Tungsten Carbide Rings
Facts, Myths, Pros and Cons of Tungsten Carbide Rings:
If you've been reading tungsten ring reviews online, you may think it's some kind of mythical substance from another
world. The truth is less theatrical but still thrilling.
So, what is tungsten carbide? The experts at Larson Jewelers are here to clear up the myths, lay out the facts and clue you into the pros and cons of tungsten rings.
Let's start with some facts:
- Tungsten metal is rated at about a nine on the Mohs scale of hardness. A diamond, which is the hardest substance on earth and the only thing that can scratch tungsten, is rated at a 10.
- Tungsten carbide is two to three times harder than titanium and cobalt chrome.
- The word tungsten comes from a Swedish term meaning "heavy stone."
- Tungsten's chemical symbol "W" comes from its earlier name, wolfram, which comes from the mineral wolframite, in which tungsten was discovered. Wolframite means "the devourer of tin" because the mineral interferes with the smelting of tin.
- Tungsten has the highest melting point of all metals at an astounding 6,191.6 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Tungsten wedding bands and other tungsten rings are composed of 85% tungsten and 15% nickel, which is optimal for scratch resistance and durability. A higher percentage makes the metal too brittle, and a lower percentage makes it too soft for jewelry applications.
- Tungsten wedding bands for men, pros and cons aside, are the top selling metal for men's wedding rings in America today.
Next, let's examine some myths:
- You might have picked up some less-than-accurate information from retailers and tungsten rings reviews, so here's some real information about this popular metal:
- Myth: Tungsten rings are indestructible.
Truth: This is not true. For some reason, many people associate tungsten's ability to withstand scratching as proof that it is indestructible. There are dishonest companies posting videos online showing tungsten rings being hit by a hammer and not breaking. Either these videos are speciously edited, or they are not really hitting the rings that hard. Tungsten's hardness is what makes it so resistant to scratching. That same level of hardness also means that it won't bend, but it will break or crack if enough force is applied to it, similar a diamond.
- Myth: The best tungsten carbide rings are 100% pure tungsten.
Truth: Pure tungsten carbide rings are not possible. Tungsten carbide by itself is a powder. It requires a binder, like nickel, to hold it all together to form a shape. Think of it like a granola bar: the sugar or honey makes all the grains stick together to form the shape of a bar. As shown above, the ideal amount of tungsten carbide to make jewelry is about 85%.
- While you're shopping for tungsten wedding rings for men or women, pros and cons come in handy for making your decision. Here are the main pros and cons of tungsten rings for weddings and other occasions:
- Tungsten carbide is the most scratch-resistant metal known to man.
- Tungsten carbide jewelry is affordable and has a nice weight to it, similar to gold and platinum.
- Tungsten rings are quick and easy to remove from your finger in case of medical emergency - easier than gold.
- Tungsten does not bend out of shape due to its hardness, so in an accident the ring will not become deformed and injure your finger further.
- People with allergies to gold jewelry can wear tungsten jewelry because it is naturally hypoallergenic.
- Tungsten wedding bands come in a natural gun metal grey color, but they can be plated black, white or even gold colors.
- Just like a diamond, tungsten is very scratch resistant and will not bend out of shape, but it will break if enough shock or pressure is applied to it.
- Reputable jewelers and manufacturers will offer a lifetime warranty that covers this by providing a replacement ring in case of accidental breakage.
- Due to its hardness, tungsten rings cannot be resized.
- Reputable jewelers and manufacturers should provide a lifetime sizing policy to provide for ring size exchanges when your finger size changes.
- Tungsten carbide is not easily turned back into cash. Gold is traded on the world's commodities markets and is very liquid. This means anyone can change gold into cash or gold is just like cash.
- Tungsten is not traded and easily valued, so if you want to pawn it someday, that will be difficult.
FAQs About Tungsten Carbide Rings:
- Is tungsten good for a ring?
Yes! This metal is more affordable than gold or platinum, more scratch resistant than any other metal, and available in a wide range of styles, colors and inlays.
- How strong is a tungsten ring?
Tungsten's strength lies in its scratch resistance, which is surpassed only by diamonds. It will break if enough force is applied, but it is four times harder than titanium and twice as hard as steel.
- Why are tungsten rings so cheap?
Tungsten is a fairly new metal on the market, and it does not hold its cash value the way gold does. That makes it a more affordable option.
- Will a tungsten ring turn your finger green?
No! The reason some cheap rings turn your finger green is that they contain copper. All our tungsten rings contain only tungsten and nickel.
- Is tungsten a good wedding ring choice for me?
That depends on your budget and style preferences. If you're looking for a ring that feels substantial, resists scratches from everyday hard work, can reflect your personality and won't wreck your budget, tungsten wedding bands for men and women are a great choice.