There’s a lot to love about classic gold wedding bands and so many good things to say about silver or platinum. However, if you’re looking for something unique, affordable, and oh-so-cool, you may want to consider tantalum wedding bands.
What Is a Tantalum Wedding Band?
“Tantalum is a blueish-gray alternative metal, [that] is corrosion-resistant,” says Lorraine Brantner, gemologist and sales manager at James Allen. “It’s not only used for jewelry, but also medical devices and electronics.”
Tantalum has been rising in popularity over the past few years. “The first draw to a tantalum ring is the deep gray-blue color that is a natural property to the metal,” says Elizabeth Campbell, fine jewelry buyer at Robbins Brothers. “Through different textures, the gray can show up in many shades from a polished light gray to a dark gunmetal.”
Meet the Expert
- Lorraine Brantner is a gemologist and sales manager at James Allen. Founded in 2006, James Allen is the world's largest privately held online diamond and bridal jewelry retailer.
- Elizabeth Campbell is a fine jewelry buyer for Robbins Brothers, a jewelry company that specializes in engagement rings.
Aside from the rich color, there are many other reasons to buy this style of ring. Ready to know more? Read on to learn about the pros and cons of these wedding bands and how to care for one.
Pros and Cons of Tantalum Wedding Bands
Tantalum is a versatile metal that can be molded into a variety of different hues, from dark and matte to shiny and classic. “Tantalum is an excellent option for those who want a uniquely colored and durable wedding band. It can be finished to a high shine or have added textures,” Brantner shares.
Have a sensitivity to certain metals? No problem, as tantalum is hypoallergenic unlike most metals used to make wedding bands. The material is also quite affordable, making it a smart choice for any couple on a budget, with most rings falling within the $400-500 price point.
However, there is one drawback when opting to wear this wedding band. These styles are typically bulky and don't necessarily come in smaller, delicate designs.
What to Look for in a Tantalum Wedding Band
- Are tantalum bands a good alternative to titanium bands? Though it bears a passing resemblance to titanium, Brantner says the two metals differ in a couple of ways. “Tantalum has a more noticeable ‘heft’ and richer coloring than titanium," shares the gemologist.
- Are tantalum bands durable? The short answer is yes. According to Campbell, tantalum rings are high on the Mohs Hardness Scale. And though they may show signs of " life’s knicks and scratches," the bands "can always be polished back to the original texture," notes the jewelry buyer.
How to Care for a Tantalum Wedding Band
Not only is the slate gray color unique, but the metal also is strong enough to withstand daily wear and tear; so if you or your partner work with your hands, a tantalum band would be a great pick for you. They are also easy to care for, and only require water and mild soap to be cleaned.
Ahead, check out some of our favorite tantalum wedding bands at a variety of price points—from classic light gray bands to embossed black rings with woodgrain and hammered designs.
Blue Nile Satin Finished Band in Tantalum
This simple satin ring is the perfect pick for anyone who wants an understated, elegant tantalum wedding band.
Price at time of publish: $490
Blue Nile Satin Finished Black Diamond Band in Tantalum
Add some extra sparkle with a row of black diamonds, a la this satin-finished band from Blue Nile. It offers both the classic look of a simple standalone ring, plus the special touch of diamonds for your big day.
Price at time of publish: $1,290
Blue Nile Two-Tone Stone Finish Wedding Ring with 14K Yellow Gold
A pop of 14K yellow gold adds extra surprise and dimension to this simple tantalum band in a darker shade of gray.
Price at time of publish: $890
James Allen Tantalum Flat Surface Band
If you prefer a shinier finish, this flat surface band from James Allen is a great choice and will look even better with time.
Price at time of publish: $400
Macy’s Men’s Step Edge Band in Tantalum
For a lighter tone of tantalum, this elegant step edge band from Macy’s is a modern, classic choice.
Price at time of publish: $325
Zales Hammered Groove Step Edge Band in Tantalum
Add a bit of texture to your wedding band with this hammered style. It can be personalized on the inside for an additional unique touch.
Price at time of publish: $299
Zales Beveled Edge Wedding Band in Tantalum with Rose IP
Match your partner’s rose gold wedding set with this Zales stunner. When combined with tantalum, it’s both romantic and modern.
Price at time of publish: $399
Zales Multi-Finish Geometric Stepped Edge Comfort Fit Wedding Band in Tantalum with Black and Blue IP
If you’re looking for something that's a bit unexpected, this black and blue design from Zales has an art deco edge.
Price at time of publish: $449
New York Jewelers Tantalum Satin and Domed Ring
This 6mm band is the perfect fusion of satin and flat finishes. It would suit almost any style, and remain an heirloom piece long after you say "I do."
Shane Co. Classic Men’s Band in Tantalum and 14K Yellow Gold
This sophisticated ring is versatile enough to wear with a suit or a denim shirt. It features a mix of dark charcoal gray tantalum and warm yellow gold.
Price at time of publish: $795
Shane Co. Celtic Black Tantalum Ring
Show off your heritage with this Shane Co. black tantalum ring, embossed with a Celtic design of interlocking knots.
Price at time of publish: $595
Shane Co. Black Sapphire Men’s Tantalum Band
Cool and unexpected, the black sapphires on this band are a unique choice for your nuptials as they’re not commonly thought of as wedding day jewels.
Price at time of publish: $995
Shane Co. Black Tantalum Band
If you’re looking for a black band, look no further than this bold and affordable 8mm piece featuring a subtle brushed finish.
Price at time of publish: $445
Steven Jacob Damascus Steel Wedding Ring with Tantalum Liner
This bold band, with a woodgrain design, is made of Damascus steel but has a tantalum liner ring—adding dimension and depth to this piece of jewelry.
Price at time of publish: $1,139
STOBERI The Halford Minimalist Tantalum Ring
This minimal (but never boring) style absolutely glows when all shined up. However, you can also choose a brushed finish if that’s more your vibe.