Ultimate Guide To Black Rings

December 01, 2017

Ultimate Guide To Black Rings

Black rings are a hot wedding ring trend and there are a variety of metals, alloys (mixed metals) and other materials and processes used to create them. For the most part, the many black ring material options are quite similar in appearance, but they are very different in many ways.

Important Facts About Black Metal Rings

If you or your partner are considering a black metal ring for a wedding band, it is very important to know some information that applies to all black rings.  

  • Black rings are not re-sizeable.
  • Broken black rings cannot be repaired.
  • Most black rings can’t be cut off in an emergency – they have to be smashed off.

How to Determine Your Best Black Metal Ring Option

If you’re ok with all of the above, read on to help determine the black ring choice that is the best fit for you. Everyone’s top option is going to vary greatly depending on what factors they consider most important. Considerations include:

Durability – What is its rank on the Mohs hardness scale? This is a measure of the resistance of a smooth surface to scratching or abrasion, expressed in terms of a 1-10 scale (10 being high resistance)?

Hypoallergenic Properties – Concerned about a metal allergy? Some black metal rings are hypoallergenic (are very unlikely to cause allergic reactions).

Availability – Are a variety of ring designs commonly found online or in stores?

Cost – We realize this can be subjective, but we’ve labeled each option to help give you a general idea of price compared to one another.

Popular Black Metal Ring Options

Below, you’ll find the run-down on the following seven popular black wedding ring options: Black Titanium, Black Stainless Steel, Black Ceramic, Black Zirconium, Black Tungsten, Black Gold and Solid Black Diamond.

Black Titanium Black Metal Rings

Black Titanium Rings

What is Black Titanium? Black Titanium is titanium coated with another substance to make it black (e.g. black rhodium). Similar to Black Gold, the plating is less durable than a solid metal or alloy and has a higher likelihood of chipping, which will result in the natural color of the titanium showing through.

Pros: Affordable.

Cons: Black coating is likely to chip over time, showing the natural color of the titanium below.

HYPO-ALLERGENIC

No (Rhodium)

MOHS RANK

6 (Rhodium)

AVAILABILITY

Common

COST

Low

Black Stainless Steel Rings

What is Black Stainless Steel? In most cases, to create the look of this black metal, regular stainless steel is anodized. Anodizing changes the surface of a metal through an electrochemical process without changing the composition of the metal.

Pros: Very affordable.

Cons: Low durability and scratch resistance.

Black Stainless Steel Black Metal Ring

HYPO-ALLERGENIC

No

MOHS RANK

6 (Stainless Steel)

AVAILABILITY

Common

COST

Very Low

Black Ceramic Black Metal Ring

Black Ceramic Rings

What is Black Ceramic? Jewelry grade black ceramic is an extremely hard, light weight, non-metallic material that has recently been used extensively in jewelry making. Its black color is NOT a coating.

Pros: Scratch resistant. Harder than all metals except solid Tungsten. Won’t corrode or tarnish in salt water or acid. Light weight.

Cons: Limited to use in simple ring designs. Not guaranteed to be shatter-proof if knocked on another harder or equally as hard surface.

HYPO-ALLERGENIC

Yes

MOHS RANK

7

AVAILABILITY

Common

COST

Medium

Black Zirconium Rings

What is Black Zirconium? Zirconium, not to be confused with zirconia, is a natural element that has the symbol Zr and the atomic number 40. In its original state, this metal is grayish-white and very similar to Titanium in that it is lightweight, is skin-friendly (no nickel), and is primarily used in nuclear reactors due to its high heat and corrosion resistance.

In jewelry applications, it is mixed with another metal (usually Hafnium) to create a more pliable, yet still very durable, alloy. After the ring is milled, it is then heated and the exposed portion of the metal oxidizes black, creating a black surface layer and what is aptly named Black Zirconium.

Pros: Extremely lightweight.

Cons: If the ring surface is scratched, the original white color will be exposed.

Black Zirconium Rings

HYPO-ALLERGENIC

YES

MOHS RANK

6 (Rhodium)

AVAILABILITY

Limited

COST

Medium

Black Tungsten Black Wedding Bands

Black Tungsten Rings

What is Black Tungsten? Black tungsten is made by shooting tiny particles of titanium zirconium alloy, which is black in color, at an extremely high velocity so that the particles embed themselves into the surface of the tungsten ring. This surface alloy gives the black color to a regular tungsten ring.

Pros: Heavy-weight.

Cons: More prone to scratches than regular Tungsten because the outer surface is titanium.

HYPO-ALLERGENIC

No

MOHS RANK

7 (Titanium)

AVAILABILITY

Limited

COST

Medium

Black Gold Rings

What is Black Gold? If you’re old enough to remember the Clampetts, it’s what they affectionately called oil in the theme song of their show The Beverly Hillbillies. For us in the jewelry world, black gold is simply white gold electroplated with black rhodium.

Pros: Can be re-plated if the surface chips or scratches to expose the gold underneath.

Cons: High-maintenance due to the plating being prone to scratches and chips. Expensive.

Black Gold Wedding Rings

HYPO-ALLERGENIC

No

MOHS RANK

6 (Rhodium)

AVAILABILITY

Limited

COST

High

Black Elysium Wedding Bands

Solid Diamond Rings – Elysium by Lashbrook

What are Elysium Rings? Elysium is the brand given by Lashbrook to its line of solid diamond rings. Using its proprietary technology, they create rings from a multi-crystal black diamond matrix that resists scratching.

Pros: Entirely scratch resistant. High end, future heirloom. Extremely unique.

Cons: Expensive.

HYPO-ALLERGENIC

Yes

MOHS RANK

10 (Diamond)

AVAILABILITY

Very Limited

COST

High

Is A Black Metal Ring Still A Good Choice?

Still interested in one of the popular black metal ring options? At Jewelry by Johan, we only offer Black Ceramic Rings and  Elysium Rings.

If you’ve changed your mind for whatever reason, we offer nearly every other metal (alternative and precious) in our designs. Browse our Wedding Bands to find your perfect rings or contact a design consultant for assistance!


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