Choosing Your Wedding Ring Base Material - A Metal Type Comparison

 

So, you've chosen a ring design you like and know what inlays you want - but now you need to choose the metal type for your ring. There are so many options! From titanium, damascus steel, 14K gold, silver, black zirconium, etc., how do you know which metal will best suit your lifestyle while giving you the look and feel you're going for? Below is our guide to choosing a base material for your unique custom ring! 

Comparing Wedding Ring Metal Types

Wedding Ring Metal Types

Titanium

Titanium is a metal represented by Ti on the periodic table of elements. This metal was the first we began working with upon starting Staghead Designs. We chose it because it was one of the more durable metals that also provides a very lightweight feel. In fact, some people state they hardly realize they are wearing a ring due to the comfort! Don’t let that fool you however, it is an incredibly durable metal! 

  • Lightweight
  • Cost effective
  • Extremely durable
  • 100% hypoallergenic - titanium is a pure element
  • Scratch resistant
  • Shatterproof
  • Can be fire-treated to create a unique anodized finish

Regular vs Anodized Titanium Band

Please keep in mind that titanium rings cannot be resized. If the incorrect size is ordered the ring will have to be remade completely. Not sure of your size? Choose "free ring sizing kit" when purchasing the ring and we'll send sizers for you to wear and try out for a while to decide on your perfect size! With the purchase of our extended warranty you can contact us at any point to receive a free resize on your ring as long as you opted to use our free ring sizer at the time of purchase! If you did not use the free ring sizer option but purchased our extended lifetime-limited warranty, you can still receive 60% OFF a new ring in the size needed in exchange for the original ring.

Black Zirconium

Zirconium is a metal represented by Zr on the periodic table of elements. Black zirconium is created when zirconium metal undergoes extreme heat treatment and oxidizes. This chemical reaction causes the metal to turn from a gray (similar in color to titanium) to a sleek black color. Black zirconium is an excellent choice for those looking for an alternative edgier look!

  • Lightweight but slightly heavier than titanium
  • Very durable
  • Hypoallergenic - zirconium is a pure element
  • Sleek black color
  • Shatterproof
  • Highly resistant to corrosion

 Solid Black Zirconium Band

Like titanium, black zirconium cannot be resized. If the incorrect size is ordered the ring will have to be remade completely. Not sure of your size? Choose "free ring sizing kit" when purchasing the ring and we'll send sizers for you to wear and try out for a while to decide on your perfect size. With the purchase of our extended warranty you can contact us at any point to receive a free resize on your ring as long as you opted to use our free ring sizer at the time of purchase! If you did not use the free ring sizer option but purchased our extended lifetime-limited warranty, you can still receive 60% OFF a new ring in the size needed in exchange for the original ring.

Tungsten

Tungsten is represented by a W on the periodic table of elements. It is a highly requested metal in the wedding industry for its incredible scratch resistance and hardness! Tungsten holds high polish through time and is known as one of the toughest things with nature! Tungsten alloys are often used in parts for the automotive and aerospace industries due to its durability and heat resistance.

  • Substantial weight - the heaviest metal option
  • Extremely hard and scratch resistant* - the strongest of our metal options**
  • Attractive dark gray/gunmetal gray appearance
  • Hypoallergenic

*We do offer rings featuring plated tungsten. The black, rose, and yellow gold bands below are plated, meaning that the color does not go all the way through to the center of the ring, but rather is a coating applied to the top. While the plating is durable, it can be scratched off if scratched excessively. The plating can also be worn off if exposed to moisture. Once a ring has become scratched or lost its plating, it cannot be re-plated. 

Faceted Tungsten Wedding Bands

**While tungsten is the hardest metal option we offer and has great resistance against scratching, this hardness means that tungsten is brittle and prone to shattering from hard blows or drops. This is because the hardness of the metal means that it doesn't bend like gold would, for instance - instead, the metal fractures. 

Tungsten is another material that cannot be resized. If the incorrect size is ordered the ring will have to be remade completely. Not sure of your size? Choose "free ring sizing kit" when purchasing the ring and we'll send sizers for you to wear and try out for a while to decide on your perfect size. Please also keep in mind that our tungsten and ceramic rings are comfort fit and sizing will differ from our other metal rings that are standard fit. If you choose the free ring sizing kit at checkout on a ceramic or tungsten ring we will send a special comfort fit sizing kit to help you make sure you order the correct size. In addition, with the purchase of our extended warranty you can contact us at any point to receive a free resize on your ring as long as you opted to use our free ring sizer at the time of purchase! If you did not use the free ring sizer option but purchased our extended lifetime-limited warranty, you can still receive 60% OFF a new ring in the size needed in exchange for the original ring.

