Black number plates can legally go on a vehicle in the UK. There are very strict rules that dictate which vehicles are eligible for black number plates. Any vehicle that was constructed before 1st January 1973 can legally have the vehicle registration number displayed on black number plates.
When vehicles started having registrations and therefore number plates the original display was on black number plates with white lettering. Classic number plates these days tend to be black number plates with silver lettering. There are acrylic black number plates on the market but classic number plates, ideal for a car restoration project would usually be a metal number plate.
The metal number plates have the vehicle registration number pressed using dies the same way they always have been. The metal is sprayed and stoved to create black number plates then pressed with the vehicle registration number. The registration numbers that were issued prior to 1973 were dateless in that they had no year indicator i.e. PSV 164 and early suffix numbers up to a C suffix. So a registration number like EKR 871C could also legally have black number plates.