Mokume Gane is a metal working technique used to make knives and swords that originated in Japan many years ago. This technique is still used today to make many high-quality chef’s knifes. It has also been used to create special jewellery pieces, including wedding rings and wedding bands. Mokume Gane involves fusing two differing quality metals which then create the flexibility, durability and strength that cannot be created with one type of metal alone.
At MDTdesign, our Mokume Gane wedding bands and other rings are made from either 18ct yellow and 18ct white gold or 18ct rose and 18ct white gold to achieve this wood-like pattern. We have been making this style of ring since 1998, all of which are made on-site at our workshop! With lots of trial and error, we have perfected the process and have been making these two tone rings ever since.
To view our stunning range of Mokume Gane rings, click here.
Our stunning Mokume Gane rings are all handmade at our on-site workshop. 18ct white gold and 18ct yellow or 18ct rose gold are layered alternatively which are then placed between 2 steel blocks and put under 115 pounds of pressure. The gold materials fuse together as a result of the perfect temperature and pressure conditions. Successfully fusing one metal to another can create a strong combination of varying metals, perfect for everyday rings and wedding rings alike. After the gold and steel blocks have cooled to a safe temperature, the metal is removed and comes out as a solid block which we call a ‘billet’.
The next part of the process to create Mokume Gane wedding rings and other pieces involves rolling the billet into a long metal plate, followed by using steel punches and a hammer to create dints in the solid block of gold. In order to create dints on the side, a lot of force and pressure are needed. This particular process creates Bumps to be formed on the opposite side of the block, which are then filed and sanded back to reveal the beautiful layers of coloured metal. This creates an animal print style pattern when flat, or a wood grain type effect when half-rounded. The last step of the Mokume Gane process involves the plate of metal being shaped, filed and hand worked in order to match the desired ring size and profile.
This Mokume Gane process is incredibly labour intensive, requiring specialised skills and experience to master and perfect it. The amount of time taken to create this type of jewellery can vary anywhere from 6 hours to 9 hours once this process has been done. Finding the correct melting temperatures, timing in the kiln, pressure and working techniques takes many hours to perfect. However, the results speak for themselves and there are many good reasons why the technique is often used to create heirloom rings and wedding bands.