Why You Shouldn't Buy a Tungsten Wedding Ring
In recent years, tungsten rings have emerged as one of the more popular choices for men’s wedding rings because of their attractive looks, durability and low cost. In fact, tungsten carbide is now the top selling metal for men’s wedding bands in the United States. However, we’re here to tell you that many jewelry stores and producers are not selling tungsten any longer, and the reasons why you should buck the trend and look into other options.
The Pros of Tungsten Wedding Rings
First, let’s be clear that there are some reasons to get a tungsten wedding ring.
For starters, tungsten carbide is a tough material, and is, in fact, the most scratch resistant material in existence. Tungsten rings are also low cost, especially since you won’t ever need to buff out any scratches.
Tungsten has an attractive weight, similar to gold and platinum rings, and will not lose its shape in an accident. This does have the side effect of potentially, causing more injury to your finger, but the ring itself is very resistant to damage.
The Cons of Tungsten Wedding Rings
Despite those merits, we still believe you should not get a tungsten wedding ring, and the cons below serve as our reasons why. Let’s take a look.
Tungsten Rings Cannot Be Resized
It is natural for your fingers to change in size and shape over time. Your knuckles especially will continue to grow long after the rest of our bodies have stopped. However, your tungsten ring is not solderable, meaning the size you get is the size you are stuck with for life. You may even reach a point where you cannot take the ring on or off, which, if it is the latter, could be a real problem… take it from us.
Tungsten rings are made in a machine shop (massed produced), not by a jeweler, so while they may be affordable up front, they may cost you later should you need maintenance, a new size, or a replacement.
Meanwhile, gold and platinum rings can be soldered, sized and fixed by most jewelers. You can easily size up your gold or platinum ring in the years to come when you need to make adjustments. But you will have a really difficult time finding anyone who can work on tungsten rings in any capacity and will likely be stuck buying a new one.
Tungsten Can Be Broken
While tungsten is indeed scratch resistant like a diamond, this does not mean that it is indestructible. In its raw form, it’s very brittle and hard to work with. If enough force is applied, a tungsten ring can be broken, shattered, or cut. The rings are not entirely indestructible because pure tungsten rings are not possible. Most rings are around 85% tungsten carbide with the rest being made up of a binding alloy like nickel. If your tungsten ring slips off and falls on a hard surface like granite tile or cement it’s likely the ring will shatter into pieces.
We should note that many jewelers will offer lifetime warranties that will provide you with a replacement ring if your ring is accidentally broken. Jewelers will also often offer lifetime sizing policies to give you a replacement ring when the time comes. However, since they are rather inexpensive, the rings themselves have zero intrinsic value and are basically worth 1 penny.
Tungsten is a Cheap Metal
While an inexpensive ring might seem attractive for the obvious reason that it is cheap, consider what the wedding ring you wear is meant to symbolize: your undying devotion to and love for your partner. Does a cheap material really showcase your feelings in the best way?
Your ring stands for your commitment and should not be tossed away every time there is wear and tear or you need a new size. You need a ring that matches your promise, not one that you exchange every decade or so. Consider also that your children will likely inherit your ring, so you want something that holds special value. This is the most important piece of jewelry you will ever have.
It’s also worth mentioning that materials like gold and platinum have a long history as engagement ring metals and hold intrinsic value. You will not be able to trade in your tungsten ring for cash, but gold is still traded on the market and is very liquid, meaning anyone can exchange gold for cash.
For these main reasons, we believe that you should avoid buying a tungsten wedding ring and choose a durable option like gold or platinum, that will hold real value and be a perfect ring that will grow with you throughout your years. If you want a comparable price point alternative to tungsten we highly recommend exploring titanium rings.