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The George Sawyer Mokume Color Palette
Here are some simple points about our mokume color palette
to help you pick your perfect mokume color combination.
A description and photo of each mokume color combination follow below. There is a smaller version on each ring description page in a "drop down" format to help you select your favorite mokume combination. For simplicity, the mokume colors are designated by letters of the alphabet in the order of their development.
When visiting your nearest retailer, the examples in their showcase may not match the colors shown here. Computer monitors vary greatly in their color representation. Also, the ring samples in the case have been handled many, many times and the metals can tarnish over time, especially sterling silver. Rest assured, the rings you order will arrive brand spankin' clean straight from the goldsmith's bench. Daily wear and occasional cleaning will keep them looking beautiful for years to come.
14k yellow and red gold, sterling silver and copper
This is the original gold mokume color combination and still one of my favorites. It has strong color and dimensional definition with layers of 14k yellow gold, 14k red gold, sterling silver and copper, both etched. There is a nice color balance between all of the colors, with a slight bias toward the reds. The white silver tracing through the reds and yellows contributes a delicacy to the pattern. Since it has two non-gold layers, it is the least expensive mokume color combination. "A" does not have an 18k equivalent.
14k yellow, red and gray gold, copper
"B" mokume is our most popular color combination. It has a little more subtle color tone than "A" because of the rich gray color of our palladium gray gold alloy. Etched copper layers frame the gray gold layer as it circulates through the pattern, giving this combination a distinct, rich red color tone. Composed of 14k yellow, red, and gray golds, with etched copper, it has stronger color contrasts that its 18k equivalent, "E".
14k yellow, red and gray gold, sterling silver.
"C" color mokume runs a close second in popularity to our "B" mokume. It has a soft, light color tone with its cool white and gray colors warmed by pastel yellow and pink tones. 14k palladium gray gold and etched sterling silver give "C" mokume its dominant whiter colors and dimensional definition while 14k yellow and red golds provide the warmth. "C" mokume has a crisper color contrast than "F", its 18k equivalent.
14k yellow, red and gray gold.
Smooth, non-etched surface
The "D" mokume color is the most subtle of all the mokume colors. When worn to a smooth surface, its color pattern may only be perceivable to those close to its owner, making it a very personal statement. "D" mokume's subtlety is due to its all 14k gold construction, its complexities defined only by color. There are no dimensional etched lines to define the 14k yellow, red, and gray gold colors, so only the discerning eye will discover its secrets. "D" mokume's bolder 18k counterpart is "G".
18k yellow, red and gray gold, copper.
The "E" mokume combination has a warm, rich color tone with a soft color contrast. While the 18k palladium gray gold and etched copper layers define this material very cleanly, the "golder" color of the 18k yellow gold and the slight gold cast to the 18k red gold lend a richer, softer feel to the whole mix. The rich color combination of 18k yellow gold and deep red copper is especially attractive.
Comparing the 18k "E" to the 14k "B" is a bit like comparing softness to crispness.
18k yellow, red and gray gold, sterling silver
"F" color mokume has well defined, etched, dimensional pattern-work. Its intensely colored 18k yellow gold provides a strong color contrast to the gray gold and sterling silver, and softens the harder edged cool colors. The high karat "gold" colors of the 18kt yellow and red gold give the "F" color mokume a softer, richer, warmer color tone than "C", its lighter, cooler colored 14kt equivalent.
18k yellow, red and gray gold
Smooth, non-etched surface
The "G" color mokume has a balanced color tone, with a slight bias toward the 18k yellow gold color. The high karat gold color of the 18k yellow provides a strong enough color contrast with the red and gray gold to make the pattern quite visible even with no etching. The pattern in "G" mokume is much more visible and has a much richer color tone than "D", its 14k parallel.
14k green, red and gray gold
Smooth, non-etched surface
The "H" mokume combination has a wonderful light feeling. The pastel green gold contrasts with the red gold beautifully, accentuating the visibility of the pattern. Better yet, the green and red gold mutually enhance each other's colors, making the red look redder and the green look greener. The gray gold provides some strong pattern definition and "plays" very well with the red gold. This is one of my favorite combinations. "H" color mokume has a more visible pattern than the 18k "G" and a much more visible pattern than the 14k "D".
14k gray gold and sterling silver
"J" mokume is the boldest of our combinations. The color contrast between the palladium gray gold and the white silver is enhanced even further by increasing the width of the individual metal layers in the pattern. There is a little "softness" imparted by the rich gray color but the lack of any "warm" colors in the mix makes "J" a very cool character. The "J" combination's lack of color provides a great foundation for detail work done in strong, warm colors like 22k yellow gold or 14kt red gold. Our special 14k palladium gray gold alloy provides the strongest color contrast to white sterling silver, so there is no 18k color equivalent. 18k "K" is graphically similar.
18k yellow and 14k gray gold
Smooth, non-etched surface
"K" pattern mokume is bold, warm and simple. It has the same wide pattern layers as "J", but the 18k yellow gold imparts a soft, rich warmth. The two color composition gives a graphic clarity to "K" that works especially well in symmetrical pattern-work to create remarkable abstract images. 14k "J" is graphically similar, but with different colors.
Some Interesting Notes on Copper and Silver Pattern Layers
Since color and pattern are of primary importance in our mokume, we use copper and sterling silver as well as gold in some of our color combinations. Copper is the reddest metal and silver the whitest. They provide a strong color contrast to the generally more pastel colors of gold alloys. Unlike most gold alloys, copper and silver can be acid etched. When used with gold in a mokume color combination and etched, they provide a much bolder, more visible pattern than gold alloys alone. Over time, the copper layer can continue to recess deeper into the surface of the pattern, creating a beautiful ancient appearance.
This appearance is the essence of wabi sabi, the Japanese art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in nature. It celebrates cracks and crevices and all the other marks that time, weather and loving use leave behind.
In the color palette, we show copper in its natural unoxidized state, but copper also is interesting in that it can change color in daily use. When a mokume ring is new, the copper is metallic pink, but the color can change with daily wear. We are all familiar with copper turning green, but it can also turn turquoise blue, brick-orange, shades of brown and even red, depending on the wearer and the environment. These interesting colors are not permanent, but will usually remain in the etched, protected areas. Some of these oxide colors will occasionally rub off on your finger, but the color can be wiped off. Please note that on very rare occasions, copper can cause an allergic reaction with certain individuals.
All of the mokume colors are created in George Sawyer's signature Edge Grain Mokume technique and all are available with Mirror Image pattern matching.