Mokume Gane FAQs

How do you pronounce mokume gane?

Moh-coo-may Gah-nay

What is mokume gane?

Mokume gane is an ancient Japanese technique that involves fusing alternating layers of precious metals. Mokume gane translates to “wood eye metal.” The patterns of the metal resemble the patterns seen in woodgrains. Click here to learn more about how we make our mokume.

What is a billet?

A billet is the layered stack of metal, from fusing to final sheet.

How is the mokume pattern created?

After the metal is fused and flattened, a pattern is created by carving away the top layers of metal to reveal the underlying layers. Chris is inspired by geology and erosion when he carves. When seen from the side, the patterning looks like a vast landscape filled with peaks and valleys. The billet is flattened again after the carving to create a smooth sheet.

Can I get a ring with the same pattern as one on the website?

Every mokume pattern is a unique piece of art that is crafted by hand, so the resulting jewelry varies every time. No two pieces of jewelry are exactly the same.

mokume gane wedding band - 14k karat yellow gold silver shakudo mens mokume gane wedding band

Some of the mokume looks like it has wood knots. Can you add or remove those?

We offer three different knot patterns for you to choose from. Once the knots are added, they cannot be removed. Our patterns are River Flow (no knots), Woodgrain (three knots), and Burl Wood (entire surface covered).

mokume ring - mokume gane stone inlay wedding band ring christopher taylor timberlake austin texasmokume ring - burl wood ring 14k karat white gold and sterling silver blackened wedding band

What is shakudo?

Shakudo is a low karat red gold alloy that we make in our studio. We oxidize (darken) the light pink shakudo as part of the finishing process because it naturally becomes a darker reddish-brown tone as it is worn. If the shakudo comes into contact with various cleaning chemicals, chlorine, or other abrasive agents, it is possible to remove the oxidation. It will darken again with wear over time.

What if I am allergic to a metal?

Some people experience sensitivity to metals. If you suspect that you may be sensitive to a metal, it is a good idea to purchase a small, inexpensive ring of the metal in question to test before making a larger purchase.

Does my mokume jewelry have to be etched?

No, but etching can help to make the mokume pattern more visible, especially with subtle color combinations, like 14K palladium white gold and sterling silver.

Why do you use stainless steel inner bands?

Stainless steel inner bands are used on all rings with stone inlay. The steel provides a rigid foundation for the inlay and helps prevent the ring from bending out-of-round, which can cause the inlay to crack and fall out.

What do you use for your stone inlay?

Popular options include: jade (green, black, blue, or lavender), turquoise, pietersite, dinosaur bone, andamooka opal, hawk’s eye, chrysoprase, gem silica, aventurine, and lapis. Each stone is meticulously cut and carved to fit precisely into the jewelry. We do not use simulants, powdered stones, or crushed stones. Some stones cannot be used with jewelry that has an etched finish.

How do I take care of my jewelry with stone inlay?

We recommend removing your jewelry with stone inlay prior to activities that could potentially damage the stone and cause it to crack, chip, or break out. Some of these activities include, but are not limited to: weightlifting, moving furniture, construction, yard work, rock climbing, auto repair, swimming, showering, washing dishes, and using cleaning chemicals.

Is the matte finish permanent?

Our mokume jewelry comes with a matte finish. As the jewelry is worn and makes contact with various surfaces (doorknobs, counter tops, etc.) it will burnish, or scuff, and eventually wear down the matte finish. This may make the pattern of the mokume slightly less visible. All metal rings will burnish with wear, whether they are mokume or solid gold, silver, platinum, palladium, etc. If you do not want a matte finish, a shiny finish can be requested. You can always return the ring to us at any time to restore the original surface.

Is the blackened finish permanent?

Some mokume is etch-oxidized (blackened during the etching process), and some is blackened to create a unique black and white look. Over time, the blackening will wear down and become lighter. We’re always happy to restore your jewelry to its original condition.

Is mokume durable?

Just like any solid metal jewelry, mokume will burnish and show wear with the passing of time. How quickly this happens depends on the jewelry type, on the materials used, and on how the jewelry is cared for.

Can mokume rings be resized?

Most of the time mokume rings can be resized. If the ring includes inlay, it cannot be resized. When mokume is resized the pattern will change.

What metal combinations can I choose from?

Sterling Silver/Copper (accessories only)
Sterling Silver/Nickel
Sterling Silver/Shakudo
Sterling Silver/Shakudo 2K/Shakudo 5K
14K Palladium White Gold/Sterling Silver
14K Rose Gold/Sterling Silver
14K Yellow Gold/Sterling Silver/Shakudo
14K Rose Gold/Sterling Silver/Shakudo
18K Yellow Gold/Sterling Silver
14K Rose Gold/14K Yellow Gold/Sterling Silver

Do you make custom metal combinations?

We do not make custom billets at this time.

Can I send metal for you to use in the mokume?

We do not use metals provided by clients for mokume gane.

Have a question we didn’t cover? Contact us!

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We will be participating in the Sun Valley Arts & Crafts Festival from August 9th-11th! Click here for show info.