Cobalt Chrome is an alloy, made up of a mixture of Chromium, Cobalt and a few other metals. Both Cobalt and Chromium are elements on the periodic table. Cobalt Chrome is often used specifically for its strength in applications with high temperatures, such as jet engine turbines. It is also a hypoallergenic metal, and often used in orthopedic applications and cardiovascular stents.
Cobalt Chrome is a bright white metal with a brilliant luster. Cobalt Chrome rings have gained incredible popularity over a short period of time, largely due to weight and color. The metal has the heft of gold and the look of rhodium plated platinum, while being many times harder and more durable than both and less expensive.
Damascus Steel rings are made by hand, mimicking ancient metalsmithing techniques originally used to make samurai swords. The evolution of Damascus steel from tools to jewelry is only natural, due to its amazing beauty and incredible strength.
Using alternating types of stainless steel, master metalsmiths heat, bond, twist and fold the metal layers together to produce vivid patterns. After patterning the metal, there can be up to 100 layers in each piece of finished Damascus. The slow, cyclical process of working the metal layers together is what gives Damascus Steel it’s incredibly unique properties. Damascus Steel rings have increased hardness, strength, resistance to shattering, an ability to be honed to a resilient edge, and a unique finish. Like a fingerprint, no two Damascus rings will have the exact same design.
In Latin, the word for gold, ‘aurum’, comes from the phrase ‘shining dawn’- and it is easy to see why! Rich and warm, gold has been valued for its brilliant lustre throughout the ages, a fact which remains true today. Gold is available in a variety of colors and karats:
- Yellow Gold (10k, 14k, 18k, 22k): Yellow gold has a natural warm color and high resistance to rust, tarnish, and corrosion. It is a very strong metal, but still soft enough to be worked into interesting shapes. The higher the karat of yellow gold, the softer and warmer-toned the jewelry will be. With more pure gold mixed into the alloys (the higher the karat) the more the cost increases per gram.
- Palladium White Gold (14kpw and 18kpw): This is a white gold alloy that incorporates copper, silver, and palladium, making it a hypoallergenic white alloy with the heft and durability of palladium and no nickel for those who are allergic.
- White Gold (10k, 14k, 18k): Due to the alloys used to add white to the natural warmth of gold (nickel, copper, and zinc), the higher the karat of white gold, the harder and cooler-toned the jewelry will be.
- White Gold (14 X1): This is a white gold alloy that is higher in nickel and is the whitest and hardest form of this karat we have seen. Using this alloy will eliminate any need for Rhodium plating.
- Rose Gold (14k and 18k): Rose gold uses a higher concentration of copper giving it a rosy pink tone. This alloy is similar in hardness and cost to yellow gold. Rose gold will not fade or change in color over time.
Abra uses ethically sourced hardwood for wood rings. We buy hardwood only through reputable channels to support the sustainability of hardwoods and to avoid the illegal exporting of protected species.
While very rare, the hardwoods used in our rings come from secured and sustained supplies. The wood species represent the most beautiful, rare and exotic hardwoods available in the world, all coming from a variety of countries and representing nearly every major region of the world. We offer three types of woods: Normal grained, burl woods, and spalted varieties. Normal grained woods are regular grains with some figuring and slight variation. Burl woods have deformed grains with small knots and dormant buds. Spalted woods feature unique black streaks along the grain.
Each piece of hardwood varies slightly in character, color, and grain pattern, ensuring every wood ring is truly one of a kind. Wood’s raw, organic nature and inherent beauty is both rustic and refined. Its rich origin and exclusive markings speak to its distinctness amongst traditional metal wedding bands.
Gibeon Meteorite was formed in space four billion years ago. It exploded upon entering Earth’s atmosphere. Landing in the desert of Namibia, it scattered pieces over an area 171 miles long and 62 miles wide. The Namibian government banned the export of Gibeon Meteorite, as any newly discovered pieces are automatically protected as national monuments. This means that any meteorite specimens in circulation are of increasing value and incredibly limited supply. The origin and rarity of each meteorite ring makes it a distinctive piece of art.
