Dichroic Glass Jewelry

You could spend literally hours or days looking at this lovely art from known as dichroic jewelry, and never tire of all the nuances and shadings of color where you will almost never find two pieces alike. This is an artisan’s paradise and a technique that is steeped in technology. If you have never seen dichroic glass, you are in for a real treat. Although it is actually a centuries old technique, modern technology has simply enhanced the process.

Dichroic glass is formed by multiple layers of vaporized metals that are allowed to condense on the glass to give it shades and tones of color. Metals often used are gold or silver, and then there are metal oxides such as chromium, titanium, zirconium, aluminum and magnesium. Silica (sand) is also used and each material causes a unique color or combination of colors. Sometimes the final step in the process is to add a coating of quartz crystal to form a protective layer.

When the process is finished, it is much like a gemstone and the colors are managed by carefully controlling the thickness of the coatings. This is why it’s a dream come true for the artisan because he/she can make endless patterns for a unique piece of jewelry. No two will ever be quite the same because of where the vapor lands. Even though it is possible to ‘block off’ areas during stages of coating, it is impossible to predict where the microscopic bits of vapor will land and in what patterns. Colors can be controlled, but exact textures of color and tones will vary.

Many pieces of dichroic jewelry are random colors that form a sort of art nouveau pattern, while others are carefully controlled. Some form lovely flowers and landscapes while others are oriental characters, mythical animals like unicorns and flower power 60’s logos like peace signs and mod flowers. From crosses to hearts, there is literally any pattern imaginable and the glass itself can be shaped as well. There are world famous artisans who made their name in the industry by designing unique and priceless dichroic glass jewelry that are actually works of art.

One of the most popular pieces of dichroic glass jewelry is a pendant worn around the neck. But there are even variations in settings as well as styles. Sometimes, depending on the artistry and quality of the ‘glass,’ the pieces are set in 14k or 18k gold and other times in sterling silver. Some forms of dichroic jewelry are retro so they are fashioned with rope or leather. And just as the settings change, so too do price ranges. While it is possible to get inexpensive costume jewelry pieces that sell for less than $25, there are other pieces that run considerably more money.

Just like antique collectors search high and low for period pieces and treasures from days gone by, many consumers hunt down unique dichroic jewelry to add to their collections. Sometimes it is the actual ‘hunt’ that is so thrilling and when a piece is discovered that is unique or unusual, it’s like finding a new da Vinci work of art that had never before been seen. In the eyes of the collector, that piece of dichroic jewelry is just as priceless as a rare work of art. Perhaps that is because it is a rare work of art!

Everything from necklaces to earrings, charms for bracelets, cufflinks and rings are fashioned with dichroic glass and each piece is more stunning than the last. From art nouveau to Japanese calligraphy, there is sure to be the perfect jewelry for any taste and any style. With the speed and convenience of the internet, it is possible to find what you are looking for without ever needing to leave your home. For the true collector, dichroic jewelry and the world wide web go hand in hand.

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