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Tungsten Rings FAQ's

Is tungsten a good metal for a wedding ring?

Tungsten rings are durable and strong, which makes them a great choice for wedding bands. Tungsten carbide is an exceptionally hard metal that is resistant to scratches and does not lose its shine over time. However, plated tungsten carbide rings, whether with a black, gold, or rose plating, will scratch more easily. Inlays and other patterns and textures are also more susceptible to wear compared to a silver tungsten ring.

While tungsten does not bend under impact like some softer metals, it breaks with enough pressure. The metal’s hardness gives its superior scratch resistance, but it also makes tungsten rings impossible to resize.

Those who like modern wedding bands can also choose between a wider range of styles with tungsten jewelry. That’s because unlike gold or silver rings, tungsten carbide wedding rings are available in both classic and more modern, creative designs.

 Are tungsten rings true to size?

Tungsten rings are usually made with a comfort fit, which runs ½ size larger than standard fit rings. For example, if you normally wear size 7 rings, you should order a 6.5 ring with a comfort fit. However, for wedding bands wider than 8mm, you can order your standard ring size, as these rings fit more snugly.

Note that the above is just a general rule of thumb. We highly recommend getting measured by a professional jeweler for comfort fit size or if you want to save the trip to your local jeweler you can order our adjustable ring sizer at the link below:

 https://theartisanrings.com/products/adjustable-ring-sizer-us-sizes-1-17

- Do comfort fit rings run big or small?

Comfort fit rings run a half size larger than standard fit rings. Keep in mind that wider rings of more than 8mm fit like a standard size even with a comfort fit, as they cover a larger surface, so you don’t have to order them in a half size smaller.

- Can you resize a tungsten carbide ring?

Because tungsten is such a hard metal, it is not possible to resize a tungsten carbide ring without damaging it. Tungsten’s atoms become even more tightly bound through the sintering process of creating tungsten carbide and they will not bond with other materials afterwards. Simply put, trying to cut a tungsten carbide wedding band would only break the ring.

- What is tungsten carbide made of?

Tungsten carbide is a composite material made of tungsten (with the chemical symbol of W as a reference to its alternative name of wolfram) and carbon atoms, added in equal parts. While it starts off as a powder, it transforms into a workable jewelry material through a sintering (also known as frittage) process that uses pressure or heat to compact the powder without liquefying it. A binder is added to hold the components together, usually cobalt or nickel. The resulting material can then be used in various industries, including jewelry making.

- Why is tungsten so hard?

The molecular bonds between tungsten atoms are exceptionally strong. This makes tungsten the metal with the highest tensile strength and the highest melting point, at 6192°F. Durable and tough, tungsten is highly resistant to scratches, so it requires an even stronger material for the polishing process: diamonds. Tungsten has a 7.5 hardness on the Mohs scale, but tungsten carbide surpasses it at 9-9.5.

- Is Tungsten a rare metal?

Yes, tungsten is a rare metal. While it is found naturally in Earth’s crust, it is almost always alongside other components. Tungsten is extracted as a powder from mineral ores. Even though it is not rarer than gold, tungsten is still one of the rarest materials on Earth, with its abundance estimated at 1.5 parts per million.

- What is so special about tungsten?

Tungsten is one of the rarest materials on Earth. It is also the hardest metal and has an extremely high melting point. Stronger than steel, tungsten does not bend and is resistant to scratches. Silver tungsten rings that do not have a special plating like gold or rose gold will also keep their shine and textures intact without requiring re-finishing.

- Can I be allergic to tungsten carbide?

Tungsten is hypoallergenic and a great choice for people who are allergic to metal jewelry. While tungsten carbide rings can be made with cobalt or nickel binders, premium quality tungsten rings contain a nickel-chromium binder instead of the cheaper cobalt. The quantity of nickel in a high-quality tungsten carbide ring is so low that it will not cause an allergic reaction.

- Is Platinum better than tungsten?

Platinum is rarer than tungsten, which is why platinum rings are much more expensive than tungsten wedding bands. Platinum is harder than gold, but softer than tungsten. Both metals are heavyweight and require little maintenance, but platinum rings with a polished finish will develop a matte patina over time. By contrast, silver tungsten rings will not patina or require re-polishing treatments.

- Can I wear my Tungsten ring in the pool?

While tungsten rings are extra-tough and can handle just about anything, they can be damaged by chlorine, bleach, ammonia and other harsh chemical products. You should take off your tungsten wedding band if you want to use a chlorine treated pool or Jacuzzi. Likewise, you should avoid wearing your tungsten ring if you are cleaning with bleach or chlorine.

- What is the difference between tungsten and tungsten carbide?

Pure tungsten is significantly harder to work with compared to composites or alloys as it is brittle. This is why tungsten is almost exclusively used as an alloy. Combining it with carbon creates tungsten carbide. This composite material is even more durable and tough than tungsten. It also offers superior scratch resistance and tensile strength.

