Zirconium is an element on the periodic table. It is found naturally in minerals such as zircon. Zirconium has a high resistance to corrosion and has been used in aeronautics, submarines, and even nuclear reactors. In its natural state it is a grey-white color. Black zirconium gets its black coloring through extreme heating which causes a chemical reaction on the surface creating an extremely durable and beautiful black layer. To make black zirconium rings, the rings are first milled from a zirconium bar and then heated to a high temperature in order to create the black layer. For two-tone rings, the black layer is removed in certain areas after the heating process using a diamond tool. Black zirconium is hypoallergenic, has incredible chemical resistance, and is very lightweight.
Are black zirconium rings durable?
We are confident in our all of our black zirconium rings. The black layer on black zirconium is permanent. It will not fade over time, tarnish, or change colors. The black layer on black zirconium is durable and does not scratch easily; however, it is not invincible and if it does scratch the scratch, it is more apparent than other metals due to the silver coloring that still exists under the black layer. Because of this, it should still be treated like any fine jewelry and is not ideal for wear in rough conditions or activities.
Are black zirconium rings pure black in color?
Black zirconium is the darkest metal available. However, they are not pure black rings. In some lighting they can appear to be dark grey.
In its natural state, Zirconium is a silver-grey color. It earns its stark black appearance through a heating process, in which a layer of hard black oxide grows on the metal. This black layer is much harder than raw Zirconium, but it is very thin. Unlike oxidized silver and black rhodium, this layer does not rub off over time. It is also more durable than black-coated rings, such as black titanium and black tungsten. While this oxidized layer is dark, it is not pure black. Depending on the lighting it is seen in and what it is compared to, it can appear to vary in color as shown below.
See how Zirconium looks in different lighting
Finishes From Left to Right: Cross Satin Finish, Polish Finish, Bead Blast Finish, Hammer Satin Finish/Bead Blast Finish Edges, and Satin Finish
Half Warm Light and Half Cool White Light
Medium Cool White Light with a hint of Warm Light
Cool White Light
Cool White Light with a hint of Warm Light on a White Background
Cool White Light with a hint of Warm Light on a Black Background
Window Light on a Cloudy Day
Wear and Care
The black layer of Zirconium is, however, subject to scratching and the silver can show through if it is scratched. If you are very hard on your rings, Zirconium may not be the ideal choice unless you’re willing to take care of it.Elysiumcould be an excellent alternative for someone looking for a black ring that simply won’t scratch. On the other hand, Zirconium is the most versatile of all black metal rings and, if taken care of, can last many years.
We recommend Zirconium for customers complaining of nearly any type of metal allergies and other metal sensitivities. To our current knowledge, we’ve never heard of anyone with a Zirconium sensitivity or allergy.
Black Zirconium rings need no special care. As long as they don't contain meteorite, they can be cleaned with regular jewelry cleaner. If your ring does contain meteorite please refer to themeteorite cleaning instructions.
Customization and Personalization
Zirconium gives the most options for design, style, and customization of any black material. These rings can be inlaid with hardwood, meteorite, carbon fiber, precious metals, set with diamonds and gemstones, carved and laser engraved, and made in unique designs and shapes. When a Zirconium ring has a carved or milled design on it, the ring can be either two-toned silver and black or all black.