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Traditional Japanese Alloys

Pin made by Jim Kelso with traditional Japanese alloysShining Wave Metals fabricates a line of traditional alloys used for sword fittings. All the alloys are used with a patina, rather than with a bright finish. The effect is subtle and rich, especially when combined with precious metals. The three alloys offered are described below.

Please be aware that these materials are meant to be used as bar stock and should not be re-rolled to sheet thicknesses. Small bubbles are impossible to spot in heavy material and hence different processing is used to make sheet. For gauges smaller than 1/16" please contact Reactive Metals Studio.

4% Shakudo - The classic Japanese shakudo, 4% of fine gold in a copper base, with traces of other alloys for better color and working properties. When patinated with Baldwin's Patina it turns a deep purple black. This alloy works like pure copper.

5% Shibuichi - A soft alloy with a light copper color. When patinated with Baldwin's Patina or by handling it turns a dark brown. May be depletion plated and lightly rubbed to produce a "pear skin" surface.

15% Shibuichi -A tough, hard alloy of 15% fine silver in a copper base. The color of the raw metal is a creamy pink, when patinated or handled it turns an olive green.

25% Shibuichi -An alloy of 25% fine silver in a copper base. Somewhat harder than 15% Shibuichi, with a somewhat lighter color. May be depletion plated to create a silvery surface. Patinated surfaces range from shades of gray to a buff color.

© P. Baldwin 2009