Comparing types of materials for mens wedding rings

One of the most frequently asked questions we ever receive revolves around the question “what is the best material to make mens wedding rings out of?”

This is a really tough question, and only the individual can really answer this, but here is a bit of a breakdown to help you make the decision. These are only general concepts, and there is some movement on these concepts. What is also important is the quality of the product you are comparing. Poor quality anything is not going to be great to make a wedding ring out of!!!

To make it easier, we’ve made a great infographic which makes things a bit more easy on the eye!

alpharings-infographic-2 copy

CLICK TO ENLARGE

 

Tungsten Rings – Tungsten Rings are arguably the most hardy from a scratcc resistance point of view, but they can still crack if hit with something or dropped from a tall height. Also, some people find the greyness of Tungsten to be less spectacular than other metals. Overall it is a very good choice for tradesmen or those that do manual labour and have their ring on. Tungsten Rings can be bought quite cheaply but it is very important to find a supplier of high quality Tungsten as there are big variations in the quality of Tungsten products. This is for a few reasons, including the binding agents used. Even non cobalt binders such as Nickel can be problematic if they fail a Nickel release test, which is a hallmark of poor quality rings. Its not possible to produce a quality product and sell it for $10 or $20 as seen on many of the popular “e-marketplace sites”.

Black Titanium Rings – Black Titanium Rings are exclusive to Edward Mirell who have the patent on the product. Click here to learn more about Black Titanium Rings.  Black Titanium has an incredibly hard outer shell but it maintains much of the grey titanium ductility which means that it is very scratch resistant, but not particularly prone to cracking. It is very hardy, is an amazing colour, and can be made into all manner of incredible shapes. Black Ti made by Edward Mirell is used by some of the worlds biggest companies in their manufacturing processes. An excellent choice for a wedding ring. Remember only Edward Mirell have the patent for true Black Titanium. Most other “black titanium” is just powder coated or electroplated which is a vastly inferior product.

Cobalt Rings – Cobalt is one of Alpha Rings favourites to make a wedding ring out of. Its more scratch resistant than Gold, Silver, Titanium but a bit less scratch resistant than Tungsten. It has the most brilliant colour which resembles Platinum, but at a fraction of the price. Cobalt is suitable for males of all walks of life, be it tradesmen or office workers. Cobalt wedding rings always look impressive and stay looking good for a long long time. If you are after a “silverish” colour, then Cobalt would be our choice. Cobalt is lighter than Tungsten aswell.

Ceramic Rings – Ceramic rings have had a big decline in popularity in recent years. Unless you are after a different kind of colour like blue or red or something, there are just better options elsewhere. Black was traditionally the most used colour, but Black Titanium has since far exceeded Ceramic in almost every regard (except that Black Titanium is more expensive). Ceramic rings are light and scratch resistant but they are very limited in the type of styles that can be made. We really don’t produce them much anymore.

Titanium Rings – Grey Titanium rings are some of the most versatile rings on the market. They are almost right in the middle when it comes to scratch resistance. Much more scratch resistant than Gold, Silver and Steel, but less than Cobalt, Tungsten and Black Titanium. One of the great things about Titanium is the incredible amount of design variations that can be produced. Titanium is incredibly light, has good resilience and is moderately priced. Scratches should be expected but this will add to the character of the ring. Titanium is another product that requires high quality production techniques to avoid weakness in the construction which can occur if not using Commercial Pure (CP) Titanium

Steel Rings – Steel rings are excellent as fashion or costume jewellery but make a poor choice for wedding rings. They scratch too easily and are too easily bent out of shape. Alpha Rings doesn’t sell steel because there are many better choices. We’d recommend you steer clear of rings where the outer surfaces are Steel.

Gold Rings – Gold Rings are still incredibly popular because of the traditional element and people still like the colour of Gold. Gold has attributes which make it good as a wedding ring as an alloy – but contemporary metals do a better job. Gold is also very expensive. Thats a good thing if you want to have a ring with a high intrinsic value, as in, the precious metal is actually worth something as resell value.

Silver Rings – Silver, generally speaking, makes a  poor choice for a mans wedding ring. Silver is way too soft and easily bent and disfigured. Silver is fine as an inlay but it will scratch. We would never suggest to use Silver for a wedding ring. A Silver ring just won’t stand up to the rigours of wearing it every day.

