Is the rising trend of buying so-called black gold rings or lustrous necklaces and so forth something you should know more about before hitting your favorite offline or online jewelry store, or is it just another fashion fad?
Discover here everything you always wanted to know about the latest cutting-edge jewelry trend, which is black gold (no, not Texas wells). I’m talking about shining items you can put on your fingers, wrist, ears, or around your neck.
Does gold in a black color context even exist in the first place?
Black gold is a general term used by jewelers to describe rings, necklaces, bands, or pendants that are black layered, consist of precious gold metal. Alternatively, are of gold mixture, respectively real gold transformed using femtosecond laser pulse into dark metal. Black gold can’t be mined.
If black gold is somehow real and at the same time not, how can you, Jane Doe, and I separate it from fake gold claims by sleazy jewelry salespeople? Well, this is what I’m going to help you with in this succinct review.
Black Gold vs Black Metal Jewelry Comparison Chart
|Name||Material||Hardness Scale||Scratch Resist||Value/Cost|
|Black Gold (1)||(White) Gold, Rhodium/Ruthenium||Medium||High||High|
|Black Gold (2)||Gold, Chromium, or Cobalt||Medium||High||High|
|Black Carbon Fiber||Carbon Fibers||High||Medium/High||High|
|Black Tungsten||Titanium Zirconium, Tungsten||High||Medium||Medium/Low|
|Black Titanium||Titanium, Rhodium||Medium||Medium||Low/Medium|
|Black Zirconium||Black Zirconium, Hafnium||Medium||Medium-Low||Medium|
|Source: Litawear.com, *Gold 1 and 2 refers to the only real gold materials.|
Is Black Gold Real?
Naturally mined gold is non-existent. However, solid black gold jewelry is only insofar real when precious metal gold is on one hand and the different materials mixed with it (gold alloy), like rhodium or chromium, are combined. The result is a new metal mixture as demonstrated by the chart above.
Fake Black Gold?
Some honest consumers may feel duped; however, you shouldn’t, as long as the jewelry shop is transparent and reveals what kind of material or processing technology is used to create the dark tone from a usually yellowish material.
Gold has had a magical appeal since the days of Cleopatra, the symbol of timeless beauty during the peak of old Egyptian civilization which made its inroads in world history up to our modern culture.
Therefore, naming jewelry black gold simply because it consists of sufficient gold and is blackened, may or may not be ethical, as long as you are aware of the differences — ideally communicated by the jeweler of choice.
4 Ways How Black Gold Is Created (Chart)
|Gold Plating||Blackened Gold|
|Femtosecond Laser||Black Gold|
Gold-Plating vs Oxidation vs Alloy vs Laser (Gold Coloring Facts)
Real gold has a warm yellow hue, soft, and can be naturally mined at minefields. All other forms of gold are either gold-plated (e.g. a metal like silver with a gold layer) or electroplated, oxidized (controlled gold oxidation), or alloyed (gold mixed with another material until it’s blackened).
The newest one is the laser beaming research breakthrough, that enables any metal, including fine gold to turn black using a scientific technique labeled femtosecond laser impulse.
What is laser beaming?
It enables gold to turn black without oxidation, plating or alloy, painting, or burning. Instead, laser beaming, using femtosecond laser impulse means an intense blast of a laser as powerful as the entire grid of the USA, is concentrated on the metal for quadrillionths of a second. Enough to naturally turn yellow to black metal gold.
The advantage of this successful light-absorbing metal method through extreme laser impulse on the gold is that you not only have real gold in a black hue. But as a result, also precious metal jewelry that won’t chip or tarnish.
Unfortunately, the costs of such are still quite high, however a truly unique jewelry-making technique with a future, even outside the extravagant fashion accessory industry.
Now let’s dig into the pros and cons of all the aforementioned gold and black materials for creating stunning pieces of jewelry.
This way you get the upper hand when sharing and buying black gold-labeled chokers, bangles or unusual wedding rings everyone will envy you for.
Pros and Cons Black Gold Jewelry
Creative jewelers tired of the same old and their thirsty fashion-aware clients like you and me have come up with edgy black gold chains, rings, etc.
However, you are not like funny, but naïve Phoebe or Chandler of FRIENDS, but a grown-up gal or boy that will only buy after researching the pros and cons. So let’s go!
Benefits of Black Gold
- E-ye-catching jewelry that is still rare to find, like black diamonds or the Yeti
- High value because though blackened, underneath its pure gold
- Scratch-resistant metric good (medium) unlike other high-priced metals or materials
- High social status and positive symbol or wealth
- Metal to skin allergy’s protection thanks to rhodium (hypoallergenic)
- Spiritual healing and divine consciousness associated (Eastern philosophies, mythology)
Drawbacks of Black Gold Jewelry
- Expensive item because it is of a high price compared to, e.g., black titanium
- Higher maintenance costs due to possibility of replating as result of being chipped
The reasons for shopping gold that is blackened using rhodium, chromium or ruthenium-plating come with their very own pros and cons you have to decide upon according to your needs and budget.
Again, these are the only feasible processes by oxidation or electroplating gold into dark or blackened gold rings, bands, and pendants that can magically turn yellow gold into an astonishing black hoop or luxury engagement ring.
All other black pieces of jewelry are made of non-gold metals or materials, even if they scientifically wrongly claim the gold status (Source).
Who is it for?
Nevertheless, these black metals resembling gold or not can be a great alternative and worth knowing concerning price, appearance, and properties like durability and so forth.
