Solid titanium buckles Individually hand-hammered in Lombardy
Titanium is a silvery-grey metal which occurs naturally in meteorites, many volcanic rocks and even the sun. It was discovered in Cornwall in 1791, and named after the Titans, the first children of the original Greek gods. Although it is the ninth most abundant element in the earth’s crust, mined in Scandinavia, Australia, North America and Malaysia, the processes required to extract titanium from its ores are extremely laborious and costly.
The resulting metal is light and highly corrosion-resistant, as strong as most steel yet 40% lighter, with a melting point of 1667 degrees C. Because of its durability and strength to weight ratio, titanium is widely used in aerospace, architecture – and even surgery and jewellery for its hypoallergenic qualities.