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There’s a lot to love about classic gold wedding bands and so many good things to say about silver or platinum. However, if you’re looking for something unique, affordable, and oh-so-cool, you may want to consider tantalum wedding bands.
What Is a Tantalum Wedding Band?
“Tantalum is a blueish-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 medical devices and electronics.”
Tantalum has been rising in popularity over the past few years. “The first draw to a tantalum ring is the deep gray-blue color that is a natural property to the metal,” says Elizabeth Campbell, fine jewelry buyer at Robbins Brothers. “Through different textures, the gray can show up in many shades from a polished light gray to a dark gunmetal.”
Meet the Expert
Aside from the rich color, there are many other reasons to buy this style of ring. Ready to know more? Read on to learn about the pros and cons of these wedding bands and how to care for one.
Pros and Cons of Tantalum Wedding Bands
Tantalum is a versatile metal that can be molded into a variety of different hues, from dark and matte to shiny and classic. “Tantalum is an excellent option for those who want a uniquely colored and durable wedding band. It can be finished to a high shine or have added textures,” Brantner shares.
Have a sensitivity to certain metals? No problem, as tantalum is hypoallergenic unlike most metals used to make wedding bands. The material is also quite affordable, making it a smart choice for any couple on a budget, with most rings falling within the $400-500 price point.
However, there is one drawback when opting to wear this wedding band. These styles are typically bulky and don't necessarily come in smaller, delicate designs.
What to Look for in a Tantalum Wedding Band
- Are tantalum bands a good alternative to titanium bands? Though it bears a passing resemblance to titanium, Brantner says the two metals differ in a couple of ways. “Tantalum has a more noticeable ‘heft’ and richer coloring than titanium," shares the gemologist.
- Are tantalum bands durable? The short answer is yes. According to Campbell, tantalum rings are high on the Mohs Hardness Scale. And though they may show signs of " life’s knicks and scratches," the bands "can always be polished back to the original texture," notes the jewelry buyer.
How to Care for a Tantalum Wedding Band
Not only is the slate gray color unique, but the metal also is 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 pick for you. They are also easy to care for, and only require water and mild soap to be cleaned.
Ahead, check out some of our favorite tantalum wedding bands at a variety of price points—from classic light gray bands to embossed black rings with woodgrain and hammered designs.