- What happens if a tungsten ring gets stuck?

If a tungsten ring gets stuck, it may require removal which involves cracking off the metal with pliers. Breaking off a tungsten ring is easy and safe as well as faster than cutting a bent gold ring.

- Can you cut off a tungsten ring?

Unlike gold or silver rings, tungsten carbide rings can’t be cut off. Instead, they are cracked off using common locking pliers or vice grips. In case of an emergency, tungsten rings are broken off with vice grips or pliers. These are common tools and every emergency room or hospital has them.

- Do tungsten carbide rings turn your finger green?

No, high-quality tungsten carbide rings will never turn your finger green. Even rings made with a cobalt binder have a low probability of tarnishing, as the amount of cobalt in the alloy is incredibly low. However, premium quality tungsten carbide rings contain a nickel binder instead of cobalt, so they will not turn fingers green.

- Can you shower with a tungsten ring?

Yes, you can shower with a tungsten wedding ring. While tungsten can be damaged by chlorine, the amount is low in your home’s water system. Please keep in mind that the water in a swimming pool is treated with higher amounts of chlorine, which can damage a tungsten ring

- Is Tungsten harder than diamond?

No, tungsten is not harder than diamond. Tungsten has a rating of 9-9.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, while diamond has a 10 rating. This is why jewelers use diamond tools to polish and finish tungsten carbide rings, as diamond is one of the few materials on Earth harder than tungsten.

- What are the pros and cons of tungsten rings?

Tungsten rings have become increasingly more popular over the last few years because they offer many advantages over more classic options. But a tungsten ring also has some downsides.

Pros:

Tungsten rings are affordable and they also come in a wider range of designs compared to gold or silver rings.

As one of the hardest materials, tungsten is resistant to scratches and will not develop signs of wear even after many years. Silver gray tungsten rings will keep their shine and will not require extra treatments.

Heavier than silver or titanium, tungsten rings are also incredibly dense and tough. They don’t bend like softer metals but break under pressure. This is a positive trait in the case of an accident, as a gold ring would bend and could potentially more damage to the finger.

Tungsten rings are hypoallergenic, they don’t tarnish or rust, and will never turn your finger green.

Cons:

While tungsten rings are significantly harder and more scratch resistant than gold, platinum, or silver, they are also impossible to resize. Trying to cut off a tungsten ring would only crack the metal, which means that you can’t resize a tungsten carbide wedding band.

Tungsten does not rust or tarnish, but chlorine bleach, and ammonia will damage the surface of the ring. This is why you should take off your tungsten wedding band if you want to swim in a pool.

Gold and rose gold plated tungsten rings along with rings with black finishes or inlays are not as scratch resistant as gray tungsten. If you love the look of these styles, keep in mind that the rings will eventually have scratches and the color will fade.

- What is better for a ring titanium or tungsten?

Tungsten and titanium are two of the most popular metals in the modern jewelry industry. More affordable compared to gold or silver rings, titanium and tungsten wedding bands also come in a more varied range of styles.

Both titanium and tungsten have a silver gray color. Only by holding them one can see which is which. Titanium is notoriously lightweight while tungsten carbide rings are heavier and have a solid feel.

Tungsten is more scratch resistant than titanium, as it is much more harder. This also means that tungsten rings break if enough pressure is applied to their surface and can’t be resized, while titanium rings will bend, like softer metals. However, titanium rings are difficult to resize, as titanium can not be soldered and resizing requires more complex methods.

When it comes to more colorful designs, titanium can be completed with an anodized finish that is more durable. By contrast, tungsten can only be plated and this finish is more susceptible to scratches and daily wear and tear.

Titanium is 100% bio-compatible and is even used in medical applications. Tungsten is hypoallergenic, but some low-quality tungsten rings may contain cobalt that can cause skin rashes.

Finally, the two metals differ slightly when it comes to engraving. The softer titanium can be easily engraved with traditional techniques, while tungsten carbide is so tough that only laser engraving can be used to customize it. Laser engraving does not create grooves, which means that custom tungsten rings are easier to clean

- Which is more scratch resistant tungsten or titanium?

Tungsten is more scratch resistant than titanium. Tungsten has a Mohs rating of 7.5-8 and tungsten carbide scores even higher at 9-9.5, while titanium has a rating of 6 on the Mohs hardness scale.

- Does gold or rose gold plated tungsten wear off or fade?

Tungsten rings with a gold or rose gold plating will scratch more easily. Over time, the plating will wear off and will require re-finishing. IP plating is more durable than traditional plating and will last longer, depending on wear and other factors. For example, taking off a plated tungsten ring while washing dishes, showering, or cleaning will minimize the damage.

- Is Tungsten better than gold?

Choosing between tungsten and gold comes down to personal preference, budget, and the two metals’ advantages and disadvantages.

Tungsten is an incredibly hard metal, it is stronger than steel, heavier and denser than lead, but just as dense as gold. Tungsten carbide is even stronger and extremely scratch resistant. While tungsten doesn’t bend like gold, with sufficient force it will break. Tungsten rings can not be resized for this reason, as any cut would only crack the metal.

