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Alternative materials are becoming more popular for wedding bands. They are unique, beautiful, and perfect for the modern bride and groom.
Tungsten carbide and ceramic rings are two materials rapidly growing in popularity for wedding rings. They are versatile materials and affordable alternatives to traditional gold or silver wedding bands.
To decide which material is best for your wedding band, you will first need to know the benefits and downfalls of each material and what makes them different.
Check out the unique characteristics of each material and why a tungsten or ceramic ring could be right for your wedding day.
Tungsten carbide is a chemical compound made of tungsten and carbon that is a fine gray powder in its simplest form. It is made into jewelry and other objects when pressed and shaped.
As a wedding band, it serves as a great talking point, and it is sure to stand out. It is an excellent choice as an affordable alternative to a wedding band that still looks and feels expensive.
Naturally silvery gray, tungsten rings are available in black, blue or natural metal tones like yellow gold or rose gold. They come in hundreds of styles; just as traditional wedding bands do.
To change the color of tungsten carbide a process called Ion Plating, also called IP Plating, is used. A hard coating of compound materials is deposited onto the surface. This results in an outer layer of the color of choice. For example, black tungsten rings are made by bonding particles of titanium zirconium alloy to the surface of the tungsten.
For a unique and edgy ring, black tungsten is a good fit. It is a deep black color, purer black than other black rings on the market, and is even available in a matte finish for a modern aesthetic.
But no matter which color you choose, tungsten rings are available in all shapes, finishes, and designs that you would expect, and then some. With beveled edges and hammered, matte, or satin finish, you do not have to compromise on design options when it comes to tungsten rings.
You can also add stone settings, inlays, and laser engravings. Keep in mind that a laser engraving on tungsten will be dark gray/silver. The laser removes the outer layer of color, revealing the true silver color underneath.
Tungsten carbide is hard and scratch-resistant compared to traditional gold or silver rings, which scratches easily.
Be aware that a scratch on a black tungsten ring will be more noticeable than a scratch on other colors of tungsten rings. When deeply scratched, it can scratch away the black outer surface revealing the contrast in dark plating and lighter silvery tone of tungsten underneath.
Tungsten rings are susceptible to falling damage, so be careful not to drop them on a hard surface like cement as they could crack. To help prevent this, purchase a quality ring that are 50 percent tungsten and 50 percent carbon. This will ensure the ring is strong and less likely to be damaged.
Tungsten is also tarnish-resistant and will maintain its polish for many years.
Some people consider these rings heavy, which gives a sturdy feel but could be bothersome to the wearer. This trait of tungsten makes it more popular as a men's ring than a women's ring.
Ceramic is made from titanium carbide, a natural non-metal substance heated to create ceramic. It is a unique choice for a wedding band and perfect for people looking for a ring that looks one-of-a-kind.
Ceramic rings are available in a small variety of colors. Unlike most wedding bands and rings, they are available in white, as well as black color. However, the white color is not popular and is rarely seen in the marketplace.
Black is the natural color of ceramic rings. But the black is not as deep-toned compared to black tungsten. This is due to the fact that ceramic is reflective and does not absorb as much light as black tungsten, it appears dark gray black rather than a rich black.
Ceramic can also be paired with additional materials like wood or carbon fiber as an inlay. However, it is not as versatile on its own. The material is extremely hard and is not compatible with stone settings or intricate designs.
Ceramic rings have traditionally been smooth and shiny but fine satin and brushed finishes are also available. They also come in a variety of shapes. The rounded dome and flat shapes are the most common, however, they can also be found in all sorts of geometric shapes. The outer surface can be cut with diamond, rectangular, step cut or concave shapes. And many are designed with beveled or angles edges.
You may be surprised to hear that ceramic rings are extremely hard and durable. It is less fragile than tungsten and more resistant to impact damage. However, just like a coffee mug or ceramic plate, they can chip when hit at a specific angle.
They can scratch, but unlike tungsten rings, the color of a ceramic ring is all the way through it. Instead of a scratch revealing the color underneath the plating, ceramic will always keep its color. If you cut a ceramic ring in half, you would still see the black color throughout the ring.
Ceramic is completely resistant to tarnish and hypoallergenic for people with sensitive skin.
The better material depends on what better suits your personal lifestyle and taste. Each material has pros and cons, and both have characteristics that make them great wedding bands.
Both rings are a turn from traditional, but tungsten rings will replicate a traditional metal band more than ceramic rings. Therefore, if you are looking for a gold or silver ring in appearance, tungsten is the perfect choice. On the other hand, if you prefer a white or colored wedding band, choose ceramic.
The choice becomes more difficult if you are looking for a black wedding band. Black wedding bands are trending for their modern and edgy style. Both black tungsten and black ceramic are beautiful and durable options for a black wedding ring.
On initial purchase, black tungsten will look better because it is a true black color instead of gray like black ceramic. But over time, ceramic will likely look better than black tungsten with normal wear and tear because the black outer coating can come off tungsten when scratched, leaving silver lines throughout.
Overall, tungsten rings are better for a traditional-looking alternative, while ceramic rings are better for black and colored rings.
Whatever style you are going for, both of these alternative material options have a lot to offer. The choice between the two comes down to your personal preferences, but you really cannot go wrong with either! Weddings are so expensive and choosing a tungsten or ceramic ring as your wedding band saves a lot of money without compromising style or quality.
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