plating, anodizing, & finishing Q&As since 1989
Titanium Coloring Question for wedding rings
This may seem like some strange questions but here goes... I'm in the process of picking out a groom's band and would like this one: http://cdn.overstock.com/images/products/P11480892.jpg in Titanium with the Carbon Fiber inserts. Now here's the catch, I would like the Titanium part anodized this color blue (ignore the image, it was the best color match I could find): http://www.bigwheels.net/wheels/sportmax/006_black_anodized_blue_lip_large.jpg
According to the jewelers I've spoken with, you can't color Titanium (which I know is untrue).
My questions are:
1) What process would I tell the jeweler needs to be done to get that deep blue coloration?
2) If the jeweler won't do it, how difficult/expensive would it be to have the ring sent out after the fact to have someone color it and would the carbon fiber and laminant be destroyed in the process? Is it the kind of thing I could do myself with a small alkaline bath and electric current?
3) How durable would the coloration be? (I've had anodized aluminum components that eventually wear back to gray but were automotive parts that saw abuse.)
Thank you all in advance for your help.
Buyer - East Northport, New York
June 10, 2010
Hi, Mike. You can do it yourself in a mild solution of TSP or Coke
(search our site for a dozen or more threads on color anodizing titanium), but the results of D-I-Y hacking may not be pleasing enough for heirloom jewelry. The coating is only millionths of an inch thick (it's not really blue, it's a clear coating of exactly the right thickness to defract the light to blue), so I think its durability on a high wear item like a wedding band will be dismal :-(
Then again, I know a bride who, within 6 months, was divorced and remarried to her husband's best man -- so maybe durability isn't all that important these days :-)
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha
finishing.com - Pine Beach, New Jersey
June 10, 2010
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