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Kyocera Develops New Fine Ceramic Resembling 18-Karat Gold

Elegant Material Developed by World Leader in Fine Ceramics

July 28, 2008
(This document was translated from the Japanese press release.)
Kyocera Corporation (President: Makoto Kawamura) is pleased to announce that it has developed a new fine ceramic with a color that closely resembles 18-karat gold. The material has been created by raising the brightness level approximately 5% (approx. 3.6 points) above previous gold ceramic products. It is a beautiful reflection of the materials development and manufacturing technologies that Kyocera has accumulated in its five decades of R&D in fine ceramics.
The new gold fine ceramic is a sophisticated addition to Kyocera's lineup of colored ceramics that are used as decorative materials for watches, mobile phones and other premium accessories. The company will pursue upscale applications for the elegant gold material in new markets worldwide.
The three inherent attributes of color are luminosity, hue and saturation. Luminosity refers to the visually perceived brightness or darkness of a color as a percentage. In developing the new gold fine ceramic material, Kyocera increased the luminosity of its previous gold fine ceramic - one of 18 colored fine ceramics provided by Kyocera - while retaining the material's outstanding hardness. This made it possible to more closely recreate the texture and color of 18-karat gold.
Photo: Kyocera's extensive line of colored fine ceramics has expanded with the addition of a new material for premium applications that bears a striking resemblance to 18-karat gold. Kyocera's extensive line of colored fine ceramics has expanded with the addition of a new material for premium applications that bears a striking resemblance to 18-karat gold.

Features of the new material

1) Replicating the elegant color of 18-karat gold
  In developing the new gold fine ceramic, Kyocera added a substance to the titanium nitride - the main component of the gold fine ceramic - to increase its luminosity. To minimize the reduction in hardness resulting from this additive, Kyocera found the optimum rate of addition by balancing the brightness with the variations in the property. This allowed the luminosity of the new material to be about 5% (3.6 points) higher than that of the previous gold ceramic while achieving an elegant, sophisticated texture corresponding to that of gold and other precious metals.
2)  Texture and a variety of features unique to fine ceramics
  After being processed into components, the price of the new gold ceramic is about one-twentieth to one-twenty-fifth that of generally available 18-karat gold. In addition, its hardness is five to ten times higher than that of gold, resulting in superior scratch resistance. It is also lightweight, with a specific gravity less than one-third that of 18-karat gold. Apart from being an alternative to gold, the new gold fine ceramic can be used in a wider range of applications, while retaining its beautiful appearance and texture for a longer period, thanks to its outstanding durability. The quality of this new material makes it appropriate for decorative parts as well as jewelry.

Comparison between 18-karat gold and the new gold ceramic
New gold ceramic
18-karat gold
Specific gravity (weight)
Hardness (Vickers hardness)
1 - 2

Development background
1) Kyocera's fine ceramics
  Fine ceramics have been applied for a wide range of products as a new industrial material and, in recent years, have become highly valued for their beautiful appearance, texture and color. The materials have gained renown by offering better appearance and texture, finding a broad range of applications in jewelry, watches and other accessories.
2) New market for gold fine ceramics
  Because gold is the essential color for conveying opulence, demand has grown for a gold fine ceramic that more closely resembles the color of 18-karat gold. The market price of the new gold ceramic will be one-twentieth to one-twenty fifth that of 18-karat gold, which makes the material an excellent candidate for use in luxury applications, particularly as a material for decorative parts. The company will target a greater variety of products to expand the applications for fine ceramics, which to date have been used for the keypad buttons of premium mobile phones, exterior parts in digital cameras, wristwatch bands and bodies, and jewelry.
3)  Kyocera's technology makes gold fine ceramics closely resemble 18-karat gold
  In developing manufacturing methods for the new material, Kyocera conducted about two years of basic research into its physical properties and other attributes. The objective was to minimize the reduction in rigidity caused by the additive used to increase luminosity. The new gold fine ceramic is a high-tech material that combines superior physical properties made possible through painstaking research efforts, and a beautiful appearance created by precision processing and color control technology.

Kyocera's fine ceramics
Kyocera Corporation was established in 1959 as a specialized manufacturer of fine ceramics. Thanks to the superior technologies that it has accumulated over nearly half a century, the company's products have earned strong acclaim both in Japan and in global markets.
Kyocera's pursuit of superior quality has allowed an extremely wide application of its fine ceramics, which are used for medical equipment such as artificial joints, as well as the blades of knives and scissors, components in various industrial products and electronic components.
Kyocera will continue to respond to the demands of the market with a wide variety of products and improve its technologies to provide products of higher quality.
  Photo: Kyocera's fine ceramics