Damascus Steel

Damascus steel is made of layers of stainless steel forged together. In its original form it appears as a regular stainless colored band. It isn’t until the ring is put in a specialty acid formula that each unique pattern shows itself! While there are many patterns that can be seen in damascus steel, the pattern we offer for our custom rings is a wavy wood-grain like pattern.

  • Unique patterned appearance - each ring is different
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Durable and scratch resistant
  • Shatterproof
  • Medium-weight

Solid Damascus Steel Wedding Band

Damascus steel is not resizable. If the incorrect size is ordered the ring will have to be remade completely. Not sure of your size? Choose "free ring sizing kit" when purchasing the ring and we'll send sizers for you to wear and try out for a while to decide on your perfect size. With the purchase of our extended warranty you can contact us at any point to receive a free resize on your ring as long as you opted to use our free ring sizer at the time of purchase! If you did not use the free ring sizer option but purchased our extended lifetime-limited warranty, you can still receive 60% OFF a new ring in the size needed in exchange for the original ring.

Silver

Silver has been used in jewelry for a very long time and is known for its gorgeous bright white appearance. Silver is a precious metal and at one point in history was considered even more valuable than gold! It is a softer metal that allows for more design options including unique casting options and signet-style rings!

Considerations for silver:

  • Precious metal that holds value
  • Bright white appearance
  • More affordable than gold
  • Hypoallergenic
  • Shatterproof
  • Resizable*

When considering silver, remember that silver is a soft metal that scratches easily and tarnishes. Tarnishing happens when moisture and gases in the air react to the metal leading to a black or green layer. Areas of high humidity and/or air pollution can cause tarnish to form faster. Luckily, tarnish can be cleaned off with a polishing cloth or silver cleaning solution. Use special care and clean and polish silver jewelry frequently to keep your ring bright and shiny!

Solid Silver Wedding Band

What about silver for engagement rings and rings with precious stones? While we absolutely love the look and affordability silver offers, it is not ideal for setting precious stones. Small silver prongs are fragile and bend easy risking the stone or stones falling out. In addition, the small nooks and crevices between prongs and other design elements can build up tarnish making the ring look more worn. Instead, we offer 14K white gold as a metal option for rings with precious stones for its similar appearance but better durability and less tarnishing!

*Silver rings can undergo minor resizes. Rings with inlay materials may need to have the inlay removed and replaced after the resizing process. If you choose the free ring sizing kit then the resize and inlay replacement will not be any cost to you. If you do not choose the free ring sizing kit there will be a fee for the resize as well as for the replacement of inlay materials. For this reason, we highly recommend choosing the "free ring sizing kit" when purchasing a ring and we'll send sizers for you to wear and try out for a while so you can decide on your perfect size.

14K White, Yellow, or Rose Gold

The most traditional wedding ring material - gold! Gold comes in different karats or purities with 24K being pure gold. The number in front of the K represents how many parts out of twenty-four the metal alloy contains that is gold. For example, 14K gold contains a ratio of fourteen out of twenty-four parts that are pure gold. Pure gold is a very soft and expensive metal, so it is often combined with other metal types in order to create a great balance between cost, durability, and look. We have determined that 14K gold is the perfect option for our designs. Gold has the ability to maintain a nice polish and remain durable while still being soft enough to take many forms and be used in many unique ring designs!

Key benefits of 14K gold:

  • Substantial weight
  • Holds value
  • Precious metal
  • Three colors to choose from - yellow, white, & rose
  • Traditional 
  • Resizable*
  • Can be used to set precious stones and create more intricate designs

All of our gold color options are 14K gold, which means that they are alloys made up of gold mixed with other metals. This provides higher durability and lower cost, but can also cause issues with people who have allergies to certain metal types. 14K yellow gold contains copper and silver, while rose gold contains silver and copper, but has higher amounts of copper in order to achieve a more rosy tone. White gold contains copper, zinc, silver, nickel, and/or palladium but is plated in rhodium. Some people with gold/nickel allergies are able to wear rhodium-plated white gold rings, however, we cannot guarantee that someone with an allergy to any of these metals would not have a reaction. Rhodium plating can wear off over time and white gold rings may or may not need to be re-plated at times depending on wear. Rose gold and yellow gold are not plated in any way and their color will not fade or wear off over time.

While gold is a traditional and beautiful metal, it is a softer metal that requires extra care to avoid scratching. Minor scratches can be buffed out, but in general a gold band may require more upkeep in order to keep it looking like new. Luckily, our free warranty that comes with every ring offers a lifetime of free polishes!

