Product Care Tips
Most silver jewelry can be cleaned with a silver cleaning cloth. Once a week will do the trick or sooner if you see any darker spots. (Silver cleaning cloth can be purchased at Lireille at $5 for a large 4 ” x 3.25″ one. It is a double layer cleaning cloth, one layer for cleaning and one for polishing. It can also clean gold, platinum, and pearls. It is complementary for any purchase over $100.)
Clean Jewelry Safely without Effort
Piedmont Avenue 3980 94611 Oakland
Mokume Gane collections and Care Instruction
Mokume gane (“wood-eye metal”) is a traditional Japanese metalsmithing technique. First
made in 17th-century Japan, the mixed-metal was used only for sword fittings until the Meiji era, when the decline of the katana industry forced artisans to create purely decorative items instead. The inventor, Denbei Shoami (1651–1728), initially called his product guri bori for its simplest form’s resemblance to guri, a type of carved lacquerwork with alternating layers of red and black. Other historical names for it were kasumi-uchi (cloud metal), itame-gane (wood-grain metal), and yosefuki.
The traditional components were relatively soft metallic elements and alloys (gold, copper,
silver, shakudo, shibuichi, and kuromido) which would form liquid phase diffusion bonds with
one another without completely melting. After the original metal sheets were stacked and
carefully heated, the solid billet of simple stripes could be forged and carved to increase the
pattern’s complexity. To achieve a successful lamination using the traditional process required a highly skilled smith with a great deal of experience.
The modernized process typically uses a controlled atmosphere in a temperature controlled
furnace. Mechanical aids such as a hydraulic press or torque plates (bolted clamps) are also
typically used to apply compressive force on the billet during lamination and provide for the
implementation of lower temperature solid-state diffusion between the interleaved layers,
allowing the inclusion of many nontraditional components such as titanium, platinum, iron,
bronze, brass, nickel silver, and various colors of karat gold including yellow, white, sage, and rose hues as well as sterling silver.
Care and Cleaning
Mokume surfaces are brushed or etched to accentuate the pattern in the metal; liners and
stone settings are generally polished. Plain bands and those containing diamonds, rubies, and
sapphires may be cleaned ultrasonically. If desired, polished liners and settings can be gently
brightened with a polishing cloth taking care to avoid patterned areas.
These rings are designed for everyday wear, and over time will develop a “patina” that is
unique to the wearer. Mokume gane generally takes a period of a couple of months to
“break in”, that is, to develop a consistent patina that covers the entire surface of the ring. This
process is completely normal, and the result will be unique to each individual, reflecting the
activities of their daily lives. Patinas on brushed and etched finished will develop slightly