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Don’t Buy Titanium or Tungsten Wedding Bands

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.

titanium or tungsten wedding bands

Don't Buy This Titanium Wedding Band

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 Tungsen 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.

Titanium Slab

A Titanium Slab

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!

Calla Gold Jewelry Engagement Ring with Three Main Diamonds in Platinum

A Special Custom Designed Engagement Ring in Platinum by Calla Gold

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!

Black Rhodium on White Gold Man's Wedding Band

White Gold His and Hers Wedding Rings

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

Giant Bolt Cutters Used to Remove Titanium Wedding Band

Picture from NPR Article on a Man Trapped in a Titanium Wedding Band Overnight.  Image by Andrej Salibi and Andrew N. Morritt / Emergency Medicine Journal             

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

Tungsten wedding band, lost its pattern

This tungsten band lost its shine and then its pattern.

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

Update

May 25th 2018 - Titanium Jeweler Speaks

Titanium wedding bandsIn 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:

"Hi Mack, I just thought I would mention that I saw a potential hazard in using aircraft grade (6al-4v) titanium some 28 years ago when I first introduced titanium and stainless steel wedding bands, and within the first month switched to a very specific grade of titanium that could still be cut with a standard carbon-steel bladed ring cutter like a 'Beaver' brand ring cutter. In addition, I can stretch or compression-size nearly all my models and have taken them as far as two full sizes without any 'orange-peeling' Sizing requires many tons of force but I do it routinely.
Most of the commercial wedding band manufacturers had never designed or made fine jewelry before entering into the alternative metal wedding ring field and some in Utah even glue their metal components together. Sadly, they have rather given titanium a bad name and have cheapened it through computerized machining like the Chinese manufacturers, and exploited the concept to the point that it has become rather 'cliché' as inlay once did, but there is still quite a bit that is missed along the way. You can view a portion of my own work here, please note that every piece shown, I make personally, and entirely by hand in the tradition of 'Fine Jewelry and fine hand-craftsmanship"  http://jerryspaulding.com/ 
I've seen a lot of bad titanium bands that I feel are unsafe and that cannot be sized. I still won't sell alternate metal bands. But I'd say if you want one go to Jerry. His alternate metal bands are made with the viewpoint that jewelers have, of beauty, safety and alter-ability. I respect that.
Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

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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William Conlin
Guest

Wow! What a useful article! As professional wedding videographers I have had the pleasure of filming countless wedding rings of all shapes and sizes. Personally, I feel there is nothing like a beautiful gold or platinum ring and this article just reinforced my feeling about that! Thank you for bringing us these incredible insights Calla! They are greatly appreciated!

-YTS Digital FIlms

Tori
Guest
Tori

The only reason you think that gold represents love is because someone made a good advertisement. Watch “Adam Ruins Everything” on youtube, and you will see what AI am talking about. Another thing is that if it is a symbol of love, then why is it so weak?

Mouse
Guest
Mouse

Exactly. Same with diamonds; people used to wear rings of various bands and germs til the jewelry industry ran their aggressive marketing campaigns. Now people feel guilty if their ring isn’t a slightly altered copy-paste of gold or platinum and diamonds. No, if you love someone you’ll get them something that will hold its splendor for quite a long time, a ring you don’t have to be afraid of wearing while actually living life! Plus, for the price, you can get it customized so much more for the budget. Tungsten Carbide is the way to go if you and yours… Read more »

Tracey Mikami
Guest
Tracey Mikami

Great blog Calla…Personally, I agree with you and would only give my husband (to be) Platinum. Thanks for your informative and passionate posts!!! Keep up the awesome work.

Dr. Lynn K. Jones
Guest

Great info Calla Gold.

Titanium and Tungsten are here to stay. I agree with you now that as wedding bands they are a “don’t buy!”

That custom ring you made is absolutely out of this world gorgeous!!! Always a fan of platinum and gold. Will share this info.

Lynn

Jackie Ruka
Guest

I have always been a gold or platinum girl , yet men seem to like the titanium, must be a golf thing? ! Great for a club but not to wear as a wedding ring. Why don’t men get that? Good info! Thanks Calla!

Alison
Guest
Alison

Calla-I agree with Lynn that Titanium and Tungsten are here to stay-for eyeglasses.. not a precious wedding ring. Great advice!

Ali
Guest
Ali

Tungsten wedding rings break very easily also!
I’m upset enough about it that I started a petition. Calla Gold Jewelry, thank you for your blog post on the inappropriateness of Tungsten Bands for representing the sentiment of your marriage.
Calla, please like this page on Facebook to let everyone know the truth about tungsten rings.
https://www.facebook.com/BrknPromises

Nadira
Guest

The information shared here regarding Tungsten men wedding rings is very good. I think it is the most important thing to have wonderful designs. Thanks!

caryl
Guest
caryl

Ridiculous. Just more way for a jeweler to make money. My husband works with metals,and titanium is very durable, strong, and lasts much longer than a gold, diamond band. Better metals and much less expensive. It’s not the band, it’s the bond that counts!!!

Joe
Guest
Joe

1) You didn’t list 5 reasons, you listed the same reason five different ways!

2) Titanium and tungsten are very valuable… why you’d think otherwise is a mystery…

3) While it is true that tungsten can’t be resized, you’re wrong about titanium… likely not as easily as gold but it can be.
Joe

Joel
Guest
Joel

Have you ever tried on a Tungsten ring? I doubt it, otherwise you would know that it is the opposite of lightweight. It is heavier than gold and closer to platinum in density.

Being lightweight is a fair criticism of titanium, but you should amend your article so as not to mislead readers about the weight and feel of tungsten.

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