Sealing Mokume Gane

I have had some difficulties sealing a prototype ring I
fabricated from Sterling with Mokume Gane. I did my Mokume from
Copper, Bronze, Nickel and Brass. The inside of the ring is
Sterling. My son-in-law has been wear testing it for me. The
strip of Mokume reacted with his body chemistry quite quickly,
even though it is only on the outside surface of the ring. So, I
tried car wax. He is a para-medic and does some vigorous hand
washing. The wax just doesn’t hold up. So, I tried lacquer,
but I couldn’t get it to bond, even after a good scrubbing with
ammonia. What is the trick to applying lacquer?

Someone mentioned a product called Miro Bright (not sure of
spelling). Does anyone have any on this product and
where I can get it? Has anyone tried the “Tarnish Shield” listed
in Rio Grande’s catalog? Is there some kind of immersion product
that will work on the metals listed above?

Thanks in advance for the help.


I thought that mokkume gane needed to be oxidized so that the
difference in shades and values are distinguishable.

Marilyn Smith

Perhaps adding sterling rims around the ring so that the mokume’
is recessed inside and away from the skin would stop the body
chemistry reaction. Many people react violently to nickel and
especially in earrings.

Ginkgo Designs


You can oxidize Mokume Gane to get a variety of different color
effects. However, you may want to keep the soft subtle
difference in color achieved from a simple matt finish. Whatever
the finish, with the variety of metals I described combined with
most any body chemistry (granted some are stronger than others),
if worn in areas where there is more exposure to other forces
(whatever you get your hands into) the finish will change if it
is not sealed. Earrings and bracelets (only when Mokume not in
contact with skin) would be less likely to be effected and wax
would probably work just fine for these types of pieces. I think
it is wonderfully interactive to have the metals change color as
they are exposed to different influences, and my other son really
enjoys his ring for this reason. He (a chemistry major at
Pomoma) gets excited about the color changes his mokume ring goes
through. The fact remains that tarnish, or patina is not an
exciting experience for some people. I don’t believe this is a
practical metal combination for rings. I believe it would be
worth the time to do the mokume out of precious metals, or buy
the stuff from Reactive Metals. And, someday I’ll redo the ring,
but for now I am really tired of polishing and waxing it. And, I
keep seeing “alternative” metal objects marketed in many
catalogs. They must be sealing these pieces with something
durable so that they retain their finish. Does someone have a
clue about how it is done?


 He (a chemistry major at Pomoma) gets excited about the color
changes his mokume ring goes through.  

It may be his profession and the chemicals that he works with
that is so quickly discoloring the ring. In my experience many
chemists, hairdresser or any other professions that work with
unusual chemicals have problems with ring discoloration…I’ve
seen hairdressers that have formed some sort of silver coating on
their gold rings! Anyway, maybe if you have someone else test
wear the ring for you, you may find that it is not as big of a
problem as you think…