titanium ring

Titanium Rings Pros and Cons

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titanium ring

Titanium rings are gaining popularity as an alternative to classic white wedding bands like sterling silver and white gold.

This is not a surprise as titanium’s pros outplay its cons!

The advantages of titanium rings are: cool look, superior durability, hypoallergenic nature, lightweight, and ability to be easily engraved. The disadvantages of titanium wedding rings are difficulty to resize and hardness in implementing fine details.

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What is titanium?

Titanium is an element with the atomic number 22. Its symbol is Ti on the periodic table.

Titanium is named after the Titans from Greek mythology. These pre-Olympian gods are the children of Uranus and Gaia.

 

It is not a precious metal like gold, silver, platinum or palladium.

It is one of the easily found and collected deposits. Around 0.44 percent of the Earth’s crust comes from titanium. It is the seventh-most abundant metal. Notable deposits are found in Australia, New Zealand, Canada, China, India, Ukraine, Mozambique, South Africa and Norway.

This abundance and easy extraction makes it an affordable metal.

It has a very high melting point at 1,660 degrees Celsius or 3,020 degrees Fahrenheit.

Titanium rings have very low thermal conductivity. This means they tend to keep their shape in temperature variations.

Another significant advantage of this metal is its low density. Its density is about 4.5 g/cm3. This is about half of sterling’s and one quarter of gold’s densities. This is why titanium wedding bands are very lightweight.

It is extremely strong and resistant to stress. It has high tensile strength, meaning it resists strongly against high forces in pulling and compressing.

When you combine these qualities with its inherent safety nature for people with sensitive skin, you get a near-perfect choice for a wedding ring.

However, even though its pros are significant, it has cons too.

Let’s have a closer look at titanium rings pros and cons.

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Pros of Titanium Rings

1. Color

Titanium does not shine like sterling silver, rhodium plated white gold or palladium. It has a more cloudy white color which gives a natural cool appearance to rings.

It shows less sparkle than the alternative metals like platinum or palladium.

Unlike plated options, this metal will not lose its color over time. Titanium wedding rings possess a cool color, which is the same beneath the surface. It is the same material inside out. Thus, they are free of any color change.

Titanium rings can also carry many colors like blue, green or gold thanks to anodizing.

What is anodizing?

Anodizing is the process of applying a protective coating to the surface of a metal. It is a process that is used to increase the thickness of the natural oxide layer on the surface of a metal.

This application is also used to create a uniform and decorative finish. It is a process that can be done with aluminum, zinc, magnesium and titanium alloys.

Anodizing is going to make the metal surface much more durable and will be far more resilient to dents, damage and other issues.

The process of anodizing titanium is a process in which the metal is submerged in an electrolyte solution, typically sulfuric acid or chromic acid, and an electric current is passed through the solution. The titanium reacts with the ions in the solution to form a titanium oxide coating. The color of the coating depends on the pH level of the solution.

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2. Hardness

The hardness of metals and gemstones is measured on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.

On this scale, talc, ice and diamond have 1, 1.5 and 10 ratings, respectively.

Titanium has a 6 on this scale, which is a higher rating than platinum, gold and silver’s.

These latter three elements have all less than 4 on the Mohs scale.

This means titanium bands are much more scratch resistant and durable than platinum or gold rings.

When white gold is rhodium plated, it comes next to titanium bands in hardness. Yet, the plating is brittle, and it is destined to wear off with time. Titanium needs no re-plating as it does not have one!

It leads the transition metals pack in strength-to-weight ratio.

Thus, jewelry made from softer traditional metals like white gold and silver needs much more attention.

After all, you don’t want to see your rings and bracelets scratched or deformed after garden work or home repair.

This is why you’d want a strong ring which can endure everyday wear and tear.

Titanium’s hardness and durability put it in a wide range of industries, including aerospace, biomedical, energy, metallurgy and chemistry.

It is nice to think the aircraft you see on television or the implant in an athlete’s leg comes from the same source as your ring!

The moral of the story is that you can bet your titanium wedding ring is ready to serve you for a long time.

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3. Hypoallergenic property

Titanium is a hypoallergenic metal that is considered safe for people with sensitive skin.

Although it can not be guaranteed, titanium bands are very unlikely to cause any allergic reactions.

