When one thinks of gold, the picture that comes to mind is often yellow jewelry. However, this type of gold should be referred to as yellow gold, as there are various other colored gold types today. I have developed this guide to focus on a specific type of gold, which is common in the jewelry industry. The product is black gold.
So, what is black gold?
Blackgold is also a common type of gold for jewelry and various other applications. Black gold might be becoming increasingly popular today, but it’s also crucial to be informed about investing in a particular type.
Things to Know About Black Gold
Before buying black gold, you have to realize that it’s quite different from the traditional types of jewelry. Below is an in-depth guide that identifies all the key aspects associated with this element. They include:
What is Black Gold Jewelry Exactly?
Unlike the traditional forms of gold, including the yellow or rose types, black gold goes through a unique production process. Usually, yellow gold serves as the primary material in the production of black gold.
According to the World Gold Council, the color of black gold comes from cobalt oxide. The gold is produced when a smelter heats the cobalt oxide on a surface of gold. The cobalt oxide melts at these extreme temperatures, which leads to the blackening of the gold. Plus, cobalt oxide is a unique material because it offers longevity and appeal.
Plus, jewelers often use techniques such as laser treatment and electroplating to help improve the richness of the black color. The electroplating process involves incorporating the gold with a dark metal such as rhodium.
That said, gold treatments often rely on the amount of energy needed to produce a rich black color. Each approach to creating gold has its benefits and drawbacks. While black gold did not get the same recognition as rose or white gold in the past, it’s not clear whether it was discovered at the time yet.
Not many people appreciate the richness of black gold, as many people are accustomed to the traditional types of gold. Due to its unpopularity compared to other metals, wearing black gold involves informed decision-making.
Methods Involved in the Production of Black Gold
There are various techniques smelters and goldsmiths use in the production of black gold. Each technique varies to the type of gold, quality, specific needs of the users, and various other factors. Below are the generally recommended techniques for the production of black gold:
1. Laser Application
It’s a recent discovery and involves modern laser technology to help impart a rich black color to gold. Laser application involves using high energy levels to heat metal and get to its microstructures.
These microstructures capture light, and this causes the gold to become pitch black. The drawback of this approach is that it involves technical applications and is energy-intensive. Such complex procedures mean it’s also a costly process for the traditional black gold jewelry user.
The use of rhodium plating is also common in the production of black gold. Rhodium is a black metal that gets its color from plating procedures for rhodium and ruthenium. These components help to bring out a rich black finish.
Furthermore, rhodium-plated gold might look appealing, but it tends to wear fast compared to traditional black gold types. Regardless of its durability challenges, rhodium is a standard procedure and can help impart a dazzling appeal to gold material.
Smelters often mix metals as the base substances for the production of black gold. The recommended ratio would be 1 to 3 parts of gold to ensure the gold still maintains a good market value. Furthermore, various other metals are common in the production of gold, and this includes gold.
However, you have to be careful with the specific techniques used in the production of the alloys. For instance, some alloys often include cheap metals, which can quickly depreciate the value of gold.
Measuring The Value of Black Gold
Like all types of gold, black gold also gets labels of its purity, usually in karats. Therefore, you are likely to come across labels such as 10, 14, and 18 karat gold ratings. People who want fine jewelry, such as wedding rings, will often opt for the 18 karat category.
Any karat level below 14 means that the gold is not pure enough or does not have a reasonable market value. Remember that pure gold averages at 24 karats, and it’s often too soft to use for most jewelry types.
Most goldsmiths often mix it with other alloys to help improve its strength. Recently, guidelines for metals also require that jewelers not sell anything that falls under the 10k category.
Before purchasing gold from resellers, remember to check the quality of the gold. Usually, it comes in the form of an engraving indicating the karat level of the piece.
Tips When Buying Black Gold
You should realize that black gold is different from the traditional types of jewelry. The tips below should make it easy to purchase the right type:
Realize the Black Gold is Not Actually “Black”
Many people think that black gold is a variation of the traditional yellow gold. However, it’s not and is often a mixture of various metals that help impart the gold’s rich black color.
The same applies to the various other colors of gold, including the white, red, and blue types. Furthermore, techniques such as rhodium plating have made it easy to get to the smallest particle structures in gold.
Doing this helps make gold material original, but most goldsmiths avoid this process because it’s complex and costly.
Learn About Verifying Gold Products the Right Way
You have many options when it comes to the quality of gold products. Regardless of whether the metal has a scratch or not, identifying the originality of black gold is important. Usually, jewelers, pawnshops, and cash-for-products shops often use a resource referred to as an XRF precious metal analyzer.
However, DIY enthusiasts who want to buy jewelry conveniently can opt for solutions such as x-ray fluorescence technology. It’s a convenient and non-destructive method for measuring the originality of gold.
Using these techniques for measuring black gold provides lots of helpful information. For example, it can include information on the concentration or trace or alloy elements and the quality of the gold.
Buy the Gold from Reputable Dealer
Since you are likely to be investing lots of cash in black gold jewelry, ensure you invest in the products by a reputable service. There are many goldsmith shops out there, but some don’t often have high-quality products.
So conduct some research when buying from a dealer. A few helpful things to consider during this process include:
- Research for the comments or things people have to say about their black gold products.
- Ask for previous or past projects with customers relating to jewelry.
- Determine whether state agencies or regulatory approved boards recognize the business.
- Check if the dealer offers customized options for events such as weddings.
How to Maintain Black Gold Jewelry
Taking good care of your black gold jewelry using the right techniques is important for its longevity. A few helpful tips include:
- Avoid exposing your black gold to products such as perfume and hairspray. These products contain large amounts of alcohol and chemicals that can stain the finish of your gold.
- Take your gold jewelry to a local shop or precious metals facility for maintenance. Do this to help maintain the original appeal and value of the jewel.
- Excessive sweating, such as from physical activity, can compromise the quality of the gold. Therefore, never wear your gold when going for a workout or during labor-intensive activities.
- Store the black gold after use in a cool and dry place, aware of moisture or exposure to elements such as dust.
- Remove the black gold jewelry if you have to deal with or handle acidic meals. Any streaks of acid on your jewelry can have harmful effects on its quality.
- Never swim with your gold jewelry in swimming pools with chlorinated water or salt.
Comparison of Black Gold to Other Precious black Metals
There are various other alternatives when it comes to selecting black gold jewelry, including:
- Black ceramic refers to a type of jewelry that often maintains its appeal and color consistency for years. Usually, it’s surface-plated but includes a unique mixture of heat-treated clay to produce ceramics. However, it’s similar to tungsten and can be prone to breaking.
- Black tungsten is a type of material that is resistant to issues such as scratching and also stays appealing for years. Plus, the material is often frail and prone to exposure to high-impact forces.
- Black titanium refers to a type of material that is exceptionally durable but also lightweight at the same time. The material also has a shiny and smooth appearance, which is similar to that of enamel.
- Black carbon fiber refers to a robust and durable material that provides various benefits. For example, it’s heat resistant and also compact, which makes it perfect for making jewelry. It’s also not a metal but a versatile type of fabric material.
There are various types of precious metals out there, each with its unique properties. If you have any comments about this guide or questions, please leave a comment. Black gold is a common jewelry alternative, but not many people know its contents or the production processes. So, you should:
- Research about gold products before buying.
- Consult with a reputable and professional dealer.
- Remember to consider your specific needs or preferences in choosing jewelry.