Tungsten Carbide Wedding Bands: So Tough, They’re Brittle

Jennifer got married a little over a year ago. Her marriage is still going strong, but the stunning tungsten carbide ring that she bought for her husband? Shattered when he dropped it on the floor. Wait…isn’t that supposed to be a modern material that’s not just black and shiny, but also tough and strong? Yes. But that strength actually makes the material brittle, and it can’t handle direct impacts…like being dropped on the floor.

Jennifer wrote to Consumerist:

I just wanted to send you my story as a warning to those who may be looking to purchase a wedding ring.

I gave my husband a tungsten wedding ring when we were married in June 2011. I purchased this ring because he liked the design and Jared’s website clearly says that it is, “prized for its strength and durability”. That made me feel confident with the purchase.

Then 2 days ago my husband dropped his ring on the floor and it broke into 2 large pieces and 1 small. We were shocked and called up Jared’s who said to bring it into one of their stores. When we did the guy said “oh yeah these break all the time” and said he could get us a replacement but couldn’t say how much it would cost, just that there’d be a “shipment fee”. Since we didn’t have much other choice and buying an entirely new ring would cost too much money, we decided to get a replacement sent to us.

I am really disappointed that Jared’s is selling these rings claiming they are strong and durable and then later admitting that they break. How long is this replacement going to last? How many times will it break in the next 5-10-20 years? How often will I have to pay Jared’s for this poorly crafted wedding ring?

Mr. Jennifer isn’t alone. One groom’s tungsten carbide ring shattered at his wedding reception when his hand hit the ground while he was dancing. Others have shattered when dropped on the floor, like Mr. Jennifer’s band. One jeweler made this instructional video to show customers why they shouldn’t drop their tungsten rings: