How to Add Color to Jewelry
Written by Annabelle
May 19, 2020
Jewelry is a form of expression, and some people like the idea of colorful jewelry metals! But how do you get your items to those vivid blues and pinks that you see on jewelry online? Here’s how to add color to jewelry.
Jewelry Coloration Methods
Physical Vapor Deposition
In order to get metals to a specific color, most mass manufacturers use PVD, or physical vapor deposition. Without getting too technical, this is a process that’s used to put coloration on things like cars and even iPhones. The procedure uses industry equipment that’s not readily available to most jewelers, and requires a lot of manufacturing experience.
While we can’t exactly recommend taking an existing piece of jewelry to get PVD applied to it, you can definitely consider purchasing a piece of jewelry with PVD coloration! These items are easily found online at very affordable prices as the PVD is typically used on stainless steel or tungsten.
This process is similar to PVD, but it’s much more easy to apply and can be added to existing pieces of jewelry as long as you’ve found a suitable vendor. While it’s not offered by local jewelers, casting facilities and local manufacturers will often do e-coating per piece, making it an available option for you. E-coating stands for electrophoretic coating, a process that applies color to the surface of your metal by coating it with a ceramic-based “paint.” This paint hardens over the metal, creating a semi-transparent coating that changes the appearance of your item.
Commonly used for detailing in class rings and other designs, enamel is a thick jewelry “paint” that is applied to grooved areas in brilliant, often opaque or transparent designs. Consider adding some enamel work to your jewelry if you don’t want the whole thing to be coated, as it works best for slight pops of color in designs.
A Few Tips on Applying Color to Your Jewelry
These processes require high heat, and can be dangerous for items that contain a lot of fragile stones like glass, plastic, turquoise, pearl, opal, or coral. Once applied, e-coating requires a special solution to soak off the coloration, while enamel needs to be manually removed. Keep in mind that rings and bracelets receive the most wear, and so it may not be the best idea to apply coloration to an item that you constantly use.
Now you’re all set on how to add color to jewelry! Comment below if you’d like to get started on e-coating or enameling something.