What is Tungsten Carbide?

Tungsten carbide

Tungsten carbide is a chemical compound containing 50% tungsten and 50% carbon atoms.

Pure tungsten is difficult to work with, so is rarely used in its pure form. In Jewellery, it is always tungsten carbide that is used. 

Not too long ago, tungsten carbide was everywhere around us, lighting up our lives in the form of the good old incandescent lightbulb.

The filament that glows is made from tungsten carbide as it has the highest melting point of all the elements, melting at 6,192 °F / 3,422 °C, so is able to glow white-hot without melting, hence the light bulb.

In its most basic form, tungsten carbide is a fine gray powder that is pressed and formed into Jewellery through a process called sintering.

It is twice as dense and twice as hard as steel and 10 times harder than 18k gold. Due to its hardness, it is highly scratch resistant, so your new piece of Jewellery will look brand new for years to come.

Tungsten Carbide RingTungsten carbide rolls in at 9 - 9.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, with only diamond being higher, at 10, which means your tungsten ring had to be polished with a diamond or cubic boron nitrate polishing machine, as they are the only two elements capable of giving it a high shine.

Some other interesting applications for tungsten carbide are armor piercing shells, the tips on those three darts you regularly score "One-hundred-and-eighty" with and the ball in your ball point pen.

One other great thing about it, it will not oxidize or rust whatever climate you live in, as it is not affected by water.

The word tungsten is a Swedish word meaning heavy stone.

Note. We frequently shorten it to just 'tungsten' for space saving reasons in our product titles, but we always state it is made from tungsten carbide where we tell you what material a product is made from.

See our Tungsten Ring collection