Are you searching for Brass vs. Stainless Steel Jewelry comparison? Jewelry has been with us since the beginning of time, and it will be around till the end.
What makes it beloved is the sheer variety of materials that it comes in, giving us near limitless options of the kind we can go for.
In this article, we are going to look at two metal alloys, brass, and stainless steel. We look at what they are in the jewelry world, the advantages, flaws, and which one to go for.
What is brass jewelry?
In the jewelry industry, the reality is that brass is sometimes overlooked by those starting their jewelry collection. It is not always seen as a great alternative to mainstream metals. Let’s look at what brass is.
It is an alloy metal, very much like sterling silver and gold are. It is made by combining copper and zinc and has historical significance because of its workability and also hardness. While we have moved on to other metals, brass dates back to the Neolithic era.
What makes brass aesthetically pleasing is it’s yellowish and warm tones. It is versatile, and it’s not only used to make jewelry but also decorative items and household goods.
Plenty of people do like brass because it resembles gold and how you can get it for less than half the price. It’s no wonder that you will see brass reference in a lot of cultures and still being the primary type of jewelry worn.
Another aspect that’s already been mentioned is how durable brass is. That’s what makes it favorable for a lot of people; you’re assured that you’ll have a piece that you’ve bought for years.
There’s also an impressive number of designs that brass accommodates since one can make intricate designs. With proper care and maintenance, a brass piece can last you a lifetime. That’s possible because brass will not rust and is resistant to corrosion.
However, one major characteristic of brass is that it develops a patina. If you’re not sure what that is, have one look at the Statue of Liberty. That blueish-greenish and brown color that characterizes it is called patina.
The reason why it forms on brass is because of the copper content. However, removing it from your jewelry is not hard.
You only need one teaspoon of salt with one cup of vinegar to which you add flour. Rub the paste formed on the jewelry. Rinse, and it will be good as new.
What is stainless steel jewelry?
Stainless steel is the same material that gets used on appliances, surgical instruments, water heaters, and other machinery or objects.
It has made headway in the jewelry community for various reasons that we will expound on. The first is that stainless steel is resilient and also durable, and thus suitable for jewelry making as well since durability is a huge factor.
The other is the color; the silver/grey color looks fantastic, whether it has a polished or matte finish.
This metal alloy is made from the standards 10 percent chromium, and titanium, niobium, molybdenum, nickel, and other metals depending on the grade of stainless steel. The reason that the chromium is standard is because of its ability to form a thin invisible layer of chrome-oxide once it’s mixed with oxygen. That’s an essential factor because it’s the protective layer that forms to make stainless steel “stainless.” What that means, though, is that it’s exceptionally resistant to corrosion.
The most common type of steel that makes jewelry is 316L and contains 2-3 percent molybdenum. That adds an extra layer of corrosion resistance.
You’ll also find that you can comfortably shower with stainless steel, something you can’t do with some other metals, and nothing happens to it.
You can even play sports, go for a swim and the like without having to worry about it tarnishing. To polish it back, you only need water with mild soap and a soft cloth and then polish it clean.
Getting back to the color, stainless steel has proven to be a favorite for those on a budget. Most people want to wear silver or platinum but cannot afford it.
Stainless steel comes close in color, and to the untrained eye, it looks very much the same. The good thing about it as well is you can still have it set with gemstones, adding to the beauty of the piece that you want to get.
The pros and cons of brass jewelry
- Copper typically absorbs into the skin in small quantities, and it is said to have some medical properties
- It is a cheaper substitute for those looking for the warm color of gold
- It is versatile and accommodates a lot of intricate designs
- Brass is durable and with proper care can stay with you a lifetime
- Finished brass jewelry does not tarnish, and it’s easy to clean
- It is not ideal for wearing on a fresh piercing as it will cause allergies
- The copper present turns some people’s skin green
The pros and cons of stainless-steel jewelry.
Let’s look at what makes stainless steel jewelry work, and areas it’s not so perfect.
- It is resistant to corrosion, that is, rust, discoloration, and oxidation
- You don’t need to plate the jewelry for it to be durable
- The findings are bendable but still maintain excellent integrity
- Ideal for those with allergies to metal and overall sensitivity
- Ideal for those living in humid areas as well
- In some cases, it contains traces of nickel which irritates sensitive skin
Choose between the two?
Choosing between brass and stainless steel might feel challenging, but what you do need to look at is what your preference is.
However, the determining factor will be your skin. If you are allergic to most metals, then you might have to stick with stainless steel. Otherwise, you’re free to keep both for your collection.
There is no right or lousy jewelry; there is only what works for you and makes you feel fantastic—the variety of designs in brass and stainless-steel jewelry guarantee that you get something that’s perfect.