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Oxidised Silver Creates Stunning Black Rings

Apr. 10 2014
The dramatic and striking look of oxidized silver can be the signature feature in the design of black engagement rings.

F is constantly teasing me about the sheer number of black skirts and trousers that I own. He obviously does not realise the universal versatility of any black garment. The colour black goes with everything and has a tendency to make all other colours look that bit more vibrant.

However, F does seem to appreciate the attributes of the colour when he sees me in my classic little black dress! Chic, classic, elegant and a little mysterious. The colour black embodies it all, and it seems that recently black’s virtues are being utilised to create exquisite black engagement rings.

The Brilliance of Black

The rise in popularity of vibrantly coloured engagement rings has led many bespoke designers and brides-to-be to wonder how to truly complement and enhance the beauty of the coloured gemstone chosen. Many times a coloured gem, especially one that might be a paler, more delicate hue, is over powered by the standard band options of yellow, white gold or even platinum. The best technique of highlighting the beauty of a coloured gemstone is to set it on a black ring band.

Elaine Jenkins by Design Initiative, used under a Creative Commons licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/)

An example of an oxidised silver ring.

The most striking looking black metal that is frequently chosen is oxidised silver.

Just like that trusty black skirt that most women have in their wardrobe, black engagement rings look good with any coloured gemstone. However, rings created with oxidised silver bands supporting dazzling and sparkling coloured gems don’t just look good, they look amazing! No other metal will make the brightly coloured gemstone ‘pop’ more, and with that added element of drama that comes from the dark metal highlighting the brilliant colour, these black engagement rings never fail to turn heads.

Contemporary Meets Vintage

Traditionally, oxidised silver was used by designers to create an aged or vintage look for their jewellery pieces. The actual process of oxidisation involves tarnishing the metal in a controlled manner by immersing it in a solution of water and Liver of Sulphur. The level of darkness can be affected during this treatment, resulting in either a pale grey or a deep solid black.

One of the unique features of oxidised silver is that, once it is polished, the raised surfaces become shiny while the grooves remain dark, creating an appealing variegated effect. After learning this it was all I could to stop F from creating his own at-home chemistry set to give this process a try!

Low Maintenance With Maximum Effect

Oxidised silver engagement rings are actually very easy to care for. Everything you know about keeping normal silver bright and shiny should be totally avoided. To maintain the desirable dark smoky finish of the metal, a simple solution of lukewarm soapy water should be used. Simply submerge the ring in the soapy solution for 10 to 15 minutes and then remove it. With a soft cloth, gently wipe and dab the ring dry and you are done!

Black engagement rings created from oxidised silver are, without a doubt, breathtakingly beautiful, mysterious, elegant and chic. Even F recognized that the simple contrast of the black metal against a vibrantly coloured gem is shockingly effective and impossible to resist. Just like that classic little black dress, you simply cannot go wrong.


Shivani PatelWorcester
Susan PeiresLondon
Melanie EddyLondon
Jon DibbenSurrey
Andrew EnglishLondon