Is brass a suitable alternative to gold jewelry?

Is brass a suitable alternative to gold jewelry?

Brass is may be used in jewelry for its gold like appearance. Today almost 90% of all brass alloys are recycled compared to about 30% of gold. Because brass is not ferromagnetic, it can be separated from ferrous scrap by passing the scrap near a powerful magnet.

Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. By varying the proportions of copper and zinc, the properties of the brass can be changed, allowing hard and soft brasses as well as a variations in its color.

There are many types of brass.  Some of the types of brass that may be of interest to jewelry makers and shoppers are listed below.

•     Prince’s metal or Prince Rupert’s metal is a type of alpha brass containing 75% copper and 25% zinc. Due to its beautiful yellow color, it is used as an imitation of gold. The alloy was named after Prince Rupert of the Rhine.

•     Gilding metal is the softest type of brass commonly available. An alloy of 95% copper and 5% zinc and will have a reddish appearance.

•     Manganese brass is a brass most notably used in making golden dollar coins in the United States. It contains roughly 70% copper, 29% zinc, and 1.3% manganese.

•     Aich’s alloy typically contains 60.66% copper, 36.58% zinc, 1.02% tin, and 1.74% iron. Designed for use in marine service owing to its corrosion resistance, hardness and toughness. A characteristic application is to the protection of ships’ bottoms, but more modern methods of cathodic protection have rendered its use less common. Its appearance resembles that of gold.

•      Naval brass, similar to admiralty brass, is 40% zinc and 1% tin.

•      Nickel brass is composed of 70% copper, 24.5% zinc and 5.5% nickel used to make pound coins in the pound sterling currency.

•      Nordic gold, used in 10, 20 and 50 cts euro coins, contains 89% copper, 5% aluminium, 5% zinc, and 1% tin.

•      Rich low brass (Tombac) is 15% zinc. It is often used in jewelry applications.

•      Yellow brass is an American term for 33% zinc brass.

Is brass a suitable alternative to gold jewelry?  what do you think?


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