Tungsten carbide rings have become a popular gift for men and women. The used of tungsten has added material specific advantages to the rings but it is best to know as much as you can about the rings before you buy. Simply knowing the advantages of these rings is not enough as the characteristics need to be looked at as well as the different types available.
The characteristics of tungsten rings
As a metal, tungsten is one of the strongest metals in existence. However, rings are not made from pure tungsten but rather tungsten carbide which is a combination of tungsten and carbon. This alloy is created as tungsten is too hard to work into any form of jewellery. Tungsten carbide retains most of the characteristics of pure tungsten making it harder and stronger than most other metals. The rings are resistant to scratching and are a light gray colour. If you worry about the electrical and hat conductivity of the metal then it is best to know that tungsten has moderate conductivity. One characteristic which puts people off these rings is the weight of the metal. Tungsten is heavier than other metals and is just short of being the same weight as 14k gold rings.
The quality of the tungsten
As tungsten rings are made from an alloy it is important that the rings you buy are made with quality materials. When creating the rings the tungsten carbide is compounded with nickel as a binder. When nickel is combined with gold it can cause a negative reaction for many people but the nickel to tungsten ratio is so low that the nickel does not register with the skin. Cheaper tungsten rings are not compounded with nickel but rather cobalt. These should be avoided as cobalt causes allergic reactions and when it interacts with the skins oils it causes permanent marks on the ring. The better quality tungsten rings will cost more but they do have more advantages than the cheaper ones.
Different colours of tungsten rings
Tungsten carbide rings will be gray in colour. If a brush finish is applied to the ring the gray will become slightly darker. There are many stores which sell black tungsten rings. Many experts recommend avoiding these rings as the black is not tungsten but a black plate placed over the ring. The plate does not have the same natural properties as tungsten and will scratch and begin to show the gray beneath the plate.
Resizing the ring
One of the major problems people have with tungsten rings is the fact that they cannot be resized. This is a problem for anyone who gains or losses weight after the ring has been purchased. Many jewellers will allow people to exchange the ring if they do need to have it resized. Of course, it would be best to find out if this is the policy of the store you purchase the ring from. If the rings have a custom design on them it will be harder to get an exchange for the correct size.