Our Chosen Metals for Jewelry
Not all metals were created equal. There is a reason why precious metals like Silver and Gold are considered, well, precious, and why alloys such as Bronze and Copper have been the chosen material of artists and sculptors of all times. There is something special about these metals, and you can feel it when you wear jewelry made with them. You cannot find the purity and beauty of Fine Silver and Gold, the sophistication of Bronze, or the colorful hues of Copper in other metals, and certainly not in the cheap alloys used in most commercial jewelry.
Differences in Gold Silver, Sterling Silver and Fine Silver Jewelry
A precious metal is a rare, naturally occurring metallic chemical element of high economic value. The best known precious metals are Gold and Silver, and both have been used in art and jewelry since the beginning of recorded history. These precious metals are extremely malleable and ductile, so they are alloyed with other metals for hardness.
Gold is measured in carats according to its purity, so pure gold is 24 carats (or 24k, which is 99% gold), then comes 22k gold (or 91.67% gold), and so on. Fine Silver (marked .999) is 99% pure silver while Sterling Silver (marked .925) is 92.5% silver with Copper added for hardness. Some merchants market their jewelry as Fine Silver Jewelry while it is actually Sterling Silver Jewelry (.925), so the general public gets confused about this distinction. Sterling Silver is slightly different in some countries, which may affect its value and price. For example, Sterling Silver from Mexico or South America is alloyed with Nickel, not Copper, and that from Italy is usually silver plated with Rhodium, etc.
Other grades, besides .925 sterling silver and .999 fine silver, include .958 Britania silver, .950 Mexican silver, .900 coin silver and .800 German silver. Alloys of Gold, Silver, and other precious metals are also used today for jewelry design. Silver plated or Sterling Silver overlay jewelry refers to jewelry that was made with a base metal and plated with a thin coat of pure silver or Sterling silver.
The Use of Bronze in Bronze Jewelry
Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of Copper, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements. It is a hard, corrosion-resistant, and beautiful metal that was particularly significant in antiquity, so much so that the Bronze Age was named after the metal. It changes colors with acid solutions and holds well patinas applied with heat, which are the first choice for our Handmade Bronze Jewelry Designs. Wearing Bronze jewelry feels like wearing little artistic sculptures!
Copper in Handmade Copper Jewelry
Copper is a meatal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. In other words, it is a great conductor of energy, and this is one of the main reasons we like to make Copper jewelry. It is also well known in the East for its healing properties, especially for joint pain and to draw out toxins. It is also known as the ”love metal,“ as it helps to open up to higher, more loving energies. It has lovely reddish-orange-peach hues, and changes colors with heat; it oxidizes fast with air and humidity, but holds well our colorful patinas applied with heat. It is 100% recyclable and it is estimated that 80% of the copper ever mined is still in use today.
Eco Friendly Silver Jewelry, Bronze Jewelry & Copper Jewelry
We use both Sterling Silver and Fine Silver in the form of Precious Metal Clay (PMC), as well as Gold foil, pure Copper wire and sheet, and Copper and Bronze in PMC form. PMC is a versatile material that was developed in Japan in the 1990s as the result of combining binders and metal particles with the working properties of modeling clay. An organic binder holds very tiny grains of metal (gold, silver, bronze, or copper) while providing elasticity to this water-soluble material. PMC is used to create silver, copper, gold, or bronze jewelry with a different technique than that of casting metals or those used by a classic metalsmith.
Gold and Silver Precious Metal Clay is it made with pure gold and silver particles. Gold used in PMC is 24k gold and the silver used in Silver Clay is pure silver, which means it is 99.9% silver. Plus, considering that Precious Metal Clay is made from recycled or reclaimed metals (for ex., Silver PMC comes from photographic film, x-ray scans, and the like), it is an environmentally friendly material that does not lose its beauty in the process. Quite the opposite! Such is the nobility and purity of precious metals, copper and bronze!