One of the most durable metals for engagement and wedding bands, titanium is an alternative metal that’s gaining popularity. It’s comfortable to wear, very affordable and versatile.
Here’s a look at the pros and cons of titanium and how to buy a titanium ring.
What is Titanium?
Satin finished titanium wedding ring. Check price here.
Titanium was discovered in 1791 and because of its extreme strength and durability, was named after the Titans of Greek Mythology. Titanium is abundantly found and is ranked at 9th on the list of most commonly found metals in the Earth’s crust. Although the metal has been around for over 200 years, its use in jewelry is quite recent.
Since the recent interest in alternative metals for wedding bands, titanium is becoming increasingly popular. Visually, it can be used as a substitute for more expensive white metals like platinum or white gold.
Titanium’s affordability shouldn’t be taken as an indication of its benefits as a wedding ring metal. It has a very high strength-to-density which makes it exceptionally durable. It’s resistant to corrosion, hypoallergenic and is extremely tough, meaning it doesn’t easily crack or fracture. All these factors make titanium highly desirable as a ring metal.
For use in jewelry, titanium is typically alloyed with 90% titanium and 10% aluminum and vanadium. The aluminum and vanadium are what makes titanium malleable and suitable for jewelry, as titanium in its pure state is rather soft and unworkable.
Additionally, this hardness is what makes titanium so difficult to resize, which can be seen as a disadvantage. On the flip side, it’s less prone to damage and scratches, making it easier to maintain.
Titanium Ring Designs
Titanium ring designs have increased in the last decade as the metal continues to become more popular. However, there’s a limit to what jewelers can do with this metal because of how hard it is. Titanium can’t be easily (if at all) crafted into delicate filigree, pave or channel designs due to its hardness.
However, titanium rings can be finished with most popular ring finishes, like matte, satin, hammered or high polish. In addition to this, they can be used in inlay designs with other materials. The ring below is an example of a titanium band combined with rose gold.
Titanium with Rose Gold Plating by Aladdins Cave. Check price here.
Here are some other popular ring designs featuring titanium:
2- Couple’s titanium rings with actual fingerprint engraved onto the inner side of the ring
Pros of Titanium
There are many advantages of titanium which makes it an excellent choice as a wedding or engagement band. We’ve discussed these briefly already, but here’s a more detailed look.
1- Titanium is affordable, and you could pick up a high-quality ring for around $100 or less. However, this of course depends on what other materials are combined with the titanium. Other materials like gold, platinum or precious gemstones will add to the final price of the ring. Having said that, titanium on its own, like this stepped-edge comfort fit titanium wedding band, is comparatively inexpensive.
2- Titanium’s durability is the stuff of legend, with the word titanium being a synonym for strength. It ranks at 6 on the Mohs scale, which is much more than gold (2.4 Mohs) or platinum (4 Mohs).
3- It’s 100% biocompatible, meaning that it’s perfectly safe for anyone to wear, including those with metal allergies. Titanium is frequently used for surgical implants and piercing jewelry because of this hypoallergenic nature.
4- Titanium comes in a variety of colors. It’s natural color ranges from gray to silver in hue and is very similar in appearance to platinum, but the finish of the ring can also alter the appearance of the titanium ring. For example, a high polish titanium ring looks very silver-like whereas a sandblasted titanium ring will show off a gray gunmetal color. Titanium can also be plated and anodized to exhibit various colors.
5- Maintaining titanium is very easy. It doesn’t require re-plating like white gold or frequent polishing like platinum. The metal will acquire scratches over time but can be easily polished.
6- Titanium is extremely light which is ideal if you don’t like the feeling of a heavy, substantial ring on your finger. Depending on your view, this can be an advantage or a disadvantage.
7- Titanium rings can be engraved using traditional engraving methods.
8- Cutting off a titanium ring in an emergency is possible but sometimes special equipment may be required. In general, it can be sewn off but may require a few more passes with the saw than other softer metals.
Cons of Titanium
1- Design options are limited with titanium rings. It’ll be difficult to find titanium prong settings for example as the metal is much too difficult to craft into intricate and delicate styles.
2- Titanium is very difficult to resize and most jewelers will not accept the job. Some jewelers will resize a titanium ring up but won’t resize it down. It can cost more than its worth to resize a titanium ring, so most people just have their ring replaced if it doesn’t fit. It’s worth checking this out with your retailer, as some retailers may offer a replacement policy.
How to Clean Titanium Rings
Titanium rings will get dirty and scratched with daily exposure so periodical cleaning is important. Over time, titanium rings can develop a patina, much like platinum, but it can be buffed to look lustrous.
In general, a mild soap and a brush or cloth is perfect for cleaning dirt and grime out of your ring. For scratches on a high polish titanium ring, use a metal polish like this one.
Where to Buy Titanium
If you’re looking to buy one at your local shop, you might find your options extremely limited. We recommend searching online for the best prices and variety.
James Allen is known for their diamond and engagement rings, but they carry a collection of high-quality alternative metal wedding bands for men.
Blue Nile has a small but selective collection of men’s alternative wedding bands, often combined with precious metals for classy, stylish and durable looks.
Amazon is an excellent source for titanium wedding bands and feature designs from a variety of top titanium ring retailers. This is a one stop spot where you’re sure to find the ring you’re looking for.
For handcrafted, high-quality titanium bands Etsy’s wide collection of men’s and women’s rings is an excellent option. There’s a wider range of unique, one-off designs here to suit all tastes and budgets.