Gold vs Brass: Pros & Cons

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Gold and brass are two of the most popular metals used in jewelry.

Gold is a precious metal that has a high value. It is often used for jewelry that is meant to last, like wedding rings.

Brass is a metal alloy, containing base metal duo of copper and zinc. It is known for its durability, resistance to corrosion, and affordability.

Gold vs brass is a question that many people ask. When it comes to the price, the answer is clear. Gold is worth much more than brass and commands a higher price. This price will also be reflected at a pawnshop if you ever want to sell it.

On the other hand, brass is more affordable and can be used for simple jewelry pieces with a gold-like appearance. These items can enrich your jewelry collections with more options in a frugal way.

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What is gold?

Gold has been used as a form of money, jewelry, and other decorative items for centuries.

It is a precious metal that is found in nature in its raw yellow color with red hues.

This rare element is also one of the most malleable metals, meaning it can be easily molded into different shapes.

It is a dense metal as it has a high weight-to-volume ratio.

This yellow metal is a chemical element that has the chemical symbol of Au and an atomic number of 79.

Gold is less reactive than other metals, so it doesn’t enter chemical reactions easily. It is highly inert and it does not corrode. This makes it a good choice for electronics and jewelry.

Gold also does not tarnish like sterling silver. Tarnish is the black spots that form on the metal’s surface. These only appear on the exterior and do not penetrate inside. As gold is highly inert, it does not oxidize easily like copper or sterling silver, thus it does not tarnish.

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What is brass?

Brass is a metal alloy made up of copper(Cu) and zinc(Zn).

It’s one of the most common materials used in a wide range of sectors. It is used in music instrument production, construction and manufacturing. It has a relatively low melting point and is easy to work with.

Brass is also corrosion resistant, so it can be used in wet environments without rusting.

Brass has a density of about 8.47 grams per cubic centimeter, which sits between zinc’s 7.14 g/cm3 and copper’s 8.91 g/cm3 densities.

Brass shouldn’t be confused with bronze, which is an alloy of copper and tin.

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Pros and cons for gold and brass

1. Color

Gold is often seen as the color of luxury and wealth. Its yellow is associated with the sun, which many emperors have chosen to be related with.

Gold has been the choice for the treasuries of monarchs, making it given as a symbol of power and status through the ages.

Today, in our jewelry world, we also have 2 other variations: rose gold and white gold.

These are also made from real gold. The difference in color comes from the added metals.

When we increase the percentage of copper in gold alloys, we reach a rosy pink which is called rose gold.

When white colored metals like palladium, zinc, silver and nickel is added to the alloy, its color turns white.

Many times, white gold pieces are coated with a thin layer of rhodium. This extra layer is not present in yellow gold and rose gold.

This rhodium coating protects the gold core and give it a more uniform white color with increased luster.

Brass, on the other hand, is seen as a more common metal that has been used for centuries to make coins and other objects.

In terms of color, brass is usually a yellow or gold color, but it can also be made to look like copper.

There is another brass color: white. White brass includes magnesium, aluminum and lead as well as copper and zinc. The white color metals in the alloy give it a silvery look.

This gold-like color is an advantage if you want to add more pieces on a lower budget to your collection.

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2. Durability

Brass is a metal that is known for its durability and high corrosion resistance.Thanks to its hardness, it is used in many applications that require toughness and endurance. It is also ranked with a Mohs hardness rating of 2.5.

The two main types of brass are yellow and white. Yellow brass is made up of 85% copper and 15% zinc. White brass is made up of 91.5% copper and 8.5% zinc, with some minor additions. It is harder than yellow brass, but it is more brittle.

Gold is a slightly softer metal than brass with a lower Mohs grade of around 2.5 . When made into a jewelry alloy like rose gold, its hardness increases to about 4-4.5 grade.

When we check rhodium plated white gold items, their hardness benefits from rhodium which has a 6 rating on the Mohs scale of hardness.

The unit for the purity of gold is karat. 1 karat represents 1 in 24 of the weight of gold pieces.

100% real  authentic gold has 24k or 24 karat for purity rating.

The hardness increases as the gold karat decreases. For example, a 10k white gold ring will be harder than a similar 18k gold ring. These have 41.7% and 75% gold content, respectively.

The remaining parts come from cheaper and harder metals to increase durability and adjust color.

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3. Hypoallergenic property

Gold is a very popular choice for jewelry because it is a hypoallergenic metal, which has a unique shine.

This means that it is safe for people with sensitive skin. It is very unlikely to cause any skin irritation.

Although not guaranteed, it is considered as one of the best choices in order to avoid triggering metal hypersensitivity.

Gold does not corrode in the presence of other elements, which means it is a good choice for jewelry that will be worn frequently. In addition, it is not known to cause skin allergies or metal allergies.

Brass is a type of metal that is made up of copper and zinc. It is not toxic. It is less expensive than gold. It may cause skin allergies in some people.

This may occur from copper or other metals that have small percentages.

Even trace amounts of nickel may initiate skin allergy symptoms like itches, rashes or color change.

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4. Price

Gold is often more expensive than brass. This is because gold is a precious metal, while brass is a common alloy of copper and zinc.

Both of these are actively traded in metal markets. Their prices fluctuate with supply and demand dynamics.

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Conclusion: Gold vs Brass: which one is better?

Gold and brass are two popular types of metal that are often used in the jewelry industry. They have close colors and their own benefits and drawbacks.

Gold is a precious malleable metal that is often thought of as the ideal choice for jewelry.

Brass, on the other hand, is a less expensive option that is often used in construction and other industrial applications.

Gold is a soft metal which is malleable. It has a beautiful distinct yellow color which is often known by the metal’s name.

It is also hypoallergenic, meaning that it is less likely to cause an allergic reaction. However, gold is not as durable as brass. It is not the best candidate for outdoor sports or garden work.

Brass is a harder metal that is more durable than gold. Often, it has a yellow appearance or a gold-like color. Yet, it can also become white after the addition of white colored metals like aluminum or zinc, called white brass.

It may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

The big bonus of brass is it allows you to include gold-like pieces at a discount in your jewelry collection.

By this way, you can add more variety to your bling choices!

Gold is known for its luxurious, high-quality appearance and its ability to last a lifetime.

Brass, on the other hand, is less expensive and has a more cool look, whether it is yellow or white.

The difference between gold and brass are clear with advantages for both sides.

In the end, they serve different purposes and play their own game!