What Is Niobium?

Its name comes from the character in Greek mythology, Niobe, who was the daughter of Tantulus. Niobium is a naturally occurring element, appearing on the periodic table as Nb 41. Remember that wall chart in high school chemistry?

Without getting too technical, niobium's atomic weight is less than that of silver or gold. This means that a piece of niobium is lighter than the same size piece of silver or gold. Another advantage of niobium is that is hypoallergenic since it doesn't react to acids or alkalines,

I use an anodizing bath to develop permanent colors on niobium. Anodizing is an electrical process that creates thin transparent oxides on niobium. Varying voltages result in varying thicknesses of the oxides, which in turn result in various colors.

The properties of niobium allow me to create lightweight colorful jewelry that is hypoallergenic and easy to wear!

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© 2017 by Lynn Chadwick

photos by Deb Ehrens