Titanium and Tungsten Carbide are becoming hugely popular when it comes to men’s jewellery, thanks to their superior durability, strength, and scratch resistance. Both metals are also incredibly affordable when compared to gold and platinum alternatives, which makes them even more appealing to men looking for a stylish, yet practical ring that is capable of standing up to the test of time. However, whilst both titanium and tungsten carbide are extremely hard, there are some key differences between the two, which are worth knowing before making your purchase.
Composition: Titanium and tungsten are both very strong metals, but titanium is combined with aluminium whereas tungsten is usually combined with carbon atoms to make tungsten carbide. As such, tungsten carbide is much harder than pure titanium and on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness it sits at 9 out of 10.
Scratch resistance: Due to its extreme hardness tungsten carbide handily beats titanium when it comes to scratch-resistance. In fact, there are very few materials other than a diamond that can scratch tungsten carbide. Despite this, titanium is still much more scratch resistant than many other mainstream metals, and it’s the preferred material for rings that will be worn regularly by those who work with their hands.
Titanium is 100% biocompatible, meaning it’s safe for everybody and is frequently used for careful implants and body adornments as it doesn’t cause reactions. On the other hand, tungsten alloys often contain nickel which can trigger skin responses in those with sensitivities. Therefore, it’s important to ensure you buy a piece that is marked as 'cobalt-free' or ‘nickel-free' if you have any allergies.