There is more to titanium jewelry than meets the eye



Titanium jewelry was one of the first commercial and mass consumer oriented application of the titanium metal. It followed titanium’s steady rise in status from a laboratory curiosity to the more “normal” metal profile. Titanium jewelry still is both the fastest growing market sector in titanium industries and the fastest growing market sector in jewelry industries, though it is worth noting, to stay as close to the truth as possible, that it has a long way to go until it would prove as a real contender for the old dogs of the jewelry sector – gold, silver and platinum.

Titanium jewelry presents all the qualities needed to become a state of the art piece of craftsmanship. It is durable, far more durable and tough that it’s main competitors noted above. It is also corrosion resistant, and has the ability of sustaining this resistance, by replacing the passive oxide layer that provides it, should it be the case – for instance, when scratching occurs. And titanium is also far more hypoallergenic than any other metal that has been tried in the jewelry industry.

As with any other new metal, jewelry artists are trying their best to make use of the entire potential – which is huge – of the titanium metal in this sector. A titanium ring can be made as merely a simple round band of metal or as true masterpieces adorned with intricate and complicated carvings, inlays and precious stones, by using titanium metal in different forms and shapes.

A clear example is presented in Creations By Nadine. These are custom chainmaille and jumpring jewelry, handmade in Canada. Nadine uses many weaves including: Byzantine, Helm, JPL. Along popular materials such as: stainless steel, copper, silver and, she also uses titanium and anodized titanium.

Titanium specific properties regarding durability and flexibility have made possible the reappearance of some items that have been long considered obsolete. Titanium money clips niche is flourishing and is not far fetched to believe that titanium will make money clips a mainstream item competing with the more traditional porte-feuilles.

Titanium metal also has the unique ability of being able to be machined in such ways that its specific appearance is changed beyond what the uneducated eye is able to distinguish. A perfect example is given by these incredible titanium earrings.

This is possible because of titanium metals anodizing properties. This is a specific procedure that involves creating oxide layers of different thicknesses on the metal surface that present refractive properties. The optical effects generated by the light interferences range from pure black to sterling gold with the same vivacity that is witnessed in the luminescent effects of the rainbow or oil on water such as in these titanium necklaces and titanium bracelets.

The ignition and the continuous development of the titanium jewelry market, both in retail and in wholesale, were caused by all these unique titanium properties. In body jewelry, where the items sometimes interact directly with exposed tissue, titanium practically eliminated all other competitors, mostly due to its hypoallergenic properties.

Some companies are using titanium as the main marketing propeller, taking advantage of the mystical allure of titanium, often called as metal of the gods. For instance, Phiten allegedly developed a proprietary Phild process that is used to make some very special Phiten titanium necklaces and Phiten bracelets.

It should be noted that jewelers have limited possibilities of choosing the materials they need to perform their craft. They need a very special combination of inherent qualities that is found in only a precious few materials. Jewelry needs to be durable, to have relative inertia to general corrosion factors and be easily tolerable by the human organism.

This is already an incredible limiting set of requirements that already rules out many of the materials that are otherwise commonly used in many products that make our life easier. Yet, one more factor is needed for success in the jewelry industry, maybe the most important. Beauty. Jewelry must be able to inherently provide and sustain a pleasant aesthetic effect.

I’m using such great words because I really want to underline the idea. A simple idea. That, in fact, jewelry simply needs to be beautiful. That is why it was created in the first place.

This is why the jewelry industry resided for long millennia on gold and silver, with the modern and minimal addition in the modern age of platinum. Though it was tried, and there is many an artisan who actively pursued the use of uncommon materials in jewelry – wood, glass, leather, and copper – a real alternative was simply never found.

So far. Because, as of 1945, with the discovery of titanium and with its further increasing availability for commercial applications, due to the efficient refining technologies, this is not an issue anymore.

It is the first time that classical artisans are beginning to treat titanium not as an exotic temporary “extra”, but rather as the foundation for a whole new jewelry class. Many of the major jewelers are presenting a titanium jewelry selection in their catalogues. It’s just natural. Titanium metal is here to stay.



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