Frequently asked questions
ith so many different types of men’s wedding band materials and wedding band styles in the marketplace, it can make the process of choosing your wedding band very difficult. If you are looking for a wedding band, especially online, you no doubt have seen many new options for men that were not available just a few short years ago. Since you will be wearing this ring for many, many years it is important that you choose a wedding band that reflects your fashion sense, personality and lifestyle. Hopefully, the following information will be helpful in your exciting search for the perfect wedding band for you.
Platinum, Palladium, White Gold, Titanium, Black Titanium or Tungsten Carbide?
Today, wedding band designers are using a wide variety of metals not seen in years past. There has been an explosion of exciting new metals and hip new styles for men’s rings. Each metal has strong points and weak points.
- Platinum is a pure white metal
- Platinum is Rare
- Platinum is heavy
- Platinum is hypoallergenic
- Platinum is expensive
Platinum is a precious metal that is naturally white. Platinum contains no yellow color hue or alloys that turn the metal “off-white”. This makes it a good choice for someone who wants a white wedding band.
Platinum is rare; in it’s raw state platinum is expensive, having reached over $2100 per ounce in spring of 2008. Since then platinum has maintained prices of $1500 - $1700 range. A plain platinum men’s wedding band can be well over $1,000. A platinum wedding band with more intricate design can be much more expensive.
Platinum is extremely dense, thus causing a wedding band made of platinum to be very heavy. Many men like the heavy feel of a platinum wedding ring. However, because of the density and the price of the raw materials this makes the platinum wedding band very pricey.
Platinum is hypoallergenic. Most platinum bands are either 90% or 95% pure platinum. For guys who are allergic to the alloys in white or yellow gold, platinum is a good choice.
Platinum is also very malleable. This is great for intricate filigree details in ladies antique styled rings. But this can be a detriment if you are wearing a man’s plain wedding band of platinum. The softness of the metal will allow the ring to become very scratched, dented and “old looking” in very short time. Because of this you will want to remove it before doing manual labor or working out with weights.
Platinum exhibits very little material loss due to wear. Even though the ring does scratch easily, the metal does not wear away easily. Therefore, platinum Platinum is a good choice to hold a diamond.
- Palladium is a pure white metal
- Palladium is Rare (30 times rarer than gold)
- Palladium is hypoallergenic
- Palladium is an affordable naturally white precious metal
Palladium, a platinum group metal, is a precious metal that is naturally white in color. Palladium is a bright white metal actually much brighter than white gold. And the color will not tarnish into a yellow tint like white gold rings do. It has similar properties as platinum.
Palladium is rare. Palladium is 30 times more rare than gold, but at this time much less expensive. Although the price of palladium as a precious metal has risen in recent years, it is still much less expensive than platinum, typically about half the price. . So a palladium ring will be much less expensive than a platinum ring, and generally less than a white gold ring.
Palladium rings are much lighter in weight than platinum rings, therefore more comfortable for many people who don’t like heavy rings. Palladium is also harder than platinum, so the palladium wedding band won’t scratch quite as easy.
Palladium is pure. Most palladium rings are 95% palladium and hypoallergenic.
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- White gold has an off white/yellow tint to it's color
- White gold is a precious metal
- White gold is NOT hypoallergenic
- White gold suffers material loss due to wear
The natural color of gold is yellow. Think of a gold nugget taken from the earth - it's yellow. To get a 14kt white gold ring the manufacturer will take 58% gold and mix with 42% of white metal alloys, such as nickel. This blend ends up being a “white-ish” color. To get a true white color the manufacturer will rhodium plate the ring. (Think of it as chrome plating.) However, in short time the rhodium plating wears off and the true color is visible. Many people complain to their jewelers that they do not like the resulting color. To bring the color back to it's "new" condition, the ring has to be polished and then rhodium plated again. Every time the ring is polished, a little bit of the gold is polished off the ring resulting in a lighter weight and thinner ring. And the cost to rhodium plating can run up to $50.
Gold is a rare precious metal. Recently, the price of gold has experienced all time highs nearing $2,000 per ounce! Most gold wedding bands will be either 14k (58% pure gold) or 18k (75% pure gold).
Gold is a soft metal. If the gold ring is hit hard it will bend and possibly crack. Although not as soft as platinum, a gold ring will scratch easily and over time the ring will get thinner and thinner.
- Titanium is naturally a grayish colored metal
- Titanium is incredibly strong
- Titanium is light weight
- Titanium is hypoallergenic
- Titanium does not exhibit any material loss due to wear
- Titanium scratches fairly easily
Titanium in its natural color is a light grayish color. It can be high polished to achieve a very shiny reflective look. When a textured finish is applied to titanium it darkens the color.
Titanium is extremely lightweight. When you are wearing a titanium wedding band sometimes you’ll even forget you have a ring on your finger. It is almost as light as aluminum.
Titanium is incredibly strong. A titanium ring can take a ton of abuse. You can hit it with a hammer and it doesn’t bend or break. If you did this with a platinum, palladium, or gold ring it would severely damage the ring. You will never wear out your titanium ring. Even though your titanium ring will last forever, it will scratch with normal wear. A local jeweler can easily refinish a titanium ring for a nominal fee.
