire these unqualified workers is because the manufacturer is trying to cut costs by paying lower wages to less experienced workers.
If you are interested in a tungsten carbide ring that has a satin finish, brushed finish or any other finish besides a polished finish, pay attention to the finish itself. Make sure the finish is even and precise. For example, if a ring has a brushed finish in the center and the edges are polished, take a look at where the brushed finish meets the polished finish and make sure you can see a straight line all around the ring where the two finishes meet. Finishes that show signs of inconsistencies are an indication of shoddy equipment and/or inexperienced labor. As I mentioned earlier, inexperienced labor usually command a lower wage, which helps lower costs for the manufacturer, and using bad equipment or not properly maintaining equipment is yet another way for manufacturers to cut costs, but it adversely affects product quality.
If the edges of a tungsten wedding band feel sharp to you this is because the manufacturer skipped a final finishing step that rounds off sharp or jagged edges. Sharp edges can irritate the skin between your fingers or worse yet it can even cut the skin if enough pressure is applied. There should be no reason for a tungsten ring to have sharp edges, except that the manufacturer did not want to take the time to do make the perfect ring.
Many couples purchase all kinds of products on-line these days. This is especially true with jewelry. In case you are shopping on-line you will not be able to see or touch the ring until you pay for it and receive it. You can still figure out if the on-line retailer is carrying high quality tungsten rings. You can ask the manufacturer if the pictures on their site are actually their pictures and are pictures of their actual tungsten wedding bands. On-line retailers that put up professional looking pictures and allow you to see the pictures enlarged with details are showing you "what you see is what you get". They do this because they have nothing to hide and they want you to have the closest experience possible to actually holding the ring and looking at it. Retailers that publish specifications on ring thickness, weight, width etc... are also showing you they have tungsten wedding rings that are high quality because they are paying attention to the characteristics mentioned above that differentiate high quality tungsten rings from low quality ones. Finally, reputable on-line retailers should offer at least a 30 day money back guarantee with no restocking fee or any kind of fees if you want to return your ring within 30 days. Chances are if they have clear professional photographs, product details in each ring's description and offer at least 30 days for you to return the ring if you are not happy, they are showing you they have nothing to hide, they stand behind their products and they are confident you will be happy with your purchase.
I have spent many years working with manufacturers in the tungsten wedding band industry to slowly learn how to spot the difference between high quality and low quality tungsten rings. It is my hope that after reading this article, couples can quickly make a more informed decision while looking for the best quality tungsten ring for their wedding. Do not be afraid to ask your retailer questions. After all, they are supposed to serve you, the customer.
Visit Larson Jewelers on the web to find the finest collection of high quality tungsten rings. Larson Jewelers also carries a wide selection of exquisite tungsten diamond rings, palladium wedding bands, platinum rings, and both gold and white gold rings.