Tungsten is hypoallergenic, doesn’t tarnish, has a weighty feel on the finger, and will always keep its shine. Plated designs will require maintenance and re-finishing, however. While only slightly magnetic, a tungsten carbide ring conducts electricity. Tungsten rings are affordable and come in a wide range of styles, but they are not an investment like gold jewelry.

Gold is more expensive than tungsten and this also makes it a great choice if you want to choose a ring that will become more valuable over time. With its warm color and classic good looks, gold is the epitome of wedding jewelry. However, it also has its disadvantages, apart from its price.

Gold is a soft metal, which means that it will scratch and show signs of wear over the years. Its softness makes more intricate designs possible, but usually gold rings have a more classic style. Like silver, gold will bend under pressure and may cause damage to the finger in case of an accident.

- How do you care for a tungsten carbide ring?

Tungsten is one of the hardest materials on Earth, but tungsten carbide rings still require a bit of care to keep them looking like new. One of the most important things to remember is that tungsten can be damaged by chlorine, ammonia, and bleach. You should also avoid wearing your ring if you’re using harsher cleaning products. If the ring does come in contact with a chemical, you should immediately wash it with clean water.

While tungsten rings are impossible to bend, they will break under enough pressure, if they are struck by a heavy object, or if they are dropped from a considerable height. Consider storing your tungsten wedding band in the original box when you are not wearing it.

As for dirt and grime, cleaning a tungsten carbide ring is easy. Use warm water and a mild soap or detergent-free cleaner or dish washing liquid. Soaking the tungsten ring for a few minutes will make cleaning a breeze: simply use a soft cloth to remove any dirt build up from the ring. If needed, a toothbrush can also fit in narrow grooves.

- Can tungsten carbide rust?

Tungsten carbide rings do not rust, corrode, or tarnish. However, keep in mind that cheaper rings may contain a higher proportion of cobalt or other elements that are susceptible to rust. Premium quality tungsten rings are made with a nickel binder which does not cause the ring to rust.

- Does black tungsten wear off?

Like gold and rose gold plating, black finishes on a tungsten ring will eventually wear off. Removing wedding bands while washing, cleaning, or gardening will minimize the damage to the black finish. Like other types of jewelry, tungsten carbide rings can be easily re-plated.

- How hard is it to break a tungsten ring?

Tungsten carbide is known for its incredible tensile strength and scratch-resistance. This rare metal does not bend under pressure, but with enough force it cracks and breaks.

For example, you can break a tungsten ring by smashing it with a hammer, dropping it from a first floor window, or by applying pressure with locking pliers. Using a vice grip is the best way to remove a stuck tungsten ring in a case of an emergency.

- Is Tungsten better than sterling silver?

Both tungsten and sterling silver offer a range of advantages and disadvantages.

Tungsten is the hardest metal and one of the hardest materials on Earth. This makes it resistant to scratches and signs of daily wear, with tungsten rigs keeping their shine for years to come. However, a plated tungsten ring is more susceptible to scratches and the plating will eventually fade. Tungsten is hypoallergenic, which makes it ideal for people with metal allergies.

Tungsten’s strength also makes it impossible to cut or resize, as the metal breaks under high pressure or on impact. While more affordable, tungsten is not as valuable as silver or gold, which gain more value over time.

Sterling silver scratches more easily as it is a softer metal than tungsten. It also bends under pressure. Silver rings will also tarnish over time and with use, which means that they will need maintenance and care. However, silver rings are easy to resize. Finally, a sterling silver wedding band can become a family heirloom and be passed down from one generation to the next.

- Is Tungsten heavier than stainless steel?

Yes, tungsten is heavier than stainless steel and it is also heavier than lead. This is because tungsten is a much denser material and its atoms are tightly bound. A tungsten wedding band will always feel weightier on the finger, and some people prefer it that way. Others prefer the more lightweight stainless steel or titanium rings.

- Is Tungsten magnetic?

Tungsten is a non-ferrous, paramagnetic element, which means that it is only slightly magnetic. Depending on the binder used to make a tungsten carbide ring, the wedding band may be more or less magnetic. For example, iron is more magnetic than cobalt, which in turn is more magnetic than nickel.

- Why is tungsten so heavy?

Tungsten is heavy because it is a dense material. It has a density similar to that of gold. Tungsten’s atoms are closely packed together, which means that this rare metal has a higher mass and a heavier weight than many other jewelry materials. Tungsten has a density of 19.3g/cm2, while the more lightweight titanium has a density of 4.506g/cm3.

- Will a tungsten ring set off a metal detector?

A tungsten ring will set off a metal detector because tungsten conducts electricity well and it reacts to a detector’s magnetic field. This means that you will need to take off a tungsten carbide ring through airport security. However, you can also find a lost tungsten ring by using a metal detector.

Read about:

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