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Dark metal?

Hi all, My husband would like me to make him a ring in a dark color
metal. He would love something like black gold, but I am not so sure
about using a surface treatment that will wear off in time. He wants
an open work design so there won’t be too many recesses to hold any
kind of applied color. My best option for him is red gold - it is
the darkest metal that I can cast in that I can think of, or to go
ahead and cut grooves into the design that will hold some color.

I would like to pick your brains for a good, durable, dark color
metal. Any crazy or practical ideas would be appreciated.


My husband would like me to make him a ring in a dark color metal. 

There’s always steel, with the glossy black finish that’s the result
of olive oil being baked on. If you’ve never seen it, I’ll admit my
description doesn’t sound attractive, but the result is lovely.
Especially with yellow gold accents. I have no idea how this is done
but perhaps someone here can explain. Ellen Wieske does some rings
like this but I don’t think she reads here.

Steel is pretty masculine.
Christine in Littleton, Massachusetts

Dear Jill, Zirconium is a lovely dark grey colour. It’s soft to work
and would be ideal for inlaying - and it is quite exotic. Perhaps
not so good for casting without special equipment. Kind regards,

Rex Steele Merten

Hi Rex, Zirconium? Sounds interesting. Is it too soft to use in a
ring by itself? Where would I find an exotic metal such as this?

I think I am leaning toward milling the ring out of titanium and
then over heating it to get it nice and dark. I would need a piece
at least 1.25" x 1.25" x .5". Reactive Metals only has 1" rod.
Anyone have any good sources for thick sheets, rods, or even .5" ring


I have several sizes of titanium bars in both grade-5 (6/4 alloy)
and grade-2 (commercially pure). Diameters are 0.875", 1.000", and
1.125" and I can put any size hole you need for the ID and cut it to
any width for the ring blank. I can also turn down the outside
diameter to any value you desire, if you do not want the stock sizes

I can supply from 1 to 1000 ring blanks for anyone that is
interested. I can also supply the blanks with a VERY thick wall.
This allows the customization to any ring size by turning down the OD
or boring out the ID.

Price varies with diameter, width, and quantity. prices start at
$20 per blank. Larger orders can take 2-3 weeks for delivery.
Smaller orders (1-50 pieces) can be done in 1-5 days.

Daniel J. Statman, Statman Designs

Hello Jill, I’ll have to get back to you about sourcing zirconium. I
was given some 1.5mm round wire by a generous colleague and I don’t
know where he obtained it originally (but I’ll find out).

Re the titanium in pieces large enough to carve out a solid ring: I
obtained some 4mm thick plate which was scrap from a company that
made pumps for pumping sulphuric acid. I was able to cut out lovely
solid rings from these “scraps”. However, it wasn’t easy. I broke
lots of sawblades although the results were worthwhile. I found that
it was easiest to drill out the finger size then cut away the bits in
between the drill holes with my saw. Lots of cleanup filing.

I’ll be in touch about the zirconium, although I’m sure our
Orchidians will know the answer. Kind regards, Rex