Nambe Design, Care, and FAQs

Nambe (pronounced nom-BAY) is named after a small village near Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the company was founded in 1951. It began with the discovery of Nambe's signature alloy metal, a proprietary aluminum-based combination of eight different metals that resists tarnishing and has the unique ability to retain hot and cold temperatures for long periods of time. Because it is susceptible to discoloration or pitting with acidic foods, it is not recommended any food be stored in Nambe metal or held for greater than a few hours due to these concerns (not health). Nambe does not contain silver, lead or pewter, but because Nambe's alloy is a trade secret, Nambe does not divulge the rest of the formula of its metal. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared Nambe safe for cooking and serving.

In 1998, Nambe introduced the collection of Nambe full-lead crystal. In 2001, Nambe introduced Nambe lighting. Best Crystal is proud to sell all Nambe metal, Nambe crystal and Nambe lamps.

Nambe Design

Nambe has always been dedicated to great design, both for form and function. Nambe's guiding principal - Dedicated to Design - sets Nambe apart and inspires great products, functional design that looks great anywhere. Many early Nambe designs, such as Nambe Tri-Corner bowls and Nambe Butterfly bowls still sell briskly.

Nambe Design Awards

Nambe searches out America's finest product designers, and they are drawn to Nambe. Nambe's visionary designers represent a wide range of influences and styles. Many of Nambe's artists are already recognized as major influences in the design world, while others are being closely watched as exciting new stars. Proof of Nambe's commitment to the best designers and to great design is seen in the design awards Nambe designers win for Nambe products:

Nambe Chirp Kettle
Designed by Steve Cozzolino
2013 Best of the Best
Housewares Design Awards

Nambe Fruit Tree Bowl
Designed by Wei Young
2012 Global Inspiration Award for Design Excellence

Nambe Elbow Frames

Designed by Neil Cohen
2012 Best in Category, Home & Outdoor Decor
Housewares Design Awards

Nambe Cradle Serving Bowl
Designed by Steve Cozzolino
2011 Good Design Award
Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture

Nambe Scoop Server

Designed by Wei Young
2011 Global Award for Design Excellence

Nambe Morphik 2-Tier Server

Designed by Karim Rashid
2010 Platinum Award for Design Excellence

Nambe Elbo Bud Vase

Designed by Neil Cohen
2009 Good Design Award
Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture

Nambe Twist Coaster Set
2009 Good Design Award
Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture

Nambe Champagne Flutes
Designed by Karim Rashid
Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Nambe Kissing Salt and Pepper Shakers

Designed by Karim Rashid
Chicago Athenaeum GOOD DESIGN Exhibition
Virtu 10, National Design Winner, Canada
Museum of Modern Art Permanent Collection, San Francisco
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Exhibition Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Nambe Planar Bowl
Designed by Karim Rashid
Sungkok Art Museum, Seoul, Korea

Nambe Square Service Plate

Designed by Richard K. Thomas
Museum of Modern Art Permanent Collection, New York
Summit of the Americas, Commemorative Gift to First Families

Cleaning and Caring for Nambe

All Nambe Metal

  • Hand-wash Nambe metal with mild soap, a soft sponge and water. Dry immediately with a soft clean cloth. Nambe is not recommended for the dishwasher. Never leave Nambe metal in standing water.
  • Never place Nambe in a microwave oven.
  • Use care when placing heavier Nambe pieces on glass surfaces.
  • Nambe Polish with 0000 steel wool may be used on Nambe metal bowls, platters, plates and casseroles. Do not use the Polish or steel wool on any other Nambe items. Window cleaner and a soft cloth may be used for light cleaning. Silver or other metal polish is not recommended for Nambe items.
  • Should you care to have your Nambe metal re-polished, contact Nambe customer service for details at 1-800-443-0339.
  • Each Nambe piece goes through a series of shaping, grinding, buffing and polishing steps. Slight imperfections found on Nambe' brilliant finish are characteristic of the sand-casting process, and since Nambe is handcrafted, no two pieces are exactly alike.

