Two Tones Two Ways
No need for soldering to attain the ever-popular bicolor look
two manufacturers have perfected methods for melding
Consumers love two-tone looks: gold with platinum and different shades
of gold are perennial favorites. Two manufacturers have developed non-traditional
ways to achieve this popular look.
Benchmark, a division of Tosyali International Ltd., Tuscaloosa, AL,
offers Nephis, a line of gold and platinum wedding rings created through
a natural fusion process. "The two metals are fused purely by heating,"
says A.J. Tosyali, vice president. "No soldering of any kind is required
because, in effect, they melt into each other." It took more than a
year to perfect the process the metals melt at different temperatures,
and only through the precise manipulation of heat and time does it work.
Natural heat fusion of gold and platinum has two strong selling points
over soldered two-tone pieces:
- The heat-fusion method creates a much cleaner look than a traditional
soldering process avoiding the pits and pinholes that need to be
polished and often can't be removed completely. Tosyali says this is true
even when the piece is made through a process of soldering and then heating
to try to create the fusion look.
- Durability. When the two metals fuse into each other, they create a
stronger bond than when they are joined chemically through soldering.
The name Nephis is a Turkish word that loosely translates into "the
feeling you get when taking a breath of fresh air." The platinum and
18k rings retail for $740 to $800 and can be delivered in less than a week.
Forging New Bonds
Diagold, a multicolored karat gold material allows jewelers and designers
to create two-tone or multicolored pieces in an almost limitless assortment
of patterns. Diagold, from Mitsubishi Materials Corp., is not soldered.
Sheets or pieces of metal are hot-forged together at a high temperature
under high pressure, says Darnall Burks, technical adviser to the Advanced
Products Division of Mitsubishi. The pieces literally melt together.
Because Diagold is produced without solder, designers can bend, twist
and punch the material as though they were using a one-color alloy. Diagold
has a durability and malleability not possible in soldered jewelry, says
Burks. The varied colors of Diagold are determined by the balance of the
different precious metals used. While there are standard compositions of
karat golds used in Diagold, the composition can be adjusted to achieve
any color or combination of colors. Diagold is available in a variety of
unique patterns that fall into five basic groups: bold stripes, dots, wood
grain, intricate cut patterns and a flowing pattern on a traditional Japanese
Diagold is suited to all types of jewelry and is used also in watch casings,
eyeglass frames, cigarette lighters, money clips and pill boxes. Mitsubishi
doesn't market finished pieces in the U.S., but a limited collection is
sold in Japan and is used in the U.S. to demonstrate Diagold's versatility.
Benchmark, a division of Tosyali International Ltd., Tuscaloosa, AL;
(800) 633-5950. Mitsubishi Materials Corp., New York, NY; (212) 688-9550.
Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.