Tungsten Rings: Does Tungsten Shatter?

Before we can definitively answer this question, we must first explore some essential facts about tungsten.

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What Is Tungsten?

Tungsten is one of the strongest metals used by jewelers. Where diamonds rate a ten on the Mohs scale of hardness, this metal measures a 9. To illustrate just how incredibly hard that is for a metal, bear in mind that it’s ten times harder than 18-karat gold and five times harder than steel. This metal also does not melt like silver and other metal used in jewelry – unless you can produce a fire of at least 6,191 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the highest melting point of any known metal.

Wedding rings are made of Tungsten carbide which is three times harder than titanium. An ordinary tungsten ring is often made with a combination of tungsten carbide (85%) and nickel (15%). The colors of this metal vary between white and steel gray. Although it is arguably the hardest metal we know of, it is also brittle, which is why it’s often combined with other metals.

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Can Tungsten Rings Break? 

These rings are resistant to scratching but because it is so hard Tungsten carbide rings can break or shatter.

Lack of Malleability

Precious metals are quite malleable, but even high-quality tungsten rings are not. This means that they are more prone to shattering. The ability to bend protects certain metals from shattering, so since tungsten carbide rings cannot do this they are more likely to shatter.

High-Compressive Strength

Compressive strength refers to an ability to withstand crushing. Brittle metals often resist compression. Because tungsten carbide rings resist compression they are brittle.

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Low-Impact Strength

This property refers to how much force a metal can take before it shatters or breaks. The impact strength of this metal is low. This further increases its breakability.

Tungsten Rings Are Scratch-Resistant

People who work with their hands might be worried that they will scratch their wedding ring. This is where tungsten rings come in. They are far more scratch-proof than platinum rings.

Tungsten Rings Are Tough and Durable

A gold wedding ring can bend and therefore become distorted after time, but tungsten rings don’t bend. This means that you can keep the ring on your finger while doing manual labor without having to worry about the shape distorting, which often happens with alternative metals.

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Can Tungsten Rings be Resized?

A tungsten ring cannot be resized due to tungsten’s hardness. You should remember this when shopping for tungsten carbide rings.

Why can’t you resize a tungsten carbide ring?

The process used to make a tungsten carbide ring is called sintering and this process makes it impossible to resize a tungsten wedding band. Tungsten and carbon powder are melted together to form tungsten carbide. Once sintering is complete tungsten carbide will not fuse with any other metal, so if you are planning on making tungsten alloys it needs to be done during sintering. This makes it impossible to resize a ring once the sintering is complete.


High-End Tungsten Wedding Bands Are Affordable

Materials like yellow gold can be extremely expensive in a wedding band. Luckily, tungsten is quite affordable. In fact, tungsten wedding rings can be around three to five times more affordable than a gold or platinum wedding band.

Tungsten Rings – Color and Style Choices

Ordinarily, tungsten bands are a gunmetal gray color which is quite appealing to men. A tungsten wedding band is sleek and professional and is extremely strong. If you want something darker your tungsten ring can be color plated to be black, or to match a metallic shade like rose gold. There is a wide range of styles and color choices available for a tungsten band.

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Tungsten Wedding Bands Retain Their Good Looks

A tungsten ring will never lose its luster the way that wedding bands made from other metals will. Platinum, gold, and silver begin to look haggard after a while, and some might turn your finger green. Tungsten does not have these problems. Your wedding band will not lose its shine or get scratched up. Even in a vice grip, pliers, a hammer, or machinery, the dense metal will not scratch. However, remember one of the major cons of tungsten is that it can shatter.

Is Tungsten a Good Choice for Jewelry?

This alternative metal is quickly becoming more popular with jewelers and men alike. More and more people are opting for tungsten wedding bands because they are looking for something that is less likely to break or bend the way that other jewelry would.

Many jewelers and wearers agree that tungsten wedding bands are an excellent option in terms of affordability and durability. There are many styles available and several colors to choose from. You are also less likely to have your ring replaced due to damage, the cost is much lower than other options, and you can also adorn these rings with diamonds or other precious stones as you prefer.

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So do Tungsten Rings Break? (Final Thoughts)

Tungsten rings are not indestructible, but then again, neither is a diamond. If not properly cared for they may crack or break, much the same as diamonds. That being said, the likelihood of a tungsten ring breaking is extremely low. Like a diamond, it is very difficult to break. The durability of tungsten rings is definitely far superior to that of gold or silver. Furthermore, tungsten carbide rings are far more cost-effective, even when a diamond is included.

Like any other jewelry, tungsten jewelry needs to be taken care of to preserve it. However, all in all, tungsten rings are a great option for a wedding band, with or without an added diamond.

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FAQs About Tungsten Rings

Can hospitals cut off tungsten rings?

Tungsten rings can be removed by emergency rooms at most hospitals. This is done if there is too much pressure on your finger and the ring needs to be forcefully removed.

Can tungsten rings make you sick?

There is some evidence that long-term exposure to nickel, cobalt, or tungsten carbide may lead to lung scarring due to allergies, so if you experience coughing, shortness of breath, or wheezing, it might be best to consult your doctor.

Why shouldn’t you buy a tungsten ring?

A tungsten ring that meets with a hard surface can shatter or crack. Tungsten material is popular due to its hardness, but this can also make it brittle. This is something to be aware of when choosing a ring.

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Can I wear my tungsten ring in the shower?

There is no reason not to wear a tungsten ring while you shower. Unlike silver it will not scratch or tarnish.

Do tungsten rings lose their color?

A tungsten ring will not lose its shine, it will not fade, and it will not scratch.

How long will a tungsten ring last?

Tungsten rings are particularly popular because they last so long. As long as the purity level of the material is at least 80% it will be durable and reliable.

Are tungsten rings safe to wear at work?

In emergency situations, a tungsten ring can be broken off, so they are safe to wear to work.

Are tungsten rings safe for everyday use?

Jewelry-grade tungsten is quite different from tungsten itself, which is a toxic metal. However, if you experience any negative symptoms while wearing tungsten rings, consult a doctor immediately as you may be allergic to it.

Why did my finger turn green after wearing a tungsten carbide ring?

Jewelry-grade tungsten should not turn your finger green. If that happens your ring has been mixed with something like brass or copper.

Is tungsten a good ring material?

This scratch-resistant, affordable material is a great option for a wedding band compared to platinum or gold.


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