Shimmering Dreams Jewelry

About Titanium and Niobium
Niobium (Nb) was discovered by the English chemist Charles Hatchett in 1801, and is named after Niobe, daughter of Tantalus in Greek mythology. Ore reserves are found in Canada, Brazil, Nigeria, Zaire and Russia. Nb is used in pure and alloyed form in superconductors, sodium vapor lamps (street lights), rocket boosters and other aerospace applications.

Titanium (Ti), sometimes called the “space age metal”, has a low density and is a strong, lustrous, corrosion-resistant metal with a silver color. Titanium can be alloyed with iron, aluminum, vanadium, molybdenum, among other elements, to produce strong lightweight alloys for aerospace (jet engines, missiles, and spacecraft), automotive, medical prostheses, orthopedic implants, dental implants, sporting goods, jewelry, mobile phones, and other applications. Titanium was discovered in England by William Gregor in 1791 and named by Martin Heinrich Klaproth for the Titans of Greek mythology.

The colors are achieved on these metals by passing varying electrical currents through them, creating oxide layers of various thicknesses that reflect and absorb different waves of light. This is how the rainbow of colors is achieved, it is not paint nor a dye. This same oxide layer seals the metal, and is very strong and durable. This tough oxide layer makes these some of the most hypoallergenic metals in the world. People that can have reactions to silver or other metals commonly will experience no such reactions with Niobium and Titanium. Below are some photos of the workshop process.

The anodizer unit itself. The brushes I use for 'painting' with electricity, with metal contacts soldered to the brush ferrule, then covered with insulating tubing. Experiments on Niobium, with combined dipping in the electrolyte, as well as using the paint brushes.

Texturing the metal.

Different surface textures on Niobium.

'Painting' with electricity.

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