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History of Tungsten Carbide Wedding Bands

Updated on January 13, 2013

Ancient rings look nice

Tungsten Carbide Wedding Bands: Roots and Origin of the Scratchless Jewelry on Earth

Origin of Tungsten (Volfram): first isolated as a metal in 1783

Tungsten, also known as wolfram, is a chemical element. The word tungsten comes from the Swedish language tungsten directly translatable to heavy stone, though the name is wolfram in Swedish to distinguish it from Scheelite, in Swedish alternatively named tungsten. A hard, rare metal under standard conditions when uncombined, tungsten is found naturally on Earth only in chemical compounds. It was identified as a new element in 1781, and first isolated as a metal in 1783. Its important ores include wolframite and scheelite. The free element is remarkable for its robustness, especially the fact that it has the highest melting point of all the non-alloyed metals and the second highest of all the elements after carbon. Also remarkable is its high density of 19.3 times that of water, comparable to that of uranium and gold, and much higher (about 1.7 times) than that of lead.

History of Tungsten

In 1783,Joséand Fausto Elhuyar Found an acid made from wolframite that was identical to tungstic acid. Later that year, in Spain, the brothers succeeded in isolating tungsten by reduction of this acid with charcoal, and they are credited with the discovery of the element.

Physical properties of Tungsten

In tungsten's raw form, it is a hard steel-graymetalthat is oftenbrittleand hard towork. If made very pure, tungsten retains its hardness (which exceeds that of many steels), and becomesmalleableenough that it can be worked easily.

Of all metals in pure form, tungsten has the highestmelting point(3,422 °C, 6,192 °F), lowestvapor pressure(at temperatures above 1,650 °C, 3,000 °F) and the highesttensile strength.

Where Tungsten comes from

China produced 51,000tonnes of tungsten concentrate in 2009, which was 83% of the world output. In the prelude toWWII China's production of tungsten played a role as China could use this leverage to demand material assistance from the US government.Most of the remaining production originated from

1. China (51,000 t)

2. Russia (2,500 t)

3. Canada (1,964 t)

4. Bolivia (1,023 t)

5. Austria (900 t)

6. Portugal (900 t)

7. Thailand (600 t)

8. Brazil (500 t)

9. Peru (500 t) and

10. Rwanda (500 t).


Carbon (from Latin: carbon "coal") is the chemical element with symbol C. It is nonmetallic. Carbon is one of the few elements known since antiquity. The three relatively well-known allotropes of carbon are amorphous carbon,graphite, and diamond.

At atmospheric pressure it has no melting point as its triple point is at 10.8 ± 0.2 MPa and 4,600 ± 300 K (~4,330 °C or 7,820 °F),so it sublimes at about 3,900 K. Carbon sublimes in a carbon arc which has a temperature of about 5,800 K (5,530 °C; 9,980 °F). Thus, irrespective of its allotropic form, carbon remains solid at higher temperatures than the highest melting point metals such as tungsten. At very high pressures carbon forms the more compact allotrope diamond, having nearly twice the density of graphite.

Known producers of Tungsten Jewelry: Sea of Diamonds,, Titanium Kay, JewelryVortex, Goldenmine, FineJewelers, JewelBasket, Sun Jewelry

Traditional metals Vs. jewelry of the 21st century

Application of Tungsten Carbide in Jewelry

Tungsten carbide, also called cemented carbide, has become a popular material in the bridal jewelry industry due to its extreme hardness and high resistance to scratching. Unfortunately, this extreme hardness also means that it is very prone to shattering. Tungsten is extremely hard and dense. Combined with carbon and other elements, it becomes tungsten carbide, which registers between 8.9 - 9.1 on the Mohs hardness scale. It's roughly 10 times harder than 18k gold and four times harder than titanium and is equal to a natural sapphire's hardness. In addition to its design and high polish, part of its attraction to consumers is its technical nature.

Toxicity in alloys with Cobalt

The primary health risks associated with carbide relate to inhalation of dust, leading tofibrosis.Cobalt–Tungsten Carbide is also reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogenby the National Toxicology Program.

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Application of Tungsten Carbide in Sports

Bicycling. Some tire manufacturers offer bicycle tires with tungsten carbide studs for better traction on ice. These are generally preferred to steel studs because of their superior resistance to wear.

Horse racing. Tungsten carbide may be used in farriery, the shoeing of horses, to improve traction on slippery surfaces such as roads or ice. Carbide-tipped hoof nails may be used to attach the shoes, or alternatively borium, tungsten carbide in a matrix of softer metal, may be welded to small areas of the underside of the shoe before fitting.

Snowmobiles. Sharpened carbide tipped spikes (known as studs) can be inserted into the drive tracks of snowmobiles. These studs enhance traction on icy surfaces. Longer v-shaped segments fit into grooved rods called wear rods under each snowmobile ski. The relatively sharp carbide edges enhance steering on harder icy surfaces. The carbide tips and segments reduce wear

Surgical instruments

It is also used for making surgical instruments meant for open surgery (scissors, forceps, hemostats, blade-handles, etc.) and laparoscopic surgery (graspers, scissors/cutter, needle holder, cautery, etc.). They are much costlier than their stainless-steel counterparts and require delicate handling, but give better performance.

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    • JoBlack11 profile image

      JoBlack11 4 years ago

      That is true. Mine is also worn up.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      great to know so much about tungsten ring. Next time when my gold ring is worn out and bend, i will change it to tungsten ring. I prefer durable and non-bend type. Gold ring bends easily and the crafts on the ring are fading. What a dismay! Voted up

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