Mystery Metals: RUBEDO and Other Secret-Recipe Jewelry

J. Tyler Teague is a modern-day alchemist-for-hire who loves to prove the impossible possible. Between 2001 and 2003 he developed several castable 950 palladium alloys. The best of these was later bought and branded as TruPd by Hoover & Strong. Last year, this metallurgical gunslinger, president of JETT Research in Johnson City, Tenn., consulted with Tiffany & Co. for its new private-label pink metal RUBEDO (a fancy reference to the Latin word for red).Teague won’t reveal exact ratios of RUBEDO’s ingredients, but says “it contains a little gold, a lot of copper, and some silver with a dash of germanium and silicon. It’s a great all-round alloy, good for casting, laser-welding—you name it.” (In April, The New York Times assayed some RUBEDO jewelry and gave these results: about 31 percent gold, almost 55 percent copper, some silver, and a “smidgen of zinc.”)© Tiffa

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