In the world of modern metal jewellery, titanium and tungsten carbide are two of the headline acts. They are synonymous with words like “strong” and “hard”, and because of this, it’s quite easy to make the mistake that they’re quite similar, when in fact they are very different, and are suited to different people.
Both are base elements, and can be found on the periodic table, but when used in wedding bands, only titanium can be used effectively in its pure form. This is why most titanium wedding rings are 97-99% pure. The remaining trace elements usually include nitrogen, oxygen, iron and carbon. Tungsten carbide bands on the other hand normally contain around 85% tungsten, with the majority of the remaining 15% being carbon, as well as containing either nickel or cobaly to help bind the tungsten and carbon elements together.
Tungsten is mixed with carbon due to Tungsten being quite brittle. Without the carbon, a pure Tungsten ring would shatter very easily when dropped onto a hard surface. Titanium on the other hand is very strong, but nowhere near as hard. This means that a titanium ring won’t ever break or chip like a tungsten ring can, but will scratch much more easily.
When you hold a tungsten ring in one hand, and a titanium ring in the other, another difference becomes very obvious – the weight! Titanium is not only very strong, it is also very light (almost half the weight of an equivalent steel ring). Tungsten rings on the other hand are the heaviest rings you can buy.
So which material is better? As you can see, both metals have very different qualities. If you want a light ring, go with titanium. If you like the feel of a solid ring, go with tungsten. If you want your ring to look the same in 10 years time, buy a tungsten ring. If you prefer strength over hardness, go with titanium. The choice is yours, and only you will know which one will suit your lifestyle the most.