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April 16, 2021

Choosing the Best Metal for your Wedding Bands or Engagement Ring (Part 2)

Our previous post discussed the 3 most common metals used for wedding bands and engagement rings. Depending on preference, budget, and lifestyle, one may suit you more than the other.

In this post. we will discuss the up and coming metals that are slowly attracting the newer generations (ehem “millenials”), not only because of their uniqueness, but also because of their properties.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in.

Titanium

Titanium is one of the more durable metals. It has the highest strength to density ratio but is lightweight, likened to steel.

Titanium is also resistant to chemicals that cause corrosions, such as chlorine, oxygen, saltwater or, body chemistry, thus making it ideal for persons with active lifestyles.

Titanium wedding ring
Titanium 7 mm Beveled-Edge Band with Satin Finish

While one of the hardest, titanium may be scratched with other titanium jewelry. Titanium has a grayish hue and is a bit darker than its white metal counterparts.

Note that since this is one of the hardest metals, titanium is hard to work with certain jewelry with ornate designs such as engagement rings with prongs. Titanium rings are also hard to resize.

Titanium wedding engagement ring
Titanium 6 mm Domed Polished Band

With these properties, people usually choose titanium for simple wedding rings, and men’s promise or engagement rings.

Is Titanium for you?

Titanium is one of the metals that are biocompatible – hypoallergenic and will not react to wearers who have allergic reactions to other metals. It is also harder than Platinum which will make it resistant to scratches and dents.

BUY IF: You have an active lifestyle and would not want to worry about your ring getting damaged or deformed.  

Cobalt

Cobalt, just like any metals, cannot be used in its pure form. It needs to be alloyed with other metals to make it stronger, wearable, and more malleable.

Since cobalt needs a higher concentration of certain chemicals, it is important to see what chemicals are alloyed with it to see if the jewelry will cause allergies or irritations.

Among the cobalt alloys, cobalt chrome is the more popular choice. It is called cobalt chrome because chromium is added and its concentration is quite high. Cobalt chrome is hypoallergenic, making it a more popular choice for cobalt jewelry

Cobalt Wedding Ring
Cobalt 1/4 CTW Diamond Beveled-Edge Band

Cobalt does not tarnish or corrode easily. Cobalt Chrome is similar to white gold in color but unlike white gold, cobalt chrome does not need replating.

Cobalt is also alloyed with nickel and tungsten.  Just make sure that you don’t have any allergies to these chemicals as tungsten often causes skin irritations while there are people allergic to nickel.

Is Cobalt the best metal for you?

Cobalt is also more affordable compared to other precious metals and is also scratch-resistant and durable, without requiring much polishing. Because of this very nature, engraving and resizing is rather difficult.

While Cobalt is a good alternative, note that cobalt is not considered a precious metal and does not hold its value.

BUY IF: you want something affordable that is durable and will last for a long time, regardless of the current value.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a combination of carbon, iron, and chromium (of at least 10.5%). Chromium is the alloy that gives stainless steel its corrosion-resistant property.  Since chromium is self-renewing (chromium will react to oxygen to replenish the barrier. Read all about it here), stainless steel rarely rusts. If it does rust, only at a very low rate of less than 0.002 inches per year.

Stainless Steel Wedding Band
Stainless Steel 6 mm Ring

Apart from chromium, stainless steel is also alloyed to nickel. Be sure that you don’t have any allergies to nickel-alloyed stainless steel.

The 2 most common stainless steel grade is 304 and 316, the difference is that 316 contains 2-3% molybdenum which enhances corrosion resistance especially for saline- or chloride exposed environments.

304 is the most common form of stainless steel. It can withstand most oxidizing acids. 304 will corrode in highly saline or chloride environment such as saltwater.

316 is usually used for industrial applications and medical-surgical equipment. It is more corrosion resistant than 304 and can withstand a highly saline or chloride environment.

Is Stainless Steel the best metal for you?

Inexpensive as it may be, it is highly durable. It is harder than sterling silver but beware that it is susceptible to dents and scratches. And because of its properties, it is hypoallergenic

BUY IF: you want something durable yet affordable and easily accessible. It can also withstand everyday wear and tear.

Tungsten

Tungsten is a heavy and very hard metal, measuring 9 on the Mohs scale, only below diamond, and has the highest melting point. Tungsten wedding bands are usually 85% tungsten and 25% nickel, making it scratch resistant and durable.

tungsten men engagement ring
Tungsten 8 mm Black Immerse Plated Satin Finish Band

Tungsten Carbide is used for jewelry and is popular choice for bridal jewelry. Tungsten is 4x harder than titanium and 2x harder than steel but will shatter under high impact or shock making it easier to remove, compared to other metals that will just bend. It is also extremely hard to resize.

Tungsten wedding band
Black & 18K Rose Gold PVD Tungsten 6 mm Band

Is Tungsten the right metal for you?

Tungsten is strong and durable. Since it is not as soft as gold and silver, you can expect that it will survive the usual everyday wear. However, it is brittle and will crack under extreme pressure, making it unsuitable for hard manual workers. Tungsten rings can’t be resized nor repaired.

BUY IF: You want something affordable and durable.

Silicone Rings to Complement your Wedding Rings.

Let’s say you really wanted a gold wedding band, or tungsten but is not suitable for the kind of activities that you do from time to time. A solution would be to have a silicone wedding ring to wear.

Silicon wedding ring
Gray Silicone 7 mm Dome Comfort-Fit Band

Silicone rings are great to wear because they are soft, light, and is non-conductive and heat resistant, making it safe for everyday wear on any occasion.

Silicone stackable rings
Set of 3 Silicone Metallic Rings

So, What is The Best Metal for your Wedding Bands and Engagement Rings?

We have given you the 7 best options in choosing the best metal for your engagement rings and wedding bands. Remember that the best metal for somebody else may not be the best metal for you. You have to take into consideration your work, lifestyle, preference and budget.

As a summary, if you want something that is malleable and can be resized, opt for softer metals such as Gold, Silver, and Platinum. Beware that they will scratch and dent. What is also good with these metals is that you can resell them and convert them to cash.

If you want something that is hypoallergenic and will not rust and corrode, go for Gold, Platinum, Titanium, Stainless Steel, Cobalt, and Tungsten. Just be sure that the alloys used are also hypoallergenic.

If you want something really hard, go for Titanium, Stainless Steel, and Tungsten. Just note that while durable, they may become a problem in emergency situations. These metals cannot be resized as well.

If you want more options, feel free to contact us to know more, and start shopping for next ring!

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