Is Tungsten Carbide Good for Wedding Rings? When deciding what kind of wedding ring to have as the symbol of your eternal love, tungsten carbide rings should be among the top of your list. Tungsten carbide wedding rings are increasingly growing in popularity as many young grooms and brides prefer it to traditional metal jewelry like silver and gold. This article seeks to find out why.
If you are looking for a durable and versatile wedding band, tungsten carbide rings are an ideal option. Its lustrous color and incredibly hard nature have become a favorite among many. People who enjoy working with their hands, like carpenters and mechanics, will enjoy tungsten carbide rings due to their exceptional durability. They also come in a variety of sleek styles and affordable prices. So, why is tungsten carbide good for wedding rings? Before reading this post, I hope you guys read my post: Hypoallergenic Metals for Engagement RingsYou can learn a lot from this post.
Is tungsten carbide good for wedding rings?
Yes, tungsten carbide is a suitable metal alloy for wedding rings. These rings consist of an equal number of tungsten and carbon atoms because tungsten is too hard of metal; to use solely in making jewelry. Tungsten carbide wedding bands retain a majority of pure tungsten’s characteristics, like its tensile strength, high melting point, and scratch-resistance.
However, the combination of tungsten and carbon is through a binding agent, like nickel and cobalt. When jewelers use nickel to make tungsten carbide rings, it loses its skin irritability feature. It allows the ring to inherit the hypoallergenic properties of tungsten. If the jeweler uses cobalt as the binding agent, the ring will irritate your skin.
If you are allergic, it may also initiate oxidation in the areas where the skin begins to get irritated. Therefore, it is crucial to get clarification from your jeweler whether the binding agent in a tungsten carbide ring is nickel or cobalt. Here is a post that will teach you how to tell a tungsten ring has cobalt or not?
What are tungsten carbide rings?
Tungsten carbide rings contain an equal number of carbon atoms and tungsten metal. The combination results in a very fine powder that is mixed with a binding agent, like cobalt or nickel, to create a compound used in crafting different shapes and designs. These rings retain most of the properties of pure tungsten metal.
These wedding bands have a light gray color, which jewelers also opt to darken by using various brush finishing processes. Tungsten carbide wedding rings have moderate electrical and heat conductivity properties. They are also quite heavy due to its high density.
You may also come across black tungsten carbide wedding rings. Often, these rings contain a black plate over the natural grey tungsten color. Eventually, the black plate on the ring will wear away or begin to chip as they are not very durable.
If you want to know more about tungsten ring, read this awesome post here: 21 tungsten ring related questions and answers
Tungsten carbide properties and usage
Tungsten metal, also known as Wolfram, is a chemical element with the highest melting point and highest tensile strength of all the metals available in the world. It is somewhat rare and exceptionally durable. Due to the strength of pure tungsten, jewelers prefer mixing it with carbon atoms to increase its workability. Pure tungsten has a rating of 9 on the Mohs scale, while tungsten carbide is two or three times harder than cobalt chrome and titanium metal.
Due to the hardness of tungsten carbide, there is a popular misconception that their rings cannot be removed in times of emergencies. As a matter of fact, tungsten carbide rings are easily removable during emergencies by using regular jewelry removal tools. If the right amount of force and pressure is applied to the rings, they can break or crack easily, just like in the case of a diamond.
The use of tungsten carbide has grown tremendously over the years. Apart from making jewelry, tungsten carbide is also famous for making cutting tools, ammunition, mining, and foundation drilling equipment, as well as nuclear weapons. The metal alloy is also commonly used in the manufacture of sports equipment, like trekking poles, ski pole tips, and snowmobiles, to mention a few. It is also used in the manufacture of surgical instruments like scissors, forceps, and needle-holders, among many others.
History of tungsten carbide
Coming from a Swedish term that means ‘heavy stone,’ tungsten was initially known as wolfram. It has the chemical symbol W and an atomic number of 74. The ore that contains tungsten is the wolframite, and Alex Frederik Cronstedt is the first person to discover it and give it the name tungsten in 1757. Later on, in 1781, Swedish chemist, Carl Wilhelm Scheele, found a new acid that formed from tungstenite, an ore that was later called the Scheelite. In 1783, Fausto Jermin and Juan Jose de D’Elhuyar found a way to isolate the tungsten and extract it from the ore.
However, the application of tungsten gained popularity in the early twentieth century. In the 1920s and 1930s, Osram, a German company, used tungsten carbide to make cutting tools for cutting and milling steel. The metal alloy was also used during World War II in the weaponry industry due to its extreme strength and hardness. It is only recently that tungsten carbide has become popular in the jewelry industry due to its hypoallergenic and durable nature.
Pros of tungsten carbide as a wedding ring
- It is resistant to scratches, corrosion, and tarnishing, and does not bend easily
- It is a hypoallergenic metal
- Affordable metal jewelry option with several contemporary styles
- It has a natural metal grey color but can be polished for a different appearance
- Extremely durable
Cons of tungsten carbide as a wedding ring
- It is not resizable
- You have to beware of tungsten carbide rings with cobalt metal as they may initiate an allergic reaction on people with sensitive skin
Tungsten carbide wedding rings are quickly taking over the jewelry industry. They are available in a wide array of designs and for both men and women. These rings are impeccably durable and cost substantially less than traditional metal jewelry like silver, or gold. If you are looking for an original and budget-friendly wedding ring that will last a lifetime, tungsten carbide wedding rings are the ideal choice.