Ring Metal Types

*Gold rings can undergo minor resizing. Rings with inlay materials may need to have the inlay removed and replaced after the resizing process. If you choose the free ring sizing kit then the resize and inlay replacement will not be any cost to you. If you do not choose the free ring sizing kit there will be a fee for the resize as well as for the replacement of inlay materials. For this reason, we highly recommend choosing the "free ring sizing kit" when purchasing a ring and we'll send sizers for you to wear and try out for a while so you can decide on your perfect size.

Ceramic

While ceramic is not a metal type, we do offer it as an option for some rings and it is worth mentioning! Don't be fooled by the name ceramic! While you may be thinking of the fragility of ceramic porcelain, ceramic is actually a very durable choice for a ring! Our ceramic is actually titanium carbide - or titanium metal mixed with carbon atoms. It is a very hard material that is heat and scratch resistant. In addition, ceramic is not an actual metal and is not conductive of electricity, making it a good option for electricians or those looking for a non-conductive ring material.

  • Hypoallergenic
  • Very hard & scratch resistant
  • Two color options - black & white
  • Lightweight
  • Non-conductive

Ceramic Rings

Like tungsten, ceramic's hardness also makes it brittle. Hard blows or drops can cause the ring to shatter. The hardness of ceramic means it doesn't bend or give like a metal like gold would, and instead the metal fractures. We do not replace rings that have structural damage for free, however if you have our Extended Lifetime Warranty we do offer 20% off a new ring in the case of permanent structural damage to your ring.

Ceramic is another material that cannot be resized. If the incorrect size is ordered the ring will have to be remade completely. Not sure of your size? Choose "free ring sizing kit" when purchasing the ring and we'll send sizers for you to wear and try out for a while to decide on your perfect size. Please also keep in mind that our tungsten and ceramic rings are comfort fit and sizing will differ from our other metal rings that are standard fit. If you choose the free ring sizing kit at checkout on a ceramic or tungsten ring we will send a special comfort fit sizing kit to help you make sure you order the correct size. In addition, with the purchase of our extended warranty you can contact us at any point to receive a free resize on your ring as long as you opted to use our free ring sizer at the time of purchase! If you did not use the free ring sizer option but purchased our extended lifetime-limited warranty, you can still receive 60% OFF a new ring in the size needed in exchange for the original ring.

Metal Finishes

 Wedding Band Metal Finishes

In addition to the various metal types we offer for custom rings, we also offer many custom finish options and engravings! Finishes help add texture, shine, and a more unique look while engravings allow for personalization. Here are some of the finishes we currently offer:

  • Brushed
  • Hammered
  • Faceted
  • Distressed
  • Sandblasted
  • Woodgrain
  • Seascaped
  • Crosshatched
  • Knurled

You can add an extra finish to a ring design by purchasing the extra finish option here.

The possibilities are endless when it comes to engravings on rings! We have done numerous engravings including Celtic knots, tattoo designs, coordinates, mountains, waves, text, and much more! You can even send in your own images to be laser engraved on your ring!* 

 Celtic Knot Engraved Wedding Band

*Not all images are able to be engraved. Outlines and simple designs are best. If you are wondering if a design is eligible to be engraved reach out to us through email at info@stagheaddesigns.com. Adding an engraving to a ring does result in an extra charge which can be purchased here

A Brief Summary of Metal Options

  • Titanium, black zirconium, and damascus steel are all pretty equal in durability
  • Silver is the softest metal so it is more prone to scratching and bending if hit very hard, while white gold has a very similar appearance to silver and is the more durable option of the two
  • Tungsten and ceramic are prone to shattering from hard drops and blows but are very hard and scratch resistant
  • Silver and gold can be used in more intricate custom designs
  • Silver and gold rings can be resized (usually up or down one size), however most of our other rings must be rebuilt from scratch if you order in the incorrect size

Keep in mind that all metals will scratch with normal wear and tear! There is no way to avoid scratches on your ring all together no matter the metal type. Our free lifetime-limited warranty that comes with every ring purchase offers unlimited polishes to remove surface scratches. 

Be sure to read through our care guidelines for rings to make sure you are keeping your ring and hands safe. We include a free silicone ring with each ring purchase that can be worn as a replacement to your wedding ring while participating in activities that pose a risk to your ring. Not following proper care guidelines could result in a severely damaged ring. If a ring is damaged to the point that there is structural damage that cannot be repaired we will not replace the ring for free, however if you have our Extended Lifetime Warranty we do offer 20% off a new ring. Read more about our warranty options and ring policies here

While gold and silver used to be the only options for wedding rings, today there are a plethora of fantastic alternative metal options that apply to a wide variety of price ranges and styles. Add a finish and/or custom engraving for an extra personal touch or choose from our massive selection of inlay and lining materials. Whatever your needs, budget, and preferences are, we are sure to have a custom ring you'll love! If you still have questions regarding metal types or would like to submit a design inquiry, you can reach out to us by clicking here.

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