Damascus steel was a term used by several Western cultures from the Medieval period onward to describe a type of steel created in India and used in sword making from about 300 BC to 1700 AD. These swords were characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be not only tough and resistant to shattering, but capable of being honed to a sharp and resilient edge. William Henry's damascus is made from several types of steel welded together to form a billet.
The patterns vary depending on how the damascus artist works the billet. The billet is drawn out and folded until the desired number of layers are formed. William Henry damascus billets are forged with a minimum of 300 layers. William Henry works with a handful of the very best damascus artists/forgers in the U.S.
Titanium is a low density, strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant (including sea water, aqua regia and chlorine) metal with a silver color.
It was discovered in Great Britain by William Gregor in 1791, and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth for the Titans of Greek mythology
William Henry uses only aerospace-grade titanium alloy for our frames, clips, and micro-fasteners. Called 6Al/4V, it is titanium with a little aluminum and vanadium added in for additional toughness and tensile strength.
Mokume gane was developed in the 1600s in Japan, allegedly by an Akita prefecture metalsmith named Denbei Shoami (1651 to 1728). He used the mokume gane technique to dress up samurai swords.
The mokume gane technique involves fusing several layers of different metals, and artistically exposing sections of lower layers. The metal is often made to display a pattern that mimics wood grain. A variety of metals can be used to give different arrays of coloration.
Layers of metal are pressed together and fused with heat. The forged layers are carved to expose lower layers and are then pressed again. The carving and pressing is repeated to develop the pattern.
Today, some of the finest mokume in the world is made here in the USA, and William Henry is proud to offer a range of this material on our collections. Our mokume is generally made with copper, brass, and nickel silver in either a 45 or 89 layer billet, forged and patterned by hand.
Carbon fiber is a material consisting of microscopic fibers composed mostly of carbon atoms. The carbon atoms are bonded together in crystals that are more or less aligned parallel to the long axis of the fiber. The crystal alignment gives the fiber high strength-to-volume ratio. Several thousand carbon fibers are bundled together to form a tow, which may be used by itself or woven into a fabric.
Carbon fiber's properties, such as high stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, high chemical resistance, high temperature tolerance, make them very popular in aerospace, civil engineering, military, competition sports. William Henry uses the highest grade, and beautifully textured carbon fiber for its collections of jewelry, knives, money clips and cufflinks.
Citrine is a variety of quartz whose color ranges from a pale yellow to brown due to ferric impurities.
The name is derived from Latin citrina which means "yellow" and is also the origin of the word "citron." Sometimes citrine and amethyst can be found together in the same crystal, which is then referred to as ametrine.
Afzelia xylocarpa is a tree from Southeast Asia. It grows in Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Burma in deciduous forests. It can reach 30 metres tall with a trunk up to 2 metres in diameter in a mature specimen.
The highly figured lumber is often referred to as Afzelia Xylay. William Henry uses the wood to create beautiful knife handles. All our xylay wood is sourced responsibly.
Homer, in the "Iliad" and "Odyssey," makes mention of gold as the glory of the immortals and a sign of wealth among ordinary humans.
The most noble of the noble metals, gold has been a valuable and highly sought-after precious metal for coinage, jewelry, and other arts since long before the beginning of recorded history.
Gold is one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally in the universe. It is thought to have been produced in supernova nucleosynthesis from the collision of two neutron stars and to have been present in the dust from which the Solar System formed.