Tungsten and tungsten carbide have many differences, so it's important to understand them before purchasing jewelry. While they are both specialized materials, they have different uses, and knowing how to recognize them can help you make the right choice.
Pure tungsten is hard and expensive, and is only used in specialized applications. It is also difficult to work with, since it is brittle. To work with it, you need to combine it with carbon or another chemical compound.
Tungsten carbide is an inorganic compound made from tungsten and carbon. It's not as brittle as tungsten, but is very durable. In fact, it rivals diamond in terms of strength.
The properties of tungsten and tungsten carbide are often interchanged. Despite the differences, they are both very durable, and can be worn in a wide range of applications.
If you want to wear jewelry that is scratch resistant, hypoallergenic, and affordable, tungsten carbide jewelry is a great option. Some companies even offer replacements if you do get a scratch.
Tungsten carbide is more stable at extremely cold temperatures than tungsten. This is good news for anyone working in the nuclear industry.
In the jewelry business, the two substances are usually interchanged. When it comes to tungsten carbide, you should be able to buy rings that are a nice silver/grey color, or a more traditional black color. You can have them hammered, carved, or sandblasted, and you can have them high-polished.
However, there is one major drawback to wearing a tungsten carbide ring. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to tungsten. So, it's best to avoid purchasing a ring with this material if you have a tendency to sneeze.