Zirconium is an element. It is one of the transition metals on the periodic table; it is a biproduct of Titanium production and does not occur naturally in the Earth’s crust. In its natural state, Zirconium is a grey-white colour, similar to Titanium. It can also be heat treated which causes a strong layer of black oxide to form on its outer surface. This is what is known as Black Zirconium.
The metal has an extremely high resistance to corrosion, and as such is popular for use in machinery and watch pieces. It even has many medical uses and is instrumental in aiding patients on dialysis.
The strength, non-reactivity, and physical beauty of Zirconium make it ideal for use in jewellery. Rings made from it are extremely hardy and comfortable to wear.
As a material, Zirconium is extremely hard-wearing. It is very light which makes it comfortable to wear, particularly for people unused to wearing jewellery.
The metal is corrosion resistant as well as being relatively inexpensive. Many choose rings of this alloy as a second wedding ring to wear to work or on holiday, as they are more inexpensive than precious metal bands.
In comparison to other metals and alloys, Zirconium is very easy to care for. It is extremely resistant to corrosion by acids, alkalis, and salt water. This means your ring should not corrode if you forget to take it off in the pool on holiday or at the beach!
Heat treating doesn’t just make the metal black. It can be enhanced at different temperatures to form various different coloured oxides on the surface for a truly individual look.
Just like any material that you can make a wedding ring from, Zirconium can scratch and will do so eventually. Remember that your ring scratching is not a manufacturing flaw, or an indication of poor quality. Anything worn on the hand will come into contact with everything you touch and will therefore be in the first line of fire for little bumps and knocks!
To help prolong your ring’s shiny surface as long as possible, make sure you keep your ring wrapped up in a soft cloth when you are not wearing it. Try and avoid wearing your ring while washing up or doing any strenuous activities like sports. Be aware that door handles, stair rails, and any other objects made from steel will be much harder than Zirconium and can cause wear and tear. This is true for almost all wedding rings.
Plain Zirconium is much harder wearing than black Zirconium. Remember that the blackening is an oxide on the outer layer, so this outer layer can be scraped off if damaged. A matte finish will make this finish more vulnerable to scratching due to the friction it creates.
Thinking Zirconium is for you? Shop our huge selection of rings on our website here!