Fireworks gold and silver

There’s nothing quite like sitting up late one evening, and watching blooms of colors burst across the sky in a jubilant display of metalsmithing… Yes, that right- fireworks owe quite alot to the various branches of study that metalsmiths pursue. Some of my favorite fire works are the ones pictures above- bright bursts of color etched in the night sky.

So where does the metalsmithing come in?

Well, first off the color of these fireworks is due solely to tiny bits of metals. Like today’s metal, Titanium. Titanium is used for all sorts of things, including aircraft due to it’s incredible strength, durability, and exceptional lightness. However, when burned, Titanium shows it’s true colors- so to speak. ┬áBurning titanium emits a brilliant silver light, and is unmistakable for any other metal…

For example, the picture below shows three different colors of fireworks. Just from the information in these short paragraphs, I’m sure you can identify which one is colored with titanium…

BUON 2010!Red Flowerglitter

Very good, class, yes it’s the silver one. The red one is colored with beryllium and the blue one is colored with cobalt. Nifty, huh? ┬áBut jewelers know an even better way to showcase Titanium’s amazing color…

Tada!!

Not only is titanium beautiful when it burns, naturally hypoallergenic, and comprises the armor of Titanium Man (a soviet-era Russian Super hero and enemy of Iron Man from Marvel),but Titanium transforms itself under electrical current into a full rainbow of color for any use imaginable.

Rainbow-ized ring? No problem.

Titanium Ring With Silver Cup

Titanium Ring by Marjon Scheffer

Blue Titanium vapor-bonded druzy? Still not a problem.

Space Dust Druzy Pendant by Kaelin Design

So how do you care for this amazing stuff? Well, to be honest, Titanium is the hardest metal in the world. You really can’t do too much to it when it’s a solid piece of metal. On a druzy, you should be careful of surface abrasions, like dropping it on a table, or scratching it- but on a ring or other full-metal piece of gorgeousness, a quick swipe with some cleaner, or a light polish every year or so is enough.

One thing to note with Titanium jewelry- it can’t be cut, soldered, or resized by normal means. So if you have a ring that gets stuck, or gets caught in machinery while you’re working, it’s very easy to get your hand damaged rather severely. Professional jewelers who deal in titanium have very specialized equipment to manipulate this durable metal, but it’s best to make sure of both the correct size, and environment in which it’s worn.

I’ll probably stick to silver and gold in the foreseeable future- but Titanium is so interesting in all kinds of ways that it ranks high on my favorite metals list.

What do you think? Do you prefer titanium to silver?