If you’re one of those people whose hands fluctuate in size throughout the day, you probably understand the importance of finding a ring that fits well and doesn’t fall off or become too tight while you’re going about your normal routine. You may have even had a few pieces of jewelry you’ve resized over the years to get the fit just right.
While there are numerous benefits to purchasing a Tungsten ring, it’s important to make sure the fit is right the first time because they cannot be resized. The material is too brittle, which makes it prone to cracking. Further, the compound that forms these rings is too hard and cannot be cut.
Before opting for one of these bands, you should know that while they cannot be resized, they do offer numerous benefits. In particular, they are highly affordable, durable, and low maintenance. This means that you will never need to worry about polishing or scuffing your piece. Keep reading to learn about all the other potential benefits and drawbacks to making this purchase.
- What is a Tungsten Carbide Ring?
- Pros and Cons of a Tungsten Carbide Ring
- What is the Cost of a Tungsten Carbide Ring?
- Price of Tungsten Carbide Rings vs Gold Rings
- What to Do When a Tungsten Carbide Ring No Longer Fits
- Should You Purchase a Tungsten Carbide Ring?
- Final Thoughts
What is a Tungsten Carbide Ring?
Tungsten carbide rings are usually made with a compound of tungsten and carbide; however, other metals are sometimes added during the formation process to add extra strength.
Powdered tungsten and carbon black are combined at extremely high temperatures. Ideally at an 80% tungsten and 20% carbon black ratio. This is necessary due to the high melting point of both materials.
When extra strength is desired for the ring other metals, such as cobalt, are infused at the highest temperatures. This allows the added metal to act as a binding agent between the tungsten and carbon and to help the materials be formed into a wedding band.
When at least 80% tungsten is used in the compound process, these rings feature an incredible strength and hardness. Enough that the same metal combination can be used for machinery, light bulbs, and tv tubes!
With high durability and sleek looks, these rings have been rising in popularity since the 1960s.
While gold and platinum bands are the most common choices, tungsten carbide is the best material selection for anyone who uses their hands frequently.
Consider a tungsten carbide ring if you work with machines, harsh chemicals, or frequently partake in strenuous activities. But before you make the final decision, you should be aware of some of the pros and cons of these bands.
Pros and Cons of a Tungsten Carbide Ring
Tungsten carbide rings are an excellent choice for their durability, affordability, and customizable appearance; however, there are a few downsides to also be aware of. Let us take a look at all of the pros and cons to help you make the best decision:
Tungsten carbide rings are often made with 80% tungsten powder and 20% carbon black. At these ratios, the rings are extremely durable!
While many of the rings are exclusively made from a compound of those two materials, sometimes other metals (such as cobalt) are infused.
This extra metal only adds to the strength as the cobalt is melted at a high temperature and is then used to help form the compound into its shape.
Cannot be Resized
Because tungsten carbide rings are so strong, they cannot be resized. When you think of resizing a gold band, it is much easier because gold is softer and more malleable as a material.
In fact, where gold has a 2.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, tungsten carbide as a 9-9.5. This scale ranks out of 10, which means gold is one of the softest metals and tungsten carbide is one of the hardest!
If you tried to resize tungsten carbide, it would simply break.
Similar in weight to a platinum band, tungsten carbide rings are fairly heavy when comparing them to gold or silver. However, this should not be a major drawback as you will probably become accustomed to the weight of the ring over time.
That said, you should consider trying on a few different band materials at a local jeweler to see how the metal’s weight feels before making this big decision.
Tungsten carbide rings are extremely durable and tough, which means there will be little maintenance required to keep them looking lustrous. Where gold requires frequent polishing due to its soft and malleable nature, tungsten carbide is almost as strong as a diamond and will never tarnish or scratch.
Tungsten carbide as a compound more closely resembles ceramic than metal. This means that there is some risk that your ring can crack if dropped on concrete or marble.
While the risk of surface level blemishes or scratches is almost zero, you should be aware that it is prone to cracking when it falls on hard surfaces.
These rings are extremely affordable compared to traditional wedding bands, such as gold or platinum.
When purchasing a high quality tungsten carbide ring, you can expect to pay around $200, while a high quality gold or platinum band will set you back at least $500-$1,000.
What is the Cost of a Tungsten Carbide Ring?
Tungsten carbide rings are extremely affordable with a price for a high quality band starting around $200.
For such a durable material that will never require polishing, this band seems like an excellent choice!
The price of your tungsten carbide ring will depend entirely upon what features you opt for including engravings, inlays, and stones.
For a high-quality tungsten carbide ring with no additional features, you can expect to pay around $200.
For a band that features gold inlay and diamonds, you may pay around $1,500.
Your tungsten carbide ring is highly customizable. While it cannot be resized, the features you can select at its formation are almost endless!
Consider opting for a white gold inlay or a row of diamonds to offer a more classic wedding band appearance.
Alternatively, for a more minimalist look you may want to stick with a ring that is purely composed of tungsten carbide.
Price of Tungsten Carbide Rings vs Gold Rings
Compared to traditional gold rings, tungsten carbide bands are extremely affordable!
For a high-quality, 14k yellow gold band, you will probably pay around $1,800 while a similar sized band in tungsten carbide will only be around $200.
Of course, one of the biggest drawbacks to a tungsten carbide ring compared to a gold band is that it cannot be resized. What should you do when your ring no longer fits?
What to Do When a Tungsten Carbide Ring No Longer Fits
Because finger sizes can change over time, you may be wondering what to do if your ring no longer fits.
The first step is to check to see if your ring offers a lifetime warranty. Often these lifetime warranties cover complimentary size exchanges.
If your band did not come with a lifetime warranty, you may want to consider opting for a new ring design when the time comes to change sizes. Fortunately, the low price point of these rings makes changing bands an affordable task.
Many tungsten carbide ring companies offer lifetime warranties with these bands. Because they cannot be resized, these companies will exchange your band for a brand new one at no cost to you.
Be sure to check for these warranties when you are shopping around since it can save you money in the long run.
If your ring does not come with a lifetime warranty, that is perfectly okay! Because of the low price point of these bands, it is easy and economical to exchange them out when it comes time to resize.
Now that you know the pros and cons of these bands, you might be wondering if they are good purchase.
Should You Purchase a Tungsten Carbide Ring?
The decision to purchase a tungsten carbide ring will depend entirely upon your personal style and needs. These rings do not carry an investment value in the way that diamonds and gold do, which means they probably will not be worth more than their sentimental value.
But that doesn’t mean they aren’t a good purchase. For a ring that offers durability, low maintenance, and affordability, you can’t go wrong with one of these pieces.
While tungsten carbide rings cannot be resized, there are plenty of options when the time comes to change bands. If you are on the fence because of this inability to resize, tungsten rings are probably a great choice.
With an unmatched durability, these bands allow you the freedom of not worrying about scratches or blemishes. Plus, they are offered in a range of customizable options which means you can enjoy a ring perfectly styled to your taste.
Finally, at such a low price point ($200), these high quality rings are easy to exchange for different styles as trends change or your needs shift, making these bands the perfect option for years to come.
Our Team of 10 includes jewelry experts, antique Buyers & Sellers, baseball card collectors, and other appraisal experts.