18 Aug 2019
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Titanium: A Force to Reckon With
Titanium Fine Jewellery
By: Diamond World News Service
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Oct 22 2018 1:15PM
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Reference: 16737  

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Only one-fourth the weight of gold, Titanium is one of the strongest metals to work with. It’s iridescent nature and weight that is light as a feather has made it an interesting choice of metal for many fine jewellery designers

To a world which is still smitten by the glitter of gold, sparkle of silver and perfectness of platinum, titanium is seldom a first choice when it comes to jewellery. However, some brilliant minds, discovering the beauty of this enduring metal, its strength and potential to be produced in different colours, engaged with it, to produce fantastic pieces of jewellery. And thus was born a craft that is extremely arduous and painstaking and also a very niche clientele who fancy jewels made out of this rustic albeit stunning metal.

A man called William Gregor first discovered this metal in 1791 and aptly christened it titanium afteris the antithesis of rare, and has found use in the fields of medicine, dentistry and aerospace. In jewellery, the metal was first introduced by the prodigious jewellery designer Joseph Arthur Rosenthal (JAR) in the late 80s. He crafted a beautiful, electric purple Mughal flower bracelet with rubies, sapphires, amethysts, garnets and diamonds.

Fine jewellery designers have ever since been trying to experiment with this metal whose myriad colours work wonderfully well with a variety of gemstones. Master Carver Wallace Chan is known for his exemplary pieces that tastefully uses titaniumand precious stones. London-based jewellery designer Glenn Spiro works with titanium ever so often – a delightful pair of fish bone earrings that are so large to look at are actually light as air, something which couldn’t have been possible without titanium. In Antwerp, Francis Mertens has carved a niche for himself for having created such voluptuous pieces of jewellery using titanium. Roman jeweller Fabio Salini uses titanium in beautiful hues to complement gemstones like tanzanites and spinels. Geneva based Suzanne Syz on the other hand uses this versatile metal to create her whimsical pieces – herbig bang bracelet for instance uses titanium in its natural form with 115.32 carats of diamond slices; however, her Star Wars Treasures ring celebrates electric blue using cabochon sapphire and blue titanium. Titanium is also generously used in the watch industry, the luxury watch brands especially have been lapping up the metal for its intrinsic qualities, especially in seemingly heavy looking pieces.

However dynamic it is, titanium is not the easiest metal to work on, which is one of the reasons why many jewellers are still on the fence about using this metal. Very few jewellers have mastered the craft of making pieces using titanium and some arestill perfecting it. Its hardness also makes it almost impossible to set the stones – its takes years of practicing to achieve this. Titanium has to be casted in a temperature of 1650 C in a very controlled, static atmosphere – as casting in the presence of air may cause the metal to burst. Hence, it is suffice to say, only artists who have patience and utmost passion towards experiment have worked with this curious metal with promising qualities.

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