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Congratulations! You’re in the market for a high-quality wedding band, and that is something to be celebrated. But before you get to the parties and the cake, you need to choose a wedding band that will last as long as your love: a lifetime. Two of the most popular wedding band metals are tungsten and titanium. Each new jeweler or manufacturer will give you their spin on the benefits and drawbacks of each option, but we’re here to settle the tungsten vs titanium debate once and for all.

While tungsten and titanium might look pretty similar, they are different in a variety of ways: price, durability, scratch resistance, and color can all vary between the two metals. We’ve done the work to provide an easy guide to the major differences in the tungsten vs titanium debate. You’ve done the work of finding the perfect person with whom to spend the rest of your life; we’ve just done the research to make sure that your ring decision is an equally perfect choice.

Durability

Tungsten vs titanium is a tough choice for many spouses-to-be, but durability isn’t an area that will really help one ring stand out over the other. While the rings will feel very different on your finger in terms of weight, both metals are incredibly durable and tough.

However, both metals being tough doesn’t mean that they are equally hard. They are both harder than traditional ring materials (especially gold and platinum), but tungsten wins the hardness fight by a mile. In terms of mineral hardness, tungsten registers 9 Mohs, while titanium sits at 6 Mohs.

If you want your ring to literally be as strong as your relationship, tungsten might be the right choice. Even jewelers will tell you that tungsten is the harder, more durable metal. But that doesn’t mean that tungsten is the automatic winner of the tungsten vs titanium battle for everyone.

Tungsten vs Titanium Ring Makeup

While these rings are called “tungsten” or “titanium,” their actual molecular makeup is slightly different. While it may not matter much to you what your ring is really made of, the molecular structure and composition of the ring will definitely affect you: the weight of each ring is vastly different because of the tungsten vs titanium compositions.

Tungsten

Tungsten rings are usually made of the rare metal tungsten and added carbon atoms. It will be quite a bit heavier than comparable titanium rings because tungsten is a heavy metal, but the actual weight will be determined by the size of the ring and any additional elements of the piece.

Titanium

Titanium rings are not purely titanium. Depending on the quality of the ring and the craftsmanship, the titanium will be alloyed with another metal (usually aluminum or vanadium). Depending on the grade of your titanium ring, it will probably be at least 85% pure titanium.

Titanium is an incredibly light metal, so it makes for a lightweight easy-wearing ring. Some people have even compared the feeling of their titanium rings to plastic! If you’re looking for a ring that doesn’t put much weight on your finger, titanium might be the right choice for you.

Value and Price

tungsten wedding rings
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The prices of tungsten vs titanium rings vary based on the manufacturer, style, additional ring elements, and quality of the material. Many rings are made with a combination of metals: perhaps the ring interior will be made of tungsten or titanium with an inlay of wood or another metal.

Tungsten and titanium are popular ring choices not just because they’re aesthetically pleasing and durable, but because they’re affordable; often much more affordable than the classic gold or silver rings. In general, you can expect to pay between $10 and $1,000 for a tungsten or titanium ring.

Although they are similar in terms of value and usually in terms of price, titanium is generally slightly less expensive because jewelers have an easier time working with it. Either way, the value you’ll get out of a tungsten or titanium ring outweighs the dollar price you’ll pay.

Safety

wedding rings titanium and tungsten on a red table top
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Both tungsten and titanium are incredibly safe materials, even for people with allergies or metal sensitivities. Titanium is the slightly safer choice if you have serious concerns: it is a metal frequently used for surgical implants and body jewelry with no complications.

Tungsten is also generally hypoallergenic, and while it may contain trace amounts of nickel, it is usually not enough to cause an allergic reaction even if you have nickel sensitivities. Tungsten rings containing cobalt occasionally cause reactions, so if you’re concerned about skin sensitivity, choose a ring without cobalt.

Emergency Removal

In case of emergency, both ring types can definitely be removed if needed even though they’re super hard. Titanium rings will probably require the use of a jeweler’s saw to be removed in an emergency while a tungsten ring will most likely need vice grip pliers.

Scratch and Crack Resistance

titanium wedding rings
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Tungsten and titanium are hard materials and make hard rings. But in the fight of tungsten vs titanium, there has to be a winner. When it comes to scratch resistance, the title goes to tungsten. But as for crack resistance, tungsten can’t stand up to the natural durability and flexibility of titanium.

Scratch Resistance

Tungsten is one of the hardest elements in our world. Unless you get into a fistfight with an enormous diamond while wearing your tungsten ring, you’re probably not going to scratch your ring. While titanium is much more scratch resistant than gold or platinum, it does not come close to the scratch resistance of the valiant tungsten.

Tungsten will also maintain its shine for an almost magical amount of time. Years down the road, your tungsten ring will still be shiny, scratch-free, and as beautiful as the day it was first placed on your finger. If you’re not used to jewelry and are worried about the symbol of your love getting all scratched up, tungsten might be the scratch-resistant choice for you.

Crack Resistance

The game changes, however, when cracks enter the arena. Titanium is more crack resistant than tungsten, despite tungsten’s resistance to scratches and overall strength. Elementally, tungsten is relatively brittle, so while it will not scratch when rubbed up against a hard surface, it will shatter if hit hard enough.

Although some new, high-grade tungsten rings may be less likely to shatter when smashed, titanium is still the better choice if you do a lot of hard physical work involving your ring finger. If you work with your hands and want to wear your ring always, tungsten is the more hardy, durable call that might just work for you.

Aesthetics

titanium and tungsten wedding rings in a red box
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Ultimately, the choice comes down to looks. Will it look good on your finger forever and ever? Science and modern technology have given you a wide range of aesthetically pleasing options whether you choose a tungsten or a titanium ring.

People occasionally get tripped up when trying to decide between tungsten vs titanium because the two metals can look so similar. In terms of aesthetics, follow your heart to find the perfect fit.

Color

Both tungsten and titanium are naturally a gunmetal gray color. However, that doesn’t mean your ring has to be gray. There are so many color options and variations in rings today that you could determine your choice in regards to tungsten vs titanium and still spend months searching for the perfect color ring.

Black tungsten and black titanium are both popular ring choices, but white tungsten is also a popular choice because of its similarity to white gold and platinum. Titanium can also be polished differently than tungsten to give it a textured, unique look.

When it comes to other color options past black, gray, and white, there are some differences in tungsten vs titanium. Titanium can be anodized to create different colored rings or even to create different designs on the ring. When tungsten rings are different colors, on the other hand, the metal is usually plated. This isn’t bad, it just means that over time as the plating wears off you’ll have to have the ring re-plated.

Engraving

Even though tungsten is super hard, both tungsten and titanium can be successfully engraved — you’ll just have to find a jeweler who knows how to do it. In order to engrave tungsten, the jeweler or engraver will have to use a laser because tungsten is too strong for traditional engraving methods. Titanium, on the other hand, can be engraved using traditional methods. Even if you get a titanium ring, you might want to consider laser engraving because it is smooth and groove-less.

Conclusion

bride and groom wears tungsten titanium wedding rings
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Tungsten and titanium are incredibly popular men’s ring options for a reason. Although they each have their own strengths and weaknesses (literally), whichever ring metal you choose you can’t go wrong. Keep your ring as strong, shiny, and scratch-free as your love by choosing a tungsten or titanium wedding band, to have and to hold, forever.

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