Tantalum wedding rings: the complete guide
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There’s a lot to love about classic gold wedding rings and so many good things to say about silver or platinum. However, if you are looking for something unique, affordable and oh so cool, you might want to consider tantalum wedding rings.
What is a tantalum wedding band?
“Tantalum is a blue-gray alternative metal, [that] is corrosion resistant,” says Lorraine Brantner, gemologist and sales manager at James Allen. “It’s not only used for jewelry, but also for medical devices and electronics.”
Tantalum has grown in popularity over the past few years. “The first attraction of a tantalum ring is the deep gray-blue color which is a natural property of the metal,” says Elizabeth Campbell, fine jewelry buyer at Robbins Brothers. “Thanks to different textures, gray can appear in many shades ranging from a polished light gray to a dark bronze.”
Meet the expert
- Lorraine Brantner is a gemologist and sales manager at James Allen. Founded in 2006, James Allen is the world’s largest privately owned online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer.
- Elizabeth Campbell is a fine jewelry buyer for Robbins Brothers, a jewelry company specializing in engagement rings.
Besides the rich color, there are many other reasons to buy this style of ring. Ready to know more? Read on to learn more about the pros and cons of these wedding rings and how to take care of them.
Advantages and disadvantages of tantalum wedding rings
Tantalum is a versatile metal that can be cast in a variety of different shades, from dark and matte to shiny and classic. “Tantalum is a great option for those who want a unique and long-lasting color match. It can be finished with a high gloss or have added textures,” Brantner shares.
Are you sensitive to certain metals? No problem, because tantalum is hypoallergenic unlike most metals used to make wedding rings. The material is also quite affordable, making it a solid choice for any couple on a budget, with most rings falling in the $400-500 price range.
However, there is a downside when you choose to wear this wedding band. These styles are usually chunky and don’t necessarily come in smaller, delicate designs.
What to look for in a tantalum wedding ring
- Are tantalum rings a good alternative to titanium rings? Although it bears a passing resemblance to titanium, Brantner says the two metals differ in several ways. “Tantalum has a more visible ‘weight’ and richer coloration than titanium,” the gemologist shares.
- Are tantalum strips durable? The short answer is yes. According to Campbell, tantalum rings are high on the Mohs scale of hardness. And while they may show signs of “life sores,” the rings “can still be polished back to their original texture,” notes the jewelry shopper.
How to take care of a tantalum wedding ring
Not only is the slate gray color unique, but the metal is also strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear; so if you or your partner work with your hands, a tantalum band would be a great choice for you. They are also easy to maintain and only require mild soap and water to clean.
Check out some of our favorite tantalum wedding bands at various price points, from classic light gray wedding bands to black bands embossed with woodgrain and hammered designs.