Shopping for titanium rings can be a tricky affair as, unlike with gold, silver or platinum jewelry, there are no benchmarks. Titanium rings are relatively new to the market and it can be difficult to find information that will enable you to judge the quality or value, or even whether the ring is genuine titanium.
Some tips to bear in mind when out looking for a new titanium ring include: do not worry about the percentage titanium, unless of course it is low. If a store tries to spin you a line about the ring being more than 99% pure titanium, and try to charge you a higher price for it on that basis, then let them know that any decent titanium ring is greater than 99% purity; if it is any lower, you might want to be concerned about what other cheap metal is being used as bulk.
Similarly, if you are offered expensive coatings – the kind you might expect for example with white gold – then ask why. Titanium rings are essentially non-reactive and don’t need any coatings. If you feel you are being coerced into having one, it may be because the store wants to make an extra buck for itself, or, even worse, because the ring is not titanium, but something cheaper like steel. If you decide that you want a strong titanium ring, but want it to look like gold, then feel free to get a coating for cosmetic reasons – remember though that the coating is not indestructible, and may need re-doing from time to time.
Titanium is an incredibly strong but lightweight metal, and this can also help you reach a conclusion about whether a titanium ring is genuine or not. Stainless steel and gold rings will be heavier than the same sized titanium rings. Of course, if a shop tries to sell you a white gold ring for the price of a cheaper titanium one, then they are fools! If you spot their mistake, let honesty prevail. But if they are trying to palm you off with a steel ring, it is worth knowing that titanium is only very weakly magnetic, whereas steel is extremely easy to pick up with a magnet. Don’t be shy; it’s your money. Take a little bar magnet with you!
There will be various colors available to you. Some titanium rings are silvery white, and others are very dark. This does not offer any information about purity, quality or value however. Just pick a shade of grey or blue or black that you like, and try it out for size.
Talking about sizes, titanium rings are tricky when it comes to sizes and settings. The metal is extremely tough, so a ring made from it cannot be sized up or down. The designs and settings can also be fairly limited because of the hardness of titanium. Of course, if you want a simple ring design, and want to wear it pretty much anywhere – even when playing sports or swimming – then this aspect becomes a benefit. Unlike most other metals used in jewelry, titanium will not bend or warp or chip when subjected to a knock or bump; and it will not tarnish in any way when exposed to treated water in a swimming pool. This often makes titanium rings a favorite among men!
Importantly, the tough characteristics of titanium can have serious repercussions in emergencies, especially those where you might have an accident and get you finger caught for example in machinery at work. Usually, it is a trivial matter to free the finger by cutting through the ring. With a titanium ring, this process is far more difficult, so always be aware of the risks of wearing any kind of jewelry in your place of work, and be safe!
On the positive side, titanium rings will last a very long time, so it is worth getting a masterpiece and paying a little more for one, especially if you can get a one-off or bespoke design done through your local jeweler – then you’ll know you have a one of a kind!