Titanium is a metallic element that has excellent corrosion resistance and a very high strength to weight ratio. Titanium jewelry is extremely lightweight and can hardly be felt when wearing it. Titanium is a strong as steel but weights 45% less and it is 60% heavier than aluminum but twice as strong. It is the ninth most abundant element in the earth’s crust and is also found in meteorites and in the sun. It is found in the ash of coal, in plants and even in the human body.
Titanium was first discovered in England by Reverend William Gregor in 1971, who recognized the presence of a new element in ilmenite. The element was rediscovered many years later by Martin Heinrich Klaproth, a German chemist. He found it in rutile ore. In 1795 Klaproth named the new material after the Greek word, titanos, the Titans of Greek mythology.
Titanium metal was not used outside the laboratory until 1946 when William Just Kroll proved that titanium could be commercially produced by reducing titanium tetrachloride with magnesium.
Approximately 95% of titanium is consumed in the form of titanium dioxide (TiO2), an intensely white permanent pigment with good covering capability in paints, paper, and plastics. Since titanium is so strong, light and resistant to corrosion, it is therefore a popular metal used in aircrafts and missiles. Of course, there are more consumer applications such as golf clubs, bikes, computers and of course, jewelry.