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With so many jewelry materials available, it’s hard to choose for your new pieces, especially if you’re just starting your accessory collection.
When it comes to cheaper jewelry, two of the most common materials are bronze and brass.
Both have their own qualities that make them suitable as jewelry metals. However, they are not perfect and come with few drawbacks.
What are the pros and cons of bronze and brass?
Let’s have a closer look so you can make the best decision!
What Are Brass and Bronze?
Bronze is a metal alloy composed of tin and copper.
Although there are cases where it may also contain zinc, these are the two primary components.
Less often, bronze may include aluminum, silicon, manganese, and phosphorus too.
The cool thing about this metal alloy is its brownish-gold color.
This makes it suitable for gold-like jewelry pieces, at a fraction of the price!
If you cannot afford 10k or 14k gold, bronze is a great alternative.
On the other side, brass is made of two base metals: copper and zinc.
Thus, it is pretty strong material with wide use cases.
It is much stronger than sterling silver and less strong than steel.
Sterling silver is a staple in jewelry.
It is a popular silver alloy with 92.5% silver purity.
The remaining 7.5% comes from cheaper base metals like copper.
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron and chromium.
If you’re looking for something more durable, brass can be your pick.
To make it easier to work with, nickel and lead are usually added to the mix.
Brass, too, has a yellowish color, and it looks similar to gold.
Both metals are often compared to the king of metals due to their color, but they are much cheaper.
In terms of strength, they get compared to aluminum and copper.
In this comparison, both brass and bronze get the upper hand as they are both much stronger than both.
Pros and Cons of Brass
Let’s start with brass and see its pros and cons.
Pros of Brass
First, Brass is not too expensive.It is one of the most affordable jewelry materials on the market. Secondly, Brass’s price advantage makes it widely available.
A plethora of designers and manufacturers prefer using brass.
Thus, you’ll have no problem reaching brass jewelry.
Thirdly, Brass has a gold-like look.It is very similar to gold in terms of appearance.
Gold is very beautiful, but it is on the pricey side.
The affordable price of brass, makes it a convenient alternative.
Brass is easy to maintain.You can easily clean and take care of brass.
There’s no issue in using water to clean it, and this makes things much simpler. All you need is a bowl of warm water, some soap and a damp cloth.
With a little work, these will suffice to make your brass pieces good as new.
“What about tarnish?” you may ask. When it comes to getting rid of tarnish, ketchup can make wonders in minutes!
Check this post to discover good methods you can apply at home.
Brass is corrosion resistant.Even if you don’t use it all the time, it will hardly rust.
Cons of Brass
Brass may change color over time. As you wear it and clean it, copper inside the brass might react with humidity and chemical agents. After a while, the piece may lose its initial look.
Brass is not hypoallergenic – so, if you have sensitive skin, this may be a minus point for brass.
Not only does it make your skin green after a while, but it may also contain nickel or lead.
These two are the usual suspects for metal allergies among people with sensitive skin.
However, if you do not any allergies, you are good to roll!
Brass may tarnish.
At the first day, it may have a nice, gold-like appearance, but don’t expect that to continue forever.Even if you keep cleaning and maintaining it, it will lose its shine.
Just as with sterling silver, tarnish is unavoidable but also manageable.
You can say bye-bye to tarnish on your brass pieces with simple household products such as lemon or ketchup!
Pros and Cons of Bronze
Now let’s take a look at bronze and see its main advantages and drawbacks. Pros of Bronze Bronze is good for your health because it can alleviate your copper deficiency.
As the piece contains copper, your skin is going to absorb it with time. Furthermore, it can also help with arthritis, rheumatism, and other conditions.
Compared to other metals used in jewelry, bronze is rather cheap.For the versatility it comes with, it’s affordable and very convenient, which makes it quite popular among jewelry lovers.
Thanks to the durability and strength it possesses, bronze is one of the most functional metals in jewelry.It can be combined with other metals, and it will work amazingly.
On top of that, it can be used with various gemstones.
Cons of Bronze
First, with regular use, bronze will tarnish as with silver 925.
It’s an annoying aspect but if you make sure to add some clear nail polish coating after purchasing the piece, you may prevent it from changing its color.
Keep reapplying the nail polish as time goes by, to prevent tarnish from occurring.
Secondly, due to its nickel content, it may cause allergies if you have sensitive skin. Which One Is Softer: Brass or Bronze? Brass is softer than bronze.
Basically, brass is a metal alloy that contains zinc and copper, but there are multiple other materials that can be added into the mix.
Depending on what is added to the composition, the alloy may get harder. Meanwhile, bronze is made from copper and tin, and just like brass, you can add multiple other metals into the mix.
The properties of the material will change depending on the composition. These additions and variations can make it stronger. In general, bronze is much harder than brass.
It’s easier to fracture compared to brass. When it comes to workability, brass is always a better alternative. When it comes to strength, durability, and resistance, you might want to settle for bronze.
Nevertheless, if you are looking for something easier to work with to obtain various models, brass is certainly the one to go for.
Bronze and brass are both widely used materials in jewelry because they are cheap.
Being more accessible, they find places in many jewelry collections.
When it comes to jewelry that you don’t want to wear permanently, these materials are amazing.
They have their place in many jewelry collections with their gold-like look.
Thanks to these two, you can build a collection with smart choices and without breaking the budget. They do have their disadvantages, like causing possible nickel allergies.
Though, you should be aware of their benefits and drawbacks before you settle for either one. Hopefully, you will end up with the one that suits best your style and preferences!