Colour-changing engagement ring
August 14, 2008 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I would like to buy an engagement ring that changes colour over time (years), does anyone have any suggestions for a material easily available in the UK?
posted by Saddo to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
White gold will yelllow within a few years, but if you mean develop a patina over time, copper (and/or iron) are a better bet. If you want a very slow change, maybe you could find a jeweler who would make a rose gold ring with a higher than usual copper content to the alloy. Anodized titanium will lose colour over time, but I suspect that is not what you want.
posted by BrotherCaine at 10:27 AM on August 14, 2008

higher than usual copper content to the alloy

This may not work -- the addition of copper already makes the metal more brittle in the "regular" proportions.

The color of any gold alloy tends to mellow over time regardless, but it's pretty subtle.
posted by desuetude at 11:17 AM on August 14, 2008

Silver will tarnish over time. The tarnish will wear off any flat surfaces, but it will darken any inscribed or debossed area. The effect is really quite attractive.
posted by lekvar at 12:36 PM on August 14, 2008

You can have a ring made of titanium or niobium, remove it periodically, and anodize it. I´m not sure how easy it would be to find a jeweler to do this, but it´s not difficult and the equipment for it is, when compared to the price of your average engagement ring, quite inexpensive. Making progressively thicker layers over time will give you a range of colors to go through.
posted by yohko at 1:01 PM on August 14, 2008

amber is the only thing that i can think of that will slowly change color over time.
posted by buka at 1:40 PM on August 14, 2008

Purpleheart naturally changes colour, from purple to brown, due to uv and ozone. It is a very dense wood which, combined with it's colour, make it ideal for inlays.

You'd have to protect it with metal if you wanted it to last, an inset like this could do the trick. You'd have the wood ring made first (in two pieces), soak it in some UV blocking spar varnish and then bring it to your goldsmith who could fit the gold to it. The wood would be secured with plain Cyanoacrylate super glue. The Cyanoacrylate is more than sufficient for this purpose, it's how I join metal to wood in turnings like wine stoppers and salt and pepper shakers. The varnish would wear over the years but could be easily be reapplied. Because the varnish isn't 100% UV blocking (nothing clear is) the wood would slowly turn from purple to purplish-brown to brown with a purple tint.

There are several other woods that exhibit this colour change if purple isn't your thing though most end up a reddish-brown colour.

Purple heart is available from any wood turning supply store and gold of course is available at your goldsmiths.
posted by Mitheral at 3:07 PM on August 14, 2008 [2 favorites]

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