Natural spinel is a gemstone that has become a great favorite with gem dealers and gem collectors; one might even say that spinel is for gemstone connoisseurs only.
It is a hard glassy mineral occurring as octahedral crystals of variable color and consisting chiefly of magnesium and aluminum oxides. Some spinels are among the most famous gemstones in the world: among them are the Black Prince's Ruby and the "Timur Ruby" in the British Crown Jewels, and the "Côte de Bretagne", formerly from the French Crown jewels.
Damascus steel was a term used by several Western cultures from the Medieval period onward to describe a type of steel created in India and used in sword making from about 300 BC to 1700 AD. These swords were characterized by distinctive patterns of banding and mottling reminiscent of flowing water. Such blades were reputed to be not only tough and resistant to shattering, but capable of being honed to a sharp and resilient edge. William Henry's damascus is made from several types of steel welded together to form a billet. The patterns vary depending on how the damascus artist works the billet. The billet is drawn out and folded until the desired number of layers are formed. William Henry damascus billets are forged with a minimum of 300 layers. William Henry works with a handful of the very best damascus artists/forgers in the U.S.
This material obtained by immersing a traditional damascus billet it in an acid solution. The process creates a striking visual contrast by enhancing the components that are more susceptible to the etching of the acid.