The days are shorter. The air is chillier. We’ve put the lighthearted colors of summer behind us, and turn to the more somber colors of winter. This seasonal change is true of jewelry design as well as fashion. Dark metals, like black rhodium-plated gold or blackened gold, blackened silver, and blackened titanium are everywhere this season in jewelry pieces that are as beautiful as they are daring.

Dark metals do have their bright side. They’re the perfect background for the luxurious opulence of colored gemstones. When set in dark metal, a sapphire’s blue seems bluer, ruby’s red is redder, and tsavorite’s green just seems to pop. Blackened metals also speak to trending design motifs – they evoke the patina of antique jewelry and allude to the industrial age. So whether your style is softly romantic, or you tend toward the edginess of steampunk or industrial, you’ll find that a piece of dark metal jewelry will surely light up your holiday party dress.

We’ve found some unique jewelry pieces that feature dark metal to take you into winter with style.

Deep Sea Abyss Pendant

The Sea Queen Skeleton, an articulated pendant, from the Deep Sea Collection by Lydia Courteille. Courtesy D’Orazio

Black rhodium-plated gold, diamonds, sapphires, and opals adorn this hauntingly beautiful mermaid pendant. This would be an unforgettable addition to your look, especially for Halloween or Day of the Dead.

Scarlet Empress Earring

Scarlet Empress earrings by Lydia Courteille. Courtesy D’Orazio

These spellbinding earrings feature red rhodium-plated gold, rubies, and pink to red tourmalines called rubellites. This non-traditional design gracefully rebels against the norm. Can you spot the masks incorporated on either side?


Scarlet Empress ring by Lydia Courteille. Courtesy D’Orazio

Red rhodium-plated gold, rubies, and spinels make up this ring. A bird, evocative of the Russian imperial eagle, is depicted on top of the ring, another winged wonder that’s made its way into jewelry design.


Tsavorite garnet and diamond necklace and earrings. Gift of Dr. Gary R. and Barbara E. Hansen. Photo: Maha Tannous/GIA

Diamonds and gemstones appear to stand out when set in blackened 18K gold. This necklace and matching earrings have a total of 25 leaves that include 26.14 carats of tsavorite garnets and 14.93 carats of diamonds. Dark metal jewelry complements fall fashions beautifully.


Blackened titanium and diamond cufflinks from the Templar Collection by Edward Mirell. Courtesy of Craig Selimotic Danforth. Photo: Orasa Weldon/GIA

Blackened, or dark metal, can bring a tough exterior to any look. These Edward Mirell blackened titanium cufflinks feature a diamond in their center.


Malafemmina earrings by Dada Arrigoni. Courtesy of Dada Arrigoni Jewelry

These striking earrings are pavé set with black diamonds and colorless diamonds in 18K blackened gold, a classic color scheme for an out-of-the-ordinary pair of earrings.


Open Wave cuff bracelet by Rona Fisher Jewelry Design. Courtesy of Rona Fisher Jewelry Design. Photo: Cole Rodger

An 8mm round labradorite from Madagascar and 0.11 ct rose-cut brown diamond adorn this open wave cuff bracelet in hand-forged blackened sterling silver and 18K red and yellow gold.

Now that you’ve seen a few ways jewelry designers are imagining pieces made from dark metal, maybe you’re ready to see Where the Wild Things Are. Are you intrigued?