Tungsten wedding bands are having a moment. Whether your guy just doesn’t like the look of a traditional gold band, or he has a job that involves some sort of manual labor, it seems that tungsten bands are increasingly becoming more popular with young grooms—and even some brides who want to forego the traditional gold and diamonds.
When you are trying to decide what kind of wedding band to buy before the big day and are considering tungsten, here are a few pros and cons to take into account before swiping that credit card.
Pros of Tungsten Wedding Bands
1. They’re Durable
Tungsten rings are extremely durable, as they are made of a hard, rare metal that is almost virtually indestructible. Tungsten by itself, however, cannot be molded into a ring, so jewelers combine it with carbon atoms to make the piece of jewelry that you’ll place on your spouse’s hand on the day of your ceremony. These rings have a lot of the same qualities as the pure metal, such as a high melting temperature, so if your future spouse tends to be hard on jewelry, a tungsten ring might be a good choice for him or her.
2. They Don’t Scratch
Because of the durability of this rare metal, Tungsten rings do not scratch very easily. This is particularly good news for a person who often works with their hands (like a contractor, an EMT, or maybe just someone who types a little too hard on the keyboard). If your spouse is working with tools or is on a sports team with a lot of physical contact, then you can rest assured that the ring will still look as shiny and new as it did on the day of your wedding.
3. They’re Inexpensive
Despite the fact that tungsten is a relatively rare metal, buying one of these wedding bands is much less expensive than many other softer metal rings like gold, silver, or brass. For brides and grooms who are on a budget, this is especially great to know when pricing different ring options. If you are getting married to a person who often misplaces things (or just one who is extremely budget conscious), then this more affordable option might be a better choice for you than a traditional wedding band.
Cons of Tungsten Wedding Bands
1. They Aren’t Malleable
A wedding band is forever, and our bodies unfortunately don’t remain the same throughout a marriage. Whether you lose or gain weight over the years, you can take a gold or silver wedding band to a jeweler and they can re-size it for you fairly easily. With a tungsten ring, however, the metal is not as malleable (due to the toughness of the element) and therefore cannot really be re-sized to fit a changing body. Also, if you are proposing with a tungsten ring and are merely guessing at a size, this could be a risky choice.
2. They Can Get Stuck
In the past few years as tungsten’s popularity has risen, there have been a few stories about these rings getting stuck on someone’s finger without a way to get it off besides a trip to the hospital. Although getting a ring stuck on your finger is probably somewhat of a rare thing, it is definitely something to keep in mind as you’re shopping. Sure, you can save money in the short-term by buying a tungsten ring, but if you have to replace it after cutting it (or paying a very large emergency room bill after a doctor cuts it off for you), is it really worth the savings?
3. They Aren’t Traditional
Weddings today are anything but traditional, but some couples may crave a little bit the classics to offset their non-traditional wedding ceremony and reception. The truth is that a tungsten ring is still a fairly new trend. Softer metal rings like silver, gold, or brass are what your parents or your grandparents are likely wearing and there’s a reason for that—because they’re classic. Tungsten rings are often dark in color, and don’t look like a traditional wedding ring. If this is something that bothers you, then you might want to re-think this choice.
4. They Might Go Out of Fashion
Like any other jewelry purchase, there’s a slight chance that tungsten rings may not be as fashionable in the future as they are right now. When shopping for a ring that you plan on wearing forever, it might be a good idea to think about what you can see yourself wearing for the next 50+ years. Is this a ring that you want to pass down to your children and grandchildren? In all reality, it’s much more likely that a gold, silver, or brass ring is going to stand the test of time as far as fashion goes. Tungsten rings might be the thing right now, but who knows what you or other people will think of them in 10 years.