And no, we do not mean coal!
Now that winter has settled in, it is natural for our wardrobes to gear up for the change. We adopt darker clothing and pack up our summery colors and styles for summer 2018. While the days could not get any shorter and the sun sets far before 6 O’clock, we can’t help but feel the impact of the wintery darkness that has become the absolute norm, so why not embrace it?
What could be a better time to talk about black gold? Read on to get a better understanding of this mysterious jewelry pick.
1. Black gold wasn't born black.
We all know what makes white gold white -- right? Just in case you don’t, here’s a quick review. White gold is made by coating regular, yellow gold with rhodium. The rhodium gives the gold a white/platinum appearance. One may ask, is there really such a thing as white gold? The answer is, yes, but it isn’t naturally white.The same holds true with black and other colored gold. Black gold or more accurately, black-colored gold can be produced by electroplating regular gold using black rhodium or another chemical called ruthenium. If the gold is plated using ruthenium, it will feature a darker, harder black coating than if was coated with rhodium. If someone tries to sell you “real black gold,” remember that all black gold, like white gold, is coated. Any trustworthy seller of black gold should be transparent about this surprisingly little known fact. Just remember, black gold actually translates to black rhodium.
Wondering how gold plating works? Check out the video below for a quick run through of how its done.
As you may have assumed, when you learned that black gold is merely regular gold coated with black rhodium, a red flag may have gone off in your mind. Like all coatings, black rhodium may scratch, chip, and eventually start to wear away. This means that after a few years of sporting your black gold jewelry, you may need to take it in to be re-plated. However, the risk factor is relatively low as replating is inexpensive and can be avoided if you save your black gold jewelry for special occasions only.
It’s no secret that black gold is highly unique. Black gold is striking and stands out in a world of peachy rose gold and thick yellow gold bands. If you’re looking to stand out, or if you've spent your whole adult life without experimenting with your jewelry, maybe it’s time to invest in a piece of black gold jewelry. Black matches everything and is known for being classy, mysterious, and timeless. If you’re looking for something unique and stylish, black gold may be next in line to join your jewelry collection.
There’s nothing scary or odd about gold dipped in rhodium. In fact, rhodium is a rare and precious metal and is naturally occuring to boot. Furthermore, the stuff is not cheap, which makes sense as it is rumored to be about 100 times rarer than gold. There are under 10 rhodium mines in the world and most are located in South Africa. Rhodium is worth about $2,725 per ounce which is about twice as expensive as gold. Rhodium is used most frequently in the production of automotive catalytic converters, which convert harmful gases from auto exhaust into less harmful substances. In case you were nervous that rhodium was nothing more than some black schmutz on your precious gold, think again.
When it comes to unique and timeless precious metals, it's important to know what you're talking about. Before embarking on any trend or style, make sure you know your facts. Know how your jewelry was made and where it comes from. Part of being a collector is being an informed member of the conversation.
And remember! once you go black, you never go back.