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Tungsten carbide, which is often just called pure tungsten, and titanium are the most popular materials for contemporary jewelry, and, in particular, rings.
Titanium vs Tungsten – What’s the Difference?
While some people believe there aren’t many differences between the two traditional metals, there are some definite differences to consider when making your choice between tungsten and titanium. After reading this list, you’ll be able to see that it comes down to the person’s lifestyle when trying to make a choice between tungsten and titanium.
Hardness Levels Between Titanium vs Tungsten
When it comes to the Mohs Scale of Hardness, the very hardest metal is tungsten, but the hardest solid form of carbon known to man is diamond, which most people know. What they might not know is that tungsten comes in second on that list.
Where diamonds have a hardness of 10, tungsten carbide is a 9 on the scale. Titanium mineral hardness is further down on the list at a 6 hardness. To put it into perspective, the stainless steel rings, your tooth, and palladium are only one step lower than titanium at a 5 on the list.
Composition for Rings and Jewelry
Titanium and tungsten are both mixed with other alloys when used in jewelry. Titanium is normally 85% pure, but mixed with aluminum and vanadium to make up that extra 15% for jewelry. Tungsten carbide wedding ring and other jewelry is made of an equal amount of tungsten and carbon fiber atoms or cobalt.
Below we’ve shared with you a video about the making of a titanium wedding ring metal which we think is very educational if you’re looking to learn more about that particular jewelry metal.
Scratch-Resistance Between Tungsten and Titanium
There’s no question that the hardness of tungsten makes it a clear winner in terms of scratch resistance. The only material that can cause a scratch on tungsten is the diamond itself. There are plenty of materials that can scratch titanium.
Scratch-Resistant Doesn’t Mean Crack-Resistant
The hardness of tungsten means it’s more naturally brittle. It can be cracked or chatter under the right conditions. Ceramic is one material that can certainly shatter tungsten. Titanium rings are more crack-resistant, so while they’ll scratch sooner than tungsten, they’re good for people who work with their hands.
Titanium vs Tungsten Price Points
Both metals are incredibly affordable and cost less than other expensive precious metals like yellow gold. It’s hard to put a standard price on the metals because much depends on the style, quality of the material, and the manufacturer of the jewelry. While some can be incredibly affordable, others can be expensive. The gemstone in the jewelry will make a huge difference in the price too.
Weight Differences Between Titanium and Tungsten
In other areas, like price, titanium and tungsten are quite similar. The weight of these two metals is very far apart. Tungsten is a weightier metal than titanium. Many men who don’t like to wear rings will enjoy the weightlessness of the titanium ring compared to the solid feel of the tungsten wedding ring.
Here is a video which illustrates the pros and cons of tungsten rings.
Can the Titanium or Tungsten Ring be Resized?
The metals are the same in that they can’t be resized. Any resizing will result in the ring breaking. With the inexpensive costs of the metals, though, the rings can easily be replaced if they need to be resized. There are also some manufacturers that allow customers to return a ring for a different size without charge.
The Colors of Titanium and Tungsten
The metals are available in a variety of colors besides silver. They’re naturally darkish-gray, but they’re seen commonly in black tungsten rings as well. Tungsten has the option of looking like white tungsten, which gives a more classic white gold or platinum look to the jewelry, but this one can also be in a yellow ring variant, and order it as custom made.
A titanium wedding ring can be created in a variety of colors. It goes through a heating or oxidation process that can produce blue, purple or black. The color in a titanium ring doesn’t penetrate completely and can be scratched off the ring itself.
Are the Metals Hypoallergenic?
When it comes to titanium rings, people who are prone to allergic reactions to metals will not have a problem. The same can’t be said for tungsten rings, which have elements in them that will cause skin allergies. The allergy is often caused by cobalt, so if a piece of jewelry says that it’s specifically not made with cobalt, the person might not have an issue. It depends on the titanium alloy used.
Removing in Case of Emergency
People often hear that rings made of titanium or tungsten carbide can’t be removed in case of emergency. That’s a myth that isn’t true. They can both be taken off in an emergency using different methods. For example, titanium rings need a jeweler’s saw for removal. Tungsten carbide rings have to be removed using pliers to crack the ring.
When it comes to a comparison of titanium vs tungsten ring, the two metals are very different. They have a few similarities, but overall, the differences are overwhelmingly clear.
Titanium is a lighter metal that can take a beating but might get scratched in the process. Tungsten is a weightier metal that can resist scratches but will break if enough pressure is applied. If you’re trying to decide which metal to choose, consider the person’s lifestyle for the answers.
FAQs about Titanium vs Tungsten
Answer: Answer: Titanium is a very strong metal that doesn’t tarnish over time, and besides jewelry, it has been used in many different fields into creating a remarkable technology that even astronauts use.
Answer: Titanium is expensive because it’s not so easy to find it. This type of metal is very used in prosthetics, surgical tools, home appliances, and many other industries, and a kg usually goes higher than $20.
Answer: Question: There is a difference between tungsten and tungsten carbide ring. Tungsten is the name of the metal, whereas tungsten carbide is an alloy of the tungsten itself, although jewelry retailers use tungsten carbide when explaining the type of material their jewelry is made of.