Mokume Maker Insights - Why Silver?

Posted by Arn Krebs on

We have noticed many questions lately regarding the quality and longevity of mokume rings that contain silver, so we wanted to take some time to talk about why we choose to include silver in our mokume palettes, and the benefits this metal brings to creating beautiful and heirloom quality rings.
One of the primary reasons we use silver is for visual contrast! Silver is able to be either the lightest or darkest color in a metal combination, and either option contrasts extremely well against the golds and palladium we use in our palettes.

Shown below here is the same ring, made in our Firestorm palette, but with two different finishes. It's amazing how different a ring can look just by darkening the silver layers with oxidation! The silver layers go from practically white to almost black in color.
Read more about our different finishes in this blog post.

Silver is also very ductile, it has great bonding and forging characteristics, both of which are very beneficial in making strong and stable mokume billets!
One of the core values of our business are to make mokume as affordable as possible for as many people as we can. We want to create high quality pieces at a reasonable price and keep mokume accessible when possible. Using silver layers helps greatly in lowering the production costs as opposed to making solely all gold mokume.

Will the silver layers oxidize/tarnish on their own?

No, with regular wear the silver should not oxidize on its own, silver actually only will change color if left to sit for extended periods of time or if exposed to chemicals like sulfur or chlorine! Well water may contain sulfur, so that would be something to watch for, but if your ring were to accidentally get oxidized it's very easy to remove. Any commercial silver cleaner can easily take it right off.

The silver layers also do not compromise the structural integrity of the ring or affect the wear. It takes more than a lifetime of wear to truly wear down metal enough to compromise a ring, and this applies to precious metals like gold too. Silver wears very well, and the silver in our rings is completely nickel free, as nickel sensitivity/allergy is very common, even often leading to people thinking they have a silver allergy, but really the culprit is the nickel content!

If you'd still prefer a silver free ring, we do offer all gold palettes! We have our Blaze and Cinders palettes, which are combinations of 18kt Yellow Gold, 14kt Red Gold and 14kt Palladium White Gold.

We also offer custom billets if you want to create your own combination!


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