Jewelry Guide

Tungsten Ring Problems and Concerns (And What Real Wearers are Saying)

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Tungsten has become one of the most popular alternative metals for men’s wedding rings. It has many benefits to it – affordability, durability and a stylish appearance.

However, there are also a lot of misconceptions surrounding tungsten, especially with regards to its problems.

Let’s take a quick look at the questions and problems people have when it comes to tungsten and what real wearers say about this metal.

Tungsten rings are cheap and have no value.

One of the defining points about tungsten rings is that they are affordable, compared to typical metals chosen for wedding rings. While all alternative metals tend to be less expensive than gold and platinum, tungsten is among the most affordable of all. You can find a good tungsten ring on Amazon for $30, like this matte tungsten ring

For some, this is an issue because tungsten isn’t prestigious. Others might find this inexpensiveness tacky. But in reality, it all comes down to what you value. A well-made high-quality tungsten ring looks beautiful and classy. Does its monetary value really matter?

Jack: I’m a very active person and I didn’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a ring that I could easily lose or damage. So, I chose a tungsten ring which only cost me around $50. I’m happy with my choice. The ring looks great and is easy to look after and wear. What more do you need from a wedding ring!

Tungsten is a toxic metal.

Yes, pure tungsten is toxic and can cause issues such as cancer or lung problems. However, tungsten rings are made out of jewelry grade tungsten which is safe to wear. These rings are not harmful and cause no issues to the wearer. So, while pure tungsten can be a hazard, a tungsten ring made of jewelry grade tungsten is completely safe, unless you have allergies to metal.

Tungsten rings aren’t hypoallergenic.

This depends on the specific tungsten alloy you purchase. Not all tungsten is hypoallergenic, and some can cause allergies in people with sensitivity to metals. Tungsten alloys typically contain either cobalt or nickel binders, both of which are common allergens for people with metal sensitivities.

Tungsten with nickel typically doesn’t cause any issues because the amount of nickel is very small. They also don’t tend to tarnish, so avoid cobalt tungsten alloys if you can. It’s best to check with your retailer in case of any worries about the hypoallergenic nature of the metal.

Tungsten rings lose their luster.

Tungsten rings don’t typically tarnish or get damaged in any way. After all, it’s not called the forever polished ring for nothing. However, in rare circumstances, tungsten rings do get tarnished and can rust. This is normally because the ring is made of low-quality materials, so to avoid this, purchase tungsten rings from a reputable and trustworthy retailer.

Apart from these, tungsten rings tend to maintain their luster and shine excellently. Here’s what one reddit user says:

I bought a tungsten ring about 6 years ago now. One of the many faceted black ones, with the shiny finish. I have beaten the absolute hell out of it, and yet it lives. Thrown it at rocks, ran it over with my car, worn it in every area imaginable, scraped it on pavement, used to lever screws, open bottles. Hasn’t shattered yet. There’s a good chance it will outlive you.

On the flip side, while tungsten itself doesn’t get damaged, it can damage a lot of other things.

The biggest issue I have found with mine is that when you have a nearly indestructible ring you find that it can destroy a lot of things. My ring scratches things like door handles all the time, also the leather on my steering wheel has work away from under where my ring grips it.

Tungsten rings can’t be resized.

This is true. A tungsten ring can’t be resized because it’s too brittle and the atomic bonding doesn’t connect to other material, unlike metals like gold or platinum. To get around this issue, many retailers offer a tungsten ring replacement program, where you can have your ring replaced if the first doesn’t fit you for some reason.

Tungsten rings can’t be cut off in an emergency.

Recently a reader wrote to us about tungsten rings:

Brenda: My husband and I were looking for tungsten wedding bands, but a jeweler told us they’re not safe to wear because they can cause amputations.

Tungsten rings are safe, or they wouldn’t be among the most popular metal choices for wedding rings. The trouble is, many jewelers perpetuate the myth that they aren’t safe. It just isn’t in their interests to sell tungsten rings over selling gold or platinum ones.

The main issue about tungsten safety is in relation to cutting a tungsten ring in an emergency. This is because of tungsten’s extreme hardness, which makes cutting it impractical and time-consuming. Because of this, people assume that tungsten can’t be removed in an emergency, but this is simply not true.

While tungsten rings can’t be cut per se, they can be removed safely and quickly by using vice grip pliers to shatter them. In fact, some experts say that tungsten is actually safer because they can be shattered much quicker than most metals can be cut.

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