Why Your Next Tungsten Ring Should be Tungsten Carbide
Tungsten carbide rings are twice as hard as steel, four times harder than titanium and virtually unscratchable. For decades tungsten carbide has been used in mining, aerospace, and other industries that have required a metal that is extremely hard and long lasting. Watch makers were the first to begin using tungsten carbide in jewelry, making watch bands that would never scratch. Since then tungsten carbide has emerged as a serious competitor in the ring industry due to its resilience, strength, and beauty.
All of our rings are 89% Tungsten Carbide, 10% Nickel, and 1% Chromium. We do not use any Cobalt in our rings. We use a nickel-binder alloy NOT a cobalt-binder alloy.
Cobalt-binder is very common because it is more readily available and substantially cheaper than nickel-binder. While in manufacturing processes this may be a fine substitute, in jewelry substituting cobalt for nickel can produce adverse effects, our rings are hypo-allergenic. Cobalt can have adverse effects on skin and is subject to oxidation similar to silver but cannot be removed by polishing or grinding. Nickel-binder carbide is completely safe and chemically inert and will never oxidize. Many other companies will claim to have 'Tungsten Carbide' rings that sell very cheap, but will not disclose their elements. Others will only use Tungsten (see tungsten vs. titanium below).
While we do not recommend intentionally trying to damage your ring, tungsten carbide can endure a lot of abuse. Tungsten carbide rings are an 8.5-9.5 on the mohs scale. This means that the only way to scratch a tungsten carbide ring is to polish the ring with carborundum or grind it with a diamond grade abrasive. Under normal conditions our rings will never scratch or lose their mirror like polish, in some rare instances rings may develop small micro-scratches that are faintly visible but do not diminish from the rings polish or look, if this does happen again, we will gladly exchange your ring for a new one. What does this mean? Whether working in the shop, outside, in the office, or on the mountain you can wear your ring without ever having to worry about scratching or damaging it. If you are curious try rubbing your tungsten ring on a file, if it scratches it is not tungsten carbide, if it does not scratch, it is tungsten carbide. Our rings will not scratch.
Tungsten Carbide vs. Titanium
Titanium rings look great new, and usually are less expensive. It is very common for people to mistakenly believe that the two metals are either the same thing or equal. Titanium is a strong metal but not resilient like tungsten carbide. Over time titanium rings will scratch and lose their polish thus needing to be refinished. Tungsten alone (not tungsten carbide) is also much like titanium. Without the carbide it does not gain its extreme hardness and durability. Only when tungsten is combined with a carbon alloy is it transformed into tungsten carbide, the strongest of all metals. Tungsten carbide is also a heavier metal than titanium which is very lightweight, making it more durable and better looking.
Tungsten Carbide vs. Gold & Platinum
Traditionally gold or platinum were the only choices that people would consider when buying a wedding band, or any ring that symbolized something important. Tungsten carbide has become a worthy substitute to these precious metals due to it's brilliant forever lasting mirror like polish and resilient finish. Gold and platinum rings are also very brilliant but fade quickly and scratch very easy, over time gold and platinum can also begin to warp causing the ring to become "untrue" (not round). This nasty little side effect often is the culprit behind people not being able to remove their wedding bands and needing to have them cut off. Tungsten carbide rings can be easily removed in an emergency by a skilled professional just as easy if not easier than gold rings.
How to size your tungsten ring
Since our rings are thicker and are comfort fit, we recommend that when trying to decide your size, that you use the standard narrow gauge finger sizers, regardless of the width of the ring. This is to account for the comfort fit shape of the inside of the rings. Please keep in mind that fingers swell and shrink depending on the time of day and temperature. To be absolutely sure of your size we recommend you make your decisions with that in mind. On average many people find that when they are happier with a ring that is a half size smaller then what they are sized for. This is to accommodate the comfort fit of our rings.
What do your tungsten rings look like?
Sometimes customers will ask us "What do your rings look like?" Currently all rings available through Tungsten Direct have a mirror polish. Our rings are polished to a brilliant finish that will last forever. They are slightly darker then platinum but are close enough in color to be often confused. Our rings are not dark or grainy. In the coming months we will be adding some black tungsten, and polished/brushed combinations as well as a couple inlay styles. As part of our ongoing effort to ensure customer satisfaction, we all our customers to exchange their unaltered, undamaged rings at any time for a different style of their choice.