When it comes to choosing a wedding band, the metal you go for is important as it determines the durability, longevity and beauty of the ring. Gold has been the classic jewelry metal for centuries, regardless of its iteration – yellow, rose, and white gold are all widely used nowadays.
Titanium is a newcomer to the jewelry scene, at least relatively speaking, but it’s been steadily rising in popularity in the last few decades and it’s many people’s favorite jewelry metal today.
So, what are the pros and cons of both metals, which is better in certain situations, and which should you choose for your wedding band?
Below, we’ll break down the 9 main criteria for judging jewelry metals and we’ll see how gold and titanium fare in every category.
- 1. Titanium vs. Gold – Color
- 2. Titanium vs. Gold – Hardness, Strength to Density, and Durability
- 3. Titanium vs. Gold – Corrosion Resistance and Tarnishing
- 4. Titanium vs. Gold – Style
- 5. Titanium vs. Gold – Price
- 6. Titanium vs. Gold – Hypoallergenic
- 7. Titanium vs. Gold – Weight
- 8. Titanium vs. Gold – Value
- 9. Titanium vs. Gold – Care
- So, Which Is Better – Titanium Or Gold?
1. Titanium vs. Gold – Color
Titanium wedding band. See it here.
White gold wedding band. See it here.
Gold’s natural color is so well-known that it’s now its own shade of yellow. However, when it comes to jewelry gold, you can see a lot of color variation. That’s because gold is never used for jewelry in its natural form – it’s always mixed in an alloy with at least one or more different metals. This isn’t done to dilute and cheapen the metal but rather to give it a bit more hardness as natural gold is too soft for jewelry.
So, depending on what metals you mix the natural gold with, the end alloy can have different colors.
- The classic choice is still “yellow gold” (gold plus zinc, silver, and copper in a 75/25 or 58/42 ratio) which preserves the near-natural color of gold.
- Another popular color for gold is “white gold” (gold with either palladium, nickel, silver, or manganese) with a rhodium plating.
- Finally, there’s also the romantic “rose gold” (a mixture of gold and copper).
With all three of these colors coming in different shades depending on the exact mixture of the alloy, gold gives us a lot of choices when it comes to color.
Titanium, on the other hand, comes mostly in just gunmetal gray or a silver-ish color. This puts it in contention against white gold as the two metals are very popular for wedding bands.
When it comes to clor, it’s a matter of personal choice.
2. Titanium vs. Gold – Hardness, Strength to Density, and Durability
Women’s titanium wedding band by Aladdins Cave. See it here.
When it comes to hardness, few metals are as diametrically opposite as gold and titanium. As we pointed out above, gold has to be mixed in alloys with other metals in order to become hard enough for jewelry use.
Titanium is the exact opposite. Named after the Titans of Greek mythology for its incredible strength and hardness, pure titanium is definitely not suitable for jewelry – it just can’t be bent and shaped in its pure form. Because of this, jewelry titanium is also mixed in alloys with other metals such as aluminum and vanadium in a 90/10 or 90/5/5 mixtures.
Only in its alloy form can titanium be worked on by jewelers and shaped into different jewelry pieces.
This incredible hardness has its drawbacks too, however.
For one, even as an alloy, titanium is still so hard that it’s difficult to work on. This makes resizing, repairing, and reshaping titanium rings jewelry much more difficult than gold or most other metals.
Plus, this high hardness also makes titanium more prone to breakage whereas gold is more likely to just bend when struck hard enough.
The flip side of that is that titanium’s strength to density ratio is still so high that it gives this metal a much better overall durability and longevity. While you need to protect your everyday-use gold jewelry, a titanium ring or jewelry piece is much safer to carry around. As long as you don’t hit your titanium hard enough to crack it, it should be much easier to keep safe.
3. Titanium vs. Gold – Corrosion Resistance and Tarnishing
Corrosion resistance is a major factor when judging jewelry metals and both gold and titanium score high marks in this regard.
Gold is a noble metal on the periodic table and it’s chemically inert which means that it just doesn’t corrode. This is one of the main reasons why gold has persisted as the most popular jewelry metal throughout the ages.
Titanium, on the other hand, is also corrosion resistant. In fact, most titanium alloys offer even greater corrosion resistance than stainless steel.
So, whichever of these two metals you choose to go for, corrosion resistance and tarnishing shouldn’t be a problem for you.
4. Titanium vs. Gold – Style
Style is a very subjective criterium but it’s also inescapable when it comes to judging jewelry. All of gold’s color variants have their own styles, while titanium has a very pronounced style as well.
- Yellow gold is the classic choice and as such it’s suitable for both men and women, both rings and jewelry pieces, and both formal and informal styles. It has a traditional feel to it.