Special Care for Nambe Metal Bowls, Platters, Plates and Casseroles

  • Preheat or chill Nambe metal, then lightly coat the interior with cooking oil each time prior to placing food in it in order to protect the finish. Failure to do so will cause discoloration and/or pitting caused by acidic or salty foods, such as dairy, mayonnaise, tomatoes, other fruits and vinegar.
  • Use wooden or soft rubber utensils. Others will cause scratching.
  • Nambe's properties of thermal retention make it perfect for cooking in the oven, under the broiler, or on the gas or electric stovetop. Never place Nambe metal in the microwave oven.
  • Leaving food in Nambe for longer than 3 hours is not recommended. Food left in Nambe can cause discoloration. Citrus fruits can cause discoloration.
  • Dust and fingerprints can be removed from Nambe metal with a soft cloth and window cleaner.
  • If discoloration occurs on Nambe bowls and platters, it can be removed with Nambe polish.
  • To remove fine scratches on Nambe bowls and platters, use (000) or (0000) steel wool and a small amount of Nambe polish. Buff with a soft clean cloth. Using Nambe polish or steel wool on any Nambe items other than Nambe bowls, platters, plates and casseroles is not recommended.
  • Fresh cut flowers, plants and standing water is not recommended for Nambe metal. (This does not apply to Nambe vases).
  • Normal cooking and serving use will eventually result in natural patina. Should you care to have your Nambe metal re-polished, please contact Nambe at 1-800-443-0339.
  • Each Nambe metal piece goes through a series of shaping, grinding, buffing and polishing steps. Slight imperfections found on Nambe's brilliant finish are characteristic of the sand casting process and since Nambe is handcrafted, no two Nambe pieces are exactly alike.
  • Use care when placing heavier Nambe pieces on glass surfaces.

Serving in Nambe Metal

  • Because of Nambe's excellent ability to retain both hot and cold temperature, food served in Nambe metal will remain hot or chilled throughout a meal. Leaving food in Nambe metal for longer than 3 hours is not recommended.
  • Preheat or chill Nambe metal, then lightly coat the interior with cooking oil each time prior to placing food in it to protect finish.
  • Never place Nambe in a microwave oven.

Cleaning and Polishing Nambe Metal

  • Hand wash Nambe metal with mild soap and water. Dry immediately with a soft cloth. Never place Nambe in the dishwasher. Never leave Nambe in standing water.
  • Nambe polish or steel wool is not recommended for any Nambe items other than Nambe bowls, platters, plates and casseroles. Window cleaner and a soft cloth may be used for cleaning. Silver or other metal polish is not recommended for any Nambe items.

Nambe Wine Servers

  • Nambe's thermal retention capabilities allow Nambe wine servers to maintain any desired temperature. Store Nambe wine servers in the freezer, then place chilled wine inside.
  • Depending on the climate, condensation may develop on the outside of the Nambe wine server. A leather coaster is provided with each Nambe wine server to help protect the table surface.
  • For hot spiced wine, cider or sake, place a Nambe wine server in the oven, on a stove burner or under hot tap water. Be careful not to heat the wine server to the point it cannot be handled.
  • Dust and fingerprints can be removed from a Nambe wine server with a soft cloth and window cleaner. If used for fresh flowers, the interior of a Nambe wine server may become stained.

Nambe Salt and Pepper Shakers

  • In humid climates, Nambe suggests adding a few grains of rice to your salt to prevent the salt from sticking in your Nambe salt shaker.
  • Nambe also recommends that you not store your Nambe salt and pepper shakers on the stove. The heat may cause the stoppers to melt.

Nambe Candleholders

  • Avoid using sharp objects to remove wax from Nambe candleholders. Run them under hot water until the wax peels from the Nambe metal. As with other candleholders, be cautious of excess wax that may drip onto your table.

