Tungsten is one of the most sought after contemporary choices for men’s jewelry, especially for men’s wedding bands. It’s incredibly tough, handsome and appealingly affordable. However, because of tungsten’s popularity there are a lot of myths and misconceptions floating around regarding this unique material. Here are six of the most common questions about men’s tungsten jewelry, and the truth behind them.
Isn’t men’s tungsten jewelry not really tungsten? While men’s tungsten jewelry is a misnomer, there is certainly tungsten involved. Men’s tungsten jewelry is in fact made from tungsten carbide, a compound of the rare metal tungsten and an equal number of carbon atoms. Many retailers and shoppers will refer to tungsten carbide jewelry simply as tungsten, though in reality the two substances are not interchangeable.
Is tungsten a metal or a ceramic? Thanks to its unique composition, tungsten carbide can be considered both metallic and ceramic-based. The most fitting term is cermetal, which describes a compound that is made from a metal and a non-metallic element. However, this term is somewhat obscure and men’s tungsten jewelry can be considered to have the properties of both a metal and a jewelry ceramic.
I’ve heard that men’s tungsten jewelry cracks easily. Tungsten carbide is not entirely crack-resistant, but that doesn’t mean that you can expect your men’s tungsten jewelry to crack at the drop of a hat. While tungsten can crack if slammed against a hard enough surface, it offers plenty of other benefits that other materials don’t, including superior scratch-resistance. Purchasing a higher quality item of men’s tungsten jewelry also often means that it will be more crack-resistant.
Is it true that men’s tungsten rings can’t be removed in case of an emergency? It’s funny that the myths of tungsten carbide rings cracking easily and yet not being removable can exist simultaneously. Because tungsten carbide is naturally brittle and can be cracked, it is absolutely removable from one’s finger in case of emergency. Any standard vise grip pliers will be able to safely crack a tungsten ring without injuring the finger, and the broken ring can then be easily removed.
Does tungsten come in any color other than grey? Many guys gravitate towards the cool industrial gunmetal grey shade of men’s tungsten jewelry, but the possibilities certainly don’t end there. In addition to tungsten carbide’s natural gunmetal grey hue, it can frequently be seen in black and white varieties. Black tungsten offers a look similar to ceramic rings, and provides a welcome alternative to standard metallic shades. White tungsten is not so much white as a silvery color that resembles classic precious metals like platinum and white gold.
Is there really any difference between a $50 tungsten ring and a $200 one? Yes! While one of the chief benefits of men’s tungsten jewelry is its balance of quality and affordability, there can be a significant difference between lower and higher grades of tungsten carbide jewelry. Not only can designer men’s tungsten jewelry offer a greater variety of styles and designs, but it often uses higher quality binding agents, which can in turn result in increased crack-resistance.