Gold is one of the most precious and valuable metals in the world. Found in bodies of water and the earth’s crust, gold has been popular for eons. There are many different ways to present the metal in jewelry. Part of its romance is that the metal’s color and consistency can be manipulated to match almost any desire.
From prehistory to princesses to present day divas - the story of platinum, is much longer than you would think. Meteorites contain platinum and the earliest recorded meteorite impact on Earth happened 2 billion years ago. Since then, this rare and beguiling treasure has made sporadic appearances throughout history, mysteriously disappearing for centuries at a time, both baffling and enchanting those who have come across it. The Ancient Egyptians, pre-Incan civilizations and the Spanish conquistadors all encountered platinum. It then re-emerged in the 1700s to fascinate kings and alchemists alike. Platinum grew in popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries and today it is the precious metal of choice of movie stars and the glitterati.
The history of palladium naturally starts with the history of platinum and the platinum group metals of which palladium is a member. Palladium was isolated from platinum and identified as a separate elemental metal in 1803 by William Hyde Wollaston.
The traditional technique of mokume gane (moku = wood, me = eye and gane = metal) was used in Japan for the decoration of the samurai sword as they transitioned from a tool for fighting battles into a symbol of the warrior class. Other historical names for it were kasumi-uchi (cloud metal), itame-gane (wood-grain metal), and yosefuki.