Recently, we are seeing rising demand for black engagement and wedding rings. Some prefer it because it’s on-trend right now, others prefer the durability of the material used, while others want it because of the contrast it brings.
black wedding rings can be traced back to the Greco-Roman era where couples exchanged onyx carved rings during wedding ceremonies.
Black wedding rings are usually popular in men than in women. For women, the more popular choice is choosing a black diamond engagement ring in gold/cobalt alloy or rhodium-plated white or yellow gold.
Whatever the reason may be, we can all agree that black rings offer a unique take to your usual engagement rings and wedding bands.
We listed down some facts about black rings, metals used, and the pros and cons.
If you find that dark rings are too much, but still want to sport something black, we also offer some alternatives you can choose from.
What does a black wedding ring mean?
The symbol of a black wedding ring or black engagement ring is as varied as the people wearing it. Because of its color, some say that black wedding rings symbolize power, courage, and strength (including strength of conviction).
As to engagement rings, it is more of a trend or style preference than anything else. The usual materials used for engagement rings with black bands are gold-cobalt alloy, or black-rhodium-plated, and black titanium. These metals can be used for intricate designs and can be resized when needed.
What metals are used for black wedding rings
Some metals are plated with rhodium to give it a black surface while others are naturally black and are more popular on wedding rings than engagement jewelry.
If you are looking for one, here are your options.
Tungsten / Tungsten Carbide
Tungsten or tungsten carbide is the one, if not the main, metal of choice for black wedding rings. It is alloyed with carbon (80/20 ratio), hence the term Tungsten Carbide
Tungsten is a heavy metal known for its toughness and durability. While it is not scratch-proof, it is scratch-resistant.
Surprisingly, tungsten is also brittle and will crack when extreme pressure is applied. Thus, rings made of tungsten cannot be resized, or be made into extremely intricate designs.
Like platinum and gold, Tungsten is hypoallergenic, which makes it suitable for persons with metal allergies. However, unlike platinum and gold, tungsten is more affordable.
While black gold alloy exists, it is a misnomer since the metal is not really “mixed” with gold, but is coated to create the needed contrast. This is different from white gold and rose gold where the alloy is mixed with gold to create the desired color
With this said, the base, which is usually yellow gold, is coated with Cobalt with 3:1 ratio. The result is a ring of great contrast, with black coating on the surface and gold inner lining.
Gold Rhodium plating
Similar to white gold, gold can also be rhodium plated to create that desired color. However, note that rhodium-plated gold is not really black like tungsten carbide, but more like dark gunmetal gray color.
The thing with Rhodium plating is that it needs to be related once in a while. Unlike white rhodium plating, black rhodium plating is more expensive.
Carbon fiber is another option if you choose to have black wedding rings. It is stronger than steel, stiffer, and lighter. It is also hypoallergenic. The good news is that despite these amazing qualities, carbon fiber is affordable than other metals.
Carbon fiber can be used as it is or can be an inlay in other metals (such as gold, silver, platinum, and even tungsten) add gemstones or a combination of all three for that added flare
Some people don’t consider ceramic rings as they associate them with ceramic used in pottery. In reality, most of the ceramic rings in the market are made of titanium carbide and are similar to tungsten carbide in appearance.
Ceramic rings are hypoallergenic, durable, strong, as well as non-metallic which is safe for people with allergies with other alloys such as copper or cobalt. They are relatively cheap and can be used as an everyday wear without the fear of damaging the ring.
Another option should you want an everyday wear ring that is non-metallic, non-conductive, low maintenance, hypoallergenic and extremely affordable is opting for Silicon rings. While this is a good option, silicon rings are more like a replacement for a wedding rather than the main ring.
Pros and Cons
Opting for a black wedding or engagement ring is a matter of preference. Most choose it because of its edgier look, while others because it’s more economical and practical.
Here are the pros and cons should you opt to go it:
- more affordable than other metals
- depending on the material, they are sturdier and stronger compared to gold, silver, or platinum
- unique – most of the rings on the market are either yellow gold, rose gold, white gold, and platinum
- Trend – while it is on-trend right now, there is no guarantee that it will be in the years to come. Compared to timeless, more classic pieces, black rings may soon go out of style
- Requires maintenance especially for tungsten or plated gold. What’s more, scratches that are deep will clearly be visible because of the contrast between the main metal used and the coating/plating.
- Most of the materials used are hard but brittle. Thus resizing is not an option for most of the rings. Also, in case of emergencies, the only option is to break the ring.
Black Wedding and Engagement Ring Alternatives
While black rings are usually for men, women can also wear one. Black engagement rings are quite rare, since the metals used are either very brittle, or hard, so designing one is extremely difficult.
However, should you wish to really have one, then here are some options you can check.
Black Diamond / Black Moissanite
Thanks to various celebrities opting for colored gemstones, black diamond engagement rings are getting more popular.
What is usually done in an engagement ring is using a black diamond as a center stone, and setting it with rhodium-plated gold, yellow gold, or titanium.
To give it more contrast, settings where black diamonds can cover the rings are used. Thin bands are usually used, so when paved, the ring is almost black in color.
Others accentuate the black diamond center stone with various black gemstones. It can either be black diamonds, black spinels, black sapphire, black moissanite, or onyx.
In other designs, put white diamonds or white moissanite to give the ring more personality.
Similar to black diamonds, black moissanite is also a good option especially if you want to use ring settings with multiple stones, such as pave, channel, or halo.
Other Black Gemstones
If you are looking for more affordable options, other precious and semi-precious stones can be used to create a black engagement ring or wedding ring.
Sapphire exists in a variety of colors such as blue, yellow, green, and yes, black. Black sapphires look like onyx but are harder and more durable. Note that black sapphires are not as precious as their blue counterpart.
Onyx is one of the more popular black gemstones you can use. It can be used as the main center stone, or as an accent or side gemstones.
Note that Onyx is a soft stone that will easily scratch over time. Regardless, this stone really gives that unique and edgy feel you will want from a black engagement or wedding ring
In the middle ages, opals were said to bestow all positive properties of gemstones because of their rainbow properties. Then because of some events, opals became associated with bad luck which is why people avoid them.
However, we see increasing interest in opals, especially in jewelry because of the beautiful contrast and dimension it provides to rings and other types of jewelry.
Black opal is not really “black” per see but a darker version of its white opal counterpart. Genuine black opals are blue in color, with darker blues and greens.
Lab-grown opals are more beautiful because of the deep contrasts. Usually deep blue, it is adorned with bright colors such as red, orange, green, and yellow. The best way to describe it is like the color of the galaxy.
Black opal is another stone you can use as a center stone with black spinel or onyx as accent stones to give your engagement ring its unique style.
Spinel is another gemstone you can use to adorn your wedding or engagement ring.
Initially, spinel was thought of as part of the corundum family, similar to sapphires and ruby. However, it was later discovered that it has different chemical properties.
Spinel is rated 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness and can be used as a replacement for Onyx.
Lab-grown spinel is relatively cheap and is often used as a stimulant to other gemstones. Because of this, having black spinel to adorn your engagement rings or wedding bands is a more economical option
Matter of preference
Black wedding rings and engagement rings are indeed unique, on-trend and fashionable. While some associate it with goth, others are attracted to its uniqueness and great contrast.
If you are looking for one, AaLAND is here to help. We have a collection of black rings you can choose from, as well as black gemstones to adorn your black engagement ring. Play with our ring builder, or contact us to design your own unique piece.