Aluminum is one of the metals that’s often used in costume jewelry, but you will agree with us that aluminum isn’t the most common metal used in jewelry. It makes beautiful jewelry, though.
So, it might be a good option for you if you are looking for stylish and affordable jewelry. But is the jewelry made of aluminum safe, and what are some of the features that make aluminum a good metal option for jewelry making?
For starters, the US Geological Survey or the USGS notes that aluminum is one of those metals that boasts a significantly high level of malleability, a feature that allows artisans to easily crafty and form aluminum into some of the most gorgeous shapes. Aluminum is used for cuff bracelets, delicate earrings, as well as elaborate bib earrings.
But that is not all; keep reading to learn more about aluminum jewelry.
What is aluminum jewelry?
Aluminum is an ultra-lightweight bluish-silver metal that boasts a high level of malleability, resistance to oxidation, and ductility—named by Sir. Humphry Davy, this metal was previously known as aluminum, before the name was changed to aluminum soon after.
However, the metal is still referred to as Aluminium in England for conformity with the other elemental metal names like barium.
Aluminum jewelry is also known as aluminum eloxal, a material that’s derived from the specific process through which aluminum is oxidized in an electrolyte.
Note that aluminum is a ubiquitous metal that’s quite vital to modern life. Interestingly, aluminum was, in the 1800s, more expensive than gold, which also means that aluminum boasts a deep history.
As a metal that was prized higher than gold and used Empress Eugenie for jewelry, some of the articles of aluminum jewelry from the time are, today, displayed at the Great Exhibition of London (1851). And thanks to the rich history, most of the jewelry made of aluminum falls into the vintage and antique jewelry categories.
Today, aluminum jewelry is used to create costume jewelry and fashion jewelry, with some of the pieces getting their colored finish from the anodization of the aluminum.
Aluminum jewelry history
To get to the history of aluminum jewelry, we need to first look at the history of aluminum metal on its own.
Well, the use of aluminum in jewelry dates back to the Ancient Greeks and the Romans, who used the aluminum salts to dye mordants, as well as the astringents used in wound dressing. Today, aluminum is still used as one of the styptics.
This metal was initially discovered in 1761 when Guyton de Morveau suggested the naming of the metal alum alumine. In 1808, however, Humphry Davy came about the existence of the base metal alum, and he later named it aluminum before settling on aluminum.
Isolation of aluminum from its ore wasn’t, however, until 1827 when Danish and French scientists managed to isolate aluminum from its Bauxite ore, extracting it successfully.
Years later, aluminum jewelry was developed and used to create some of the most intricate jewelry designs. Aluminum is lightweight, hence its use in jewelry.
Notably, aluminum jewelry has been in use for a significantly long time, with its first use in jewelry prominent during the WWII Era. At the time, most of the metals were used in the war, resulting in the scarcity of metals like gold and silver, among others. With these changes, the use of aluminum rose as the pliable aluminum was used to create some of the best high-end fashion pieces.
At the time, the aluminum jewelry had the mark of Germany, which points to the fact that the pieces were created prior to World War II. The Germany aluminum jewelry predates the jewelry with the W mark.
Then you have the Aluminum Eloxal used in aluminum jewelry. The aluminum jewelry is believed to have been used in jewelry between 1945 and 1965, although other data sources date to between 1950 and 1970.
Among other reasons, aluminum’s use in jewelry making was made possible by its tarnish-free and rust-free lightweight design. And thanks to the malleability of the aluminum, aluminum jewelry also features large and chunky jewelry designs that are comfortable. You will also find colorful aluminum jewelry.
Is aluminum jewelry safe to wear?
The aluminum jewelry is largely safe to wear because aluminum is a non-toxic metal. It is a hypoallergenic metal, but also it’s free of nickel, which means that you wouldn’t have to worry about the metal affecting your skin or causing any manner of irritation.
However, you need to keep in mind that there are a few people who develop allergic reactions to aluminum. Such allergies are, however, rare. Therefore, even with these few people struggling with allergic reactions to aluminum, aluminum remains largely safe to your skin.
Also, aluminum is free of iron, which means that it is rust-free and even safer on your skin.
Its rust-free design also means that you can get the aluminum jewelry wet without having to worry about the piece of jewelry losing its nice, natural grey sheen. You might also like it because it’s safe, and it looks great on your skin, looking great for years to come.
Pros and Cons aluminum jewelry (Detailed answers)
Aluminum jewelry is hypoallergenic as it is free of nickel. Since nickel is the most common metal that causes irritation of the skin, its absence in aluminum means that the aluminum jewelry will not cause allergies.
Keep in mind, however, that as mentioned above, no metal is 100% hypoallergenic, but aluminum is, without doubt, as close to perfect as possible.
Aluminum jewelry is rust and tarnish-free, and the best part is that aluminum jewelry will fight tarnishing naturally.
