Titanium jewelry: they are the last frontier of jewelry. Beautiful, but also difficult to make. Should you buy them? ♦
Long live titanium, which has become synonymous with creative audacity and high technology in jewelry from a key element in the aerospace industry. To what does it owe its success? To lightness, first of all: with a weight less than a fifth compared to gold, it allows large volumes and the same comfort in wearing, especially for earrings and bracelets. Not only that: those who associate titanium only with its sad gray color of origin are wrong: this metal can be dyed in bright and full shades, from lawn green to lacquer red, to intense purple, to electric blue. Furthermore, whatever the color obtained through an oxidation process, unlike what is done with the galvanic process on silver or other metals, it is much more resistant: it does not fade with time and does not risk detachment. But this is not the only technical advantage: its extreme resistance allows you to use less metal than gold and platinum for the frames and to create very thick pavé.
How to use it. Titanium is often used for thin and light metal architectures that serve as gem racks. It is no coincidence that most titanium jewels are literally covered with stones. One of the first to experiment with this material in jewelry was Jar (Joseph Arthur Rosenthal) in the late 1980s, and on the occasion of his retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum in New York, he created a collection of titanium and aluminum jewelery for sale inside the museum at affordable prices, from 2 to 5 thousand dollars. The fact that it is less expensive than gold must not be misleading, its processing requires great skill and technical knowledge, so it may happen that some jewels are even more expensive than their cousins made with more noble metals.
The admirers. Titanium jewels, therefore, are usually embellished with super precious stones, such as those of Wallace Chan, the jeweler from Hong Kong, or the Swiss Suzanne Syz, who made titanium his signature. And yet the sinuous tracery of Pomellato, which chose it to renew the Arabesque collection, or the delicate leaves of the Chopard bracelet with blue sapphires, the magnetic colors of the flower-shaped brooch by Giovanni Ferraris or the slight setting of the brooch by Michelle Ong, one of the few people who can boast a friendship with Jar. But there are also those who focus everything on design rather than precious stones, such as the Italian Maison Vhernier.
Is it worth buying titanium jewelry? Titanium, like metal, costs less than gold, but is more difficult to use in jewelry. That said, the value of a titanium jewel is not determined by the cost of the raw material. If the gold of a jewel can be melted and resold, the same cannot be proposed for titanium. Therefore, when you buy a titanium jewel, you choose the design, the signature of the Maison, the gems that make up the piece. It is not said that a titanium jewel is more advantageous than a gold or platinum jewel: it depends on the stones that compose it.
How do you clean titanium? In addition to being light, titanium is very resistant: no problem for cleaning that can be performed with the usual mix of warm water, two drops of liquid soap and a toothbrush with soft bristles. If anything, the problem may be the structure of the jewel. Titanium, as we have explained, is often used to make jewels with a particularly imaginative shape, often together with many precious stones. You must be very careful, therefore, not to ruin the structure of the jewel with an excessively energetic cleaning. Monica Battistoni