Does tungsten turn your finger green? Tungsten rings are gaining popularity given it’s an equally great alternative to precious metals. However, some have been disappointed, especially when the ring begins to turn one’s skin green.
The question then becomes, if I have paid for the real thing, why then am I having this problem? We’re here to help you figure out why.
What is tungsten or tungsten rings?
Tungsten has made a name for itself for being the metal with the highest melting point of about 3,422 °C.
For comparison purposes, the precious metal that comes close in terms of melting point is titanium, which requires 1,668 °C to do so.
Another impressive aspect of tungsten that people are attracted to is that it is the second hardest element on this planet after diamond.
In the jewelry industry, tungsten is referred to as tungsten carbide since it requires a bonding element to put it together. That’s because tungsten itself is available in powder form, making what’s in the market an alloy.(If you want to know more about alloy and why alloy is used in the jewelry making industry, read this post)
For that reason, the jewelry that you find in the market tends to be 85 percent tungsten carbide. The material used to make up the difference is typically carbon and hydrogen, which tends to lower the melting point to 1,600°C.
All the same, the alloy is about two to three times tougher than stainless steel.
Will tungsten carbide turn your finger green?
As mentioned, tungsten needs a bonding element, and in some cases, jewelers can use cobalt or nickel.
The issue with these two materials is they are notorious for irritating the skin. Cobalt is cheaper than nickel, but it too does react with the skin.
If your tungsten carbide ring turns green, that means that there’s nickel or cobalt present. That is unfortunate, given that tungsten carbide is considered hypoallergenic.
The reason for the discoloration is the oxidation of the nickel within tungsten carbide. What happens when the nickel begins to react with oxygen in the air.
One’s finger turns green and causes the jewelry to discolor, making it less appealing. However, this only happens with a jeweler or company hasn’t done the binding right.
Tungsten carbide is considered hypoallergenic because it binds with nickel so tightly that there’s no room for the nickel to irritate the skin.
Why the tungsten ring will not turn your finger green?
As mentioned, tungsten ought not to turn your finger green since the cobalt or nickel are tightly bound with the tungsten.
However, the problem arises because one cannot tell which tungsten ring will turn one’s finger merely by looking at it.
However, you can know if you’ve gotten a raw deal when your tungst4en ring tarnishes.
That means that the ring is cheap, and two, it contains cobalt, which is less expensive than nickel.
How to avoid buying cheap tungsten rings made with cobalt?
Tungsten rings are worth their praises, but cobalt has a way of ruining that. Let’s look at some of the ways you can avoid getting your hands on cheap tungsten rings containing cobalt.
1.Ask the jeweler
Purchasing jewelry can be tricky since we’re not always told the elements contained within an item. The same goes for tungsten rings.
When you go to a brick and motor or online store, not all items are labeled as they should be.
That’s why you have to ask the jeweler what’s contained within the tungsten ring.
Should they mention cobalt, then it’ll likely be something you want to avoid.
2.Ask the jewelry be provided a lifetime warranty
A lot of grooms opt for tungsten, and it’s for a good reason.
Tungsten rings are tarnish-resistant, scratch, and wear-resistant, it is both sturdy and durable, and most of all, it maintains its shine for almost a lifetime.
The only time tungsten is a liability if it’s dropped on a hard surface like marble or stone. When that happens, tungsten cracks.
Apart from that, there’s no reason why you can’t have a lifetime warranty for other issues that might arise with your tungsten jewelry.
3.Buy premium tungsten rings from branded jewelry sellers
Lastly, where you purchase your tungsten jewelry matters.
Brand stores tend to be more trusted because you can hold them accountable should anything happen.
They are also more likely, to be honest about what’s contained within the jewelry and offer a lifetime warranty.
If anything, these companies are worried about backlash or a lawsuit should they falsely advertise their products.
There’s a lot to love about tungsten jewelry.
The issue comes when jewelers opt for cobalt to act as a binding agent because it’s cheap.
When that happens, your skin will turn green.
That’s why it’s vital to do your research before purchasing tungsten jewelry, as well as for opting for well-known brands.
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