If you definitely want real gold in your black cuff bracelet or edgy men’s watch, then this type of blackened gold is for you. At the end of the day, gold is gold, as your pawnshop reseller will tell you when you present him with it.
Black Titanium Pros and Cons
- Inexpensive to make, e.g., black titanium rings that look special and trendy
- Might be considered of high value, like black metals of higher value (e.g., gold, silver)
- It is hypoallergenic for those with sensitive skins
Drawbacks Black Titanium Jewelry
- This dark titanium colored jewelry is likely to wear off over time
Who is it for?
Rhodium-plated titanium is a great choice for those not interested in showing off their high-value gold charm bracelets, huggies, or birthstone rings, but like to have something fashionable and affordable, that might not last forever, though.
Black Carbon Fiber Pros and Cons
- Affordable lightweight material that is not a metal, but possess some plus properties of one
- Edgy appearance, resembling valuable wood and metal at the same time
- Higher scratch resistance than some precious group metals (PGMs) e.g., gold
Drawbacks of Black Carbon Fiber Jewelry
- Hard to bent for jewelry making due to its strength
- If chips and cracks hard to repair as a result of its stiffness
- Difficult to resize due to its properties
Who is it for?
Black carbon fiber rings are the most common use of this unusual jewelry material today.
Therefore, if you’re looking for some unique designs of a unique necklace or unforgettable wedding band, then this special blackened carbon fiber is for you and your chosen one.
Tungsten Pros and Cons
- On the hardness scale tungsten is one of the hardest metal alloys (7/10)
- Relatively affordable engraved tungsten rings, chains, or bands for him and her
- Tungsten jewelry is quite modern while durable at the same time
Drawbacks of Tungsten Jewelry
- The titanium particles reduce the natural hardness of the material a bit
- Might be not that safe to wear due to possible allergic skin reactions
Who is it for?
The new kid on the fashion industry block is definitely tungsten-made pendants jewelry, rings, or anklets, and so forth that seem to resonate well with, especially men, though women are getting into too slowly.
Therefore, ladies, let’s get your man finally that manly jewelry he’ll praise you for instead of rose gold you adore.
Black Ceramic Pros and Cons
- Medium priced high-value black ceramic jewelry is still rare
- Ceramic jewelry is an ultimate fashion statement on your ears, neck, and fingers
- Non-coated like so many other metals, which ceramic is knowingly not part of
- Easy to wear because it is a light material, perfect for any occasion
- Does not show any signs of tarnishing due to its solid metal properties
- Hypoallergenic material against skin irritations
Drawbacks of Black Ceramic Jewelry
- Since of high hardness scale according to Moh’s material standard, material may break easier than some gold blacked metals surprisingly
- The ceramic property provides little room for creative jewelry bending
Who is it for?
If you don’t want another ring or necklace that is prone to scratches then black ceramic is your preferred piece of jewelry for work, dinner parties, or even as a proposal ring.
The retail price is quite doable too — and of course, everyone might enviously ask you, where did you get this remarkable black ring from.
Black Zirconium Pros and Cons
- Extremely rare metal alloy jewelry than most others, which makes it so valuable
- Wearable as necklace, band, or ring as a result of its lightweight flexibility
- Though not commonly found, still priced relatively inexpensive
- Absolute unique appearance through its black titanium-hafnium alloy oxidation
Drawbacks of Black Zirconium
- Chipping and tarnishing over a long period of time displays its light titanium coloration
- Hard to resize as it is a rather stiff metal mixture than resizable titanium-only
Who is it for?
Zirconium is like black ceramic regarding many properties, therein hard to bend. Nevertheless, once that is set, people who love the color black when shopping for fashion accessories, as well as extraordinary gifts or creative expressions, may fall in love with a rare black zirconium ring around her or him.
Is Black Gold Worth Anything?
The price of black gold varies depending on jewelry, the material used, and the official gold price as well as your local or online gold for money retailer. Black or better, blackened gold like rhodium-plated as the most popular one, will likely be priced depending on the 18K gold or whatever karat used in the market.
From black gold links bracelets to black tungsten wedding bands or party crashing black ceramic engagement rings.
All these pieces of jewelry are worth their money in terms of bragging rights (hey Rachel I got a brand-new black carbon chain, what about you?) and inherent value (black gold is better than a trip to Cancun, sorry Tyrone).
Just like the mood ring, they are black, but not everything that glitter is gold.
The real worth of your black wedding ring gift lies in the perceived or real evaluation and unique character of such a jewel piece rather than anything else.
How To Take Care of Black Gold Jewelry (Chart)
|Jewelry Type||Care & Cleaning|
|Blackened Gold (Plated)||Do not exposure to fluids, acids, chlorine|
|Black Gold (Oxidized)||Take off in water, avoid body fluids contact, acids, water, use gold jewelry cleaner|
|Black Gold (Lasered)||Don’t wear in water, buff it, use medium dish detergent & dry cloth, store separately|
|Blackened Gold (Alloy)||Avoid chlorinated water, acid, sprays, sweat|
These are some basic black gold jewelry cleaning and caring tips you can take into consideration for a lasting and positive experience with your pieces of joy.
Lastly, to avoid premature decay, chipping, patina, and other typical issues you experience with fine gold and gold mixtures or coatings, use these handy tricks and tips before shopping and in aftercare.
Should You Replate Black Gold & How Much Does Plating Costs?
Replating is especially necessary for blackened gold where, e.g., rhodium or cobalt has been added as an extra layer for coloration and strengthening the otherwise soft yellow gold metal. Especially, after some while, it wears off and a re-plating is needed for that glowing black engagement ring.