When a client wants a black mens ring, there are two main products that they ask us about. The first product is Black Tungsten, the second product is Black Titanium. What clients want to know is, what is black tungsten? what is black titanium? is black titanium or black tungsten better? Lets examine some of those points below.
What are black tungsten rings?
There is actually no such thing as “Black Tungsten”. Black Tungsten utilises regular Tungsten, but then uses a PVD (physical vapour deposition) coating. This means that a coating is applied in an environment of extreme heat and pressure, to the normal Tungsten product.
This seems a completely counter-intuitive process however. The main benefit of a Tungsten ring is that its surface is extremely scratch resistant. So why on earth would you add a coating to that? Despite what retailers might say, Black Tungsten has very poor scratch resistance. The reason for this, is that when you scratch the coating, the grey of the tungsten shows through very easily.
So the facts are that there is no product that in and of itself, is real “black tungsten”, and the PVD coated Tungsten which is sold as “black Tungsten”, offers very poor scratch resistance.
What is Black Titanium?
Much has been written on this site about black titanium. However it is important, once again to distinguish the difference between Edward Mirell patented Black Titanium, and what is marketed in the industry as black titanium.
The only real Black Titanium product on the market is the Edward Mirell manufactured product. This is made in the USA at their South Florida facility. Edward Mirell has over 40 patents, with Black Titanium being one of them.
This product is truly unique in the jewelry industry. It takes regular commercial pure grey titanium and a well guarded, proprietary blend of alloys, and subjects it to super heating. The result is that the outside of the grey titanium product turns black. The incredibly unique thing about Black Titanium though, is that it maintains much of the malleability and ductility of regular grey Titanium, with the added benefit of the ultra hard black surface.
Non Edward Mirell Black Titanium is very similar to Black Tungsten jewelry – it is a PVD coating which is highly prone to scratching and fading, leading to an inferior product.
So which is better, Black Tungsten or Black Titanium?
After examining the facts about the two products, it really isnt a contest between the two materials. The only place that black tungsten has the edge is with cost. Black Titanium is quite a bit more expensive. However you are without question paying for quality. Black Tungsten will definately scratch and fade over time, showing a grey colour underneath the black. Black Titanium is magnitudes more scratch resistant than Black Tungsten, and will stand the test of time well beyond that of other cheaper, inferior products.