Handcraft jewellers like myself, use a variety of jewellery metal types when designing and making jewellery. We do this for a range of reasons including customer preferences, jewellery symbolism, metal structure and suitability. The type of metal we choose for our jewellery pieces also determines the final appearance, durability and cost of each item. The main jewellery metal types I use are sterling and fine silver, copper and brass, but there are plenty more out there. Today I’m going to explain to you why these are my chosen metal types and describe a few other common metals other jewellers use too.
6 Popular Jewellery Metal Types & Why They’re Fabulous to Wear
In the world of handmade jewellery, there are six popular jewellery metal types jewellers use to create with. They are:
- Gold – 24 karat gold is the purest type of gold, at 99.9% pure, while 10 karat gold is only 41.7% pure. The higher the karat a piece of jewellery has, the dearer the cost to make and buy it. Gold filled and plated jewellery is when a cheaper metal is used to create the piece, which then has gold bonded or electroplated on top.
- Silver – one of my favourites, silver is also a soft metal in its purest form. Like gold, it is mixed with other metals to make it stronger. Fine silver, which I use for my fingerprint jewellery, has a purity level of .999 and is also known as pure silver. Sterling silver, which I use for many of my customised jewellery pieces, contains 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of copper, although this can be another metal too.
- Platinum – this is considered rarer than gold and costs significantly more. It’s also very heavy to wear.
- Stainless steel – offering quite an industrial look, stainless steel is becoming one of the most popular jewellery metal types, mainly because it is low cost.
- Copper – copper is the oldest known metals. It ranges in colour from a reddish brown to green as it oxidises. Copper is quite soft and easy to manipulate. It is also a reasonably priced jewellery metal.
- Brass – brass is a combination of both copper and zinc. It is gold in colour, but turns brown with age.
That brings us to the question, which jewellery metal types should I wear and why?
At the top of my list is silver. Silver is used in wound dressings and has known antimicrobial properties says the Silver Institute, a non-profit international association of the silver industry. Researchers at the University of Southampton also identified that wearing a certain type of silver ring reduced arthritis symptoms. Both copper and brass jewellery are also said to have health benefits, as well as looking great and being low allergenic.
Maybe it’s time for you to start experience the benefits of wearing metal jewellery? Pop over to our online personalised jewellery shop and look – you can never have enough jewellery!