Tungsten’s enduring popularity with wedding bands is no mystery. It has a stylish and classic look, while offering much more durability than gold and silver at a significantly cheaper price.
So you have made your choice, taken your vows, and now the more practical considerations spring to mind- like, can tungsten rings get wet?
This article answers this and several other popular questions regarding tungsten solubility and water-proof qualities.
Can Tungsten Rings Get Wet?
I’ll kill the suspense and answer this straight away, before giving you a little more detail.
Yes, tungsten rings can get wet!
Typically, Tungsten rings are made from a composition of 85% tungsten and 15% nickel. This is the ‘goldilocks zone’, whereby it has maximum durability and scratch resistance, while still being malleable for jewellery applications.
Tungsten is not soluble in water, and water cannot penetrate its surface. It is also extremely inert, and does not react to air or humidity levels. The result? A waterproof material made to last the distance.
If you have a genuine, high-quality ring, then have no fears, it is perfectly waterproof!
But – You need to be aware of chemicals within the water….
Am I able wear my tungsten ring in the pool?
Although tungsten boasts these waterproof qualities, there are still some precautions you should take in some water- swimming pools being a prime example.
Strong and waterproof as tungsten is, it does react to some of the chemicals that are often present in pool water – such as chlorine and ammonia. These chemicals have the potential to tarnish, even damage, the tungsten, if it is exposed for a long enough duration of time.
In private pools, these chemicals are not present, therefore, less of an issue.
We always advise – The safest measure is just to remove your ring prior to swimming, especially in public pools.
But should you accidentally wear it in, simply wash it with plain water after to wash the corrosive chemicals off, then air dry it.
The likelihood is the exposure will not have been long enough to cause any significant damage, but these steps will help ensure this is the case. Unless you see any immediate signs of damage, then it is likely your ring is fine.
Over time the chemicals within a swimming pool can damage a tungsten ring. You should always remove it before swimming.
Am I allowed to wear my tungsten ring in the shower?
As tungsten carbide is waterproof and your showers do not share any of the damaging chemicals of swimming pools: yes, it is safe to wear your tungsten ring in the shower.
“But my jeweller told me not to!”
This may well be the case- the jeweller will be erring on the side of caution, trying to advise you on optimal conditions to ensure the longevity of your rings lifespan.
The safest possible solution is to avoid water, to protect from any harmful chemicals potentially degrading the integrity of the metal.
There is minimal chance your home shower supply contains these chemicals; certainly in the quantities that could threaten the tungsten in your ring. Again, if you wear it in the shower, you can play it safe with a quick wash in plain water and air dry afterwards.
Your shower water won’t damage your ring – BUT the chemicals within your soap / shampoo might! Over time this can also damage your ring. We would always advise you to remove your ring before washing.
Can I wash my hands with my tungsten ring on?
Yes, the plain water- and indeed any anti-bacterial liquids used to wash- are perfectly safe to wash your hands with, in the doses present. But just wash your hands in clean water as you would after using soap. You don’t want to leave chemicals sitting on your hand or ring.
Will tungsten rings rust?
No tungsten rings will not rust. A high-quality, jewellery-grade tungsten wedding band is not at risk of oxidization – so it will not rust or tarnish.
Lower-quality, industrial tungsten alloys are a different matter.
Cheaper alloys often contain cobalt, a material that is prone to corrosion and oxidation. A jewellery-grade ring from a reputable seller will use nickel as its binding component, therefore won’t come with this risk.
As the old maxim goes: you get what you pay for! Something to consider if you want your ring to last as long as your marriage!
All the rings you get from Newman Bands will not rust.
Can tungsten be put in water?
Yes. Tungsten is not soluble in water, nor can water penetrate the surface of the material.
Can I Shower with Tungsten Rings Made with Cobalt?
First – All the tungsten rings from Newman Bands are made with nickle – not cobalt.
Now, this is a different matter… As we touched on above, cobalt is more vulnerable to oxidation and corrosion when in contact with water. They are also more susceptible to cracking, scratching and reacting adversely with sensitive skin.
In short, steer clear of the cheap tungsten rings that contain nickel. Use of this binding component negates many of the reasons that make tungsten carbide rings such a popular choice in the place.