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10 Exotic Jewelry Materials You Never Knew Existed

By William Henry November 4, 2019
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Innovative and striking jewelry pieces can confer a sense of wonder and adventure to any individual. From hand-forged metals to exotic woods, jewelry materials can transcend style, elegance, and artistry. Only an exclusive cadre of artisans take painstaking efforts to source the finest and rarest materials in the world.

Whether you’re drawn to organic materials or tough metals, there is a treasure trove of exceptional mediums that can speak to your inner spirit. Skilled craftsmen begin with an inspired design that comes to life with a range of alloys, woods, and gemstones. If you want a jewelry piece with a story as unique as yours, consider these materials you never knew existed.

1. Fossil Dinosaur Bone

Bones can remind us of our mortality, but fossil dinosaur bones remind us of the earth’s enduring and biodiverse legacy. Fossil dinosaur bone is one of the most exotic jewelry materials available today. Although most dinosaur bone develops a rock-like consistency, truly skilled artists can turn the 100-million-year-old hardy bone into a jewelry accent that tells a story.

William Henry uses fossil bone from ancient Apatosaurus found in the American Southwest. Wearers revel in its vibrant red, green or brown hue, and grainy texture. Owning a piece of jewelry with dinosaur bone provides you with a captivating history and one-of-a-kind craftsmanship.

2. Fossil Woolly Mammoth Tooth

While not as old as a dinosaur bone, a fossil woolly mammoth tooth goes back at least 10,000 years. From cave paintings to your wardrobe, woolly mammoth representations span a range of cultures and time periods. A woolly mammoth’s molar tooth features a striped chewing surface that can vary from piece to piece.

Our fossil woolly mammoth teeth are harvested off the Alaskan coast. Each piece must dry for at least two years before our artisans can begin to process it. After an extensive drying period, the tooth is stabilized with acrylic resin, sliced, and polished to perfection.

3. Fossil Mammoth Bone

From its teeth to its bones, woolly mammoths provide artisans with plenty of storied materials to work with. These Paleolithic artifacts can adorn a statement jewelry piece by showcasing our ability to coexist with these majestic creatures. William Henry’s fossil Mammoth bone features a dark brown, wood-grain-like pattern that can make any piece stand out.

4. Fossil Coral 

Organic materials in jewelry connect you deeper with your ecological roots. 110,000-year-old fossil coral comes from Florida quarry mines and onto your wrist or neck. Our personal relationships with vendors have enabled us to source hand-picked fossil coral featuring intricate scales that are typically used to make cement. Instead of being turned into a cold, hard, and impersonal object, fossil coral continues to advance life in your wardrobe.

5. Zinc Matrix Apple Coral

Zinc matrix apple coral has an exquisite burnt orange and shimmering gray pattern. Found in southern China and neighboring countries, apple coral is a species of coral known as melithaea sponge. While most coral reefs are an unavailable commodity, melithaea sponge corals are an overlooked, but highly impressive, jewelry material. William Henry infuses the sponge with zinc to create a mesmerizing and original pattern.

6. Spalted Tamarind

Spalted wood can be a sign of death or disease in a tree, but as the circle of life comes to an inevitable end, the woods produce a unique color and pattern. Found in tropical Africa, Mexico, and South America, the spalted tamarind we use features a bold golden yellow hue. Who knew that a bushy tree originating in Africa could adorn your everyday accessories?

7. Eyrie Vineyard Pinot Vine

Sometimes, the best and most exclusive materials come from esoteric sources. If you’re a wine lover, you’ll appreciate our jewelry made with Eyrie vineyard pinot vine. The Eyrie vineyards are known for producing the first American pinot noir that could hold its own against the rich French pinot noirs.

Maintain the remarkable legacy close to your heart with one of our limited edition writing instruments made with 35-year-old wood from those celebrated grapevines. Carry the hard work and dedication of these wine-makers in your very own William Henry piece today.

8. Meteorite

Meteorite makes for a show-stopping ice breaker. Wear something that is truly out of this world when you don a meteorite-infused jewelry piece. We use Gibeon meteorite from Namibia that has been used for many years by locals to make tools and weapons.

Meteorite’s nickel-iron crystalline structure contains cobalt and phosphorus producing an extraterrestrial pattern. Each piece of meteorite is unique. Look towards the future and beyond with meteorite-inspired necklaces, bracelets, or cufflinks.

9. Blacklip Mother of Pearl

Blacklip mother of pearl is not like your typical mother of pearl. In fact, it is one of the rarest pearls in the world. Our finders source these diminutive shells from French Polynesia. Each shell carries an iridescent sheen over a black backdrop.

10. Snakewood

Snakewood has all the charm and none of the bite of an actual serpent. Its snakeskin appearance is just the tip of the iceberg. This Suriname-sourced wood has a rich red color that will brighten your jewelry and days. All William Henry woods are resin-stabilized for longevity and superiority.

Exotic and rare materials are not easy to come by. In fact, there is only a handful of people that can find these precious fossils, shells, and woods to create one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. They don’t come from a supply warehouse. These unique materials are a result of the stories that bring us together.

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