What is Mokume Gane?

Mokume gane is a 17th century Japanese technique for forging metals. Many of the pieces were used to adorn swords, and were highly prized for their beauty. The patterns are created by layering precious metals (gold, palladium, and silver) into billets, then firing them in a kiln until the metals are fused. We then carve, twist, or otherwise shape the billets to expose the layers and develop patterns. The name mokume gane means "wood-grain metal" in Japanese, and refers to the most traditional pattern created by twisting and flattening a billet. Pattern will vary from ring to ring, just as carvings from wood have different patterns, depending on the way in which it was carved and how the layers contrast. Two or more rings made from the same billet would appear as though they were cut from the same cord of wood, and most of our wedding bands are created in this way.