In our previous article, we discussed various differences in the types of gold that can be used in wedding bands and engagement rings. However, gold, although popular and traditional, is not the only option out there for Wedding Band metals. Now let's discuss some alternative metals that are popular in rings.
Titanium is a natural element which has a silver-greyish-white color. Titanium is the hardest natural metal in the world. It is very strong, three times the strength of steel and much stronger than gold, silver and platinum and yet is very light weight. Pure titanium is also 100% hypo-allergenic which means that it is safe for anyone to wear as it will not react to your skin. Titanium is fairly inexpensive. Most styles are under $120.
One factor to consider with titanium is that titanium cannot be soldered, which means that titanium rings cannot normally be resized. One downside of Titanium for wedding bands is that aircraft grade titanium rings normally cannot be cut-off in the event of an emergency.
Platinum is a white metal, but unlike gold it is used in jewelry in almost its pure form (approximately 95% pure). Platinum is extremely long wearing and is very white, so it does not need to be rhodium plated like white gold does. It is very dense and heavy metal, so a platinum ring will feel heavier than an 18kt gold ring. Platinum is, however, significantly more expensive than gold. With all other things being the same, a platinum ring will be approximately twice the price of an 18kt white gold ring.
Palladium is a white metal which has a silver-grey-white color and is similar to platinum. Palladium is one of the metals that is part of the platinum group of metals. The platinum group metals share similar chemical properties. The benefits of Palladium is it can be sized, stays white and is very durable and has a lower price than Platinum. It is ideal for a man’s wedding band. Since Palladium is more pliable than white gold, a Palladium engagement ring’s prongs and shank will bend more easily than a white gold ring.
Tungsten carbide, also referred to simply as tungsten, is a very hard, strong and durable metal. It's also quite heavy. Tungsten has a characteristic unique to this special metal - tungsten is highly scratch resistant.
Unlike gold, platinum and even titanium, tungsten rings do not scratch with everyday wear like the other metals do. Having a wedding band that's scratch resistant offers a lot of advantages. Tungsten always looks new and bright and shiny. Tungsten offers what's referred to as a permanent polish, which means that it doesn't need to be re-polished. So, it doesn't need the polishing maintenance that gold, platinum and titanium rings do.
This metal stands up to the wear that even the roughest husbands can dish-out, making it a popular choice for men's wedding rings. It has an appealing color which almost all men like. The tungsten color is a grey-white color, similar to that of white gold or titanium. Tungsten rings cannot be resized (as tungsten can't be cut and resoldered), so it's important to have your finger size accuratley measured before buying a tungsten ring.
The downside of tungsten is that in the United States a ring can be called Tungsten as long as it’s 10% Tungsten so a lot of wedding bands are 10% Tungsten and 80% stainless steel. This means these rings can not be cut off. When purchasing a Tungsten band make sure the ring is at least 80% Tungsten and can be cut off at the accident site.
Stainless steel is a metal not traditionally used in fine jewelry, though its popularity in wedding bands is increasing. It is inexpensive. It can not be cut off or sized.
Cobalt Chrome wedding bands are the hottest addition to our exciting collection of alternative metal wedding bands. They feature many unique properties and characteristics, the most obvious being a premium bright white color! Cobalt Chrome wedding bands are much whiter than tungsten and titanium wedding bands and are often compared to platinum in appearance. Since the bright white color isn’t just a plating, Cobalt Chrome wedding bands will stay white forever.
Cobalt Chrome wedding bands are less scratch-resistant than tungsten wedding bands, but more scratch-resistant than titanium wedding bands and precious metal wedding bands.
Resizing tungsten and titanium wedding bands is nearly impossible, but Cobalt Chrome wedding bands can tolerate slight sizing adjustments without adding or removing any metal.
The weight of Cobalt Chrome wedding bands falls right between tungsten and titanium wedding bands. Cobalt Chrome is heavier than titanium but slightly lighter than tungsten. Cobalt Chrome wedding bands have a pleasing weight and feel that is very similar to gold wedding bands. As a result, they are extremely comfortable to wear. Cobalt Chrome is a great choice for a man’s wedding band because it can be sized, cut off and the price is budget friendly.
For more ring metals, metal alternatives, and information about more specialty rings, please see our companion article, "Your Love Has a Unique 'Ring' To It".
At Confer’s Jewelers, we carry over 500 wedding bands and all metals and styles. We also offer a large selection of alternative metals and the advice you need to select the right ring for you. We are here to assist you in choosing the metal and style that fits your individuality and budget.
100 N Allegheny St
Bellefonte, PA 16823
Contact: Monteca Confer