Skip to content


Your cart is empty

Article: Shibuichi


Naming and Composition

  • Shibuichi means one-fourth in Japanese
  • Indicates the standard formulation of one part silver to three parts copper
  • Variants of the alloy have specific names, such as rogin
  • The metal, especially the paler shades, may be named differently
  • The desired effect may cause variations in the alloy composition
  • Shibuichi can range from 5% silver to 95% copper
  • Different alloy compositions can achieve a wide range of colors
  • Dark grey can be achieved with 90% copper and 10% silver
  • Lighter greys can be achieved with 70% copper and 30% silver
  • Kuro-shibuichi is a mixture of shibuichi, shakudō, and gold

History and Use

  • First mentioned in the early 18th century in documents from the State Mint
  • Mostly used to ornament fittings for Japanese swords
  • Meiji reforms led to its use in purely decorative objects
  • Often used in mokume-gane combinations
  • Interest in shibuichi outside Japan has grown in recent years

Related Concepts

  • Kuromido - historically Japanese copper-arsenic alloy
  • Mokume-gane - Japanese mixed-metal laminate
  • Japanese sword - type of traditionally made sword from Japan
  • Corinthian bronze - highly valuable metal alloy in classical antiquity


  • Art Jewelry Magazine, March 2010
  • Bradbury, F.W. (2012). I Made That: Japanese Metalwork - Shibuichi
  • This article related to art or architecture in Japan is a stub
  • This alloy-related article is a stub
  • Expand these articles to contribute more information

External Resources

  • Wikimedia Commons has media related to Shibuichi

Shibuichi Data Sources

Reference URL
Knowledge Graph

Read more


Properties of Silver Appearance: lustrous white metal Standard atomic weight: 107.8682±0.0002 Boiling point: 2435K (2162°C, 3924°F) Density (near r.t.): 10.49 g/cm Thermal expansion: 18.9 µm/(m⋅K) ...

Read more


History and Early Uses The word shakudō first appears in records of the Japanese Nara period (710-784 AD) Actual pieces of shakudō are known from the 12th century onwards Shakudō was historically u...

Read more