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When it comes to jewelry, there is no shortage of options!
From metals to gems to designs, there is an endless sea of options to choose from.
If you are looking for a durable piece, one option is bronze.
This metal has been used for centuries for good reason.
Yet, bronze jewelry has both pros and cons.
Its major pros are hardness and durability, which comes at an affordable price.
However, there are also some cons to consider like tarnishing over time if it is not properly cared for.
What is bronze?
Bronze is a copper alloy with about 12% tin. It may also include aluminum, manganese, nickel and zinc.
Bronze often gets compared with brass. Yet, they are different materials. The latter is a copper-zinc alloy.
This strong alloy is used in many areas, including architecture, sculpture, coins and jewelry.
It is one of the most popular metals for accessories.
Bronze gets special attention because of its distinct color, which is similar to gold.
It is often associated with fall. It gives a warm feeling that can range from a light golden hue to a rich brown color.
Pros of bronze jewelry
A bit of glitz and glamour can go a long way, which is why bronze jewelry is a popular accessory choice. If you are checking 10k or 14k gold pieces, you may consider bronze jewelry which offers a similar look at a fraction of the price tag.
These expensive-looking pieces of jewelry can complement and elevate your outfit in many cases.
They can add a touch of luxury, while still remaining coherent enough to pair with any outfit.
Bronze jewelry is a great choice to add a pop of color to an all-black ensemble.
Whether you’re looking for a statement piece or something more understated, there’s definitely a bronze option out there for you.
2. Hardness and durability
Bronze is well-known for its versatility, hardness and durability.
It has a 3 rating on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
With this scratch resistance, bronze jewelry can withstand a lot of daily wear and tear.
However, it is also susceptible to corrosion and tarnish over time.
Precious metals like gold or platinum are rare metals. They command higher prices than most other alternatives.
Bronze’s components copper and tin are abundant metals that have much more approachable prices.
Thus, the ending bronze alloy also has an affordable price.
Cons of bronze jewelry
1. Not hypoallergenic
Some metals may trigger allergic reactions for people with sensitive skin.
The most common metal that people are allergic to is nickel. And bronze may include this allergen.
Common symptoms include rashes, blister, redness and itching.
If you have hypersensitivity, you may want to prefer hypoallergenic jewelry.
These are jewelry pieces made of metal that are considered safe for human tissue.
This is a nice list which includes gold, silver, palladium, platinum, rhodium and others.
2. Tarnishing & discoloring
Bronze jewelry does tarnish like sterling silver.
Though some may think this takes away from its looks, some do fancy more the vintage look that shows the marks of time.
It may also cause a color change on your skin.
Bronze jewelry can turn your skin green because it has a big percentage of copper.
This latter may react with your skin and cause color change. For example, these pieces can leave dark greenish traces on your wrist.
Conclusion: Should you get a bronze piece of jewelry?
When deciding if bronze jewelry is right for you, it is important to consider both sides of the coin.
On the upside, bronze is an affordable metal that can be used to create a wide variety of jewelry styles.
It has the hardness for a durable piece whether it is plated or not.
Unfortunately, this versatile material is not hypoallergenic. It may include nickel in its mix, which are the top two allergen metals.
A second point for the downside is tarnishing. Some may prefer the more antique look that tarnish gives to a bronze piece. But if you prefer the initial shiny luster, you’ll have a little care and maintenance work to do.
If you are leaning towards a bronze piece, make sure it is nickel-free to avoid any unease.