Your Questions Answered?
What is better tungsten or titanium?
Verdict? They can’t be split. First round is a draw.
Both titanium and tungsten carbide are considerably harder on the Mohs scale of material hardness than precious metals like gold and platinum.
However, tungsten carbide is one of the hardest materials there is (at 9), with only diamond above it, and substantially harder than titanium (at 6).
Verdict? Tungsten takes it for toughness.
Unsurprisingly, this hardness gives tungsten the edge with scratch resistance, though titanium holds it’s own here too – certainly compared to other popular materials, like gold and platinum.
Verdict? Tungsten toughs another one out.
Finish and Shine
Silver and gold, especially, can present a constant challenge to maintain their shine. It’s hard to argue they don’t look the part, but they are high-maintenance, to the point of almost being unpractical for everyday use. Any time they come into contact with a harder material, they are prone to scratches tarnishing their shine.
The hardness and scratch-resistance of both titanium and tungsten is mightily impressive, with tungsten again taking the spoils with its ultra-rugged 9 on the Mohs scale.
Verdict? Both have plenty to be proud of here, but again tungsten edges it.
This time that famous strength of tungsten works against it. The double-edged sword to it’s hardness is the material’s brittleness. It won’t bend, but, under enough pressure, it can crack or shatter.
As a general rule of thumb, titanium might be the call for you if you work with your hands a lot.
Verdict? Titanium fights back!
These are both at opposite ends of the spectrum in this respect.
Titanium being exceptionally light; tungsten, dense and heavy.
With jewellery, weight is so often equated with quality. There is a reassurance to feeling that weight in your hand and on your finger. You know you are wearing it, and you can feel where your money has gone. Tungsten has that in abundance.
Not only can you feel the quality, but- bonus- you are less likely to leave it behind or lose it, should you ever need to take it off. That lightness in the finger won’t be long reminding you something is missing!
On the other hand (no pun intended!), not everyone does like that weighty feel. It’s there symbolically, and they don’t necessarily need nor want to be conscious of it after they have slipped it on.
Verdict? We can’t call this one. If you like that weighty, substantial presence, it’s tungsten all-day-long. If you want a ring more innocuous feel, titanium is the shout. This one is a draw.
Both boast a natural gunmetal gray, and look slick in black too.
Tungsten also does a lovely white that doesn’t look a million miles away from platinum and white gold.
Titanium’s softness gives it the edge, though, if you want to go for something more colourful. Because it can be anodized (an finishing process that uses an electric current to maniupulate the oxide layer on the surface), it can be coloured pink, blue, red and, well, a whole lot more!
Tungsten can be plated to personalise the colour, too, but these can wear over time, and may even need re-plating at a later date.
Verdict? Titanium takes this one!
This is another aspect where both rings hold their own. They slide easily onto the finger, then over the knuckle, and just as easy back off again, especially when they have a smooth, polished backing.
Verdict? Nothing in it- it’s another draw!
Ah, and this is a good chance to dispel a couple of misconceptions doing the rounds regarding titanium and tungsten… Both titanium and tungsten rings CAN be removed in an emergency situation, although they require different methods.
Titanium needs something like a jeweler’s saw to cut through, while tungsten will need to be cracked with some vice grip pliers. Either way, there isn’t much to it, it’s quite baffling where they got this reputation for being irremovable in an emergency!
Verdict? Another draw...
Here are a few video’s showing you exactly how:
Well, this reputation has a basis in fact, at least. Because of their strength as mentioned above, as a general rule, neither titanium nor tungsten can be resized. However, at their price point, in the worst-case scenario, the cost to replace is far from prohibitive.
Verdict? Another draw!
Well, to eke out this boxing metaphor one last time… if it were a boxing match, on the score-cards, tungsten would just take the win. But, of course, your decision-making will be a bit more nuanced than that. The truth is both offer a sleek modern look, are tough as teak, and come in at a very favourable price-point. It’s very easy to see how they have risen so fast in popularity in recent years.
We’ll let you be the judge of this one!