Anodizing Vs. Patina

I was interested in knowing which metals Anodize the best? and what
type of color schemes or patterns has anyone achieved on these
metals? Is Anodizing the same as a patina finish? What would be the

Have a nice day

Gabriel Manzo
Marketing / Jeweler
California Institute of Jewelry Training

(916) 487-1122
(800) 731-1122

First let me say I will be at the California Institute of Jewelry
Training March 8, 9 and 10. This will be a hands on Anodizing

Anodizing is an electro chemical process generally related to the
reactive metals. Titanium and niobium are the most common. Others
that will respond to this process includ: Tantalum, Molybdium,
Halfnium, Zirconium. Of these Niobium is the easiest and most
predictable to color. It is easy to form, forge, roller print etc.
Then always colors great. In this process we are growing an extremely
thin oxide on the metals. It produces interference colors or colors
like you see on a oily wet street. The are no pigments or dyes. You
will sometimes see these colors form on other metals with heat or
with very dilute patina solutions. On the reactive metals these
colors are stable. On the more common jewelry metals they are not.
The colors on the reactive metals can be controlled by the voltage
applied in a very exact way. Patterns and designs are without limit.
There are many ways to approach the design element. There are many
tools, masking, painting, photo masking, screen printing etc., etc.

Not to be confused with anodizing on aluminum. Anodizing is one step
in the Al process and forms a porous oxide that absorbs dyes.

Much more on this next month. Bill

PS Hmmmmm. This looks like I might have put Gabriel up to this
question but I didn’t. Still, it will be a fun workshop.

Thank you, Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sarah
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc.

800/876-3434 928/634-3434 F928/634-6734


Go to, anodizing is fun to play with, your
students will have fun with the instant results. They have the
anodizer kits and metals you need. You use electricity to make your
colors on the metal when anodizing rather than applying a chemical


I sell anodized jump rings and I have a chart of colors for my
customers that you may find useful. The number corresponds to the
voltage that (more or less) yields that color. Repeatability is a big
headache, but you eventually get a feel for it.

Color chart here:

Email me offlist if you have questions, since I check Orchid
infrequently and usually in a hurry. :wink: