Apparatus and methods to improve signal coupling in downhole inductive transmission elements to reduce the dispersion of magnetic energy at the tool joints and to provide consistent impedance and contact between transmission elements located along the drill string. A transmission element for transmitting information between downhole tools is disclosed in one embodiment of the invention as including an annular core constructed of a magnetically conductive material. The annular core forms an open channel around its circumference and is configured to form a closed channel by mating with a corresponding annular core along an annular mating surface. The mating surface is polished to provide improved magnetic coupling with the corresponding annular core. An annular conductor is disposed within the open channel.