I'm not going to win any popularity contests in my industry as a wedding ring designing jeweler saying this, but I say:
"Don't buy titanium or tungsten wedding bands."
This topic has received more comments than any other I have written on. Check out the comments.
I have updated this post, check it out and tell me what you think, click here: Titanium or Tungsten vs. Gold or Platinum Wedding Bands, Revisited
I have also added new information about sizing titanium at the end of the post, May 25th 2018.
The Five Reasons I Say, "Don’t Buy Titanium or Tungsten Wedding Bands"
1. Your fingers will change size over the life of your wedding rings. Titanium and Tungsten are not solderable or sizable.
2. Gold and platinum rings can be sized, repaired, soldered on and changed. Again and again.
3. Gold and platinum have actual value as metals and go back through history as wedding ring metals. Titanium and Tungsten are cheap.
4. Your wedding ring stands for your commitment and your love and your future. You don’t want to toss your ring in the trash and order a new one every time your finger size changes.
5. Your wedding rings are the most important jewelry you’ll ever have. Your kids will inherit your wedding jewelry. Choose a valuable, special metal like gold or platinum.
Titanium and Tungsten Rings: Near Impossible to Work On
Titanium and tungsten are almost impossible to work with. I can almost guarantee there’s nobody in your hometown able to size a titanium or tungsten ring. Call around and see for yourself. You might get lucky and find someone on the internet located in the middle of North Dakota who says he can do the job. Good luck.
Gold and Platinum Rings Can be Soldered and Sized
Gold and platinum can be soldered and sized and fixed by jewelers the world over. Ten years from now, when you’re ten years older, and your finger is one size larger, you’ll easily be able to size up your gold or platinum ring.
Want to replace your smaller center diamond with something bigger? No problem. Need to re-tip your worn prongs? Again, not a problem with gold or platinum.
Know this: your finger size will change. They often do over time. Our knuckles can continue to grow even if the rest of our body doesn’t. Weight gain or loss can effect your finger size too.
If your finger size changes in time will your titanium and tungsten wedding bands change with you? Nope.
The titanium slab in the picture is worked on my filing, sawing and drilling. There is no casting or soldering with titanium. It's worked in a machine shop, not a jeweler's bench.
Gold and Platinum: Time Honored Metals, Worthy of Love
Gold and platinum are the traditional, go-to wedding ring materials. Unlike titanium and tungsten, they’re valuable metals. They are called "Noble Metals." They have been valued for thousands of years.
The Egyptians, the Chinese, the Incas, the Mayans, and every other civilization on the planet have always valued gold.
Gold and Platinum Feel Yummy and Heavy
Gold and platinum are heavier, too, especially platinum. I like the weightiness of them. Unlike the lightweight, titanium, gold and platinum feel substantial and more precious.
Your Magic and Meaningful Wedding Rings!
A wedding ring is like a talisman—an object, like a stone or a jewel, thought to give magical powers to the person that carried or wore it.
Your wedding ring is more than just a symbol saying “I’m married.” It’s like the talisman. It protects the union and wards off someone coming between you and your spouse.
It guards against the evil spirits of divorce. I don’t know about you, but in my universe the more valuable the talisman, the more valuable the magic.
Get a Good Wedding Band with Value and Versatility in it!
Getting married? Don’t Buy Titanium and Tungsten Wedding Bands. Get a gold or platinum ring. Leave the titanium and tungsten for your right hand. For the ring that represents your union and your love, don’t go cheap and temporary.
Use the metals that represents lasting value and lasting love. Get wedding bands you can pass on to your kids. I have sized so many rings from my client's parent's and grandparents. For students and young people with little money, these inherited jewelry gifts keep on giving as they can be sized and altered. The meaning that these rings give is sentimental and priceless. I know I'd want to give wedding rings to my heirs that could be sized and re-used.
For your love, for the changing finger sizes in your married life, chose gold and platinum. Your love is worth it!
Update August 13th - 2015 NPR Article
I was quoted in an NPR article on a case study of a man hospitalized overnight with a titanium ring stuck on his finger
A man taking a bath had his finger swell and went to the hospital to have his ring removed. They couldn't get it off initially. He ended up in the hospital overnight.
Update-January 4th 2017 - Commenter Story
Commenter Skip, who wears a tungsten carbide wedding band and is about to replace it brought up a very interesting negative issue about tungsten carbide. Read on:
"One other thought on the cons of tungsten carbide wedding bands. I have had my wedding band for 5 years now and got it because of the low price and that it is basically indestructible. The first issue was the fading of the shiny finish. I have not been able to find a process online or a jeweler that can bring it back. The second (and biggest) con is one that I seldom see noted or discussed. Since it is second only to a diamond in hardness, tungsten carbide can be very damaging. We bought new stainless kitchen appliances nine months ago. I have virtually destroyed the handles on both the microwave and the refrigerator. I guess I could get into the habit of opening everything with my right hand, but old habits die hard. While this ring has emotional value, I have no choice but to replace it with white gold and will be doing so soon. Oh well." Skip
May 25th 2018 - Titanium Jeweler Speaks
In a discussion on Facebook in a private jeweler's group, (JHJ), a lively back and forth appeared about the merits of alternate metal jewelry. Jerry Spaulding in response to the "it can't be sized" problem had this to say: