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Ion Plating: How Black, White, Rose Gold Tungsten Gets Its Color

Any colored tungsten carbide ring other than its natural silver color is achieved through a process called ion plating. This is true for all tungsten jewelry in the world. Ion plating is a process by which a surface is bombarded with atomic sized energetic particles in a vacuum to deposit a hard coating of compound materials that results in a desirable color. The process is vastly superior to traditional "wet" plating methods (like electroplating) due to its increased bonding strength.

Ion plating, while more difficult to scratch than traditional gold or silver, is not as scratch resistant as the underlying tungsten. Plating can be damaged through contact with an abrasive surface or substance, chemicals, and hard surfaces (metal, wood, tile, etc). Plating can also be damaged by frequent exposure to hard water, or repeated contact with moderately hard surfaces such as a computer mouse or the inside of a glove.

For these reasons, we recommend removing plated tungsten rings before doing such activities as: handling metal objects, going to the gym, playing sports, entering water, and washing dishes or hands. We understand that this can seem like an inconvenience, but it is no different than wearing a traditional gold or silver ring. Rings such as these should be treated with attentive care.

If you are interested in a black band, we recommend looking into black ceramic as opposed to black tungsten. Ceramic is just as strong a material as tungsten but the color is not plated so it does not have this issue. This is why you will see that most of the black rings that we offer are made from ceramic. We also have ceramic rings in other colors as well.

If you are interested in a gold or other color band, unfortunately this type of color cannot be achieved with ceramic. All tungsten, titanium, or stainless steel that is gold in color is achieved through plating. This is true whether you are looking for a watch with a gold metal band, a designer purse with gold metal clasps, or a gold ring. We understand that customers who are interested in this color like the traditional look of gold jewelry but appreciate the durability of tungsten carbide. The compromise is ion plated gold tungsten.