Nano Jewelry: The Power of Subtlety
Ask fashion gurus, and most will agree that the defining character of a jewel is its subtlety. True, some jewelry are made to shout out, to be ostentatious. Bejeweled crowns are made to adorn proud and high-born heads, and huge rubies on the fingers of the mighty meant to be kissed by lowly penitents. Oftentimes though, real power emanates not from the grand, but from the basic and the small. This seems to be the case with nano jewelry.
How come nano jewelry? 'Nano' is a scaling prefix in the metric system of measurement, which reduces a basic unit to its one-billionth part. A nanometer is one-billionth of a meter, a nanosecond is one-billionth of a second, and so on. The effect of gravity is negligible at this level; inter-molecular forces are at play instead.
It is this intermolecular cohesion that is being used in making nano jewelry. If you want a unique design for your pendant or for your bracelet, maybe you'll decide on having engravings on your jewelry. But this method is just etching the surface of the metal or stone – it is a highly destructive process that may altogether damage the jewel.
In Nano Jewelry designs, a thin layer of precious metal (usually gold) is deposited on the surface of stone. This layer is extremely thin, hence the name 'nano.' The deposited metal is practically like ink that's being printed on a surface. Only this time, it is gold that is used for printing.
Subtle designs on gemstone or semi-precious stones
Combined with sophisticated laser technology, etching gold on stone can result in an almost unlimited variety of designs. Text or images may be engraved on the facet of stone, be it on the crown of a ring or on a pendant. The designs can be customized, although jewelers using this technique now typically offer pre-designed stones to their customers.
Perhaps the most striking thing about nano jewelry is that the designs can be made extremely small, yet exquisitely complex. Precision technology means that even the most intricate artwork can be fitted in a facet of precious stone. For example, a text that says 'I Love You' in 120 different languages can be printed on gemstones, or a prayer and religious symbol can be similarly inscribed in a pendant.
Of course, the text and design have to be made extremely small to fit such a tiny space. But no detail is lost in this process – all the letters in a prayer and all the subtleties of an image remain intact, even when printed extra small. The true test is of course when the design is viewed under magnification, and then the artwork and the text pops out perfectly clear.
The symbolism in this subtlety is appreciated by many people. It's just like having a secret prayer, a personal affinity to your jewelry. Indeed, this is what makes nano jewelry attractive – its power to give the wearer a deeply personal experience, without having to shout out his or her uniqueness to the world.