 

We’ve taken some images below to help you with a visual comparison between Cobalt, Tungsten and Titanium rings. It is quite hard to explain the visual differences with words, and photographs are often quite difficult to produce the right colour rendering. The below images do a reasonable job of showing the subtle differences between the three metals. Tungsten is clearly has a more “grey” hue to it. Cobalt has more of a “whiteness” about it, and Titanium has a yellowish type of grey to it. Have a look for yourself.

comparing ring materials

Here is a clear comparison in the same lighting. Cobalt brushed and polished is on the left, Titanium polished in the middle, and tungsten brushed and polished on the right

 

 

Tungsten ring on the left, Titanium ring on the right

Tungsten ring on the left, Titanium ring on the right

 

On the left is a Cobalt ring with a brushed face, on the right is a Tungsten ring with a brushed face

On the left is a Cobalt ring with a brushed face, on the right is a Tungsten ring with a brushed face

We’ve written another great article here to help you make with your purchase, the post is called “How to choose a mens wedding ring

16 thoughts on “Comparing types of materials for mens wedding rings

    • Hi Michelle, thanks for the email. You should basically consider Tungsten rings to be a product that cannot be resized. They are too hard and its simply not possible to do, given the relatively low cost of the product its cheaper and easier to buy a new one unfortunately.

  1. Hi if I wanted a ring that doesn’t scratch then is Tungsten the only option?
    I don’t mind the gunmetal too much but I don’t want black. I want it as a wedding ring.
    So scratch resistance is very important

    • Hi there Billy.
      Thanks for the question! Basically tungsten is going to be almost impossible to scratch. And as you said it’s gunmetal grey if you like your ring to be that colour.
      If you want something more silverish, you could look at Cobalt rings which offer excellent scratch resistance, more different designs and the colour is great.
      Cobalt rings are a bit more expensive though.

  2. Hi there.
    Why is it that you say that ceramic rings are hard in your image but then you say that they’re only really good for being used as a fashion ring? I thought the whole point for a wedding ring was that they needed to be hard so they didn’t scratch?

    • Hi there Tony.
      Great question. Yes you are right in some respects that its sensible to choose a wedding ring material that is hard. The benefit of a hard material is that its not going to scratch easily. The offshoot of that is that when materials become extremely hard, they then become brittle. This creates two issues.
      Firstly, if you drop it or subject it to an abrupt force, its possible that you could crack it.
      Secondly, when thinking about the possible design elements of wedding rings, the harder the ring, the less opportunity there is for design variations.
      So thats why we think Ceramic rings are best used as a fashion ring. They tend to be quite plain in their design. But if you are interested in a very simple, traditional design, and you find a colour you like, then that might be the best choice for you.
      We used to stock ceramic rings but the demand for them fell away to almost nothing so we no longer sell Ceramic.
      Cheers!
      Nick

    • Hi Johno, thanks for the email. Unfortunately we don’t manufacture any gold rings. We find that our niche is in contemporary metals and we can don’t hold any gold to make rings out of.
      Some of our Edward Mirell rings have gold/white gold inlays through them, but again, no full gold products.
      All the best in your search!
      Nick

    • Hi Adam!
      Your best bet is to check out our Timoku rings here Timoku
      Its the closest product we’ve got to the Mokume and its made with black and grey Titanium using various patented processes.
      I wear one myself!
      Regards
      Nick

  3. Hi I am after a ceramic ring I know I bought one off you some years ago but I’m not sure if you still make them because I can’t see them on your website anymore. Do you make black ceramic rings still?

    • Hi Steph!
      Sorry but no we do not make any ceramic rings anymore. We do have some black ceramic rings still in stock, let me know what you’re after and I can see if we have anything. However we stopped selling that when we started supplying the Black titanium rings, bracelets and necklaces because the black to, although more expensive than ceramic, is a better product in every way.
      All the best!
      Nick

    • Gday William, thanks for the comment. Cobalt is very much lighter than Tungsten. When they are both “brushed”, Cobalt is significantly lighter, when they are both “polished”, Cobalt is not as noticeably lighter than Tungsten – but still definitely lighter in colour.
      However its the tonality of the colour which is still very different. Tungsten has a “greyer” hue, where as Cobalt has a much more “silverish/white” hue. You could say that Tungsten is more gunmetal. Cobalt was made more to resemble platinum, so that might give you an idea.
      Both metals are incredibly scratch resistant, but Tungsten is more-so. Cobalt has the edge with being more resilient to cracking.
      All the best!
      Nick

  4. Hi do you make any ceramic rings I’m looking for some for some costume jewellery. I am just after cheap rings to wear on one day.
    Thanks

    • Hi Allison,
      We don’t produce ceramic rings but I’ve still got a whole bunch of black ceramic rings of various sizes and widths floating around. I can talk to you about those over sms, email or phone. We’ve only got black though, as no one really used to buy ceramic rings in Australia, from our experience.
      All the best,
      Nick

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