Not all Gibeon Meteorite fragments are of equal quality. For every piece of meteorite that is suitable for use in jewelry, we reject nearly 20 others. Much of the meteorite has suffered deep fractures and inclusions on its travels to our planet, and many pieces have lain exposed to the elements for several thousand years. We use only the best quality meteorite for making rings, and due to its mixture of iron-nickel metal and silicate minerals content, the Gibeon meteorite is naturally stain and rust resistant. Gibeon Meteorite is classified as a fine octahedrite, featuring a distinct crystalline structure on its surface – a pattern found only in diamonds and gemstones. This visible crystal structure, or Widmanstätten pattern, was caused by extremely slow cooling of the material in space. The Widmanstätten pattern will vary slightly between pieces, as will the presence of inclusions. Inclusions are dark spots or tiny holes on the surface of the meteorite that are often traces of metals that, in some cases, do not occur naturally on earth. These inclusions are an important clue to the meteorite’s origin and are identifiers of its authenticity.
Mokume was developed anciently among Japanese master metalsmiths to add adornments to samurai swords for the elite warrior class. Modern production emulates old world techniques in many ways. Mokume rings by our artists are still made by hand by forging together different precious metal layers, then twisting and working the metal into stunning patterns.
The unique process for producing Mokume begins with stacking thin, precious metal sheets in a billet. This billet is compressed and secured under great pressure while heated. Great skill and expertise is required to make Mokume because the metal has to be heated just below the melting point, but just above the temperature at which the metal begins to soften and melt. This specific temperature allows the grains or molecules of the various metals to cross boundaries and form a unique blended metal called a eutectic alloy. Over the course of heating, the layers of metal become one solid block.
The solid billet is then rolled, folded, twisted, and deformed to give the characteristic Mokume pattern. Each piece of Mokume goes through this hand-formed process resulting in entirely unique pieces of jewelry in every batch. As much as eight hours of hand-worked labor goes into the production of even a single inlay of Mokume.
Palladium is softer than alternative metals and should be taken care of accordingly. Precious metal rings should be treated as fine jewelry and should be removed during harsh activities to avoid scratching. While customers can clean these rings with jewelry cleaner, all touch-ups or refurbishing should be sent to Abra.
Platinum is rare and pure, being measured in terms of its percentage of purity. To be called platinum, an item should be at least 50% pure platinum. Abra uses the highest quality platinum available, registering at 90-95% purity. Because it is so pure, it is an excellent option for people with metal sensitivities and allergies. Platinum’s most appealing characteristic is it’s natural white color, which will never fade. It wears very well over time, especially in comparison to other precious metals. It can develop a patina of wear, a unique and desired attribute of platinum.
Though there are traces of platinum in the ancient Egyptian tombs, and in the artifacts of the La Tolita tribe of South America, this extremely rare metal did not find widespread fame until the end of the 19th century – just in time to be featured in the gorgeous designs of the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods.
At Abracadabra, silver is available in a variety of colors and alloys:
- Sterling silver: A soft white metal that can tarnish fairly easily when exposed to air for long periods of time.
- Fine silver: Pure silver, which is very soft with a very bright white appearance. There are several silver alloys that use platinum, germanium, and zinc to delay tarnishing, and this has made silver a very popular metal to use in jewelry. However, due to its extreme softness, silver is not the best choice for secure stone settings when long term daily wear is desired.
- Oxidized silver: Silver that has been aged, to appear dark or blackened.
Stainless Steel is a gray metal that has a fairly high resistance to wear and tear. It can be used in many different styles of jewelry and is a nice option for the casual jewelry wearer.
Titanium is a lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion resistant gray metal that is not cast but milled from larger pieces of titanium. This metal is also fairly resistant to physical wear and tear, which makes it ideal for those who are rough on their jewelry.
Our titanium artists exclusively use the Titanium alloy Ti6AL4V, an aerospace grade of the metal. This alloy is more expensive and harder to work with, but it is much stronger than pure titanium. Titanium is also unique in that it will not fade or change color, maintaining its light gray color over time.
Titanium has a unique property allowing for anodizing in many colors. Anodizing is simply an oxidation of the metal which refracts light in bright, vibrant colors. The anodized layer is very thin and wears away quickly, but in the right design (grooves and recessed areas) it can stay looking nice over time.
Zirconium is an element on the periodic table. It has incredible chemical resistance and does not readily react with solvents, acids, bases or other common chemicals. Traditionally, it has been used as an alloy in nuclear reactors, submarines, and incendiary munitions.
In its natural state, Zirconium is a silver-grey color. It earns its stark black appearance through a proprietary heating process, in which a layer of hard black oxide grows on the metal. This black layer is much harder than raw Zirconium, but it is very thin. Unlike oxidized silver and black rhodium, this layer does not rub off over time. It is also more durable than black-coated rings, such as black titanium and black tungsten.