Titanium is a natural, metallic chemical element found in mineral deposits. It was named in the late 1700s for the Titans, the giants of Greek mythology and is very strong and lustrous and resists corrosion. In recent years, titanium has been used increasingly in jewelry designs, and titanium rings for weddings and engagements offer a unique and elegant alternative to traditional styles.
In addition to being durable, titanium is lightweight, heat and wear-resistant and rust and tarnish-proof. And it's "neutral" to human contact, meaning that it is 100% hypo-allergenic and doesn't cause skin irritation or discoloration - so people with sensitive skin or skin allergies can wear titanium rings without any problems. (Titanium is so neutral to the human body that it's often used in surgical implants.)
The metal in a titanium ring can have a textured or matte finish or it can be polished and shiny. Titanium rings can be designed in a variety of styles, from simple to elaborate. However, titanium cannot be soldered, so prong-style settings to hold gemstones cannot be made in titanium rings and titanium rings cannot be resized.
The natural color of titanium is silvery gray, darker and deeper than silver or white gold. When combined or alloyed with other metals, titanium's color becomes deeper, nearly black. Black titanium is the most common choice in titanium rings, but the color of titanium can also be changed to red, yellow, green, blue or purple. Different metals or colors can by inlayed in black titanium rings to create intriguing contrast layers.
A black titanium ring makes a sophisticated and striking statement on its own and also works very well with the addition of gemstones. Titanium rings set with diamonds are impressive and eye-catching, and semi-precious stones or colored diamonds can also be used to produce attractive combinations in titanium rings.
Titanium rings - what to look for:
When shopping for titanium rings, make sure to get authentication that the ring is made of genuine black titanium (as opposed to another metal that just has a black chemical covering). It's also important when looking at titanium rings that aircraft grade titanium is being used. Basic grade titanium will wear in much the same way as regular 14K gold, but titanium rings made of aircraft grade titanium - used in space capsules and supersonic airliners - will last indefinitely without breaking, bending or losing any detailing. However, a titanium ring can get surface scratches and become a bit scuffed over time. This can be fixed by bringing the titanium ring to a jeweler to be re-finished.
A popular myth about titanium rings is that the metal is so strong and hard it is impossible to cut a titanium ring off someone's finger in an emergency. This is not true. A titanium ring can be cut with jewelry ring cutters or a professional cut-off wheel. Even the strongest titanium alloys can be cut with the proper equipment. Many hospital emergency facilities have the necessary tools for removing titanium rings. Bolt cutters should not be used to remove a titanium ring, as these could seriously damage the finger and/or crush the ring.