We offer both tungsten and ceramic rings, but how do you decide between the pair?
As is often the way, it is not a simple case of either/or; rather which is best for you, your lifestyle and your priorities. This guide will help you make that choice.
Your Questions Answered?
Did you know that “tungsten” is the Swedish word for “heavy stone?”
The metal is one of the hardest on earth and can withstand incredibly high temperatures. It’s useful for creating lightbulbs and tools, but most commonly used to make wedding rings. Tungsten typically appears silver but also comes in white or black.
Tungsten carbide is the most common alloy of tungsten, as tungsten on its own is quite brittle. The addition of another metal binder, such as nickel, creates a stronger base for men’s wedding rings–the average being 85% tungsten carbide and 15% nickel.
Ceramic is a very sturdy material, often used for industrial applications such as spark plugs, floor tiles, coffee mugs, and electrical parts. Ceramics are also resistant to impacts, making them a popular choice for floor tiles.
Harder ceramics have only become available in recent years due to advances in technology. Titanium carbide, the type of ceramic used to make rings, is perfect for people looking for fashionable jewelry they can wear every day.
Differences between tungsten and ceramic
If you want a silver, gold, or rose gold ring, there’s nothing to consider here-tungsten carbide is the only material that comes in those colors.
And if you’re looking for white or pink then, again, your decision is easy because ceramic is the only option here.
However, if you are looking at black rings, we have more of a tussle on our hands…
In this instance, you may lean towards black ceramic- it isn’t plated like tungsten, so it is not as vulnerable to damage from abrasive surfaces (such as metal and wood) or chemicals.
Tungsten is the heavier of the two, although the more substantial weight is often a plus point in many men’s eyes. Ceramic is still a tough material (as we’ll elaborate on shortly), but it doesn’t boast the weighty feel of a tungsten carbide band.
Hardness-wise, tungsten carbide is a 9 on the Mohs scale while ceramic is only a 7 (diamonds are 10 and gold is 3 to give some perspective). So they both hold their own, though if you have to choose on this basis, tungsten is the winner.
If need be, however, either type of ring can be cut off in an emergency, and neither will lose its color over time; though minor fading may occur with black tungsten due to ion plating if not properly cared for.
Wear and Tear
The two materials vary wildly in how they react to wear and tear.
Tungsten is naturally silver- any other colour is achieved via ion plating. This plating is tough, but over time it is prone to scratching. Now, in its silver state, this is not apparent- it still appears as silver- but when it is plated (especially black tungsten) it is more noticeable.
Ceramic really stands alone with how it deals with scratches. Because it is not plated, ‘what you see if what you get’ when scratched- so no jarring color differences.
So, which is better: tungsten or ceramic?
The answer really depends on the person and their lifestyle. Tungsten is incredibly durable, making it ideal for active people; ceramic offers supreme scratch resistance without compromising on strength.
Ceramic rings are also great, because they are light, don’t show scratches as easily as black plated tunsgten rings.
Ultimately, both tungsten and ceramic make great choices for wedding rings that are made to last the distance.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is tungsten stronger than ceramic?
Tungsten is considerably stronger than ceramic, with a hardness rating of 8-9 on the Mohs scale. Ceramic has a lower hardness rating at 6-7 on the Mohs scale. This makes tungsten rings more resistant to scratching and general wear and tear compared to ceramic rings.