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What is crystalline Osmium and where does it come from?

Osmium is one of the eight precious metals in the world. These are gold, silver, platinum, palladium, rhodium, ruthenium, iridium and osmium. All these metals are characterized by incredibly high corrosion resistance and value. Each element has its own strengths and preferred areas of application. For example, gold and crystalline osmium are primarily jewelry metals due to their beauty and unique colors, while the silvery metals such as platinum, palladium and rhodium have a comparatively higher industrial use.

With osmium, the distinction between raw osmium and crystalline osmium is very important. Unlike the other metals, raw osmium in its powdery form forms a harmful gas with the chemical name osmium tetraoxide when exposed to air. Solid osmium beads or sintered osmium cubes are safe at room temperature and may be of interest to precious metal collectors, but are unsuitable for filigree jewelry making. 

Crystalline osmium, on the other hand, has an even more compact atomic structure thanks to the complex crystallization process and is therefore unreactive even at higher temperatures. This has been confirmed under laboratory conditions in a pure oxygen environment up to 400°C. Scientists from Switzerland have thus succeeded in creating a completely new jewelry metal that has never existed in this form before: A blue, extremely rare precious metal that sparkles even more intensely than a diamond! Crystalline osmium is 99.9995 percent pure.  

Osmium is mined along with platinum, with around 70% of the current deposits being in South Africa. The annual global production of raw osmium is currently slightly over one ton. In fact, however, a maximum of 500 kg is available for crystallization, as the raw osmium is also used in special niche areas of chemistry, industry and research.. For comparison: the annual amount of gold mined has been about 3,000 tons for years, the annual amount of natural diamonds mined is around 20 tons. Not to mention artificial diamonds, which can be produced in almost unlimited quantities. The exclusivity factor of crystalline osmium is therefore immense! 

Osmium lizard

What is the difference between Osmium and other precious metals?

Osmium is practically impossible to forge. It is the densest element in the world and cannot be alloyed or filled with inferior metals without changing its weight noticeably. In addition, every piece of osmium introduced to the market is optically scanned with a microscope using Keyence technology in 50x resolution. The unique crystal surface structure of osmium acts as a fingerprint or embossing number. However, it is many times more precise than the former and much better than an embossing number, because gold, silver, platinum, etc can easily be melted down again and made unrecognizable. Theoretically, osmium could also be melted down again at 3130 ° C, leaving you back with raw osmium, which has a much lower value than crystalline osmium. Buyers of crystalline osmium receive their piece together with the so-called Osmium-Identification-Code (OIC) and can thus view the high-resolution scans of their osmium online at any time.

Osmium, gold and silver
What is the difference between osmium and gemstones?

​Compared to classic diamonds and other colored gemstones, crystalline osmium has a completely opaque surface. As a result, incident light is not refracted, but 100 percent reflected. Depending on the light source, osmium creates a more intense sparkle. The "osmium sparkle" is observed most strongly in the sun compared to the diamond, which is why it is also often referred to as the sunshine element. With a Mohs hardness of 7, osmium is not quite as hard as diamonds and most precious stones, but it is nevertheless the hardest precious metal and very durable. Crystalline Osmium is not polished because its crystals have already grown perfectly. However, it can be cut into any shape to create very extravagant pieces of jewelry or even fonts. Osmium is undoubtedly a special element with unique properties that have never existed in this form!

Osmium, diamond and sapphire
Made in Germany

Our entire range of jewelry and watches is handcrafted by professional goldsmiths and watchmakers in Germany. Our producers are Juwelier Felicia in Grünwald (Munich), Hans-Jürgen Reich Schmuck in Pforzheim and Bethge & Söhne in Ispringen. 

Osmium jewelry making
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