Wedding bands have changed a lot over the years, especially for men. When Rustic & Main launched in 2016 the options for men's alternative wedding bands were limited. But, it was clear to me then, just as it is to everyone now, that guys want a ring that reflects their personality and particular tastes.
So, when a guy says that he wants a black ring for his wedding band...dog gone it, he should get a black ring! However, not every black ring on the market is the same and not every ring is made to keep up with the daily toil that a man will most assuredly put his ring through.
Here's a quick guide on why we believe black titanium (BlackTi) is your best bet.
Wait, There's No Black Metal?
When guys first start looking for a wedding band, it's usually the first piece of jewelry they've ever owned. And while they may be familiar with certain common ring metals such as gold and silver, they may be surprised to find that there are several other metals which have made their way onto the market; tungsten, cobalt, titanium, and tantalum just to name a few.
For black-colored rings tungsten is still the most popular, most likely because it is mass produced -- usually overseas -- and sold on the cheaper end.
However, no metal is black in its natural state. This means that any black metal ring you see on the market has undergone a process to coat it in that color.
So, how do they make metals appear black?
There are different treatments for different types of metals. Anodizing, oxidizing, plating, or applying a spray on coating are all ways of achieving this, though, as you may have guessed, durability should be a paramount concern for anyone that wants their ring to look good beyond the honeymoon.
Here are a few popular means of coating a ring to give it a black appearance:
- Black PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) Coating: This method involves depositing a thin layer of material onto the metal surface using a vacuum technique. PVD coatings are durable and scratch-resistant, but they can still wear off over time, particularly on rings experiencing high levels of abrasion or contact with harsh chemicals.
- Black Rhodium Plating: Similar to regular rhodium plating, black rhodium plating can create a dark finish on a ring. However, this finish is less durable than other black coatings and is more likely to wear off, especially on high-contact areas.
- Black Oxidation: This process involves chemically treating the metal surface to create a black oxide layer. This finish is less durable compared to PVD coatings and may wear off more quickly, particularly when exposed to abrasion or chemicals.
- Black Anodizing: Commonly used on titanium and aluminum rings, anodizing creates a thin oxide layer on the metal surface that can be dyed black. Anodized finishes are relatively durable but can still wear off over time, especially if the ring is subjected to harsh conditions or abrasive wear.
Even the best of these, PVD, will likely show wear within a few months if not weeks.
This is where black titanium is the superior alternative and our go-to metal for black rings.
What is Black Titanium?
The brilliant people over at Spectore created a unique formulation of titanium designed with ability to create a very durable, ceramic-like black coating when heated properly.
Unlike standard titanium that will produce a thin oxidized layer when heated and cooled with certain types of oils, BlackTi has a unique mixture of titanium, zirconium, and niobium that causes a truly bonded coating to appear on the surface when heat-treated.
The result? See for yourself!
The Apollo Noir - Black Titanium Wedding Band
The Aerodyne Noir - Black Titanium Wedding Band
The Olympian Noir - Black Titanium Wedding Band
A great looking black wedding band that will look great for years to come!
The Benefits of Black Titanium
- Durability & Strength: Titanium is prized for its strength-to-weight ratio. It's as strong as steel but at a fraction of the weight. This makes it not only ideal for the aerospace industry, but also ideal for a ring.
For those who want a lightweight wedding band, but also want it in black, black titanium is the perfect choice.
- Hypoallergenic: Just like titanium, black titanium is hypoallergenic meaning it's safe to wear for those who may have sensitive skin.
- Understated Uniqueness: There are typically two types of people that like black rings: those who want to make a statement and those who love the classic, understated style of black. While it may seem strange that a black titanium wedding band can achieve both, it's certainly true. Perhaps this is why black never goes out of style.
- Low Maintenance: The bonded black finish on a black titanium ring provides an extra layer of protection from scratches. The ceramic-like finish is harder than what you would find in a standard titanium band. This means that while the ring will certainly develop character over the years, you won't need to get it polished.
What is the Price Difference?
The old adage, "you get what you pay for" certainly applies here. While there are plenty of cheap black rings on the market, my guess is that you are reading this because you want a ring that will last.
Because of the uniqueness of the metal, black titanium wedding bands can be difficult to find on the marketplace. But what we've found through our research is that a black titanium band will be around 25% to 50% more expensive than a standard titanium wedding band.
Keep in mind that this is significantly cheaper than gold or other traditional metals, but it's not as cheap as you can go. To us, black titanium is the perfect blend of durability and affordability for a black wedding band.
We're big fans of Black Titanium here at Rustic & Main! If you're looking for a black wedding band that can stand up to the daily rigors that a man's hand goes through, this is the metal for you.
Whether you're in the market for a new ring, want to replace your cheap ring, or just want something that is a bit more you, check out our selection of black titanium rings and see if we have one for you.