Anodizing titanium for gold or brassy color

I don’t know if it is possible, but does anyone know if one can
anodize titanium and produce a gold or brassy like color on it. Any
help is greatly appreciated.


I don't know if it is possible, but does anyone know if one can
anodize titanium and produce a gold or brassy like color on it.
Any help is greatly appreciated. 

Yes. It’s the first of the series of colors you get. The series
repeats several times as anodizing voltage is raised.



Yes, you can get gold(ish) and brassy colors when anodizing
titanium. Unlike aluminum anodizing which is colored by subsequent
dyeing and sealing, coloration in titanium is achieved primarily
through a balance of

(a) initial etching and
(b) electrical parameters during the process or simply
(c) torch heating without anything else.

is a very good reference and his methods actually do work.

Mark B
Fourth Axis

Talking about color is always interesting. In the 19th century Albert
Munsell wrote the book. Essentially, in words, we can only roughly
guess at what is meant by a colors name. There is, as it terns out,
to be a very specific way to communicate about color. If you have
never had a class on color theory it might be worth a look.

Presuming “gold” means something 14-18K yellow “goldish”, The
answer is no. The closest color is “yellowish.” Now “brassy” is a
little tougher to guess. Polished “brassy” “red brassy”, aged
“brassy?” “Yellowish?” The answer is no, not really. In the low
voltage range there is a “earthy” gold to purple look. In the next
higher order there is a “yellowish” “goldish” “iridescent” look. Ask
yourself this… Have you ever seen any titanium that looks like the
color you want? If the answer is no, then there is probably a reason
why. That answer would be, it can not be reproduced by the anodizing

Reactive Metals Studio, Inc

I don't know if it is possible, but does anyone know if one can
anodize titanium and produce a gold or brassy like color on it. Any
help is greatly appreciated. 

Yes. Why?

The lowest-voltage or temperature color titanium goes is a kind of
gold color. There is a second-order (higher voltage or temperature)
clearer yellow. But if you want titanium to pass for gold or brass,
I’m not too confident. Plus, the low-order color is so thin a layer
that it damages easily.

If you want hypo-allergenic earwires that look OK with gold, that
may work OK.

You can heat-color titanium, but you can almost certainly get that
gold color by anodizing using a converted wall-wart (AC adaptor)
since I believe they are 12 volts, and you only need between 5 and 10
volts to get gold, depending on the size of the work piece and the

Bear in mind, it is very difficult to get a decent shine on
titanium, if that matters.


It won’t be as simple as producing the anodized color layers (thin
oxide films), but very thin films of titanium nitride are gold
colored. These very hard films are produced on steel tools to give a
very hard longer lasting cutting edge. See :



In short, yes you can…

While I work primarily with niobium the principle is the same. The
’color’ in the reactive metals is the result of ‘interference
colors’ that are produced by the interaction of light waves reflected
off the surface of the transparent oxide layer (titanium oxide in the
case of titanium) and underlaying substrate metal. The colors
produced relate to the thickness (measured in angstroms, we are
talking ‘thin’ ) of the oxide layer.

There are two ways to produce this oxide layer in the studio. The
first involves thermal oxidation, using a torch or kiln. The second,
and far more controlled, involves anodizing in a electrolytic bath.

I’d strongly suggest you get yourself over to the Reactive Metals
website and get a copy of Bill Seeley’s excellent paper ‘Studio
Preparation and Coloring of Titanium’.

He can also supply you with metal and findings, anodizing equipment,
etc. Bill deserves a big ‘shout out’ for pioneering the use of
reactive metals in jewelry, just excellent stuff!

Charles Wiggins

Thanks for all the help. I am looking just to accent in a color that
has some resemblance to yellow. Sounds like it is a possibility.

Yes titanium colours beautifully to a yellow ochre or brassy colour.
Firstly, as with all titanium colouring, it is necessary to have the
titanium absolutely clean and any oxides from previous heating must
be completely removed. You can either highly polish or scratch brush
the surface, remove all oils, polish residue in the ultrasonic
Carefully wash in alcohol and dry with clean tissues. I prefer a
severt / primus air flame for most items. Not oxygen. Make a holding
tool to place the item on and gently heat, moving it or the flame
constantly. Watch the colours appear. Gold is the first colour to
appear. Remove flame and if not correct scratch brush and try again.
You can use a kiln with a pyrometer. Do tests first. Or yellow can be
just be achieved using a plating rectifier. Read OPPI for
temperatures / colour and voltages / colour.

David Cruickhank

Yes, I colored a ceremonial jewish salt cellar (10 cm x 10 cm) in a
beautifull golden color. I used the micro-anodizer from Reactive
Metals. Very easy to do!

Have fun,
Linda Savineau (Belgium)

A nice brassy gold is readily achieved on Titanium via anodizing
with between 55 and 60VDC. This does depend on several factors. Size
of the piece being anodized matters, a large piece will require a
power supply with a LOT of current capacity. The grade of Ti (the
purer the better) will also affect the ability to achieve the color,
as will the finish and cleanliness of it. I have no problem polishing
Ti, Noel, you just need the right equipment.