Unfortunately, not all metals fall into this category. Some materials may initiate hypersensitivity and cause symptoms like rashes, blisters, irritation and discoloring.

While there are many allergenic metals, the main culprit is nickel.

Approximately 10% of the people is affected by nickel allergy.

It is the first material that comes to mind, even though it is not one of the main players in jewelry.

Nickel may enter indirectly into jewelry alloys with other metals. For example, your white gold ring may have small amounts of nickel via copper or zinc in its composition.

Even trace amounts of allergenic metals such as lead or nickel can trigger skin allergies.

Symptoms may be observed not immediately after contact, but after a period of time when a sufficient level of absorption has been reached.

Thankfully, the composition of titanium bands is nickel-free.

Moreover, they have a high purity. Their hypoallergenic nature and high purity level make titanium wedding rings a perfect choice.

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4. Lightweight

Titanium has a density of 4.51 g/cm3.

This is approximately half of silver’s and a quarter of solid gold’s densities.

Silver and gold jewelry will weigh 2 to 4 times the titanium pieces.

Titanium is clearly a more lightweight and affordable option than the latter two precious metals.

So, this is another point on the titanium band’s scoresheet.

5. Easily engraved

We have seen that titanium is hard enough to endure scratches and impacts, yet it does not refuse engravings.

You can easily get anything written inside your wedding ring with ease.

This is a simple operation which many jewelers will deliver.

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Cons of Titanium Rings

1. Hard to resize

As we have seen above, hardness and superior durability are qualities of titanium rings.

It is one of the durable metals used in jewelry like 316L type stainless steel and tungsten carbide.

They clearly outperform yellow gold, sterling or copper jewelry, which are more open to physical impacts.

These advantages, which contribute to the endurance of the ring, render resizing it very difficult.

This is the first and more significant point for the cons of titanium wedding bands.

Why would you want to resize your wedding ring?

With age, finger size may change. Your wedding band may become too tight on your fingers or too loose.

Thus, the need for resizing may arise.

In this case, you’d want a relatively soft material to shape it for your new finger size.

However, titanium is a robust metal which is very hard to cut, bend and break.

It has a very high-stress tolerance.

On an ending note, the high durability of Titanium engagement rings may pose difficulties in emergency cases, where there might be the need to cut off the ring.

2. Difficult to implement fine details

If you are looking for a complex design with fine points, titanium is probably not the right choice.

Not every metal has the same level of softness as silver or rose gold.

While jewelers may easily implement detailed designs with the latter two, titanium is the exact opposite.

For example, if you are looking for an artsy ring design with a prong setting carrying a diamond or ruby, you’ll have a hard time with titanium bands.

So, if you want to order a custom engagement ring with fine details, titanium design options may fall short.

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The Verdict

Titanium is an excellent option for wedding bands.

Titanium metal rings offer a wide range of color options.

You can choose from the natural gray color or more colorful options ranging from green to gold.

The latter options are possible thanks to anodizing, which is a chemical process, not paint. This operation can be repeated as desired to replenish the look.

One important benefit of titanium wedding bands is strong scratch resistance. They offer a high level of hardness without the need for a coating like rhodium plated white gold rings.

Titanium wedding rings bring the benefit of safety as they are hypoallergenic. They are very unlikely to initiate any skin allergy.

If you don’t want to carry the world on your hand, a titanium wedding band is a great choice! It’s very lightweight. It’s about one quarter of a similar gold wedding band’s weight.

After all these pros of titanium rings, you may think their hardness is an obstacle to engraving. Happily, the reality is the exact opposite!

You can easily get your rings engraved and have anything you want written inside.

The downsides of titanium wedding rings fall short when compared to the upsides.

First, titanium rings are problematic when the need for resizing comes to surface. After a change in finger size or if an emergency situation happens, physical manipulation of these rings is not easy.

Secondly, if you have a custom design, and you are planning to place an order, titanium’s toughness hinders implementation of fine details. If this is the case, you may want to switch to a softer metal which your jeweler can deliver more easily.

Titanium is a perfect material for those who desire lightweight and durable rings with high scratch resistance.

While it has downsides like hardness to resize and difficulty to implement finer details, these are shadowed by the pros of this white metal that offer many benefits.