Wedding Ring Metals and Materials

wedding ring metals

Wedding ring metals available today include classics like gold and silver to contemporary new-age materials like tungsten, chrome and titanium. Couples looking for durable and quality engagement rings and wedding bands to fit their budget, should take the time to look at the qualities of each band - and fortunately, our handy guide and comparison chart can help!

Take a glance at our metal comparison tables below, and click on the specific metal or material for additional detailed information such as pros and cons, best grades of metals for every day wear, additional characteristics, and most common types and styles used for wedding bands. And if you have any questions about the materials and metals used to create wedding rings and engagement rings, send in your questions through the comment box at the end of the page.

Fast Fun Facts About Wedding Ring Metals!

Tungsten weighs much more than titanium.

Palladium rings are more affordable than gold rings because palladium is so light in weight.

Platinum jewelry was once reserved for royalty only.

Most popular wedding ring metal of all times? Gold

Wedding Ring Metals and Materials Comparison Chart

The values presented are based on the alloys of the metals (or materials) most commonly used to make wedding rings.

All values are rated on a 1-10 scale, one is the lowest value and ten is the highest.

Durability Average Price Availability Hypoallergenic
Titanium 9.0 5.0 8.0 10.0
Gold 7.0 9.0 10.0 8.0
Platinum 8.0 10.0 10.0 10.0
Tungsten 10.0 7.0 4.0 9.0
Palladium 8.0 8.0 8.0 10.0
Silver 3.0 2.0 10.0 10.0
Stainless Steel 9.0 3.0 5.0 9.0
Wood 2.0 5.0 5.0 7.0

*The numbers provided above are based on averaged values. Many of the metals listed are also alloyed with other metals which can affect their characteristics. Click on the specific links to learn more.

Rings made of white gold - and sometimes silver and even platinum - are treated with rhodium plating. Click on the link to find out more about this treatment and what you can expect from a rhodium plate.

Comparing Specific Wedding Ring Metals

The tables here, compare specific types of metals used to create wedding rings - like palladium compared to platinum and how the different types of gold karats compare to one another. The HV values listed are a measurement of resistance to scratching. Metals with a higher HV value have a higher resistance to scratching. To see a summary of metals that can help you to choose the right metal for your rings, take a look at our 'Wedding Ring Materials in a Nutshell' material.

Comparing Platinum to Palladium

Density Price HV Value
Platinum 950/Ru 19.5 High 135
Palladium 950 11.8 Medium 110/120

Comparing HV Values of Yellow, White and Rose Gold

Rose/Pink Gold Yellow Gold White Gold

Comparing 18k Gold to Platinum and Palladium

Price HV Value Hypoallergenic
18K Yellow Gold Higher 155-195 Usually
18k White Gold High 225 *Depends
18k Rose Gold High 160/195 Usually
Platinum 950/Ru Highest 135 Yes
Palladium 950 Lowest 110/120 Yes

Wedding Ring Materials in a Nutshell

So what is the bottom line here?

If you are looking for wedding or engagement rings that have beautiful filigree work, and amazing styling, you'll need to stick with malleable metals like silver, gold, platinum and to some extent palladium. Unfortunately, the newer and extremely durable ring metals like tungsten, titanium, iridium and cobalt are too hard to take on details - that is why rings made with these materials are usually bands with very simple designs, and are typically sold as men's rings.

For couples with sensitive skin, hypoallergenic wedding rings include: titanium, platinum, palladium and silver. If you have sensitive skin, it is best to avoid rings that are plated because if the rings are made with a nickel alloy an allergic reaction could develop when the plate inevitably wears off.

What about affordable but durable wedding ring materials? The most affordable and durable wedding ring materials are tungsten, titanium, cobalt, stainless steel and 14k gold. Palladium too is exceptionally affordable, and is a terrific alternative to the more highly priced platinum, because it is a very, very light metal - this means less of the metal is used to make a ring.

The best metals for luxury wedding rings and engagement rings? Definitely platinum followed by 18k gold. Keep in mind that a higher karat of gold above 18k will result in a ring that is too soft to hold up to daily wear wedding and engagement rings.

For exceptionally durable wedding rings that can hold up to extremely heavy wear and tear, it is best to stick with the newer wedding ring metals including titanium, tungsten, cobalt and stainless steel. All of these metals offer a high degree of scratch resistance, and can hold up pretty well to heavy knocks and blows without denting. Keep in mind though, that some rings made with extra heavy duty rings cannot be resized - instead, retailers often offer a lifetime exchange warranty just in case at some point finger size changes.

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Iridium Wedding Bands and Rings 
Hi, As I understand, close to 100% iridium rings are only produced by American Elements since 2009. Are they still the only company producing close …

Rings for Really weird skin Not rated yet
Hi, I have really weird skin, it's eaten away at the sterling silver playing within a week. My grandmother has had similar problems so I assume I got her …

Weight of Wedding Ring Metals Not rated yet
Could you list the wedding ring metals from the lightest to the heaviest? Of course! Wedding ring metal weights will depend on the alloy or …

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