Zirconium rings and rings

zirconium rings

A new material for innovative wedding bands, very attractive for daring and unconventional people. If you are looking for black rings, zirconium is an affordable and very versatile material. While high quality black zirconium rings will retain their elegant look for many years, titanium or tungsten rings treated to be black will not maintain the dark surface color for a long time.

Just a few years ago, no one thought of buying a wedding band that was not made of gold. These wedding rings, and platinum ones, have always been leaders (and still are) because they are eternal metals, but lately other alternatives have been appearing for couples. 

Thus appeared steel, titanium and, lately, “dark” wedding rings have become popular thanks to an increasingly technological manufacturing that produces very high quality pieces, and the trend towards the use of more “technological” materials in jewelry.

This union between trend and excellent quality has made zirconium a new metal of choice for wedding rings, becoming an attractive alternative. 

Zirconium is obtained from zircon, a precious stone known since ancient times. The Persians called it “zargun” which means “golden color” and that is where its name comes from. It was discovered in 1789, but it was not until 1914 that the pure metal was obtained. In its natural state it is a shiny, silvery-gray color, similar to steel or titanium.

Although “zirconia” and “zirconium” sound similar and are spelled almost the same, they could not be more different. Zirconia, commonly called zirconite, is a worthless stone that is manufactured to be the substitute for diamond, in costume jewelry or inexpensive jewelry.

Zirconium rings is a ductile, malleable and refractive metal that has a very high resistance to corrosion and breakage. It has been used for years in the space, aerospace and even medical industries. The nuclear power industry demands almost 90% of its worldwide production.

Zirconium is environmentally safe, biocompatible, non-toxic and non-allergenic, as it is practically a pure element and contains none of the irritants that can be present in other materials. All this, just like titanium.

To achieve the black color, it is heated to a very high temperature causing a chemical reaction – oxidation – on the surface, and the result is a thin layer of zirconium oxide of an intense black color that will be maintained over time.

The black zirconium layer obtained, once polished, has a silky touch and is harder than natural zirconium, with a hardness equivalent to sapphire, which is the hardest natural precious stone after diamond. Being very hard, black zirconium can be scratched if it is hit by other metals, rocks, etc. 

Occasionally, if the ring comes into contact with another softer metal, such as gold, it can transfer metal to the surface of the black zirconium, simulating a scratch. In this case, the transferred metal can be removed with a cloth, kitchen cleaner and warm water. A black zirconium ring is not affected by common chemicals and does not need special care.

It is possible to laser engrave the inside of the ring with a special personalized message. The inner part of the rings is curved, to ensure a comfortable fit to the finger. Knowing the correct size is very important because, due to the hardness of the material, it is difficult to change the size of the rings.

Comparing the “new” materials: Zirconium, titanium, tantalum, carbon or steel:

By their color: Carbon and zirconium are black. Tantalum has the darkest gray, a little lighter is titanium gray and finally steel is the lightest gray.

By weight: Carbon is the lightest by far. Next is titanium, zirconium, steel and the heaviest is tantalum.

By friction resistance: Tantalum is the hardest. Next are zirconium, steel, titanium and carbon.

Price, related to the difficulty to be worked: Steel is the cheapest. This is followed by titanium, carbon, zirconium and tantalum.

Carbon, titanium, tantalum and zirconium have a very good thermal conductivity that makes them adapt instantly to the temperature of the skin.

All of them are very durable and very resistant to breakage.

Due to their manufacturing method, it is not easy to adjust the size of these rings once they are manufactured and only the tantalum or zirconium rings can be resized by one or two numbers.