Men's Tantalum Rings: Pros and Cons
Tantalum, a silvery gray element nestled between tungsten, hafnium and niobium on the periodic table, might just be one of the most important metals of the 21st century. It was named for Greek God Zeus’ son Tantalus, who, as a punishment, was forced to stand in a pool of water for all eternity above which a bunch of mouth-watering fruit hung just out of reach. While that might sound like the opposite of fun, the metal itself is pretty aptly named because it can be submerged in water and many other substances without corroding. In fact, it’s so strong that it can be used in bridges, water tanks and other exposed structures.
First discovered in 1802, tantalum is rare and beautiful, shiny and dense. It has a high melting point and is extremely resistant to heat and wear. While it may be better known for its use in electronics, it’s quickly becoming a popular alternative metal for men’s rings. Men often prefer rings, and especially wedding bands, that have a unique look and a durable design, and tantalum is perfect for this.
While tantalum has been recognized for its myriad uses the past couple of centuries, it’s only just now enjoying a surge of popularity in the jewelry industry. The recognition is timely: Tantalum is a chic, sleek metal with a sexy, strong, industrial look that appeals to the hipster geek in all of us. It’s darker than platinum in color but just as strong and has a futuristic feel that is both fashion-forward and timeless. Even its name, tantalum, feels fresh and new. What’s not to love?
Pros and Cons of Tantalum
Choosing a wedding ring is a pretty big decision as it’s a choice you'll be living with the rest of your life. This means taking time to weigh the pros and cons of your different material options. Most tantalum is mined in either Australia or South America and is naturally gray or pewter in color but can also have a hint of blue. It’s often found alongside niobium, uranium and thorium, and is considered precious and finite. Some experts even believe that primary sources will be drained in just a few decades, making it a truly rare resource. The demand for and value of tantalum is bound to dramatically increase as a result.
Somewhat darker than platinum and with a natural luster, tantalum’s rich, masculine color is extraordinarily appealing. It can be polished for a smoother, brighter luster or treated to achieve a matte finish, which brings out the beautiful colors and the sleek, stylish texture of the metal. If you’re looking for an eye-catching statement piece, tantalum rose gold rings are a great choice.
Few metals are as durable as tantalum. Tantalum is shatterproof and highly resistant to scratching and breakage, making it perfect for people with active lifestyles and busy hands. If your ring does get a scratch, it can easily be polished out, leaving nothing but a smooth, glossy finish behind.
Wedding rings are typically worn at all times. This means comfort is a top priority, especially for active men. Tantalum doesn’t conduct heat, react to other metals, and won’t dissolve if it comes into contact with corrosive materials. It’s safe, comfortable and designed to last.
Price isn’t always the number one consideration when it comes to buying a wedding ring but, for many, it can be. The price of tantalum reflects its scarcity, but it’s more affordable than platinum, and price wise, it sits midway between precious and industrial metals. It’s a great option for those who want a beautiful ring but don’t want to break their budget.
No special care is needed to maintain a tantalum wedding band or ring. When necessary, you can clean it with mild soap and water to remove any debris. Store it in a pouch or box when it’s not being worn to keep it safe and free of scratches or nicks.
Tantalum is used in many medical applications because it’s biocompatible and hypoallergenic. As jewelry, it won’t irritate skin, exacerbate skin conditions, or trigger any allergic reactions.
Tantalum is even easy to customize with beautiful inlays, edging, textured or hammered finishes and fibers so that you can get the exact look you want.
Some ring materials such as titanium and tungsten can be difficult to resize. Tantalum, like gold, is highly malleable and can be resized as needed. It can even be cut in an emergency.
There are relatively few negatives to tantalum as a material for wedding bands. Among the current minuses are occasional sourcing issues and a lack of design variety.
Potential Ethical Issues
Many buyers want to know that their rings are ethically and sustainably sourced. Some tantalum is mined in high-conflict regions, but most of it comes from Australia and South America, which is conflict-free.
Most tantalum jewelry available today consists of men’s rings and wedding bands. There aren't as many options for women, however. As the metal becomes more popular, more designs will surely become available.
Tantalum is easy to get used to. It’s so light on the finger it can feel like you’re wearing nothing at all. Plus, chances are you already sport some tantalum. It’s the same metal you’re likely carrying around in your phone, laptop and other personal devices. Tantalum is a seriously futuristic metal and, with Jordan Jack, it’s one you could be wearing on your ring finger within a few days.
Whether you work with your hands or in an office, you’ll find a tantalum wedding ring virtually indestructible. It will hold up to some of the toughest conditions. And although it resists scratches and damage, any scuffs it does get will buff out quite easily. Water and chemicals stand no chance against tantalum and a tantalum ring won’t expand or cause finger discomfort when exposed to the heat. If you gain or lose a few pounds, your brushed tantalum ring can also easily be resized.
Jordan Jack’s Promise to You
At Jordan Jack, we make it easy to get the exact ring you want without any of the run-around you don’t. By taking advantage of our Home Try On program, you can even take your top five rings for a test drive. We’ll send them right to you. You’ll have three days to try your rings on and for fit and feel before deciding on one. Learn more about our Home Try On program here.