How was iridium jewelry first created?
Though iridium is a precious metal like gold, silver and platinum, its ultra high melting point and extreme hardness made it impossible for jewelers throughout the ages to work with it. American Elements has over 2 decades experience manufacturing pure iridium components for use in space exploration. As the least tarnishing of the precious metals and with one of the highest melting points of any metal, iridium is perfect for space-based applications where solar winds & radiation and extreme heat and cold quickly destroy materials.
In 2009, using this same manufacturing high technology, American Elements' engineers working with NYC and LA based fashion designers designed the first and still only certified 24 Karat, 99.9% pure iridium fine jewelry; filing a patent on the invention.
Since launch, American Elements iridium rings have been purchased by an exclusive group of in-the-know tech entrepreneurs, financiers and entertainers. They have been acquired by people as diverse as the Silicon Valley billionaire famous for starting the first commercial space flight program, a member of the Eagles rock group, and a well-known hedge fund manager.
Why is American Elements the world's only maker of pure iridium jewelry?
The answer lies in the technological properties of this unique precious metal. For example, while gold melts at 1,945° F, within the working range of jewelry making equipment, iridium melts at a staggering 4,435° F, far outside the temperature range jewelers can cast metal.
Due to this and several other elemental properties of the metal, making jewelry out of pure iridium is extremely difficult and in fact falls within the purview of materials scientists.
As the top U.S. materials science manufacturer, American Elements maintains longstanding expertise producing complex high technology forms of iridium for scientific, research and space applications for NASA and JPL which it modified and enhanced over a 2 year period in order to produce fine jewelry.
Why is owning pure iridium jewelry a rare and unique investment opportunity?
Like gold, silver and platinum, irdium trades on international precious metal daily commodity exchanges. Depending on market conditions, its price per troy ounce has historically at times exceeded the price of gold and platinum. The technical difficulties to produce fine jewelry from iridium further adds to the rarity and inherent value of the finished piece. To document your investment for inheritance and insurance purposes, each iridium ring is stamped and comes with an assay certifying its purity and weight.
As the least tarnishing and therefore highest luster precious metal, Iridium is arguably the finest of the precious metals for jewelry making. It will hold its unique bright platinum gray luster longer and under more extreme conditions than gold and platinum. It can even be dipped in concentrated acid and not tarnish! Many feel the ability of iridium wedding bands to maintain their shine under the harshest of circumstances makes iridium of all the precious metals, the most perfect metaphor for eternal and lasting true love.
If you are shopping for a wedding band, iridium is certainly not your least expensive option. But it is the rarest and most truly unique choice you can make in a precious metal.