The Truth About Tungsten - Pamela Lauz Jewellery

The Truth About Tungsten

I get a lot of questions about tungsten - especially from grooms searching for stylish wedding bands. Tungsten bands are a wise choice given their extreme durability and affordable price.


Pamela Lauz Tungsten Bands


Tungsten rings are actually made of tungsten carbide, an alloy composed of tungsten and carbon. Frequently referred to as simply 'tungsten', this material has a Mohs hardness of 9 (like a sapphire) and is therefore extremely scratch-resistant. In theory, it can only scratched by sapphires or diamonds (Mohs' of 10). By comparison, pure silver and gold have a Mohs hardness of 2.5 while platinum ranks at 4.5.

This means that tungsten bands retain their polish for much longer than those made in silver, gold and platinum.  They also do not distort. Is tungsten an ideal material for jewellery – yes, in many ways it is.

Another non-visual quality is tungsten's heft. With a density closer to that of gold, tungsten rings feel more substantial than titanium ones, another modern metal increasingly used in jewellery.

However, tungsten's hardness is also its downside: it cannot be cut apart with commonly available saws or pliers. In the event of an emergency, a special device with a diamond tip is required to crack (not cut) the band in half. Medical centers and emergency rooms are gradually acquiring these special diamond tip ‘tungsten breakers’.

We highly recommend not wearing your tungsten band when playing sports lest an injury lead to swelling that may prevent the removal of the tungsten band. If your finger gets injured while wearing a tungsten band, remove the band immediately. 

Tungsten's natural gray colour lends itself to very sleek, modern and mostly masculine ring designs. Many feature combinations with gold and diamonds. Tungsten can be plated yielding silver, gold, bronze and black tones.

Unlike precious metals, tungsten is not used in the lost-wax casting process due to its high melting point. At 2876 C, tungsten's melting point is significantly higher than gold's (1065 C) and platinum (1768 C). This significantly limits the design options as most jewellery designs are carved into wax to be later cast. By contrast, tungsten bands are created in an industrial lathe.

We don’t handcraft tungsten bands as we are not equipped with the necessary machinery. The tungsten bands available on this website are the only items we do not handcraft in our Toronto studio – instead they are sourced from trusted suppliers.

Let me know if you have any questions about tungsten bands. If you’d like to purchase a tungsten band and would like to confirm your ring size, let us know prior to placing your order and we’ll mail you a free set of ring sizers once your order is confirmed. 


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