- Rose gold, on the other hand, has a much more romantic feel to it and it’s usually picked for engagement rings and other lovers’ jewelry gifts.
- White gold is the most formal of the three gold styles and it’s preferred by many men as a white jewelry metal. It’s also quite modern and chic.
- Titanium mostly competes with white gold and platinum for men’s top jewelry metal choice in that regard. As such, titanium and white gold are usually picked for the same jewelry types and styles.
Again, it comes down to your personal preference, and factors such as skin tone and budget. If you’re leaning towards a modern aesthetic, titanium, like white gold, would do the trick. However, if you’re after a more classic style, yellow and rose golds have a nice touch.
5. Titanium vs. Gold – Price
Titanium exterior ring. See it here.
Titanium entered the market as a budget-friendly alternative to platinum and it’s remained incredibly affordable over the years thanks to its natural abundance. Gold is more affordable than platinum as well but still significantly pricier than titanium.
So, if you have any budgetary concerns whatsoever and white feels like a good color for your jewelry, titanium is definitely the way to go. The difference in price is significant.
6. Titanium vs. Gold – Hypoallergenic
Both gold and titanium are great hypoallergenic options for those with sensitive skin. The only thing to be careful with is the presence of nickel in some gold alloys, particularly in white gold.
If you’ve decided to go with white gold over titanium, look for a higher gold karat. Anything lower than 14k could contain too much nickel and would therefore not be hypoallergenic.
7. Titanium vs. Gold – Weight
Gold is a fairly lightweight metal, especially compared to some of the heavier jewelry metals such as platinum.
As light as gold is, however, titanium still takes this category – it’s a surprisingly lightweight metal, especially considering its incredible hardness! Some find it too light, so if you prefer a heavier band on your hand, this might not be the right option for you.
All in all, with both metals being fairly light, weight shouldn’t be an issue either way.
8. Titanium vs. Gold – Value
Rose gold wedding ring. See it here.
This should be a no-brainer. Gold may not be the highest-value metal anymore but it’s still the gold standard, no pun intended, when it comes to value. Especially high-karat gold can have an impressive heirloom value and be a real asset for the monetary value of your jewelry collection.
Titanium, on the other hand, is so affordable that its overall value is just not impressive in any way. This isn’t to say that a titanium jewelry piece can’t be valuable – depending on what other metals and gemstones you have on the particular ring.
Plus, the personal and emotional value of a jewelry piece is usually entirely separate from its monetary value. But in a purely financial sense, gold is an investment whereas titanium isn’t.
9. Titanium vs. Gold – Care
Both gold and titanium need to be cleaned relatively often but titanium is definitely easier to take care of than gold.
Because of how soft gold is, it’s essential that it’s cleaned regularly and carefully with a soft-bristled brush, mild soap, and lukewarm water. Yearly jeweler checkups are also essential both for the gold’s sake and for whatever gemstone you have on the jewelry piece.
Gold can also get misshapen, dented or damaged, acquire scratches and so on. a jeweler can ensure the integrity of the piece and keep it shiny.
Titanium, should also be cleaned regularly. While it is harder and more resistant to damage, it can still accumulate micro scratches from dust and dirt buildup.
When it comes to how and when we wear gold or titanium jewelry, however, the two metals allow for much different usage. Because of its softness and high value, gold jewelry should definitely be taken off when playing sports, doing manual labor, washing the dishes, and so on. With titanium, however, you can feel much safer when you do any of these both thanks to its hardness and because of its lower value.
So, Which Is Better – Titanium Or Gold?
Both titanium and gold are excellent jewelry metals albeit for different reasons. The choice between them depends on many different factors, including what type of jewelry you want, why you want it, how you intend to wear it, and more.
Overall, the main factors most people focus on are price, color and style, hardness and durability, and value.
- Price. Titanum is definitely the more affordable out of the two metals so if you want a nice and budget-friendly jewelry piece, titanium is the way to go.
- Value. Gold may be more expensive but it also brings higher value to the table. If you want a jewelry piece that doesn’t just look pretty but has actual value behind it, gold is the better choice.
- Color and style. Titanium and all of gold’s variations can look stunning and allow for different styles. However, given the sheer number of different colors and styles gold can come in, it takes this category.
- Hardness and durability. Titanium is extremely hard and is more likely to break rather than bend. With a titanium ring, you can care less about the possible damage of the metal.
At the end of the day, the type of metal you choose, be it titanium or gold, depends on your lifestyle, budget, personal preference and style.
If you’re after a prestigious, valuable ring that’s also an investment, opt for gold. You’ll never go wrong with a gold wedding band.
However, if you prefer something extremely durable and more modern at an affordable price, go for titanium.
Looking to browse titanium and gold wedding bands? Click here to access James Allen’s stunning inventory of wedding rings.