A new metal combination for our rings.
Shibuichi & Continuum™ Sterling Silver
We are very excited to offer our newest metal combination, which is visually striking and durable; also the most affordable of our precious metal combinations. Given the high cost of gold, palladium and platinum it has been difficult to offer a high quality, lower cost mokume gane ring using precious metal alloys in the laminate. Our Damascus steel and blackened stainless steel have a lower cost than our gold or palladium mokume rings, however those metals don’t necessarily appeal to people who want a precious metal ring. By combining Continuum™ sterling silver and shibuichi we are able to offer a ring with beauty and high durability at a much lower cost than rings with other precious metal alloys.
What is shibuichi?
Shibuichi is a traditional Japanese copper / silver alloy. The name translates into English as “one quarter”. Shibuichi was often used to decorate a samurai sword’s handle and scabbard. Shibuichi has a nominal composition of 75% copper and 25% silver but can range from 5% – 60% silver. At 75% copper / 25% silver it has a pale copper color. In traditional Japanese work it was typically patinated to various shades of grey. I chose to use the 75% copper 25% silver alloy as it gives the resistance to corrosion and strength properties I was looking for.
What Is ContinuumTM Sterling Silver?
ContinuumTM sterling silver is a patented alloy from the jewelry supplier Stuller. It was developed to produce a sterling silver with improved hardness and tarnish resistance. Its use in our mokume gane in combination with shibuichi allows us to offer a beautiful, tough and long-lasting ring.
Color: While shibuichi is initially pale copper in color the alloy quickly will turn to a medium grey color with some copper tone highlights in daily wear. We will normally apply a treatment that colors it to grey before shipping. As it is worn it will develop a unique patina of grey with some coppery highlights.
Corrosion resistance: Shibuichi with its silver content is much more resistant to corrosion than I had initially thought. I conducted extensive tests similar to those I did on copper silver rings to see if this metal combination would be satisfactory for daily wear. This metal combination passed all of my tests. I feel confident in offering this metal combination as part of our precious metals mokume line.
Options: We can use this metal combination in all our ring styles and jewelry. Prices will be significantly lower than any of our other metal combinations that include gold, palladium or platinum.
In order to have a high contrast in the pattern, this metal combination will only be offered as etched.
To see more information and images got to the Shibuichi catalog page