Are you new to brass and bronze jewelry? With brass and bronze jewelry becoming more common in the jewel industry, it is vital to understand their manufacturing process as well as their key features. This article on brass vs. bronze jewelry aims to provide insight into why these metals are gaining popularity in the jewel industry.
With numerous metal jewelry products available in the market, brass and bronze jewelry are quickly making their debut among many consumers. Their superb qualities and few drawbacks encourage buyers to invest in them.
However, these metal pieces of jewelry have some benefits and disadvantages to them. By knowing their features, you can make more informed choices that you will not come to regret later. Here are some pros and cons of brass and bronze jewelry.
Brass vs. bronze jewelry
Basically, brass is a metal alloy that consists of zinc and copper, making it stronger than copper but not as strong as steel. In some cases, jewel makers may add lead and nickel to brass to make it more workable, which may cause allergic reactions to those with sensitive skin. Brass metal has a yellowish tone that resembles yellow gold, but cheaper.
The features of brass vary depending on the amount of individual metals used in the mixture.
On the other hand, bronze is a metal alloy made from copper and tin, and sometimes, may contain zinc as well. The alloy may also contain silicone, aluminum, phosphorus, and manganese. It has a warm and brownish-gold hue that is compatible with several designs and stones. This alloy is an affordable alternative to 14k or 10k gold.
The difference between brass and bronze jewelry
Individual metal content
Brass metal consists of a combination of copper and zinc, while bronze metal is a metal alloy that contains copper and tin, among many other metals.
Copper is a soft metal in its pure form. By combining it with other metals, like zinc and tin, it increases its overall tensile strength, making it moiré workable. As a result, the two metals have distinct features, owing to the proportional content of the metal used.
For instance, brass metal comes in yellow or red hues. Yellow brass implies the metal has higher zinc content, while red brass means the alloy contains a higher copper content.
Jewel makers prefer using yellow brass due to its gold-like appearance.
Generally, brass metal is more malleable than bronze jewelry with a low melting point of around 1600F as compared to bronze’s melting point of 1750F.
As a result, it is easier to make brass jewelry and incorporating various designs and shapes than bronze jewelry.
Bronze metal is harder than iron and brass. It requires exposure to more heat to make it malleable and transform it into different shapes. As such, it was mainly used for making weapons during ancient times.
Brass jewelry has a warm yellowish tone, similar to yellow gold, while bronze jewelry consists of a warm and brownish-gold tone.
As such, they are both excellent alternatives to precious metals, depending on your preferred color.
However, their color tarnishes over time without regular care and maintenance.
The pros of brass jewelry
One of the primary benefits of buying brass jewelry is that it has a yellow-like tone, similar to that of gold.
As such, people who enjoy the hue of gold can comfortably enjoy wearing such pieces, at a fraction of the price. Its warm golden tones offer a sophisticated and prestigious feel to jewelry, ideal for decorative costume pieces.
Strength and durability
Brass jewelry is both strong and durable since brass is not a brittle metal. As such, such jewelry does not break or bend easily under normal conditions.
However, it does bend and stretch under high pressure, making it malleable and ideal for making it into various and unique shapes.
If you are looking for durable and attractive pieces of jewelry with a gold-like hue and at affordable prices, brass jewelry is the best option.
Brass is one of the most common metals used in the jewel industry today. As such, it is easily accessible and pocket-friendly.
The cons of brass jewelry
Despite the durable and strong nature of brass metal, it tends to change color over time, losing its shiny and golden-like appearance.
Even with proper maintenance and cleaning, it loses its lustrous color, especially unfinished brass.
However, you may opt to apply clear nail lacquer to coat the brass piece, preventing it from oxidizing due to moisture and air.
It is not hypoallergenic
One of the primary drawbacks of brass jewelry is that it may cause allergic reactions to people with sensitive skin.
Vintage brass jewelry may contain small amounts of lead, which is toxic to both adults and children.
More so, some jewel makers combine brass metal with lead and nickel, which are well-known allergens. People with sensitive skin should keep off brass jewelry and opt for hypoallergenic metal jewelry.
Brass jewelry may also cause some skin discoloration due to the copper content.
Copper readily reacts with chemicals you may apply on your skin from oils and perfumes.
As such, you may find your fingers turning green after wearing brass jewelry for a while.
The pros of bronze jewelry
Bronze jewelry is one of the most versatile metals used in the making of jewelry due to its strength and durability.
It is also suitable for all skin tones as its warm and earthy tan color complements most colors and outfits.
It also combines well with other metal colors as well as a wide range of other gemstones. As a result, bronze jewelry varies from large statement jewelry pieces to large rings to thick and sleek cuffs.
Wearing bronze jewelry promotes the health status of its wearers by alleviating their copper deficiency.
The skin absorbs the copper content from the piece of jewelry and uses it for various body processes.
Bronze jewelry is also known to help with rheumatism, joint pain, and arthritis, among other health conditions.
If you are looking for an affordable and versatile piece of jewelry, bronze jewelry should be among your top choices.
Bronze jewelry offers inexpensive and diverse jewelry designs and styles, ideal for any lifestyle and fashion preference.
As such, it has gained worldwide popularity among consumers.
The cons of bronze jewelry
One of the significant drawbacks of bronze jewelry is that it is not suitable for people with sensitive skin.
Some bronze jewelry may contain nickel, a common skin allergen, or aluminum, which may also cause allergic reactions among wearers.
Some signs of nickel allergies include skin redness, rashes, irritation, inflammation, red eyes, and itchiness.
If you have a mild nickel allergy, you may choose to coat the bronze jewelry with clear lacquer regularly, to prevent it from reacting with your skin. However, it may leave an unappealing shine on your jewelry.
Bronze jewelry tends to change color or tarnish after regular use.
Luckily, you may coat it with clear nail polish immediately you buy it, to prevent it from changing color.
Remember to re-apply the polish often to delay it from tarnishing.
Which one is better?
When it comes to choosing between brass and bronze jewelry, it often depends on your preference.
The two metals are quite similar to each other with almost similar characteristics as well as drawbacks. If you prefer gold-like pieces of jewelry, you may opt to go with brass jewelry.
On the other hand, if you prefer warm and earthy undertones, bronze jewelry is the more ideal option for you.
Brass and bronze jewelry are quite popular in the modern jewelry market.
Their affordability, versatility, and durability have made them a favorite among many.
Regular cleaning and maintenance of these pieces ensure they maintain their lustrous and attractive appearance for a long time.