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Titanium, Tungsten, Gold and Platinum – Pros and Cons

Don't Buy a Titanium Wedding Band, titanium, tungsten

Titanium Wedding Band

I’ve written a number of blog posts on titanium and tungsten as wedding bands. This post is a compilation of simple  pros and  cons.

Just the facts ma’am if you will. Feel free to add your pros and cons in the comments area.

My previous blog post “Don’t Buy Titanium and Tungsten Wedding Bands” is my most commented on post of all time.

Man in a Tungsten Band

In it I am very opinionated. My commenters represent a fascinating array of differing opinions. I appreciate them all. Check out the comments on that post to see an extremely lively community.

I simplified it in this post about where I boil down to two reasons titanium is not right for wedding bands.

I’ve been asked to do an opinion-free post. This is it.

Titanium & Tungsten

   
Pros   Cons
Both metals are extremely hard and scratch resistant.   

For the most part, titanium rings are hypoallergenic. Most tungsten carbide rings are alloyed with the element cobalt, which some people can be sensitive to.

 

 

Both metals display pleasing gunmetal gray/silver-ish color. Tungsten is available in black. 

  Titanium and tungsten rings are virtually impossible to size. This means that if your fingers increases or decreases in size (which they do for the majority of people), you’ll have to buy a whole new ring. 

 

Titanium is very light. Tungsten is very heavy. Some people prefer lightweight bands while others like the feel and heft of something heavier. 

  Jewelers can’t work with these metals. Soldering, setting gemstones, and fixing are virtually impossible. Few designs exist due to jeweler’s inability to work with these metals. Styles beyond simple band shapes don’t exist. 
Titanium and tungsten are considerably less expensive than gold and platinum.    Titanium rings are very difficult to remove from swollen fingers. Traditional ring saws won’t cut titanium. An electric rotary ring saw is required, which not all small emergency rooms have available. If you’re at all active, I advise caution in choosing these types of rings.
 
Thin gold band, plain

Thin Gold Wedding Band

Gold & Platinum

 
   
Pros   Cons
Gold and platinum are heavy metals. They feel valuable and substantial; like they’ll last forever.    Because platinum scratches quite easily, a shiny band can become dull-looking and need frequent re-polishing to return its glossy finish.

Gold scratches as well, more frequently in the higher karat mixes, but considerably less then platinum.

 

Jewelers have been working with gold for thousands of years—platinum, a little less—crafting beautiful rings in thousands and thousands of gorgeous designs. Gemstones are easily set in both metals. 

 

  White gold needs to be rhodium plated to keep a bright white finish. It tends to develop a slightly yellowish tinge to its whiteness without the rhodium plating. This may need to be done every year or two depending on wear. After any sizing or work is done on the ring, the rhodium will need to be reapplied. 
Gold and platinum are great for setting gemstones and can be changed and repaired fairly easily.
 
 

While not sensitive to the gold, people can be allergic to the alloy metals used for hardening in gold jewelry. More people develop allergies to gold due to its higher alloy content. This is especially true with white gold alloyed with nickel. 

 

Gold and Platinum are fairly easy to remove with a hand held, hand operated, unpowered ring saw. _   Gold and platinum are more expensive than other metals. Neither metal is as strong or scratch resistant as titanium or tungsten. 

 

What’s Your Opinion?

I welcome your pros and cons in the comments section.

Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

 

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About Calla Gold

Calla Gold is a Personal Jeweler and Author who takes pride in working with clients one-on-one to integrate their personal sense of style and taste into custom designed jewelry and repaired jewelry pieces.   Unlike typical Santa Barbara jewelry businesses, Calla Gold has no brick-and-mortar location. Calla Gold comes to you, bringing you the jewelry collection you want to see and collaborating with you to create unique custom jewelry. Calla also works with at-a-distance clients.

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Jennifer Goddard Combs
Guest

Calla, I’ve heard horror stories about people getting stuck in titanium rings. I’d definitely be nervous to wear one!
The look of titanium is so in style right now though… what would you recommend to someone who wanted the look and durability of titanium, without the risk?

Patricia Schwartz
Guest

Great list of pros and cons, Calla! I looked at the comment section from your last blog — you weren’t kidding! I never knew people had such strong opinions about this.

Ralph Tortuga
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Ralph Tortuga

It’s good to see that you have compared the metals, including pros and cons for all. This debate has me wondering, is there an alloy that uses both gold and titanium? I’m no metallurgist, but I have to wonder if the beauty and familiarity of gold could be mixed with the strength of titanium.

Keri
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Keri

Hi! I’ve read and enjoyed many of your posts. Very informative! I’ve looked though, and still have one question: Can you re-plate a Tungsten ring? Now, if I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have purchased it. But my husband loves this ring. It’s our wedding ring and he doesn’t want to replace it. So, here I am. It’s rose gold plated tungsten. We’ve had it just over two years and we can see the edges of silver popping through, already. We called a local jeweler here in Austin, TX but they say it will damage the ring… Read more »

Stefan Bradley
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Stefan Bradley

It’s good to know that bands that are made from titanium tend to be lighter compared to other metals. I am interested in making my own wedding band for my wedding, and I wanted to find a metal that is lightweight. I will be sure to look for a place that I can buy titanium so that I can try making a wedding band.

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