Metals 101

Alternative Metals: Why Are Alternative Metals Becoming So Popular?

With the cost of precious metals like gold and silver rising, alternative metals allow designers to continue to craft bold statement pieces while keeping costs down. From trendy pieces to wedding bands that will last a lifetime, high-quality alternative metal jewelry has carved out a permanent place in the jewelry market.

What Are Today's Best Selling Alternative Metals?

From the golden tones of brass to the lasting strength of stainless steel, designers turn to a wide variety of alternative metals, each with its own unique benefits. Here are some of the most popular alternative metal choices:

Brass:

This has quickly become a popular alternative metal in jewelry fashion. An alloy of copper and zinc, the metal’s malleability, resistance to tarnish and acoustic properties have made it a choice material for musical instruments like trumpets, and the metal’s warm yellow tone and bold shine make it the perfect alternative to gold jewelry.

Bronze:

With its honeyed hue, bronze jewelry makes a beautiful addition to any collection at a great price point. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and is as rich in tone as it is in history. For thousands of years, cultures around the world have produced works of high art using bronze, and the metal continues to be a growing jewelry trend with a unique, contemporary edge. Like copper, the patina that can form on bronze jewelry gives it an attractive aged look.

Copper:

The use of copper in jewelry craftsmanship dates back some 10,000 years, which adds an allure of antiquity to the metal’s reddish, earthy tone. Polished copper has a bright luster and is often given a thin coating of clear lacquer to preserve this burnished look. Over time, copper oxidizes and creates a darker, antique affect.

Stainless Steel:

316L stainless steel is an attractive, highly durable metal for jewelry. It is the most commonly used grade of stainless steel in the jewelry industry and an affordable choice for those needing a durable or robust piece of jewelry. 316L stainless steel is highly resistant to pitting and corrosion and remains tough even in temperature extremes. It can be refinished and does not oxidize or tarnish. 

Titanium:

This metal is a fast-growing trend in the men’s jewelry sector and has many benefits. It is extremely resistant to corrosion and it is hypo-allergenic so people who have allergies to gold or silver can wear titanium without any problem. Because it is so strong and lightweight, titanium has been used for years in aerospace technology applications. Titanium offers the stylish, rich color of platinum at a much more affordable price.

Tungsten carbide:

The use of TC is a fast-growing trend in the jewelry sector and has many benefits. It is extremely resistant to corrosion and it is hypo-allergenic so it is a good choice for people who have allergies to gold or silver. It has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, resulting in lightweight, strong jewelry that is comfortable to wear.

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