Nambe Vases

  • Change water in Nambe vases daily to prevent discoloration from standing water.
  • If discoloration occurs, the inside of the Nambe metal vase can be scrubbed with a bottle brush or medium grade steel wool. Be extremely careful not to scratch the exterior of the Nambe vase.
  • Use care when placing heavier Nambe vases on glass surfaces.

Nambe Salad Servers

  • Nambe recommends treating wood products occasionally with mineral oil which is absorbed into the wood and, unlike vegetable oil, will not become rancid.
  • Never immerse a Nambe salad server in water. Simply wipe off the surface of your Nambe salad servers with hot, soapy, damp cloth to remove food or dressing.

Nambe Metal Champagne Flutes

  • Nambe metal champagne flutes may be pre-chilled in the refrigerator before serving.
  • It is best to empty champagne from Nambe metal champagne flutes and wash and dry them soon after serving. Leaving Nambe metal champagne flutes unwashed overnight will result in discoloration.
  • Dust and fingerprints can be removed from Nambe metal champagne flutes with a soft, clan cloth and window cleaner.
  • To protect the exterior finish of Nambe metal champagne flutes, always wash them by hand with mild, soapy water and dry immediately.

All Nambe Crystal

  • Nambe Crystal is a fragile material and requires delicate handling.
  • Protect Nambe crystal from sudden changes in temperature and strong sunlight. Displaying Nambe Crystal in sunny windows for extended periods is not recommended. Hot water or sudden temperature changes may cause Nambe Crystal piece to break.
  • Hand washing Nambe crystal is recommended. Use very warm water - not hot - and any kind of detergent free of abrasives.
  • Hand dry Nambe Crystal immediately with a soft cotton cloth to prevent spotting.
  • Window-cleaning liquid or rubbing alcohol can be used to clean any of the Nambe crystal pieces.
  • If a chip is discovered, take your Nambe crystal piece to a local crystal shop or crystal engraver for sanding.
  • Removing stains from Nambe crystal: Swirl a handful of uncooked rice in a solution of lemon juice or vinegar and warm water to remove residue inside a crystal decanter or crystal vase.
  • Tougher stains: Try warm water with a denture cleaning tablet, allowing your Nambe crystal to soak.
  • For Nambe crystal clocks see clock specifications.
  • Nambe crystal frames have front inserts made of acetate, which are notched in one corner. To change the photo, pull on the notch and carefully remove the acetate. Insert the photo, then replace the acetate.
  • Nambe crystal candleholders: C A U T I O N - The candle must not burn within one inch of the Nambe crystal, as this may result in damage to the candleholder.

Nambe FAQs

How can I tell if I have an original Nambe item?
All Nambe items are stamped on the bottom "by Nambe" or "Nambe." Newer Nambe metal items are marked "Nambe Studio," "Nambe Classic," or "Nambe Design." Nambe Crystal is identified by the Nambe logo sandblasted on the bottom.

What is the Nambe alloy?
Nambe is an eight-metal, aluminum-based alloy that resists tarnishing and has the unique ability to retain hot and cold temperatures for long periods of time. Because it is susceptible to discoloration or pitting with acidic foods, it is not recommended any food be stored in Nambe metal or held for greater than a few hours due to these concerns (not health). Nambe does not contain silver, lead or pewter, but because Nambe's alloy is a trade secret, Nambe does not divulge the rest of the formula of its metal. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has declared Nambe safe for cooking and serving.

Can Nambe pieces be engraved?
Yes, Nambe metal pieces can be engraved. Some Nambe Crystal pieces can be sandblasted. For more information, please contact us at 1-866-516-0907.

Where are Nambe products made?
Nambe is headquartered in the United States. Most Nambe products are designed in the United States and manufactured internationally.

Sources for Nambe history, design awards and caring for Nambe: Nambe website and Nambe product literature.

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