Black gold in jewelry

Black gold is gradually making its way into jewelry so that more and more rings and black gold jewelry are found in online shops without ever really knowing what black gold is.

Since we can read a lot of nonsense online about it, it was time to write an article and clearly explain that :

Black gold is not a material but a plating, surface coating offering interesting options that we will detail here.

Index

signet ring wolf black gold

Black gold men's signet ring from our 18-karat gold signet ring collection

If you're thinking about a black gold ring project, check out our ring creation service before contacting us via this form for a quote.

What is black gold ?

Black gold is gold (of any color and title) covered with black rhodium plating.

To understand, here is the detail :

If you are familiar with the different colors taken by gold alloys, then you know that gold color is obtained in two ways :

  • or else by alloying with another metal that gives it its color in the mass to the gold alloy
  • or by depositing a plating (a metal surface coating) which gives it a superficial color.

Yellow gold, pink gold and gray gold are gold-colored alloys tinted in the mass, you can file them and their color remains identical to the heart as on the surface.

wedding ring black gold for women

Two tone gold diamond ring in black gold from our collection of wedding rings for women 

 

White gold is obtained by depositing a rhodium plating that gives it a color so white.

Well, black gold is like white gold, but black.

A layer of black rhodium is deposited by electrolysis on our gold jewel to change the color.

How do we do it ?

black gold signet ring

Fleur de lys signet ring in black gold, from our collection

By what process does one obtain a jewel in black gold ?

The electrolysis process, well known to college students allows us to deposit dissolved rhodium in a solution on a jewel by circulating an electric current following the following assembly :

sketch black gold plating

Schematic diagram of a rhodium deposit by electrolysis on a gold jewel

In a container, our solution (yellow here) containing ionic black rhodium.

Our gold jewel is wrapped on a copper wire connected to a power source.

While our anode is immersed in the solution, it is also connected to the power source.

Let it work for a few minutes so that the whole piece is well plated with black rhodium.

The longer the immersion time, the larger the deposit layer.

black gold plating

Ring being rhodium-plated in an ionic bath of black rhodium

The conventional thickness of such a deposit is of the order of a few microns only.

Advantages and limits of black gold

The black gold that we have previously detailed is the only method that allows you to wear a ring or jewel of black gold jewelry.

With a deep black glossy appearance, the rendering is inimitable, add white or black diamonds and the style of your jewel will be exceptional.

If you want to change the look of your ring or wedding ring, you can simply go see your jeweler to transform your ring into yellow or white gold in black gold.

wedding ring black gold for men

White and black gold wedding ring for men from our wedding ring collection for men

But, because there is always a but.

Although rhodium is a particularly abrasion-resistant metal, it will always end up peeling, it's a matter of time depending on the care you bring to your jewel.

As such, a pendant in black gold will remain intact much longer than a ring or a bracelet because of the blows and rubs that constantly undergone them and that always end up damaging the black rhodium layer, letting appear color real gold constituting your jewel.

wedding ring black gold

Wedding ring 3 Gold for men (White, Yellow and Black Gold) from our wedding ring collection for men

It is therefore necessary to foresee that one day you will have to remake the layer of rhodium of your jewel at a jeweler, or ask him to remove it completely, according to your wish.

Because of this limitation, it is advisable to use black gold in the hollows of the design of your ring and not on smooth rings.

From one you will get beautiful effects of contrasts.

And on the other hand, the black gold located in the hollows will not be subject to shocks and friction.

 

For further :

September 10, 2019 — Hugo Maherault

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