Jewelry are objects of precious metal that are often set with gems and worn for personal adornment. They can symbolize a very important relationship with someone and serve as a remembrance of an unforgettable moment. Jewelry can come in different forms like necklaces, rings, brooches, bracelets, and anklets. But knowing the quality of your jewelry matters too. So, what type of jewelry would you want?
Types of Jewelry Material:
Copper is a reddish-orange tarnished (dull/faint color) metal that is ductile (easily hammered thin) and has very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Wearing copper jewelry may offer benefits for the bones, joints, circulatory system and nervous system. This is why copper jewelry such as bracelets (which are sometimes made to not meet on the ends) are sometimes claimed to have health benefits, like improving your skin and relieving the pain of arthritis. But the effectiveness of it is not scientifically proven. If you have a rare metabolic disorder or if you are exposed to high levels of copper, like living near a copper mine, wearing copper jewelry is unlikely to cause harm.
Brass has a gold-like appearance. It is malleable (capable of being shaped/formed), tarnish-resistant and has acoustic properties which makes it a good choice for brass musical instruments, like the trumpet. Brass is often used in situations where sparks should not be struck (like fittings and tools around explosive gases) because it is softer than most metals. It is susceptible to stress corrosion cracking, which is the unexpected sudden failure of normally ductile metals subject to tensile stress in a corrosive environment, because of amonia or anything having amonia.
Stainless Steel does not stain, corrode or rust that easily compared to ordinary steel, but it is not stain-proof. It is also called a corrosion-resistant steel (because of the presence of chromium) as it blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal’s internal structure. It is stronger than pewter and sterling silver, which is why this is used for buildings for practical and aesthetic reasons. Stainless steel may sound cheap, but this kind of material is used by high-end luxury brands like Rolex and Brietling, so this proves that it definitely has good quality.
Pewter is a malleable metal alloy made of 85-99% tin and the rest, copper, antimony, bismuth and lead. It has a slightly dull appearance and can never be polished to the fine look of sterling silver. Good quality pewter has no lead content and has 90% tin. Other materials are added to it as the main properties of tin can be a bit too soft to make jewelry. One of the advantages of using pewter in making jewellery is that it does not easily get tarnished or scratched, and this is because of the absence of lead. It is also a durable, lustrous, non-allergic metal and is cheaper than silver and gold. So, if you are someone who likes silver jewelry and want something that is more affordable, then pewter is a good alternative.
Sterling Silver is silver that is usually mixed with copper to give it strength and preserve its own ability to deform under tensile stress. It usually contains 92.5% mass of silver and 7.5% mass of other metals, commonly copper. These were found in surgical and medical instruments during the olden times, as they are naturally aseptic. In this case of silver being mixed with other metals, take note that as the purity of silver decreases, the problem of corrosion and tarnishing increases.
Titanium is a strong metal with a metallic-white color that is non-magnetic. It is hard, lustrous, a poor conductor of heat and electricity, almost as corrosion-resistant (to sea water, aqua regia and chlorine) as platinum and has low density. Titanium is non toxic and is safe even in large doses in the body, which is why they use this as medical implants such as hip balls, heart valves and sockets, and can stay for up to 20 years in its place since they are non-corrosive.
Gold has a bright yellow color and is the most malleable and ductile metal known. It is a dense, soft and shiny metal that is resistant to corrosion and most other chemical reactions. Because of its conductivity to electricity, gold has many uses including electrical wiring, colored glass production, and even gold leaf eating. Pure gold (24k) is too soft and needs to be combined with other metals to alter its hardness, ductility, melting point, color and all other properties. Gold with lower caratage (22k, 18k, 14k, 10k) contain either higher percentage of copper or other metals.
Gold can come in different colors depending on the caratage and the metal being combined:
- Red gold is made when copper is being used as a base metal.
- Rose gold is made when 18k gold is combined with 25% copper.
- Blue gold is made when fusing gold with iron but is difficult to work with when making jewelry.
- Purple gold can be done with fusing aluminum.
- Green gold is made when 14k and 18k is fused with silver alone, giving a greenish-yellow color.
- White gold is made when being mixed with palladium or nickel.
- Silvery gold is gold with a silvery appearance and is made when white 18k gold is combined with 17.3% nickel, 5.5% zinc and 2.2% copper.
Gold Plating is a process of placing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal. It is usually placed on silver when doing it for jewelry. This can be problematic when soldering gold-plated parts because gold is soluble to solder. And soldered parts with 4-5% gold can become brittle and look dull.
Gold Filled is when a solid layer of gold (usually 10k, 12k or 14k) is bonded to a base metal such as brass, through heat and pressure. Items that are gold-filled can last 30 years of daily wear but will wear out and lose their luster eventually. But gold filled items are only best for occasional wear as it will expose the metal below and might stain your skin or cause allergic reactions. To extend the life of the item, avoid immersing it in water or jewelry cleaning solution. Just clean them by gently rubbing it with a polishing cloth.
Solid Gold is durable, so it is okay to wear these kind of pieces regularly. Choose items that have high gold content, such as 18K or 22K gold if you are allergic to nickel and other metals.
Platinum is one of the rarest elements of the earth’s crust. It is a silvery-white, dense, malleable, ductile, precious, gray-white transition metal which is generally non-reactive. This is considered a noble metal because of its remarkable resistance to corrosion even in high temperatures. It is a heavy metal and is also highly valuable because of its scarcity. Exposure to platinum’s salts can lead to health issues, but because of its corrosion-resistance, it is non toxic as a metal. Short-term exposure to platinum salts can cause irritation of the eyes, nose and throat. While long-term exposure can cause both skin and respiratory allergies.