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Article: Zirconium vs tungsten rings: Key properties & differences

Zirconium vs tungsten rings: Key properties & differences

Zirconium vs tungsten rings: Key properties & differences

Both zirconium and tungsten are popular ring choices due to their bold style, affordability, and scratch-resistant properties. However, there are some key differences between the two metals that you should consider before making a decision about which ring to buy.

Zirconium vs tungsten rings chart

1. Appearance

Zirconium: Zirconium has a naturally silvery-white color, but it can be heat-treated to create a permanent black finish. This black zirconium is a popular choice for those who want a sleek and striking look. The main benefit of black zirconium rings is the black colour does not fade or discolour with time. Zirconium can also be combined with other materials such as precious metals or wood to create unique inlay ring designs, as shown here:


Tungsten: Tungsten is a naturally gray metal that is often polished to a high shine. Tungsten rings are also available in a variety of colors such as black, blue, and rose gold, but these colors are achieved through a coating that can scratch or wear off over time. 

2. Durability

Zirconium: Zirconium is very scratch-resistant, but it is not as hard as tungsten. It is also more brittle so it is more likely to chip or crack if it is hit with a hard object. However, for everyday usage, zirconium rings are more than durable enough to withstand knocks and scrapes.

Tungsten: Tungsten is one of the hardest metals on Earth, making it extremely scratch-resistant and virtually indestructible. However, its brittleness can also be a disadvantage, as it can shatter if it is hit with enough force. 


3. Weight

Tungsten: Due to its high density, tungsten rings weigh about 70-80% more than zirconium rings. Imagine holding a quarter in one hand and a nickel in the other - that's roughly the weight difference.

Zirconium: As a lighter metal, zirconium offers a comfortable and featherweight feel similar to titanium. It's about 60% lighter than steel, making it a popular choice for those who dislike wearing heavier rings.


4. Price

When it comes to price, zirconium rings are generally more expensive than tungsten rings - this is due to the rareness of the materials. However, several other factors can affect the cost of both zirconium and tungsten rings:

  • Design complexity: Intricate designs with stones or inlays will typically cost more.
  • Size and width: Wider bands tend to be more expensive.


5. Hypoallergenic properties

Zirconium: Zirconium rings are generally considered hypoallergenic. This means they are less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other types of metals commonly used in ring making such as nickel or silver.

Tungsten: Tungsten can cause skin irritation in some people. Tungsten carbide rings are generally considered hypoallergenic, however, there is a small possibility that a person with a nickel allergy may still experience an allergic reaction to tungsten carbide. This is because tungsten carbide contains nickel as a binding agent.

If in doubt, it is advised to conduct a patch test with a small piece of the ring material before making a purchase.


Zirconium rings or tungsten rings: Which is better?

Ultimately, the best choice for you will depend on your individual preferences and needs. If you are looking for a stylish and durable ring that is comfortable to wear, zirconium is a good option. If you are on a budget and want the most scratch-resistant ring possible, tungsten is a better choice. However, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid tungsten and choose zirconium instead.

For more advice about which ring to buy please contact us at or via our Live Chat service!