Because of its light weight and incredible strength, titanium is a great choice for a tension set diamond ring. This kind of ring features a diamond, or other gemstone, that is suspended between the opposite sides of the ring. A tension set ring needs to be thicker than a typical wedding band in order to hold the diamond. But because the metal is so light, the ring will still be very comfortable.
Titanium is totally inert. It does not react to body chemistry. (It is even used inside the body for hip and joint replacements.) So if you are allergic, a titanium ring may be for you.
Titanium rings cannot be sized. So either never gain or lose weight over your lifetime, or buy a ring from a store that has a lifetime resizing policy.
Titanium can be combined with white gold, yellow gold or platinum to create a more elaborate look. Titanium rings are very affordable, with basic styles selling for around $100 or less.
Titanium, although being incredibly strong is not exceptionally hard. Therefore, even though you will probably never bend your titanium ring out of shape, it will scratch will normal wear. It doesn't scratch quite as easy as gold, platinum or palladium, but you can count on the titanium ring showing scratches within a couple days of wearing it.
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Choosing a titanium ring
- Black Ti ™ is the only patented Titanium Alloy that allows a titanium ring to actually turn black.
- Black Ti™ is not a plating or applied coating
- Black Ti™ is hypoallergenic
- Black Ti™ is lightweight
- Black Ti™ does not exhibit any material loss due to wear
- Black Ti™ is ONLY made by Edward Mirell
Black Ti™ is a patented Titanium Alloy that undergoes extreme heat and oxygenation to form Black Titanium. The result is a black color and incredibly hard surface. It has been compared to a black ceramic, which is very hard and resistant to scratching and chipping. This is not a plating, or coating, but rather a molecular alteration that is enacted from the outside in. Black Ti will not fade or wear off. Like Titanium, Black Ti is still lightweight, but even stronger and more resistant to damage.
The only true black titanium rings are made by Edward Mirell, using Spectore brand Black-Ti™ (www.edwardmirell.com
Unless the jewelry is made with the patented Black Ti™ it is not a true black titanium material. Beware of the Chinese made knockoffs that just use a type of PVD black coating. Many of our competitors sell these type of rings. When we tested these the black was easily polished and scratched off. Insist on Black Ti by Edward Mirell!
Although not a traditional color for a wedding band, many guys find the black titanium rings have an “edgy” appeal to them. They are not your traditional look for a wedding band.
If you are looking for a wedding band that is truly unique, something that will really set you apart, then you should consider a black titanium wedding band. As one 20-something soon to be groom said, “it’s not your dad’s wedding ring”. You can find black titanium wedding bands in a variety of styles, some with white gold, platinum and yellow gold inlaid. If you want diamonds, there are plenty of black titanium rings that have diamonds set in them as well. And if you like the suspended diamond look, then check out the black titanium tension set diamond rings. These are really very modern and trend setting.
Black titanium rings are very affordable. Several of our most popular black titanium wedding bands sell for around $150.
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- Tungsten Carbide is the hardest metal in the world that is used for jewelry
- Tungsten Carbide is very heavy (heavier than gold & platinum)
- Tungsten Carbide is a light grayish color
- Tungsten Carbide is almost scratch proof
- Tungsten Carbide does not exhibit wear and will always look new!
The manliest player on the block for men’s wedding bands is tungsten carbide. Tungsten wedding bands are incredibly hard, and in most cases, scratch resistant. If you want to have a little fun with your buddies, (especially after a couple beers), take a metal file to your tungsten carbide wedding ring and file away on it. After a giving it a good effort simply wipe the ring and show your friends. To their amazement the ring will still be in perfect condition! So you can wear your tungsten carbide ring during any activity and it will always look like it did the day you bought it.
Even though tungsten carbide rings are so incredibly hard, they are brittle. So if you drop your tungsten carbide ring in the shower, it could crack. Make sure that whichever jewelry store you purchase your tungsten carbide ring from has a lifetime warranty to cover this scenario.
Many of the lower priced tungsten rings offered for sale are not tungsten carbide, but rather only tungsten. A ring without the carbide portion will scratch with normal wear. Also, some manufacturers are using cobalt in their rings because it is less expensive. Cobalt in your tungsten carbide ring can cause the ring to develop spots on the ring that can not be removed with a diamond polishing wheel. Our advise is to stay clear of any cobalt in your tungsten ring as it will react to body chemistry and cause a host of problems.
The color of tungsten carbide is a darker shade than white gold or platinum. The high polished rings are highly reflective and look great on your wedding finger.
Tungsten carbide rings cannot be sized. So either never gain or lose weight over your lifetime, or buy a ring from a store that has a lifetime resizing policy.
Guys love the heavy weight, the wider masculine designs and the scratch resistant qualities of tungsten carbide wedding bands. To top this off, tungsten carbide rings are within most budgets. Plan on spending about $150 - $350, more if you want diamonds or a precious metal inlay added to your ring.
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Hopefully this information will help you find the perfect wedding band. Choose a wedding band that reflects your lifestyle and personality. And have fun shopping!