When you think of traditional wedding and engagement rings, you probably immediately see "gold" as the standard metal used. However, times they are "a-changing", and gold is no longer the most popular metal used for wedding and engagement rings. Instead, the two most popular metal types are tungsten and titanium. From a purely aesthetic standpoint, the two metals actually look very similar. Many people will actually mistake one metal for the other, but it's important to note that they are actually very different from each other. These differences will make a difference when you select the metal type for your rings.
While they are certainly beautiful to look at, and are often chosen because of their appearance and their ability to add brilliance to diamond stones, another leading factor in their popularity is the fact that both metals are renowned for being very hard. Although both are much harder in comparison with other metals, tungsten is actually four times harder than titanium. Tungsten rings are also less prone to scratches. It stands to reason that because tungsten is four times harder and more scratch resistant, titanium rings are easier to engrave. In fact, titanium rings can be engraved using a variety of methods, whereas tungsten rings require a special engraving process. This is important to remember if you have to factor engraving into your budget. Engraving a tungsten ring will probably cost more because of its specialized process.
It is not recommended, or very easy, for either ring type to be resized. Titanium is somewhat easier, but is usually limited to stretching up to one ring size, and never sizing down. Tungsten carbide rings can not be resized at all. As most people lose or gain weight in their lifetime, it's illegally that you'll be able to wear a ring whose size will not change. You will probably want to purchase a tungsten or titanium ring from a shop that offers a lifetime guarantee to be on the safe side.
Tungsten rings have a permanent polish that does not get dull over its lifetime. This is not true of titanium. If aesthetics are your main concern, with less maintenance involved, tungsten might be the right choice for you. Titanium rings are also extremely light. While some may appreciate the sense of weightlessness that these rings cost you, this trait can also be your enemy. Many have lost their titanium rings and not noticed the fact initially because they do not sense a weight change on their finger. Both types of rings do not change color or corrode over time, and both are hypoallergenic. If you're in the market for a tough ring that's hypoallergenic, both provide a great solution for you.
The difference in price between titanium rings and tungsten rings mainly lies in the design of the ring. If the ring is ornate and intricate, the price will be raised, regardless of what type of metal you use. Either way, both metals provide a modern look, a tougher ring, and a helpful alternative to metals which cause allergies (ie gold).