Damascus jewelry question


Sep 21, 2014
Hi all. I know it's not knife related, but after seeing JT's thread a month or so ago about the ring he made for his wife, I think jewelry would be a great use for my damascus pieces.
Do those of you who do this temper the pieces after hardening? I'm pretty sure that one should in order to minimize the stresses on the steel from hardening and prevent cracking, but do you temper at the same temp and multiple times like a blade?
Fresh martensite does not etch well, tempered martensite will give the cleanest etch with the most contrast. Fully hardened and tempered is best.

The right number of layers can also be tricky, too fine and you won’t see it well, too coarse and it will be uninteresting.

The biggest issue is that damascus ( and regular mokume) will discolor the finger and rust/corrode on the inside due to your body's salty sweat and such.
You have to make a liner out of gold or silver to encase the inside and sides of the ring …. or make the ring out of precious metals mokume ( gold silver platinum layers).
Hoss - Thanks, I did not know that. Because hardened damascus etches better than unhardened, I just assumed the harder the better.

Stacy - Thanks for the teaching. I'll try to remember that if I try any rings. I was mainly thinking of pendants.

I tried one using a bit of my ferric chloride that I put in a jar with some copper, and it looked great when i took it out, but the copper rubbed off pretty easily. Any advice how to preserve the copper color? Is it as simple as spraying with a clear coat?
If you make pendants, stainless damascus is better.

If you use carbon damascus, neutralize it well, shape and polish it as desired, Clean-clean-clean it. Dry in the oven at 250F for an hour, let cool to around 125F, and then wax while still warm with a good hard wax like carnauba. Let cool completely, and hand buff with a soft cloth.

Damascus, (and most metal that is not titanium, gold, or platinum), will sometimes stain white blouses/shirts with a dark streak. It usually washes out, but women hate stains on their blouses. The waxing helps, but may not completely eliminate it. Darker color clothes are less of a problem.
A great Smith on here has a good site with lots of tutorials about this,Argentinean guy Ariel sallaverria,I think, aescustom knives