Understanding Contemporary Metals Used in Jewelry Making
Below, you'll find useful information & guidance on some popular Contemporary Metals (also referred to as "Alternate Metals")
... see more Tungsten options
Tungsten has been referred to as a "permanently polished" metal, always looking brand new. Made to last a lifetime, Tungsten jewelry is the natural choice for those who want a resilient metal that shows little signs of wear. Very brilliant due to its tough and enduring qualities, Tungsten is a heavy metal (very dense) and as a pure element, it is hypo-allergenic. Tungsten is typically combined with Carbon to create a more malleable substance (as opposed to its natural state of being brittle) that can be molded into the desired shape.
- Hypo-allergenic: Pure, high-quality jewelry-grade (not industrial-grade) tungsten, mixed with the proper proportion of nickel binder does not create adverse effects on the skin. A precise mixture of nickel combined with tungsten-carbide creates high-quality jewelry-grade tungsten jewelry which is 100% hypo-allergenic. Note of caution: Cheap tungsten jewelry (such as bands) available in the market can originate from industrial-grade tungsten which is okay to be used for industrial purposes (as the name implies), however, such low-grade tungsten is not suitable for fine jewelry due to the rather high risk of irritations it may cause to, especially people with sensitive skins.
- Forever polished (maintains shine without the need to be polished)
- Heat attractive
- Color diversity: Black, Silver-White, Classic Gray
- Due to their brittle nature, Tungsten rings cannot be resized
- Comfort: It is best to try a Tungsten ring on your finger to see how it feels
- Cleaning: Use warm water & mild soap - steam cleaner is fine - avoid harsh chemicals (alcohol is fine to remove stubborn stains) - avoid ultrasonic cleaning
- Care: Do not intentionally drop on a hard surface with force, or hammer, as the potential for cracking exists - your jeweler may polish any gold and silver inlays
... see more Titanium options
Titanium's durability, dent & corrosion resistance, strength, and light-weight nature make it a popular metal choice for jewelry. Its beautiful lustrous color combined with its versatile properties make it a superb choice for those with sensitive skin and who want a piece of jewelry that will endure. Titanium is hypo-allergenic and has the highest strength to weight ratio of any known element. It can be anodized to produce various colors of Titanium and can be engraved with personal sentiments.
- Hypo-allergenic: Pure Titanium contains no elements known to create adverse effects on the skin
- Scratches can be polished
- Lightweight, but very strong
- Color diversity: Silver-Grayish-White. Titanium is basically a white metal with a smoky charcoal grayish hue. Its natural color is darker and deeper than silver or white gold.
- Cleaning: Use warm water & mild soap - ultrasonic cleaning is fine as long as there are no contacts with other metals (float in the solution) and as long as there are no gemstones - ammonia (used in Windex) or jewelry cleaning solutions are both viable options for cleaning - do not scrub your titanium jewelry with abrasive material
... see more Cobalt options
Cobalt is a fairly newer bio-friendly material being used in the construction of alternative metal jewelry; it is lightweight and hypo-allergenic. Its platinum-look differentiates it from both tungsten and titanium. Cobalt is very scratch resistant and is more scratch-resistant than titanium, but not quite as hard as tungsten. Cobalt rings will not chip or crack. It can be engraved with personalized sentiments.
- Hypo-allergenic: Pure Cobalt contains no elements known to create adverse effects on the skin
- Scratches can be polished
- Will not chip or crack
- Heat resistant
- Very malleable metal (as opposed to a brittle metal) which makes it more “workable” where it can be made in many intricate styles
- Color diversity: Cobalt is a bright white alloy (similar to platinum)
- Cleaning: Use warm water & gentle soap - do not expose to harsh chemicals like chlorine
... see more Ceramic options
Ceramic is an inorganic, hypo-allergenic, non-metallic solid that is normally available in black, white, and pink. Ceramic is valued for its scratch, heat, and fade-resistant properties. Ceramic jewelry has a greater hardness than titanium, however, this doesn't mean that it will never exhibit wear & tear at some point and if dropped this ceramic material may crack due to force of impact.
- Hypo-allergenic: Pure Ceramic contains no elements known to create adverse effects on the skin
- Ceramic is an inorganic & non-metallic solid which is made up of either metal or non-metal compounds
- Ceramics are generally shaped into desired forms by taking mixtures of clay, rare earth elements, powders, and water. Once the ceramic has been shaped, it is fired in a high-temperature oven known as a kiln. Often, ceramics are covered in decorative, waterproof, paint-like substances known as glazes
- Forever polished
- Heat resistant (thermal insulator)
- Depending on their method of formation, ceramics can be dense or lightweight
- Excellent strength & hardness properties, however brittle
- Color diversity (decorative glazes): Black, White, Pink
- Cleaning: Use warm water & mild soap - alcohol can be used to remove tough stains - stream can be used for cleaning - avoid harsh chemicals (alcohol is ok) - avoid ultrasonic cleaning
- Care: Do not intentionally drop on a hard surface with force, or hammer, as the potential for cracking exists
Click here to see our Contemporary Metal Bands Quick Shop. This Quick Shop is an easy-to-shop-and-order store where you will find the most popular Contemporary Metals Wedding Band styles in various widths & sizes. To complete your personal look, most can be engraved and some can be customized with special finishes.
CONTEMPORARY METALS COMPARISON TABLE (for your handy reference)
BASE COLOR APPEARANCE
||Permanently polished or satin, most scratch-resistance of contemporary metals
||Heaviest contemporary metal and highly durable
||Polished or satin, has low scratch resistance
||Strong and light
||Polishes well, high scratch resistance
||Medium weight, bio-friendly, durable
||Permanently polished, very high scratch resistance
||Lightweight, colorfast, heat resistant