The reason for this is that aluminum naturally creates a layer of aluminum oxide by reacting with oxygen in the air, and this metal oxide layer offers a protective lining over the metal, preventing rusting or tarnishing.
The best part is that the aluminum jewelry will remain protected and free of tarnish even after cleaning. Note that the features of aluminum jewelry are the exact opposite of the features of the jewelry made of sterling silver.
If you have sterling silver jewelry, you are already aware of the fact that the jewelry will lose its natural shine after some time, and in the event of improper care, it will be dull and tarnished with a black finish.
So, if you want sterling silver jewelry that won’t tarnish, you may want to look for Argentium silver.
Alternatively, you could just opt for aluminum jewelry because this will always be tarnish-free. So, if you are looking for the best jewelry on the market today, something that won’t call for too much or constant care, then aluminum jewelry would be a good option for you.
3.It’s safe to wear
Aluminum jewelry is safe thanks to its non-toxic nature. It’s also hypoallergenic, rust-resistant, and as long as you don’t have rare metal allergies from aluminum, you wouldn’t have to worry about the aluminum jewelry causing irritation,
The safety of aluminum is further enhanced by the fact that the aluminum is rust-resistant, thanks to its iron-free setup.
At the same time, you can clean and keep it on throughout without worrying about tarnishing or skin discoloration.
4.It is a lightweight metal.
The other advantage of working with aluminum jewelry is that the aluminum metal is significantly lightweight but very strong, with significantly high strength. It is a third the weight of sterling silver.
Aluminum is also lighter than 316L stainless steel, which means that the necklaces made of aluminum are very light and comfortable.
So, if you don’t like heavy jewelry pieces, choosing aluminum jewelry could be the best approach for you. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about losing out on the bling feel of the jewelry.
Also, you get to enjoy the best quality jewelry that lasts a really long time. It’s affordable, too, durable, and worth your money.
Aluminum jewelry is easy to clean, and you only need just a little dish soap along with a clean, soft cloth to prevent scratching. Also, you only need a little time cleaning the jewelry to keep it bright always.
The other reason why aluminum jewelry might be the best option for you is that it is scratch-resistant, durable, and worth your money. Also, it can survive impact a number of times, and they won’t break easily.
7.It isn’t affected by things happening in the surrounding environment.
- Difficulty resizing the jewelry – Aluminum jewelry is rather hard to clean because it’s a lot harder than most of the other precious metals made of gold or silver. Also, with growth and aging comes changes in the size of the finger, and resizing, it might be impossible – you may need to get a ring with a new fitting. Keep in mind, however, that aluminum isn’t a precious metal, although its price range is more or less within the budget. Given the hardness of the aluminum jewelry, it would be damaged easily, especially in case of a strong impact.
- It’s affected by the impact.
- Relatively expensive, especially for vintage jewelry
Sterling silver vs. aluminum jewelry
Sterling silver jewelry is a high-end precious metal that is quite valuable. Unfortunately, it tarnishes and needs a little more care about maintaining it.
On the other hand, aluminum jewelry is tarnish-resistant and safe. Also, aluminum jewelry is often allergy-free, but sterling silver jewelry could potentially cause allergies because the sterling silver jewelry is made of copper or other metal alloys.
Does aluminum jewelry tarnish?
No, aluminum jewelry doesn’t tarnish. Overall, aluminum jewelry reacts with oxygen to form an aluminum oxide that forms a thin oxide film that prevents further reactions.
However, there is a likelihood that that aluminum jewelry will turn black, especially if it is anodized jewelry, because the anodization causes the development of the black film.
So, as long as the jewelry is made of pure aluminum, you will be happy to know that there will be no tarnishing.
Some of the things that could affect the color of the aluminum jewelry include exposure to harsh chemicals that could cause significant discoloration. You should also avoid rubbing the jewelry pieces against each other.
How long does aluminum jewelry last?
Aluminum jewelry is durable, and it will last for years as long it’s well cared for. The durability of the jewelry is the reason why the aluminum jewelry features vintage jewelry – it could last forever if cared for well.
How to clean aluminum jewelry?
For the aluminum jewelry to last, you’d have to clean it often (and well). Essentially, baking soda, water, and aluminum foil work best in cleaning the jewelry.
Heat up some water, then in a saucepan, add a piece of aluminum foil the same size as the pan and pour the hot water into the pan.
Next, add a tablespoon of salt, baking soda, and a tablespoon of gentle dish detergent. Next, stir the mixture, then rinse and put it away using a pair of tongs.
Place in the jewelry when done, cover it for 15 minutes, then remove the jewelry from the hot water solution. Once done, rinse it using warm, running water, and dry it using a soft microfiber cloth before storing it.
There you have it; if you weren’t sure about buying the best aluminum jewelry, this article offers all the information you need to know about the jewelry and why you should consider buying aluminum jewelry.