again. Eddie is a brilliant metallurgist/jeweler who pioneered the use of alternative metals to exist in fine jewelry. Two of his most noteworthy achievements are that he developed Black Ti (a proprietary and patented process that molecularly turns titanium from gray to a rich black color) and CobaBlue Cobalt (used by Scott Kay for his Cobalt wedding bands).
Eddie is not one to rest on his past successes. He never sits still. Always tinkering like the Mad Scientist. (Seriously, he does remind some of us of a mad scientist – but in a good way!) Read my interview with Eddie from a few years ago here.
At the JCK Las Vegas Jewelry Show this past summer, Eddie showed me two very exciting new developments he’s ready to unleash onto the world of titanium ring manufacturing. I was really amazed! It’s apparent he’s have been very busy at his south Florida laboratory.
These developments involve molecularly marrying precious metals with less expensive alternative metals. They are co-extrusion and co-casting, and they’ve been 15 years in the making. Both involve incorporating gold (also silver and platinum) into titanium and black titanium. ”The premise is to deliver a new look in precious metal at a reasonable price”, says Rosenberg.
In recent years, precious metal prices have went through the roof. This has resulted in two trends in precious metal jewelry:
- Extremely expensive price tags on substantial jewelry pieces. Therefore, limiting what’s available on the market and what the average person could afford.
- Emaciated looking gold jewelry. Whereas a few years ago, gold jewelry typically had some heft to it, some decent size and weight. Due to high prices of gold, newer designs are super lightweight and too dainty looking.
Because of the two reasons above, Rosenberg had good reason to put the finishing touches these two new processes and bring them to market. He says, “We can offer a 7.5 mm wide ring at 2.5mm height for the same price as a 3.5 mm one with a 1.25 mm height of precious metal. Its not so much about weight reduction as it is about look, durability, and the way pieces wear. Combining dissimilar materials is like mixing oil and water, and we are uniting dissimilar materials at a molecular level.
Folks, it’s relatively easy to combine similar materials – like gold and silver. But to combine titanium and gold, now that is just astonishing.
Two benefits from this. One, you get a more substantial ring at a lower price. And two, you get a ring that stands up to the rigors of wear and tear much better,as titanium is amazingly durable. (After all titanium is a major component that space shuttles are made of…)
Co-Casting: The process in which precious metals are cast into a titanium ring with exposed designs. The exposed designs get filled with the precious metal. Titanium has a much higher melting point than does the accent material of the precious metal. The challenges here are numerous and varied depending on each material’s chemistry, reactivity, and other factors. I won’t bore you with the super technical stuff, but it’s really tricky.
Co-Extrusion:In this process two materials (can be more than two) are drawn through dies under extreme heat and pressure, forming a molecular bond which is inseparable unless mechanically cut, ground, chemically etched or otherwise removed. This process is ideal for products which call for tubular blanks. The challenges are many. And require highly specialized dies and machines.
Both of these developments are very exciting, not only for me, but also our customers around the world who come to us for their titanium rings. Stay tuned for exciting new titanium ring designs featuring co-extrusion and co-casting!
To see all our titanium rings by Eddie and his team in South Florida click here.