If you’ve ever wondered, “What is tungsten?” you’ve come to the right place.
In this guide, we’ll explore everything you ever wanted to know about tungsten carbide, from what it is to why it’s worth considering in jewelry.
If you’re keen to find out more, keep reading!
After a head-turning ring? Check out some top pieces from the Blush & Bar jewelry collection below:
Joyce Layered Stack Ring
Charisse Vintage Ring
Midi Knuckle 2-Ring Set
What is tungsten?
Let’s start by answering your most burning question: What is tungsten?
Tungsten carbide is a rare type of refractory metal known for its extreme hardness and use in a range of products. Often referred to as tungsten, it’s a chemical element represented by the symbol “W” (for “wolfram,” tungsten’s other name) and the atomic number 74.
Tungsten carbide occurs naturally in various minerals, including scheelite, huebnerite, wolframite, and ferberite, which are collectively referred to as tungsten ores.
As mentioned, the property tungsten is most known for is its high hardness. However, it’s important to note that as pure tungsten is very soft, tungsten’s strength comes when it’s made into compounds.
Interestingly, pure tungsten can be made into a fine powder called tungsten powder. This powder is used to create strong and durable proprietary alloys, as well as other finished products.
Tungsten also boasts an incredibly high melting point of 6,192°F. This makes it the element with the highest melting point.
Some people mistake tungsten carbide for cemented carbide. However, they are not the same as they have several notable differences.
And in case you’re wondering what tungsten steel is, it’s defined as “any steel that has tungsten as its alloying element with characteristics derived mostly from the presence of this element.”
As you may already know, tungsten is used in all kinds of jewelry—particularly men’s wedding bands.
However, it’s more frequently used in a range of everyday and industrial items. It is often used in different types of steel to boost both their hardness and strength.
Perhaps the tungsten item you’re most familiar with is a tungsten light bulb. A tungsten light bulb is a light bulb that uses a tungsten wire filament. A tungsten filament is considered a useful type of metal filament in light bulbs due to its high melting point and strength.
Industrial machinery components, such as die-cast tooling
Many of the items listed above are used in military operations.
That’s because tungsten metal’s heat-resistant properties make it suitable for use at high temperatures. This makes it an ideal metal to use in heating elements for military equipment and tools, as well as other high-temperature applications.
The most popular alternative to a tungsten carbide ring is a titanium ring. They are very similar in terms of looks, hypoallergenic properties, high hardness level, and price.
If you are open to looking at other types of metal rings, why not browse some gold and sterling silver options?
Before you say the cost is off-putting, we have news for you!
At Blush & Bar, we offer a stunning range of affordably priced 18K yellow and rose gold vermeil rings, as well as 925 sterling silver rings. Our rings are lovingly designed and crafted and even come with a lifetime warranty. Take a look today!