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How to Choose Your Metal

In previous posts we’ve discussed the density of some precious metals used to make wedding bands, but what other means of analysis are used to compare these materials? Here are some contributing factors that may help you decide the sort of ring you’re looking for.

Still the most popular option by far is gold, which comes with a large variety to its name (colors ranging from white, yellow, and rose in either ten, fourteen, or eighteen karats). The higher the karat, the purer the gold. In some ways, however, that purity is a double-edged sword: although pure gold requires less maintenance because the impure alloys cause tarnishing, it is also less durable due to its malleability.

Another common option is platinum, which has the benefit of density that the malleable gold lacks. This results in wedding rings with almost 100% purity and, although a bit heavier, is a much more durable option than some of its contenders.

Metals with a similar appearance, like silver, are softer, which means more scratches to the surface. We probably don’t need to mention that silver also requires regular polishing, especially in humid climates or for people with a particularly high sweat rate.

Tungsten carbide outdoes platinum in the durability department. It will retain its first-day shine under any sort of wear and tear. Unfortunately, its best advantage is also its greatest flaw; it is so sturdy that it can’t be resized once it has been cut. If you misjudged your ring size or your fingers grew over the years, you’ll be out of luck.

Titanium and palladium are possibly the best options for long-term jewelry like a wedding band. Part of the same family, these two metals share resilience as well as one feature that most other metals lack, namely, weightlessness. Rather regrettably, titanium does share the same feature that makes tungsten carbide unfixable, but it does have the added bonus of being 100% hypoallergenic for the sensitive skins out there. And palladium’s durability means that it comes at about 95% purity, without alloys or plating to adulterate the band.

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