Mar 7

Titanium, Tungsten, Gold and Platinum – Pros and Cons

By Calla Gold

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. According to some of my commenters, flamingly so, magically so, and annoyingly so. 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’ve been asked to do an opinion-free post. This is it.

Titanium & Tungsten

Pros Cons
Both metals are extremely hard and scratch resistant.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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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.

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Titanium and tungsten are considerably less expensive than gold and platinum.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Gold and platinum are great for setting gemstones and can be changed and repaired fairly easily.

 

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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.

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Gold and Platinum are fairly easy to remove with a hand held, hand operated, unpowered ring saw.

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Gold and platinum are more expensive than other metals. Neither metal is as strong or scratch resistant as titanium or tungsten.

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I welcome your pros and cons in the comments section.

Your Personal Jeweler,
Calla

 

8 thoughts on “Titanium, Tungsten, Gold and Platinum – Pros and Cons

  1. 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?

    • Hello Alexandra,
      The greyish look of titanium is an in thing. Whether it’s a passing fad or here to stay I don’t know, but gold is either yellow, white or rose and doesn’t replicate that middle grey color of titanium. Some clients have me design a textured ring that can be black rhodium plated which they like a lot. That’s the closest to a stand in for the titanium color.
      Thanks for asking.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  2. 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.

    • Hello Patricia,
      Thank you for looking at the comments area on my first titanium and tungsten blog. That to me is the ultimate example of how opinions are freely expressed online.
      I try to let all my comments through. But ones with profanity get into the spam comments area to be disappeared. It’s interesting that some people like to attack the writer for daring to have an opinion. On their own blog. Ah but I am editorializing here.
      Thanks for you nice feedback on these pros and cons.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  3. 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.

    • Hello Ralph,
      I’ve seen jewelers inlay gold into a titanium ring. But since they are worked in such different ways and at different temperatures I do not anticipate that a metal alloy could bridge the gap between them and join them.
      Your Personal Jeweler,
      Calla

  4. 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 if we try to re-plate it.
    What are your thoughts?
    Thanks,
    Keri

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