Small, dark and handsome: everything you need to know about black wedding bands
Black wedding bands strike the balance between tradition and a desire to do something different.
Opting for a dark metal to mark your commitment gives a hint of personality to your hand while maintaining just the right amount of mystery. There’s also the ever-valuable where-did-he-get-that factor.
These dark dazzlers come in a variety of different metals, with varying techniques used to achieve the inky blacks and gunmetal greys. Knowing the metal that fits your finger, lifestyle and budget will save you a whole lot of time down the track. Read on to find out more.
Consider this: diamond, the hardest known mineral on the planet, ranks a 10 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. Meanwhile, tungsten is kicking it at a cool 9.5. This naturally dark metal is seriously durable, difficult to scratch – but also a little dangerous. In an emergency, the ring can’t be cut off like a gold or platinum one would be. Rather, it has to be shattered or cracked, using a great amount of force.
Keep in mind that Tungsten comes with a lower price tag, and you always get what you pay for. The dense composition means you’ll feel the weight on your finger, and if you’re a hand-on guy working with machinery, you’ll need to leave this one at home during work hours.
Rhodium has been kicking around since 1803, and is considered the most rare and valuable precious metal in the world. Unworkable in its purest form due to hardness, black rhodium is actually a mix of rhodium and other metals and chemicals that give it a sexy, dark hue. The alluring alloy is then used to plate a gold or silver ring.
Black rhodium will resist corrosion and scratches, but requires maintenance to keep its lustre. It’s totally normal for rhodium plating to wear off over time, a quick dip by a jeweller every 12-18 months will keep it brilliantly black.
There’s nothing ordinary about EverBlak. As dark as night and durable as hell, it took expert metallurgists a total of 1,095 days to develop this sexy alloy. It’s no wonder the disruptors at Rockford Collection guard the secrets behind process so closely but they’ve dropped a few hints, including that the technique involves PVD. It takes 730 hours to create one EverBlak ring, suggesting there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes.
The complex finishing technique encases 18kt gold sourced exclusively from American gold mines, setting a high-quality foundation imbued with grit, daring and determination.
For those who want to get technical, PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposition. In plain English, it’s a coating process. Whichever way you say it, the results are the same: a thin coating with a finish so long-lasting, the same process is used on jet engines. Modified for jewellery, it delivers a brilliant shine that’ll last the test of time.
PVD withstands wear and tear better than gold plating as it’s resistant to corrosion from sweat and almost impossible to scratch.
Titanium is three times stronger than steel, so it’ll stand up to the rough and tumble of daily life. To achieve its jet-black colour, the titanium will have been exposed to extreme heat or coated with another substance. Be wary of the latter, as it’ll make your wedding band susceptible to scratches. Not ideal for a piece of jewellery that’s meant to last a lifetime.
On the plus side, titanium is feather-light despite its hardness. This makes it a great choice for jewellery-phobic gents who don’t want to be weighed down.
Black gold is like an old friend that shows up wearing a new outfit. Perhaps the most well-known precious metal, gold can be treated a number of ways to bring out its dark side. A powerful femto-second laser can be used to manipulate the surface, it can be electro-plated, or dipped in a coating of gold mixed with another metal, such as cobalt.
Black gold maintains the value of the percentage of gold within the piece of jewellery. If you change your mind about the look, electro-plating can be stripped back to reveal the white or yellow gold underneath.