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.
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.
Topaz is a rare, extremely hard gemstone with an exceptionally wide color range that, besides brown, includes various tones and saturations of blue, green, yellow, orange, red, pink, and purple.
The ancient Greeks believed that topaz gave them strength. In Europe during the Renaissance (the period from the 1300s to the 1600s) people thought that topaz could break magic spells and dispel anger. For centuries, many people in India have believed that topaz worn above the heart assures long life, beauty, and intelligence.
Today, topaz is one of the US birthstones for November, while blue topaz is a birthstone for December
Zinc Matrix turquoise
The Kingman Turquoise Mine in Arizona is one of the oldest and highest producing Turquoise Mines in America. It was originally discovered by prehistoric Indians well over 1,000 years ago. Kingman Turquoise is known for its beautiful sky blue color and produces many variations of blue Turquoise.
Our Zinc-Matrix Turquoise is made with Kingman Turquoise infused with zinc, creating a striking contrast between the soft blues of the Turquoise and the shiny, contemporary look of the metal.