Ancient Mokume Gane Techniques Come Alive at Jaume Labro

Ancient Japanese Technique of Mokume Gane

For over 500 years, the ancient Mokume Gane technique has been used to create distinctive Japanese metalwork pieces.

Originally inspired by the ancient art of Damascus steel sword making, decorative patterns were hand-hammered to craft the handles and sheaths of Mokume Gane katanas. The intricacy of each blade was regarded as a status symbol in feudal Japan – specifically in samurai society.

Today, this art is most often showcased in Mokume Gane jewelry.

What Does Mokume Gane Mean?



The word “Mokume” translates to “wood eye” and “gane” means “metal.”

Looking at these Japanese Mokume Gane handicrafts, there simply isn’t a better way to describe these distinctive wood grain patterns.

The Mokume Gane Process

First, layers of precious and semi-precious metals are forged into a solid block (or mokume billet) of metal via extremely high heat and pressure. Though copper, silver, and gold alloys were typically used in feudal Japan, palladium and platinum are increasingly popular choices for Mokume Gane metal combinations.

Ancient Mokume Gane Pattern by Jaume Labro

 

Mokume Gane billet made by our master craftsman.

Once this Mokume Gane billet is created, it is thinned by at least 50% using round-head hammers. This is the most crucial part of the process: Once these metals begin to fall apart, there is no saving the materials. The carving and forging of the billet is repeated until the desired pattern is obtained.

Why Mokume Gane Technique Matters?

Each artist has their own unique vision and chiseling techniques, but many modern jewelers employ a variety of tools and approaches to design their “Japanese folded metal rings.”

Jaume Labro and his artisans are different. Trained to use only a traditional hammer and chisel to create true Mokume Gane jewelry, it is here where art and expertise meet.


Layers of precious and semi-precious metals are forged into a solid block, or billet, of metal. Click To Tweet

Jaume Labro Forging a Mokume Gane Billet

 

The Process of Mokume Gane to Create Custom Jewelry by Jaume Labro

Next, Mokume Gane rings, necklaces, and earrings start to take literal shape: A patterned metal slice is flattened, filed, and bent  – much like other conventional fine jewelry pieces.

The last step involves finishing Mokume Gane jewelry with a matte, satin, or sandblasted veneer to show off the color contrasts. If desired, acid-etching provides more definition to the pattern.

Modern Mokume Gane Fine Jewelry

For decades, Mokume Gane jewelry has experienced a marked increase in popularity. Modern consumers desire exceptional, one-of-a-kind pieces, especially Mokume Gane engagement rings and wedding rings.

Men’s Wedding Rings a Remarkable Trend

Surprisingly, men’s Mokume Gane wedding bands and rings are the fastest growing trend in this field. With unique, masculine options for each band, this ancient technique creates enduring metalworks that stand up to regular wear and tear (unlike standard gold alloys).

Another popular request we receive is for matching wedding rings forged from the same billet. Once hammered, shaped, and polished, this Mokume Gane pattern will be expressly yours and yours alone. No two creations will ever be identical, just like the bond shared between two lovers.

Jaume Labro Jewelry Stands Apart From the Competition

Making Mokume Gane

 

Jaume Labro Mokume Gane Fine Jewelry Expert

Jaume Labro has been able to perfect his Mokume Gane technique by understanding each nuanced step in the process. Labro continues to create each piece of unique fine jewelry with love and respect.

Our discerning clients can count on an environmentally-friendly company to plan and create their jewelry pieces. At Jaume Labro, we believe that only the best sources result in the highest quality Mokume Gane jewelry pieces.


Mokume Gane pattern will be expressly yours and yours alone. Click To Tweet

Eco-Friendly Gold

Recycled Gold Jewelry Maker

 

Only recycled Eco-friendly metals are used in Jaume Labro Jewelry.

Gold mining takes an enormous toll on mine workers and the surrounding environment. We believe that – to create something as beautiful as our Mokume Gane jewelry – it must come from a place of love and respect.

We pay close attention to our sources. Whether using purified recycled gold (that is as perfect as freshly-mined gold) or purchasing from groups like Fairmined and the Alliance for Responsible Mining, the ethical gold used in your Jaume Labro jewelry builds up communities rather than destroying them.

Fair Trade Diamonds

Where to Buy Conflict Free Diamonds

 

Only Conflict-free Diamonds for Jaume Labro Sustainable Jewelry.

Our fair trade diamonds are traced using the Kimberley Process, but we believe this process leaves too many loopholes open for worker exploitation and environmental damage. That’s why all of our diamond- and gemstone-purchasing goes one step further.

Jaume Labro has personally visited these mining sites and our company can trace our eco-friendly diamonds’ journeys directly to our workshop.

Jaume Labro: Ancient Mokume Gane and Attention to Detail

Your Mokume Gane jewelry likely commemorates an extraordinary, significant event in your life. Whether you choose a simple or elaborate design, our expert techniques and knowledge will help you every step of the way.

Choose one of our Mokume Gane engagement rings or create one of your own with the help of our expert designers!

If you want to know more about, see our article about the ancient Mokume Gane history.

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