Metals Used In Jewellery Alloys
We all know precious metals can be expensive, but people want a variety of jewellery to suit the fashion or occasion, so jewellers have created a number of jewellery alloys – blending precious metals with cheaper metals – to keep fashion jewellery affordable. But just what is in those jewellery alloys?
Why a jeweller's alloy?
Jewellers' alloys are a mix of two or more metals, created for a number of reasons: to strengthen the metal ... to add a certain 'characteristic' such as tone or shine ... to keep prices down – but some metals cause allergies or skin reactions. We've all heard of cheap jewellery turning the skin green, haven't we? Most jewellers' alloys are created to strengthen softer precious metals, like gold, but some are used as the main manufacturing process and then plated with a precious metal to prevent allergic reactions and sensitivities.
What metals are in a jeweller's alloy?
Here is a list of common metals used in fashion and costume manufacture, together with their attributes, and possible 'side' effects.
Copper is the most commonly used metal in higher quality jewellers' alloys. It's hypo-allergenic and is said to have certain health benefits, such as easing the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis. High quality fashion jewellery will have a pure copper 'core' plated in a precious metal, but copper is also blended with yellow gold to create rose gold, and mixed with other metals to form other alloys.