From platinum to palladium, and titanium to tungsten, the options for wedding band materials are seemingly endless, but do couples still wear gold wedding bands? When it’s time to choose your wedding band, selecting the material will be one of the first choices you’ll need to make. Here’s what you need to know about wedding band materials to make the best choice for you.
Tungsten Wedding Bands
Tungsten wedding bands are a popular choice with today’s grooms because they are very affordable, and tungsten can be styled in a variety of colors. Tungsten can range from polished or brushed black, to a dark polished or brushed gray that looks similar to stainless steel or titanium, all the way to a white metal that is almost indistinguishable from white gold or platinum. Tungsten carbide wedding bands are solid and weighty, giving them a substantial feel, and are extremely scratch resistant. If you work a lot with your hands, or are just plain tough on your jewelry, tungsten may be a great choice for you.
Titanium Wedding Bands
Another popular and affordable men’s wedding band material is titanium. It is much harder than the precious metals, but it is not as hard as tungsten. Titanium wedding bands are also highly scratch resistant as compared to gold or platinum, are hypoallergenic for those who have skin sensitivities, and are significantly lighter than any other men’s wedding bands. While tungsten cannot be sized up or manipulated, titanium wedding bands have a tiny bit of leeway if they are treated carefully—but not much! Commonly employed in aerospace applications, titanium is a gunmetal gray color, similar to plain tungsten carbide or stainless steel, and is offered in both brushed and polished options. If you are unaccustomed to wearing jewelry or if you have skin sensitivities, a titanium wedding band may be the perfect fit.
Platinum Wedding Bands
Platinum has a higher density—more than four times that of titanium, for example—than other metals used in wedding and engagement rings, making platinum wedding bands some of the heaviest and most durable rings available. Platinum costs much more than gold, titanium or tungsten because it is much rarer, and metals are priced by weight. A platinum wedding band compared to an identical white gold wedding band will typically cost two times or more than the gold option. Platinum used in jewelry is typically 95-98 percent pure, and unlike white gold, it is not mixed with nickel alloys, a common allergen, making platinum the hands-down best option for those who have skin sensitivities and metal allergies. However, as a platinum wedding band is worn, it will quickly develop a dull patina (many people prefer this look to its newly minted high shine!). To maintain platinum at its original luster, it will have to be buffed, losing some of the material, once every few years or more. A big benefit of choosing a platinum wedding band is that, unlike tungsten and titanium, it can easily be sized to fit as your hands change with the years. So, if you like the feel of a heavy, substantial ring, prefer white metal, have skin sensitivities, and want the option re-size your ring as needed, a platinum wedding band is an excellent choice for you.
Gold Wedding Bands
A yellow gold wedding band is timelessly symbolic of the institution of marriage. Although this option fell slightly out of favor in the 90’s and early aughts, yellow gold men’s wedding bands, and now rose gold and mixed metal wedding bands, are seeing a big comeback as more and more brides opt for rose gold, yellow gold, white gold, or a mixture, on their engagement ring wish lists (aka Pinterest :). The three gold tones each have their benefits, the chief being affordability, size-ability and versatility. We love gold wedding and engagement rings because they keep their luster, are easily re-dipped to achieve that “like-new” look, without too much buffing or loss of metal (unlike platinum), and although they are more costly than tungsten or titanium, gold is typically half the cost, on average, of identical rings made in platinum.
Tungsten, Titanium, or Gold?
In recent years men have increasingly opted for materials such as tungsten carbide, stainless steel, and titanium wedding bands because these metals are affordable and durable, but unlike their precious metal counterparts, they can never be resized, and in an emergency removal will be destroyed. We carry a huge variety of tungsten and titanium wedding bands, and even wear them ourselves, but if it appeals to you to keep the very same ring your partner put on your ring finger when you first pledged your lives to each other forever, we urge you to choose a platinum or gold wedding band for its versatility and durability–we can always fit you out with an inexpensive tungsten or titanium band for travel and high impact activities!
Ready for wedding bands? Still shopping loose diamonds and engagement rings? We’re here to help through every step of your commitment journey. Give us a call or make an appointment below, whether you’re just testing the waters or want to pop the question next week.