As you look down at your left hand, you smile as your tungsten rings gleam catches your eye. Even years later, you marvel as the ring still looks as luminous as your wedding day. Amazing! Especially considering you work with your hands and frequently remark how you “really beat your ring up”.
But imagine if that same symbol of your love could cause you to lose a finger in an accident. Unable to cut off the ring, doctors must instead remove your ring finger to save your hand. It’s not too far-fetched. In fact, many couples opt not having tungsten wedding bands for this very reason. But is this fact or fiction?
In terms of jewelry and wedding bands, tungsten carbide is the “new kid on the block.” As a result, many rumors and misconceptions are branded about by uneducated jewelers and consumers alike. A deeper look can shed some light on a few of the most common “tungsten myths.”
“I heard Tungsten Carbide was an indestructible metal, is this true?”
This is really a two part myth. Words like “indestructible” and “scratch-proof” are used all too often in conjunction with tungsten rings. Whether it is the jeweler making it their key selling point or your best friend just bragging about his wedding band, this is certainly myth.
Let’s start with the indestructible claim. While Tungsten Carbide is a rugged and durable metal, to say it is “indestructible” would be misleading and erroneous. No material is indestructible, but when it comes to wedding bands, tungsten might just be the closest any metal comes to this attribute. The major benefit of a tungsten ring lies in its “no-hassle” wearing. Your ring’s polish and shine will outlast any similar wedding band of gold or platinum even. All without the need for frequent cleaning or visits to your local jeweler for touch-ups. While gold and silver bands tarnish and scratch, your ring will look as good as it did the first day you put it on. This brings us to our second major myth.
“Tungsten Rings are scratchproof right?”
Much like the term “waterproof” with watches, “scratchproof” is a word that is used to incorrectly describe many items of jewelry. For many people, nothing is more unsightly than a deep scratch on the surface of their ring. Tungsten carbide wedding bands almost eliminate this problem. But no material is completely scratchproof, not even diamonds. When you are talking scratches, you are really talking the hardness of a material. Scratches only occur when a substance comes in to harsh contact with a material that is “harder” than itself, and in terms of hardness tungsten carbide is the top of the current jewelry market.
Just to put it in perspective. A diamond is the hardest substance known to man and subsequently rated as a 10 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (the scale used to rate the scratch resistance of materials) while tungsten is an 8 to 9. In comparison, gold and platinum are only 2 to 4 and titanium is 5 to 6. So while no ring can be “scratchproof”, in your daily on-goings a tungsten rings will be the best choice for scratch resistance.
Now to our original myth; and the myth many couples worry the most about. For good reason too!
“Can Tungsten Carbide bands be removed in an emergency? Or would have to lose my finger?”
It has almost become an urban legend; one that causes many couples to avoid tungsten wedding bands in hopes of keeping all ten digits intact. However, like many other urban legends it is complete myth. Although it is true tungsten rings cannot be cut off in the way gold and silver rings are, medical professionals are able to remove any tungsten band in an emergency. Instead of cutting the ring, they are able to crack it off. Using a vice clamp like mechanism, they apply enough pressure to the outside of the ring until they hear it crack. Allowing for easy removal, and letting you keep your finger!
So while many jewelers will give you the slick salesman pitch, we’ve busted three key myths associated with tungsten jewelry. You can now consider yourself to be a bit of an expert. All while, keeping yourself, and your friends, clear of the common misconceptions associated with this great new metal on the market. And you won’t even have to lost a finger for it!