Wedding rings are expensive and no one wants to pay for a wedding ring that will break or shatter.
So what kinds of wedding rings stay together, and what kind fall apart under the slightest amount of pressure?
Wedding bands made from tungsten or ceramics are much more likely to break than gold wedding bands. While these options are more scratch-resistant than gold, it also means that they’re harder. When pressure is applied, they shatter instead of bending like gold does.
But what’s the best material to use?
And can you still get a somewhat affordable set of wedding bands without worrying that they’re going to snap in half?
Let’s talk about it below!
“Stronger” Materials that Break
Tungsten and ceramics are strong metals that are popular in the wedding industry nowadays.
After all, a tungsten ring is going to cost a lot less than a gold wedding band.
And, unfortunately, that’s the case for a reason.
Tungsten wedding bands are the strongest wedding bands out there–which is both a blessing and a curse.
Tungsten on its own is only a 7.5 on Moh’s hardness scale, but when carbon is added, it can be bumped up to a 9 on the scale.
That’s right behind diamonds, which rank at 10.
Diamonds are the hardest material out there, and tungsten carbide (tungsten with added carbon) comes right behind them.
This means that it is nearly impossible to scratch up a tungsten wedding band.
But it also means that, like diamonds, tungsten is more vulnerable to breakage.
It won’t scratch, but if it’s hit with a lot of force at once, it’s too high on Moh’s hardness scale to bend. So it will just shatter instead.
Ceramic is the material right behind tungsten on Moh’s hardness scale.
Ceramic ranks around an 8 on the scale, and so it is almost as scratch-resistant, but also almost as easy to shatter.
If they’re dropped, they might not shatter right away, but they will likely chip and crack.
Ceramic and tungsten rings cost around a hundred dollars a piece.
And while that might save you up to four hundred dollars (or more) by avoiding gold rings, it might not be worth it.
If you have to repurchase wedding bands over and over again because they keep shattering, then there’s no point to getting it in the first place.
Cheap & Durable Wedding Bands that do not Shatter
While tungsten and ceramics can’t be trusted not to shatter, there are plenty of other materials that will stay scratch-resistant and durable for years to come.
While these options are extremely difficult to resize, most of the simple options only cost around a hundred dollars.
If you want a wedding band that looks just like white gold or platinum (without taking out a loan in the bank), cobalt chrome is for you.
This material ranks just lower than an 8 on Moh’s hardness scale, so it is extremely resistant to scratches, but it also never cracks, chips, or shatters.
This material doesn’t cause allergic reactions (like gold can) and it is much cheaper than buying a platinum wedding band.
This metal is more lightweight than silver and gold, and it’s just as shiny.
Titanium also works well with inlays, so you can add any inlay you’d like.
It’s not completely scratch-resistant, and if you want a more intricate design, you’ll have to pay more than a hundred dollars since titanium is a hard metal to work with (it ranks a 6 on Moh’s scale).
Like most of the other options, stainless steel is extremely durable but extremely hard to resize due to the metal hardness (a 5 on Moh’s scale).
Stainless steel wedding bands can come in black, and the best part is, the only maintenance they require is a quick scrub every once in a while–and you only need soap and water.
Silver isn’t the most durable option when it comes to wedding bands. But it is definitely the cheapest.
Engagement rings and wedding bands alike can be made out of this material, and they’re all extremely affordable–some options coming out to only ten bucks.
Ten dollars for a wedding band!
Most “cheap” wedding bands are around 100 dollars, and sterling silver is only a tenth of that price. It’s a steal.
Sterling silver is also more durable than gold and its incredibly lightweight.
A ten-dollar ring can last up to thirty years.
It’s surprising that most wedding rings aren’t made out of sterling silver nowadays.
Sure, you can’t say that it’s made of gold, but who cares?
Only a professional jeweler will really be able to tell the difference between sterling silver and white gold.
Gold & Platinum
Gold is the most common material used in wedding bands, but it’s also the weakest metal on Moh’s hardness scale.
It ranks at a 2.5, which is approximately the same hardness as a fingernail.
Gold is pretty, sure, but it requires more maintenance than all the other materials on this list (aside from platinum, which is about the same).
“Cheap” gold wedding bands are around five hundred dollars.
Some people are allergic to gold, but they don’t know it until after they’ve been wearing their wedding bands for a week, and it’s too late to return them.
The best part of gold rings is the fact that they are tougher than they look.
Platinum is another option, and it’s actually harder than Sterling Silver.
It ranks a 4 on Moh’s hardness scale, while silver only ranks a measly 3.
And while it is durable and gorgeous, it is actually more rare than gold, so it’s even more expensive.
Maybe just get the engagement ring in gold or platinum, or buy sterling silver wedding bands.
No one will be able to tell, so it’s up to your own preference and budget.
These rings fit in a category all their own.
If you’re really worried about wedding band maintenance, then you might want to skip over the whole metal thing and get a thirty-dollar silicone wedding band.
Most people don’t buy these as their full-time wedding band.
Instead, silicone bands are usually used as substitute wedding bands while someone is working out or participating in extreme activities.
If you work out a lot or have a job with heavy labor, you can always buy one of these as a backup.
Then you don’t have to worry about chipping, scratching, bending, or shattering.
And you can always put your real wedding band back on once you’re done.