The increasing cost of precious metals is giving consumers good cause to consider alternative metals and materials when selecting wedding bands. This article will quickly summarize the durability and cost of each material to help with your evaluation and decision. Durability will be defined as the hardness of the material and its ability to resist scratches. If you want more complete information on the features and benefits of each of these materials, please refer to the specific article dedicated to that material contained in bidiamonds.com blog.
Gold is the softest material. It makes a big difference if the gold composition in the ring is 24K, 18K, 14K or 10K, because the higher the gold content, the softer the metal and the easier it is to scratch. The important fact to remember is that they all scratch, with ordinary wear and tear.
When this article was written, gold was in excess of $1,750 and moving higher almost daily. Due to the high cost, more traditionalists are selecting 14K gold, in lieu of 18K.
Platinum is a much harder than gold, but still scratches. Platinum will accept more wear an tear than gold, before it requires polishing.
Historically, platinum has been more expensive than gold, because it’s more rare. Recently however, the price of platinum has been increasing in price, but not at the same rate as gold. If gold continues its dramatic rise in price, it could soon surpass platinum in cost.
Palladium is currently the least popular of the listed precious metals (but that is changing) and has a hardness factor close to platinum. Palladium is a member of the platinum group of metals and has many similar characteristics to platinum, but is less expensive and weighs less. If you like the look of platinum, but have a limited budget, palladium can be a good alternative.
Titanium is a contemporary, high tech metal that is harder than any of the options listed above. It is a popular metal for aircraft construction, because it is strong and light – but it still can scratch. The scratches can be removed by a jeweler, but it takes more effort to return the ring to a high polish luster.
Titanium is considerably less expensive than any of the metals listed above. In fact, the cost can be 15% to 20% of the cost of the precious metals listed above.
Tungsten (tungsten carbide) is twice as hard as stainless steel and four times harder than titanium. It has a beautiful polish that will last for life, because the metal is virtually scratch proof.
Tungsten is becoming more popular as an alternative wedding band, because of its high durability, life time shine and low cost. Like titanium, a nice tungsten wedding band can cost from 15% to 20% of the cost of precious metal bands.
Ceramics is an ultra-modern, high tech material that has been use on the space shuttle, because of it strength and light weight. Ceramic material can be as hard as tungsten carbide and cannot be scratched.
Ceramics is similar in cost to titanium and tungsten and is expected to become more popular in the future.
I promised you a quick summary, and there it is. If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-268-0100.
The Author:Paul Buchanan is a Graduate Gemologist, Graduate of the American Institute of Diamond Cutting and President of Bella Ideale Diamonds (popularly known as BI Diamonds.com)