When you buy a ring, you expect it to last for years. With proper care, you can cherish your ring for years to come. However, this is a bit more difficult for people who constantly work with their hands. You could take your ring off, but why should you when there are so many incredibly durable ones on the market?
Today, we’re going to talk about the most durable ring metal available and why it may be the right fit for your needs. Stick around and you’ll get a head start on your search for the perfect ring!
Most Durable Metal: Titanium or Tungsten?
In the past, titanium was considered the strongest/most durable metal for rings. It certainly has its merits, but it now shares the spotlight with a new addition to the world of jewelry: tungsten (tungsten carbide.)
The truth is that both have their strengths and weaknesses in some respects. In order to get to the most durable ring metal for your needs, we need to talk about what makes a ring stand out above the rest in terms of strength and durability.
Titanium: Strengths and Weaknesses
What gives titanium its high reputation? That’s what we’re here to answer today. Titanium is known primarily for two things when it comes to durability, and they are considerable positives when choosing a ring.
Titanium is incredibly strong. It resists bending and warping, unlike rings made of gold or sterling silver, for instance. This is great news for people who work in manual labor jobs. If your ring is put under pressure, it won’t collapse and injure you.
This metal is rated at a 6 out of 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness, with 10 being a diamond. It’s more scratch-resistant than gold, silver, and platinum. While it isn’t perfect, it is a much better option than most of the metal jewelry you could buy.
- Resistance to Tarnishing
Titanium does not tarnish as many other metals do. “Tarnishing” refers to what happens when a ring is exposed to air and moisture for too long. It dulls considerably and loses its shine, making your ring look drab. In order to make it look brand new again, you have to follow a strict regimen of care polishing and cleaning it, many times sending the ring to a professional cleaner.
With titanium, you don’t have to worry about that. Of course, it needs the occasional polishing, but nothing so time-consuming as cleaning tarnish off of a sterling silver ring.
- Other Pros and Cons of Titanium
There’s more to titanium rings that make them durable and a great choice for jewelry other than basic strength and resistance to tarnishing.Pros
- Titanium is scratch resistant. We briefly talked about this above, but it’s important to note that this adds a considerable amount of desirability to titanium rings. Scratching can cause a ring to look weathered and worn; after you scratch it, you may never be able to fix it up again. Titanium rings, while not immune to this damage, will look brand new for much longer than other rings.
- Titanium is lightweight. If you are someone who hates the weighty feeling of a ring, then titanium could be right for you. It’s so lightweight that you may not even remember it’s there. Despite the weight, it still holds up much longer than even platinum could.
- Titanium rings are affordable. If you’re in a bind when it comes to your budget, titanium is a good choice. It’s far more affordable than platinum, and you get more use out of it.
- Titanium rings are incredibly difficult to resize. Most jewelers won’t touch these rings because it’s nearly impossible to reshape them. If your weight fluctuates quite a bit or you plan on losing a lot of weight, titanium rings should likely be avoided.
- Titanium isn’t quite as scratch-resistant as tungsten. If you feel that this is likely to be an issue for you, tungsten is without a doubt the better fit for your needs.
Tungsten: Strengths and Weaknesses
Tungsten carbide is a newer metal on the market, but it’s quickly making a big splash in the world of jewelry. This metal is perhaps the most durable of them all, depending on your situation. Tungsten is well-liked for several reasons.
- Super Strength
Titanium rings are strong, but tungsten is even stronger in some respects. It is immovable. You can’t bend it, squash it, or break it apart with a bad fall. This, to many, makes the metal highly superior to anything else you could buy.
However, it has one weakness: pressure. With enough pressure applied, tungsten carbide rings crack. This metal is more brittle than others; they are nearly impossible to break, but nothing is completely unbreakable.
- Scratch Resistance
If you’re looking for a ring that will stay smooth, shiny, and scratch-free, your best option is tungsten. On the Mohs Scale of Hardness, it rates between 8 and 9 out of 10, with 10 being a diamond. It’s more resistant to scratching than any other metal, and your own smartphone is liable to be damaged more quickly than tungsten is.
- Resistance to Tarnishing
Tungsten is even more resistant to tarnishing than titanium is. Exposure to air and water isn’t likely to damage or dull your ring, which makes the rare polishing that much easier. You don’t have to worry every time you get in the pool that the metal will come off looking horrible.
While you should still take it off while showering, bathing, and swimming for the best results, you don’t have to fret if you forget.
Other Pros and Cons of Tungsten
It’s clear that in many cases, tungsten is the most durable metal for a ring that money can buy. However, it has its own drawbacks that may make you think otherwise if your situation is unconventional.
- Tungsten makes for a very weighty ring. If you’re looking for a ring you won’t forget, this is the best option for your money. Heavy rings often are associated with luxury and style; you can feel like a million bucks without spending as much.
- Tungsten isn’t expensive. Like titanium, tungsten rings won’t drain your wallet. You can get this heavy super jewelry without it weighing heavy on your bank account. Those on a budget should consider buying one, as it will last for a very long time and is worth what you spend.
- Tungsten can’t be resized. There’s no question about it – tungsten rings are too brittle and too hard to reshape to resize. If you need that flexibility, you’re going to lose the durability that tungsten provides.
- Oftentimes, tungsten can’t be engraved. Though it isn’t impossible, many jewelers don’t have the equipment needed to do so. You need a laser engraving machine to put that special message on your ring band.
So the final question remains: which ring metal is more durable? The answer overall seems to be tungsten, but it really depends on your own life and your preferences. Tungsten offers all of the same features that titanium does, but it has its own weakness that may be a deal-breaker for jewelry wearers that don’t want to worry about chipping or a metal that cracks under pressure. The choice is yours!
One thing is for certain: you won’t find more durable metals than these at any jewelry store.
Where to Buy Titanium and Tungsten Rings
There are several places to look to find titanium and tungsten rings that’ll last forever if you treat them with the utmost level of care. For the best price and quality overall, there are two places you should begin your search: Think Engraved and Etsy.Titanium/Tungsten Rings from Think Engraved
If you need an example of the kind of rings Think Engraved offers, look no further.
- This sleek black tungsten band is minimalistic and elegant, perfect for any person that needs a subtle style for their everyday look. You can have a message engraved on the inside of the band as long as it is under 20 characters! For pricing information, click on this link.
- Some people prefer a band that looks weathered and masculine, and this titanium ring adds rugged charm to your jewelry. You can also have a message engraved on the inside of this titanium band as long as your message fits within the 20 character limit. For pricing information, click on this link.
Etsy is a marketplace for artisans of all sorts to sell their wares, and small jewelry companies make excellent, unique pieces. Below are a couple of examples of this fine craftsmanship:
- This titanium Celtic heart ring from seller JFergusonCustomRings is gorgeous and elegant. Anyone looking for a ring that’ll stand up to nearly anything that still has an intricate design will love this. For pricing information, click on this link.
- If you are the type of person who enjoys all things antique, this tungsten ring inlaid with scrollwork designs will fit perfectly with your personal style. While it isn’t actually old, it’s reminiscent of Victorian-era fashion. For pricing information, click on this link.