Don’t you just love how versatile the jewelry world is and can be and how you learn new and interesting things about the available jewelry options almost daily?
Well, we’d like to introduce you to one of the unique and rare materials that is sometimes used in jewelry making – we are talking about white bronze.
Here’s we’ll take you through everything you need to know about white bronze jewelry and whether you should wear this kind of jewelry or not.
So, let’s jump right into it!
What is white bronze jewelry made of?
Ever wondered what the brown metallic art castings were made of? Well, these castings are mostly made of white bronze.
For decades, bronze and brass have been used in jewelry manufacturing and art casting industries. This is primarily because of the high malleability of the metals and also their high fluidity of the brass alloys, and the brittleness and a low melting point of bronze alloys.
White bronze remains a common material used in jewelry making. But what is it? White bronze can be defined as a metal alloy that contains different proportions of tin, zinc, and copper.
It gets its name from the fact that white bronze looks almost like white gold.
The features of white bronze is the reason why this alloy is most often used as a nickel substitute or even silver or sterling silver – in jewelry making.
White bronze properties
Besides looking like white gold, white bronze is also used in jewelry making because it is resistant to corrosion, which means that your jewelry will last long. Its corrosion resistance is the primary reason why it is used for outdoor sculptures or art castings. It is also non-magnetic.
Though brittle, white bronze turns into a strong, hard, and durable, high-quality metal that makes unique pieces that can be easily polished, creating the perfect finishes which are based on your desired jewelry or art casting design. Thanks to the alloys that create white bronze, this metal works great for small pieces of jewelry and bigger ones.
The other feature of white bronze, albeit not its best feature, is the fact that white bronze has a very high melting point. With high-temperature requirements of up to 2200 degrees Fahrenheit – this is because of the presence of tin, white bronze is expensive, and for use in jewelry making or even art casting, you cannot add molten white bronze on rubber molds directly; the molten white bronze should be added to a ceramic shell for jewelry creation or making or art castings.
White Bronze Vs. Sterling Silver
So, how does white bronze compare to sterling silver?
Since white bronze looks like white gold, there is a high possibility that jewelers may want to use it in place of sterling silver. But has this been done? Can white bronze be used in place of sterling silver?
Well, it’s interesting to note that despite the white gold-like appearance of white bronze, it is different from sterling silver, although some would argue that white bronze looks almost like heavily tarnished sterling silver.
To correctly identify these two metals, let’s take a look at the differences between these two metals:
White bronze – Overview
White bronze used in jewelry leaves you with stylish pieces with a nice, whitish finish, and it works pretty much like nickel.
It has been used severally as a grave marker thanks to its resistance to corrosion. But this copper, tin, and zinc alloy is imperfect since it tends to tarnish, but to a very small extent.
In some cases, white bronze can be used as a replacement for silver where it acts as a shield for the base metal during gold-plating – it’s often used in silver plating, and it works as an excellent shield. With this in mind, white bronze is often the perfect alternative to nickel during gold or silver plating.
Sterling Silver – Overview
This is an advanced, multipurpose, and highly desirable silver alloy. It is versatile, long-lasting, and makes unique jewelry pieces thanks to its soft nature.
It’s also valuable and trendy. Sterling silver is a silver alloy, and it comprises 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper – the percentage of pure silver is the reason for the 925 stamps on sterling silver. Although sterling silver tarnishes, it is durable, versatile, and its maintenance low and easy.
So, how do these two alloys compare?
Well, both white bronze and sterling silver are alloys that create beautiful pieces of jewelry, and they are also both durable.
They are different, though, in several ways:
Composition: White bronze is a tri-alloy made of 55% copper, 30% tin, and 15% zinc. It still takes on the color properties of silver to a large extent, thanks to this alloying. It’s also different from actual solid bronze, which is brownish and only made of copper and zinc. Sterling silver, on the other hand, is made of copper and silver, and it is more grey than it is white, as is the case with white bronze (this is more white than grey).
Tarnishing: Sterling silver’s level of tarnishing is quite high given the high proportion of silver which reacts with sulfur in the air to form the black specks or tarnish on sterling silver – this also makes sterling silver a little less durable, hence the search for more sterling silver alternatives like Argentum silver. White bronze is corrosion resistant, and though the copper is reactive, there won’t be many changes in the color of white bronze over time.
Value: the differences in their properties notwithstanding, sterling silver is more valuable than white bronze. The primary reason for this is that silver is a precious metal, which is quite valuable, and the value of sterling silver remains higher, even with its imperfections. With this in mind, more people choose expensive sterling silver over cheaper white bronze.
Durability: both alloys are durable, but white bronze lasts longer than sterling silver because the latter requires more cleaning and polishing from tarnishing.
Hypoallergenic properties: sterling silver and white bronze contain non-allergenic metals, meaning they are safe. But, you need to confirm that they have no nickel to ensure that they are actually hypoallergenic. The good news is that the best of sterling silver and white bronze is hypoallergenic.
Pros and cons of white bronze jewelry
- Great alternative for sterling silver
- It’s an excellent metal used in jewelry making because it is corrosion-resistant.
- It is tarnish-resistant if kept in a safe place and not exposed to elements.
- Durable, strong, and long-lasting
- Low risk of tarnishing if the jewelry is not stored properly
- Low risk of skin allergies
Should you wear white bronze jewelry?
If you are looking for jewelry made of cheaper white metal and a great alternative to sterling silver and white gold, you should buy white gold jewelry. Its tarnish resistance makes it a great alternative.
White bronze jewelry is made of a three-metal alloy – copper, zinc, and tin. The jewelry is durable, stylish, long-lasting, and resistant to corrosion and tarnishing.
Want to know more about jewelry metals, please read here or here!
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.