Black zirconium is the coolest metal you've probably never heard about. You might be wondering, is the "black" part of "black zirconium" natural, or is it something that was done to the metal? The answer is both. While regular zirconium is indeed a silvery metal that is similar to titanium, the black part isn't any kind of paint or special coating -- it's the natural outcome of our production process. Here are some more things to know about titanium's dark twin:
Is zirconium like those synthetic diamonds?
No, that's cubic zirconia. They are not the same thing. Cubic zirconia is made up of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), which is a crystalline oxide of zirconium. The zirconium used in our rings is the metallic variety, which is most commonly found in the mineral zircon. Its physical properties and appearance are similar to titanium.
So, why is black zirconium black?
Zirconium is a naturally grayish-white metal, much like titanium, and a plain zirconium ring looks kind of similar to its titanium counterpart. The difference is when zirconium is exposed to extreme heat, it causes the surface to oxidize and form a hard, black coating. Once we have a ring's shape finalized, we apply precision treatments to create the desired level of oxidation and control the final look.
The finished product feels like ceramic and can take on a variety of finishes. It can be polished for a sleek, reflective finish or ground down for an incredibly dark matte finish.
Can the black parts wear off?
No. The black parts of your ring will not wear off. No amount of buffing or washing will damage the surface.
But can my black ring be scratched?
One of the things we love most about black zirconium is that it is scratch and wear-resistant. These rings are extremely durable and with a reasonable amount of care will look great for a lifetime. That said, you can scratch these rings and they can be damaged if subjected to abuse.
Each of our rings is built to last under normal conditions, but if you find yourself concerned about some scuffing or think that maybe your ring is losing some of its luster, we offer a free refinishing service to all of our customers. It's kind of like sending your ring to a spa, except with less New Age music.
How does zirconium compare to other metals?
Zirconium's closest relative is titanium, and side-by-side they're pretty comparable to one another. There are some slight differences between the base metals, but not enough so that the average person would notice.
The biggest differences are the most obvious. Black zirconium is really black and titanium isn't. The surface of titanium might be a little harder than black zirconium, but, again, both hold up extremely well to age. We wouldn't feature these products if they didn't.
Black zirconium can be a bit more expensive than titanium, especially at extra-large sizes, because of the added costs of the material and labor that go into each ring.
Can my black zirconium ring be resized?
Because of the materials involved, resizing usually isn't an option for black zirconium products. It's disappointing, but it's also a testament to the quality of the materials we use. We say this so often we might as well print it on t-shirts, but it's very important to know your true ring size before you order.
Most of our black zirconium rings are eligible for our optional Protection Plan, which comes with one free size exchange for the first year that you own your ring. All you'll be responsible for is shipping.
If you have additional concerns or issues with the size or fit of your ring, you can call us at 1-866-215-1861 or send us an email to find out more.
What else is zirconium used for?
It might be easier to answer what zirconium isn't used for, because you'll find it in some pretty cool stuff. It's used in metal molds, for one thing, which means it's so tough that it's the metal you use when you need something that can handle other metals when they're liquefied. Zirconium is also used in nuclear reactors, manufacturing equipment, camera equipment, spaceships, and, like many of the rings we offer, in biomedical implants.
Is zirconium safe on my skin?
Absolutely. Like we just mentioned, zirconium is non-reactive and is often used in dental implants or in major medical implants like artificial hips and knees. It won't harm your body and it won't harm your skin.
Is a black zirconium ring right for me?
Look, black zirconium can get a little intense. The styles are darker, bolder, and edgier. They are designed to stand out, and they are not going to be right for everyone. But if "intense" and "bold" is where you live, then a black ring is probably going to be a good choice for you.
Ready to find out for yourself? Check out the dark side of wedding rings in our huge black zirconium collection.