Explaining the black titanium jewelry

To be able to grasp black titanium jewelry, you first have to understand the magic and significance behind the black color itself.

Black is actually the result of a lack of color and it is often associated with the primordial void, the complete emptiness. It is opposed to white color, which is the combination of all colors. Black has been a classic color for clothing since always, as it makes the wearer look not only thinner, but also more sophisticated.

The first black entries in jewelry’s domain were the black gemstones. Onyx, agates and obsidian adorned the ancient necklaces and bracelets. In time black has acquired other, less savory meanings, such as bad luck, war and mourning. This subsequently led to a decrease in popularity of these stones.

Nevertheless, the color has kept its intrinsic magic and nowadays is so widely regarded as sophisticated in fashion that the term "the new black" is often used to describe and give merit to a color trend.

There are several methods used to produce black titanium jewelry. Technically, two companies have registered technologies used to make true black titanium alloys. This means that the color alteration is achieved by a change in the metal structure, and not by a mere altering of the surface.

One of these companies is Spectore Corporation. Their proprietary black alloy is called Black-Ti. According to Ed Rosenberg, the lead designer of Spectore jewelry, the alloy was the result of contrived negligence. The initial finding happened while attempting to create a custom titanium item involving some refractory metals and white gold inserts. While heating this mixture the alloy turned black. Nevertheless, the time from initial discovery to the first production run spanned over 10 years. The formulas were refined a number of times and the learning curve for refining and processing were both costly and time consuming.

The second jewelry company that markets black titanium jewelry made by an allegedly true black titanium alloy is Absolute Titanium Designs. They are less open regarding the manufacturing process that is employed in order to obtain this type of alloy. It does seem that is a process that is changing the inner structure of the metal, and I must say the results are pretty impressive, especially because of the variety of the black nuances that are available. Anodizing titanium is a good compromise for a technique that produces black titanium jewelry. The color lacks the durability, versatility and integrity of a true black titanium alloy, but the costs are greatly reduced. The coating is built up on the metal either by heating, chemical, or electrolytic means. In the case of titanium, the layer is an oxide of titanium. Coloring can be done by heating, but without much control of either color or uniform appearance. The most common method is to form an oxide layer by electrolytic means, similar to the process used in electroplating. As the voltage increases, the thickness of the layer also increases. Certain colors will appear at specific voltage levels. The "change" from one color to another is not sharply defined, but rather shades gradually through a limited spectrum.

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