Cover Story - September/October 2008
Edward Mirell - Titanium's Vanguard of Innovation.
By Diana S. Zimmerman, Special Features Correspondent
“Had titanium preceded gold and platinum in the jewelry industry, the other materials would have had a difficult time routing themselves as a popular alternative. The possibilities, both alone and in combination with other precious stones, metals, and materials, are as infinite as our imagination,” muses Edward Rosenberg, CEO and designer of the men’s fine jewelry brand, Edward Mirell, whose name was derived from the first names of Edward Rosenberg and his business partner, Mirella Connor. While others were struggling to create innovative designs using more commonly accepted metals such as platinum and gold, the visionary Rosenberg stepped way outside the proverbial box to pioneer an entirely new industry—titanium jewelry.
“Titanium is the first such element to define a new category of fine jewelry material in almost 3,000 years,” he insists.
Certainly, Edward Mirell’s collection of men’s jewelry does just that. With its emphasis on titanium, including its patented Black-Ti™, this exquisite line raises the bar on individuality and elegance in the highly competitive world of men’s upscale jewelry.
“Edward Mirell Black-Ti™ pieces are created from an alloy that, by the nature of our exclusive process, forms an extremely hard black ceramic finish,” explains Rosenberg, “and yet it maintains sufficient ductility to allow for the tension setting of diamonds.” But black titanium is just one of the brand’s innovations. Today, the company has dozens of unique designs, as well as the tools and techniques to create them. The enterprise’s 36,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Deerfield, Florida produces men's jewelry that is sold in the finest retail stores around the world.
Rosenberg’s passion for titanium is clearly evident—and for good reason.
“Titanium is the only element offering a unique combination of versatility, beauty, strength, reduced weight, and bio-compatibility.
In addition to these virtues, and exclusive to titanium, is its superior durability over conventional jewelry materials. Gold, platinum, and silver are soft and heavy. They also are easily marred, deform, and wear poorly. Pins break, clasps loosen, and designs blur with time and wear. Titanium is far more durable and comfortable than any conventional jewelry material.” According to Rosenberg, “Titanium is also far more difficult to work with than all other jewelry materials. Yet, in the proper hands, it offers greater dynamic aesthetic opportunities. Our clients expect new collections three to four times a year. We have the broadest scope of manufacturing capabilities in the world, which means that, whether they want a one-off piece, or an entire new line, we can perform extremely efficiently in this fast-paced, ever-changing, fashion-driven market.”
Rosenberg’s foray into titanium began nearly three decades ago when he formed Spectore Corporation, the parent of Edward Mirell. “When we decided to create the first commercial line of consumer products almost 30 years ago, titanium technology was primarily focused on the aerospace industry. There was little or no information available for net shape mass production. Virtually every
process we employ was developed within our company. Our core competencies include machining, forging, casting, powder metallurgy, forming, welding, anodizing, milling, engraving, and a host of other processes—many of which are proprietary.”
And while innovative development of titanium and its alloys has been a hallmark of Edward Mirell, it is the brand’s highly creative designs that have catapulted it onto the world scene as a key player in the upscale men's jewelry market. From its rugged, yet sensual black cable designs with their flexible braided titanium memory metal, to the anodizing of colors, inserting of leather components, and the addition of gold and silver, as well as diamonds and gemstones, each piece is a spectacular triumph of both design and technology.
The metal, itself, was discovered in 1791 in England by William Gregor, and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth for the Titans of Greek mythology due to its remarkable strength. It is corrosion resistant and has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal. In its unalloyed form, titanium is as strong as many steels, yet it is 45 percent lighter. “Not only can anodizing transform the metal to create a vast array of pure optical colors,” Rosenberg states, “but its structural integrity at such a low weight affords a broad scope of architecturally inspired design options. And with its natural resemblance to platinum and the expansive spectrum of anodized colors and finishes, titanium allows for unsurpassed diversity.”
Rosenberg is a third-generation jeweler. And yet, if not for his passion for titanium, he probably wouldnt have followed in his father’s footsteps. “My family has been in the jewelry business since the early 1900s. My father was a master jeweler in Austria. He came to America and opened his company in New York in 1924. I didn’t want to be in the jewelry business. I wanted to be an artist and a musician—to create masterpieces. The jewelry business, like so many others, was becoming commoditized and art was secondary.” Had the young Rosenberg not discovered titanium and its seemingly never ending design possibilities, he probably would be creating magnificent symphonic masterpieces instead of his remarkable innovations with this incredible metal.
Today, in addition to its own line of titanium jewelry, the enterprise produces a variety of private label collections. It is the only company in the world whose primary focus is on developing the artistic usage of titanium. Along with jewelry, it also creates titanium products for the medical, sports, and music industries.
In recent years, the company has also begun developing other materials including silver, steel, corundum, cobalt, and ceramic.
But regardless of the field, Edward Rosenberg and his talented team stand alone.
They are vanguards in the elite industry of high quality and high fashion jewelry. What
new discoveries await? Only tomorrow will tell.