Shakudo Definition

Japanese tsuba hand guard, shakudo with inlays of autumn flowers and insects on nanako ground, 18th century

p4A ItemID D9826474
Japanese sword tsuba, iron with armored figures inlaid in shakudo, gold, silver, and copper

p4A ItemID D9754292
Japanese tsuba, shakudo with gold and mixed metal inlay of wild boar on the plains of Musashi

p4A ItemID D9754289
A Japanese samurai sword of the Koto period by Ujinobu Gammaku

p4A ItemID E8992109

Shakudo – Definition

Shakudo is the Japanese term for a copper and gold alloy consisting of 2% to 7% gold and the remainder copper. This alloy can then be treated to achieve a blue-black color sometimes resembling lacquer. It was historically used to make and/or decorate Japanese swords. Contemporary jewelry makers have revived the use of shakudo for its unusual and beautiful coloring.

p4A editorial staff, March 2013

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