Are you in the market for a black ring?
Either a wedding ring or something to make a statement?
They seem to be all the rage at the moment but there are a lot of pitfalls if you don’t know what you are buying.
BLACK TITANIUM OR BLACK TUNGSTEN DOESN’T EXIST.
The BIGGEST issues we encounter are the imported rings, mass produced in China that claim to be black Titanium or black Tungsten.
In reality that doesn’t exist. Titanium and Tungsten are both naturally silver metals. They come out of the ground silver and they are refined silver.
When rings are incorrectly advertised as black Titanium or black Tungsten they confuse the market.
These rings are in fact only coated black. The coating depends on the manufacturer but inevitably it won’t last. These rings are still made of Titanium and Tungsten in their natural form and are then coated to appear black on the surface.
Every scratch and chip will show through as silver. These scratches cannot be repaired. After a few days to a few weeks the ring will start looking terrible.
ARE THERE BLACK RING ALTERNATIVES?
Yes there are.
TEFLON BLACK RINGS.
The first is to use a material that is solid black and pressure fit onto a base ring such as titanium.
Teflon is a durable carbon composite type material that can be used to create a black ring suitable for everyday wear. It is however not a metal.
The scientific name is Polytetrafluoroethylene and it consist of Carbon and Fluorine. Teflon is most commonly used as the non-stick surface on pans, grafts during surgeries and pipework transporting highly corrosive chemicals because of its corrosive resistant properties.
When used on a ring we still manufacture the inner ring in Titanium which adds the rigidity to the ring. The black Teflon section is fit over the Titanium and is black straight through so the black will not scratch off.
This is however not an indestructible ring and it will and can still scratch. The black however will not come off.
Click here to view some of the ring options using Teflon.
BLACK ZIRCONIUM RINGS.
In its raw form Zirconium or Zircon is a grayish metal closely resembling Titanium. It’s a hard and durable metal which makes it a good option for manufacturing wedding rings.
The manufacturing process as well as the availability makes it a more expensive metal compared to Titanium and Tungsten.
It is the only metal that when exposed to extreme heat turns the outer layer of the metal black. This is not a coating put over the metal but the metal itself that turns black.
It is the only black ring that you can maintain in the long run. The ring can still scratch to show the natural metal color below but it can be maintained by treating the metal again.
If you choose to do an inlay in the ring like wood, the inlay will have to be redone as the treatment process will destroy the inlay.
It is still by far the best option to consider when looking at black mens rings.
Click here to view some of the black ring options using Zirconium?
CAN LADIES RINGS BE MADE IN ZIRCONIUM?
The short answer is no!
We often receive images of black ladies rings set with multiple stones.
These are again only lucky-packet or dress rings and won’t last for day-to-day wear. Most often these rings are again only coated in black but don’t last more than a few days.
The hardness of the metals like Zirconium prevents us from bending and shaping the rings like we would do with gold or silver.
This also makes it very difficult to set any kind of stone except diamonds.
Zirconium rings are shaped from a solid bar or block of metal either by hand or on a lathe making fine detail almost impossible.
CAN A BLACK RING BE ENGRAVED?
Yes it can.
When we engrave on a Zirconium black ring, the engraver goes through the black layer and reveals the natural silver metal underneath. This does make the engraving more visible.
Can you engrave on a Teflon ring? We can engrave on a black Teflon ring however the engraving will be black. This is due to the material also being black straight through. The engraving is therefore not too visible. We suggest engraving the inner Titanium band rather than the outside of the Teflon.
Can you engrave a black coated Titanium or black coated Tungsten ring?
Yes you can although we have seen rings fall apart or chip badly.
Tungsten is extremely hard but that makes it extremely brittle and it therefore breaks easily. Engraving a tungsten ring can cause it to crack. Engraving a coated Tungsten ring can cause the coating to deteriorate even quicker.
Engraving on a black coated Titanium ring has the same result. The metal doesn’t break as easily but the engraving can cause the coating to chip of a lot quicker.
Here are a few of our black rings that we have recently made...