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Brief Published: 2 Sep 2020

Disrupting Classic Metal: New Black Colour for 18k Gold

18k black gold, Reut Ringel

New York-based designer Reut Ringel has developed an 18k black gold by adapting automotive and aerospace manufacturing techniques – an endeavour that seeks to expand the available colour variations of precious metals for fine jewellery.

While darkened metals are commonly available (such as black-plated rhodium and ruthenium) amongst the classic palette of white, rose and yellow golds, these generally have a gunmetal hue that wears off over time. The new, patent-pending method results in a superseding colour quality; a long-lasting, high-grade and deeply pigmented black hue that still has the shine of true gold.

This technical feat has been realised in conjunction with a team of engineers. Rather than using traditional plating techniques, the undisclosed process works by changing the chemical composition of the material’s surface. It’s now being developed further to achieve other coloured golds.

The innovative process is also grounded in sustainability – a key driver across the whole jewellery sector (read What the New Jewellery Consumer Wants). Locally sourced waste 18k gold is used as the raw material, while no chemical or liquid waste is generated during production.  

The first collection from the designer’s namesake label pairs the 18k black gold with natural baroque pearls in a series of hand-formed organic styles. For more creative innovation across the jewellery market, see CMF Industry View: Jewellery

Other new directions for gold are being achieved by disrupting manufacturing techniques – see Disrupting Material Values: 18k Plastic Gold.