Copper and brass jewelry have been in the jewel industry for decades. Their warm earthy tones and durability have made them one of the more valuable metals in the industry. However, which is better between copper vs. brass jewelry?
If you have been shopping for pieces of jewelry, you must have run into copper and brass jewelry. Both have an exceptional track record throughout history and are still in use in the manufacture of modern jewelry. Copper and brass jewelry are durable, affordable, and available in various unique and vibrant designs.
However, these two metals have their benefits and drawbacks. Therefore, let us delve into the comparison between copper and brass jewelry.
Copper vs. brass jewelry
Copper jewelry consists of copper metal, which is also an essential mineral found in the body and nature. It has a reddish-brown color and is a soft and highly malleable metal. Copper has been making jewelry since the 8th century B.C. since it is easy to make into various shapes as well as to add diverse imprints and engravements.
Brass jewelry has also been in use throughout ancient times in the making of jewelry. It has a similar resemblance to gold and is extremely workable and durable. Brass metal is an alloy made from zinc and copper. The quality of brass jewelry varies depending on the amount of individual metals used to manufacture it. Sometimes, jewel manufacturers may add nickel and lead to brass, leading to allergic reactions among people with sensitive skin.
The difference between copper and brass jewelry
One of the primary distinctions between brass and copper jewelry is their material composition.
As discussed earlier, copper jewelry consists of pure copper, while brass jewelry consists of brass allot, which is a combination of copper and zinc.
n some cases, brass jewelry may contain lead or nickel metals in their composition. As a result, these two types of jewelry have distinct features owing to their material composition.
Copper jewelry has a warm reddish-brown earthy tone while brass jewelry has a similar appearance to yellow gold.
Brass jewelry is one of the affordable alternatives to yellow gold since its warm gold-like tones offer a sense of sophistication and prestigious class.
On the other hand, copper jewelry offers a warm and orange-like earthy tone to its wearers, complementing multiple colors, and different design patterns.
Naturally, copper metal is a soft metal.
Jewel manufacturers combine it with other metals, like zinc and tin, to increase its tensile strength.
Therefore, brass jewelry is more durable than copper jewelry.
However, copper jewelry consists of more innovative designs and shapes than brass jewelry, as it is easier to bend and mold copper into various shapes and styles.
The pros of copper jewelry
Copper metal is highly malleable, meaning jewel makers mold and bend it to make unique and stylish designs. Due to its versatility, copper readily combines with other gemstones to create diverse styles. Its orange and earthy color also effortlessly combines well with different colors and engraved embellishments.
Copper jewelry is quite affordable and comes in different designs to accommodate various lifestyles and tastes. However, it is more expensive than its alloys, like bronze and brass jewelry.
Wearing copper jewelry tends to alleviate copper deficiency in the human body. The body absorbs copper from your copper bracelet, ring, or necklace, and uses it for various body processes. Copper aids in reducing arthritis, inflammation, and headaches while improving digestion.
The cons of copper jewelry
One of the common drawbacks that make many buyers shy away from purchasing copper jewelry is that it often turns the point of contact with your skin green. The copper metal readily oxidizes in air and moisture to form copper oxide, which is responsible for turning your skin green. The discoloration is not harmful, but it is a nuisance to wearers since no one wants to walk around with green skin patches.
A well-known fact about copper is that it is a soft metal. As such, its strength is in jeopardy when compared to other precious metals and alloys used in the making of jewelry. It can break, bend, and scratch easily. However, it can last a long time with reasonable care and maintenance.
The pros of brass jewelry
Copper mixes with zinc to form a brass alloy, which is durable and strong enough to make long-lasting jewelry. This resilient metal can last for several generations without bending or breaking. More so, it is tough and highly malleable nature allows it to make various forms of jewelry, including rings, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and bangles.
Many people prefer brass jewelry because of its gold-like resemblance. If you prefer wearing yellow gold pieces of jewelry, brass jewelry is a more affordable option. As a result, you will have a versatile and inexpensive line of jewelry at a fraction of the price.
The cons of brass jewelry
It is not hypoallergenic
One of the primary drawbacks of brass jewelry is that it is not hypoallergenic. As a result, people with sensitive skin may react after wearing such jewelry.
Furthermore, some manufacturers add lead and nickel to the brass jewelry, which are common allergens in the jewel industry.
Similarly, the copper content in the brass jewelry oxidizes to form copper oxide, which is responsible for green discoloration on your skin.
Is copper jewelry worth anything?
Copper jewelry ranges from fine jewelry to inexpensive pieces. The type of jewelry you are buying dictates its value. Generally, vintage copper jewelry is more valuable than copper jewelry from the street fair or market.
Similarly, the gemstones and embellishments in copper jewelry increases its value. You may have gold, silver, or diamond gemstones in your copper jewelry, automatically increasing its price point. Buying your copper jewelry from a reputable vendor helps in knowing whether your piece of jewelry is worth anything.
Is brass jewelry worth anything?
Brass jewelry gives its wearers the impression that they are wearing yellow gold. As such, it is easy to mistake such pieces for real gold.
However, reputable vendors know the difference from a mile away.
Vintage brass jewelry usually costs more than brass jewelry found in the marketplace.
More so, you have to effectively take care of your piece of brass jewelry to keep it from tarnishing and changing its color.
Copper and brass jewelry have stood the test of time. With numerous applications in the jewel industry, these two metals have proved durable, versatile, and affordable.
However, make sure you carefully maintain your pieces of copper and brass jewelry to prevent it from turning your skin green.
Regularly apply a coat of clear lacquer to prevent the metal from reacting with the chemicals on your skin.