Scott Kay held a press conference this morning at the Desmond Tutu Center in New York for a small group of jewelry press to officially unveil a new metal for jewelry, BioBlu 27. The material is unique in its properties–bright white and more durable than tungsten carbide, according to research by Kay and others–and in its origin; BioBlu 27 for jewelry was born from a collaboration between Kay, Edward Rosenberg, president, Spectore Corporation, Deerfield Beach, Fla., and Carpenter Technology, Wyomissing, Pa., a maker of metal alloys–some 450 to date.
The BioBlu 27 material is an alloy of 65 percent cobalt, 29 percent chromium, and 6 percent molybdenum. It is bright white in appearance, and can be cast and/or milled, as well as inlaid with precious metals. Within the next year, Carpenter Technology promises to have a material suitable for stone setting (for now, bezel-set stones in precious metal can be set into BioBlu 27). Kay has created a Brute Cobalt collection for Helzberg Diamonds and his own SK Cobalt line, both of which will be in stores in two weeks, Kay told JCK. Suggested retail prices start at just $125 for one of Kay’s slimmest bands. Right now, the product can only be enlarged a half a size, but Carpenter Technology also aims to rectify this limitation.
The trio shares a passion for innovation in their respective niches. Rosenberg’s business is metal fabrication (he brought titanium to the U.S. jewelry market), Kay is a jewelry artist and designer who initially made a name for himself in platinum bridal jewerly, and Carpenter Technology makes alloys for aerospace, automotive, and medical applications, among others. "We make high-performance specialty alloys for demanding applications," said Andy Ziulkowski, vice president, to attendees. All see opportunities for BioBlu 27 initially in bridal, because of its color and durability, and for high-fashion pieces in the future. While Kay alone currently has product exclusivity, BioBlu 27 will eventually be made available to other manufacturers.
UPDATE: The name does indeed come from the metallurgists at Carpenter. ‘Bio’ refers to the biocompatibility of the material, which can be used in medical applications such as prosthetics, and ‘Blu’ refers to the cobalt in the material. The number 27 is the number on the atomic table for cobalt.
For more information, contact Scott Kay at (800) 487-2724 or online at www.scottkay.com.
Editor’s Note: For more details about the press conference–including demonstrations of BioBlu 27’s durability, product photos, and interviews with Kay and Rosenberg–log on to the Style 360 blog.