What? Humans have figured out a way to make gold and silver into different colours?

next previous
Nano InscriptionImage showing nano inscription on a piece of gold.

Yes you heard it right. Scientists at the University of Southampton have figured out a way to make silver, gold as well as other metals into different colours. This is done by modifying the surface of the metal by indenting or creating raised structures on the surface of the metal. The raising and indenting of the surface is so miniscule (60nm to 200 nm in depth) that it causes changes in the metal’s reflection spectrum. The colours produced are largely insensitive to viewing angle. The impressions are made with arrays of 170 nm diameter rings.

This technology would be great in the jewelry industry as it is another technique that can be used to inscribe information onto a piece of jewelry allowing for higher authenticity and it can be used cosmetically. The only issue I see is surface wear, since silver and gold alloys are soft.

On the other hand this might be an interesting technique to place on gemstones. What are your thoughts on this new technology? Leave your comments below.

Further details of the research can be seen in the International Online Journal of Optics.