Tungsten Wedding Bands, Keep The Cash in Your Wallet
2011 has not been an easy year for anyone, with rising prices from fuel to food, most of us would concur that jewelry is a luxury of the past, especially for us of the working class. That being said, we still fall in love, we still want to have that special day and give a token of our affection to the love of our life. We have anniversaries that we want to remember and celebrate without feeling that we are missing out on being able to express ourselves with a gift the way we would have done 10 or perhaps even 5 years ago. However, the inevitable truth is that times have changed the way we celebrate and commemorate our most special moments. That is not all bad, it has prompted us to reflect on what is really important, not just the things we buy for our loved ones, but on our loved ones themselves.
The rising cost of a wedding today is staggering, a recent survey found on theknot.com polled some 10,000 brides and 1,000 grooms who were either married or engaged in the past year. The results reported that the average cost (not just the more expensive of tastes, but the average) of an engagement ring was $5,200. The average cost of the wedding band was $1,126 for her and $491 for him. And the most popular metal of choice among those preparing for their walk down the aisle, was white gold. Wow! That's quite an amount to be spent when a new couple is looking to secure a future together, and no doubt adds to the stress of planning their special day, especially since most couples are paying for their own ceremonies and receptions these days, without the help of mom and dad.
A Happy Solution
According to that same survey, a growing number of grooms had apparently found a solution to the expense of purchasing a white gold wedding band. 27% of the grooms surveyed had opted for a mans tungsten wedding band instead of white gold. I wanted to see how these averages fared with actual retailers, so in speaking with Ron Yates, CEO of Titanium-Jewelry.com, a leading online retailer of contemporary metals, he confirmed the findings, stating that grooms choosing tungsten was up by 8% from 2008. He commented further by saying that selection was important to the consumer, "We have found that more and more couples are choosing mixed metals wedding bands. Our best sellers are tungsten rings that are combined with gold or silver. The Tullamore tungsten ring by J.R. YATES with two sterling silver braids and the collection of tungsten rings with Rose gold by Heavy Stone Rings have been popular."
Grooms have not wanted to feel like they were making light or skimping on the significance of their wedding ring. As a result many still want the designer name, even if choosing a less expensive metal. For this reason, quite a few high end jewelry designers have been adding more and more men's tungsten wedding bands to their selection. One name that stands out in aiming to meet this demand is Benchmark. To show you the kind of value and savings that choosing tungsten carbide over white gold can give you, I recently compared 2 wedding bands of similar style, both from Benchmark. The price of the men's 7mm Benchmark wedding band in white gold was $1,549 while the 7mm Tungsten Carbide band also from Benchmark was a mere $199. That makes a world of difference when you are looking for style and still hope to afford the honeymoon. But such a price difference is to be expected, given the price of gold still hangs steadily at an average of $1,660 per ounce and has a projected increase to possibly $2,275 per ounce in 2012.
Will I Be Satisfied With Tungsten Carbides Quality?
Looking at the figures, quite obviously, there is no question of tungsten's affordability in comparison to that of white gold. The saving of money however is not the only concern prospective brides and grooms have in choosing a wedding band. Having a high quality band with beautiful appearance is just as important. No one wants to feel that they settled simply for what was the cheapest, because there was no alternative. That is the beauty and advantage of tungsten. It is durable and beautiful. Tungsten when used as a metal in jewelry making, is polished to a mirror like finish and will maintain that finish for the life of the piece. It is virtually scratch resistant, (which does not mean it is impossible to scratch, anything is possible if your setting out to intentionally scratch the metal) and is durable enough to be worn daily by a man who makes a living working with his hands. Gold though valuable is soft. Tungsten Carbide is 10 times harder than 18K gold, a desirable attribute when your dealing with an investment in quality, like jewelry. To illustrate, we are all aware that diamonds have a reputation as the hardest of stones, it measures in at a 10 on the Mohs hardness scale. Tungsten Carbide measures in between a 7-8 by the same scale, 5 times harder than that of Titanium.
Designers becoming aware of the public interest in choosing tungsten wedding bands instead of more traditional precious metals have made a wider selection available. This is not only out of concern for the consumer, it doesn’t take long to figure out, if they don't give people what they want, the people will find someone else who will. This is a definitely an advantage for those planning a wedding on a budget or who simply wish to choose more carefully where they spend their hard earned money. Shop around and view the selection whether it be a solid men's tungsten wedding band or one interlaced with gold for a distinct contrast. Designers have been working feverishly to create a variety of settings that will bring you back into the purchasing arena. Try to relax a little and enjoy your shopping experience. Take your time and choose a band that will leave you satisfied with your selection and still preserve your peace of mind that you did not have to break the bank to do it.