What are the differences between your colored rings?

Blue Buddha carries 3 different types of colored metal: Anodized Aluminum, Anodized Niobium and Enameled Copper.  Each has a different look, price point, ease of use, durability, maintenance regiment and life expectancy. Anodized aluminum and enameled copper are considered base metals and can be mixed and matched with the other base metals; anodized niobium is considered a precious metal and can be mixed with sterling silver. (Please also see the FAQ question "What colors are in each of your mixes?")

Anodized Aluminum (AA)

Anodized AluminumDescription:  Bright colors and shiny finish, anodized aluminum is the only pure metal ring that comes in black. 

Price point: $ 

Ease of use: Like our aluminum rings, anodized aluminum is very ease to work with and is great for beginniners. 

Durability: Similar to plain aluminum, easy to manipulate and therefore, a little less durable.  Some anodized aluminum rings are weak (meaning they could pull apart easily), so be extra gentle. If the dye was not absorbed well, then it may begin to flake off at a stress point (generally the part of the ring directly opposite the opening) when you're working with it. Black is especially susceptible to this. 

Maintenance:  The color on anodized aluminum rings can be scratched by harder metals, so be careful when weaving and storing your piece. Oils from your skin may change the colors. Some of the color can be restored by washing the piece in soap and water. 

Life expectancy:  The color on anodized aluminum can last a long time with proper maintenance but, if worn very frequently, will not last forever. 

Alloy: 6061
Composition: Aluminum: 96.6 - 98.5%; Magnesium 1.5 - 2.1%; trace amounts of Chromium, Copper, iron, Manganese, Silicon, Titanium, Zinc

See available colors and purchase anodized aluminum.


Anodized Niobium (NIOB)

Anodized NiobiumDescription: Beautiful, vibrant and unique colors with nice sparkle. 

Price point: $$$ 

Ease of use: Easy to work with but expensive.  Not the best choice for beginners.

Durability:  This is our strongest colored metal.

Maintenance: Oils from your skin may change the colors. Easily scratched, so be careful when weaving.

Life expectancy: The color on anodized niobium can last a long time with proper maintenance but may experience change or scratches over time.

Alloy: n/a (pure niobium)
Composition: Niobium: 99.99%;

See available colors and purchase anodized niobium.


Enameled Copper (EC) + Enameled Silvered Copper (ECS)

Enameled CopperDescription: Very shiny and offers the brightest colors of all our colored metals. The silvered colors are especially vivid because there is a layer of pure silver underneath the plastic "enameled" coating.

Price point: $$ 

Ease of use: Enameled copper can be challenging to work with not because it is difficult to manipulate but because it is very soft and it is very easy to chip the color coating. Not the best choice for beginners.

Durability:  Very soft. When adding the plastic coating the metal becomes annealed, so it is soft.  Enameled copper is actually the weakest metal we sell.

Maintenance: Enameled copper can be pulled apart easily and must be treated very gently.  The color can chip easily so care should be taken when weaving.

Life expectancy: Due to the plastic coating on these rings, the color on enameled copper can last a very long time if treated gently. 

Temper: Dead Soft (due to adding the coating)
Proprietary. Coating is polyurethane and nylon blend.

See available colors and purchase enameled copper.