car·bide | ˈkär-ˌbīd
A compound of Carbon which has a more electropositive element
Carbide is a chemical term that refers to a compound of carbon and a metal. In the jewelry world, carbide is most commonly referenced when it comes to jewelry pieces made of Tungsten. While a popular metal, Tungsten is naturally quite soft, and not suitable for jewelry. To make this metal strong enough for everyday wear, jewelers combine Tungsten with carbon, cobalt, or nickel to create tungsten carbide. This compound makes tungsten jewelry - which is a popular choice in men’s wedding bands and fashion rings - a strong metal choice that is great for everyday wearing, and especially tough enough for jewelry wearers who frequently use their hands in work, especially in physically demanding careers. Tungsten carbide is unique, as carbide isn’t present in other jewelry metals such as gold or silver. Tungsten carbide is strong. In fact, jewelers say that a tungsten carbide alloy is 10 times stronger than gold and four times stronger than steel. With this type of strength, it’s easy to see how tungsten carbide is an attractive and much sought after metal for men’s rings.