Why do engravings come out different colors?

 Black tungsten ring engraving versus black ceramic ring engraving

These two rings are the same in appearance, but because one is black ceramic and one is black tungsten, the engravings will come out differently.

Different Metals and How They Engrave

Have you ever wondered what engraving looks like on tungsten?  Maybe you have pondered what engraving looks like on ceramic, or even cobalt?  Tungsten carbide and alternative metals produce different colors when laser engraved.  This is due to a number of reasons, but mostly due to element composition and not differences in engraving techniques.



Engraving Color

Ring Example




Tungsten Carbide

Dark gray engraving   Tungsten ring Tungsten ring engravings are a very dark gray color, almost black.  This is a very visible engraving and is commonly requested.


White Tungsten

White Tungsten Carbide

 Gray engraving  White tungsten ring  White tungsten engravings are very similar to regular tungsten, but due to the brighter metal of white tungsten, the engraving will contrast more and be more visible to the naked eye.


Black Tungsten

Black Tungsten Carbide

 Light gray or gold engraving  Black tungsten ring  Black tungsten engravings are a light gray/gold color and are highly visible and contrasting.

 Black Ceramic

 Dark gray engraving  Black ceramic ring  Black ceramic engraves almost black and is visible in certain lights.  This is the least visible engraving out of the set.


 Dark gray engraving  Cobalt ring  Cobalt engravings are similar to that of regular tungsten and come out a dark gray/black.

Photo of Matthew Bergman
Posted on 3/11/2015
Matthew Bergman