Steven Kretchmer Dies in Accident

July 10, 2006

Steven Kretchmer Dies in Accident

Steven Kretchmer, the renowned jewelry designer known for his revoluntionary work with metal, was killed over the weekend in a motorcyle accident near his hometown of Palenville in upstate New York.

Police in Woodstock, N.Y., said Kretchmer, who was 52, was coming around a curve on Saturday, July 8 when his motorcycle hit a car that was turning around in the road, according to the area's newspaper, The Daily Freeman. Kretchmer was taken to a nearby hospital in Kingston where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the car was cited for failure to yield the right of way. The driver of the car and his passenger were not injured. Officials said Kretchmer was wearing proper safety equipment at the time of the accident.

Kretchmer was widely know for his innovations in metal and metal alloys, including his patented technique for tension-set rings and a platinum alloy with a polarized force field that attracts and repels metals, which he called Polarium. He also held patents for a number of other processes, including for the development of castable purple and blue gold.

Kretchmer was often nicknamed "the mad scientist" for his experimental work. In 1998, master goldsmith Alan Revere called him "the most visible innovator on the American jewelry scene today" in a profile in Professional Jeweler.

Kretchmer is survived by his wife Alma, who managed the design business, and his daughter Claudia. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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