William Henry's patent-pending Wave Damascus features a core in ZDP-189 (HRC 67) or VG-10 (cryo-tempered to a hardness of HRC 61) for superior sharpness and edge retention over time. The core of the blade is clad with alternating layers of stainless steel and nickel silver. The billet, 45 layers in all, is patterned with a custom die to create the undulating waves that emerge across the bevels of the blade. This material can be dark-etched for contrast, or etched and re-polished for a more subtle pattern.
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.
Carved Mother of Pearl
Mother of Pearl is the common name for iridescent nacre, a blend of minerals that are secreted by oysters and other mollusks and deposited inside their shells. William Henry uses premium mother of pearl material sourced directly from suppliers in Australia, selected for maximum color and figure. Most of our hand-carved mother of pearl is created in Bali by Lee Downey, who also works on most of our carved silver pieces.
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