Monday, October 11, 2010

Delighful Discoveries - Consider the Alternatives 10.11.10

Everyone is familiar with the most common metals for jewelry - gold, silver, platinum, and titanium. But what about those other alternative metals like brass or bronze or aluminum or copper? They're definitely worthy of your attention too! Today I'll take you on a windows shopping trip to find some incredibly beautiful jewelry pieces that include alternative metals :) So grab a beverage and let's see what there is to see - and find out how adept you are at discerning what metals those pieces are really made out of! You can find out the answers by placing your cursor at the end of the question and dragging it to reveal the correct answer!

These sweet Heart Link Dangle Earrings from tescar unite two alternative metals. One of these metals is a hypoallergenic metal that resists tarnish and can be anodized with a coating of color, making it a great metal for jewelry makers to include when they need all of these qualities in a piece. The second metal is also considered hypoallergenic in its pure form, although its beauty often comes from the lovely patina it develops over time turning its natural red coloring to a rich rainbow of shades. These two metals are: a) copper and brass; b) bronze and zinc; c) copper and niobium; or d) niobium and brass.
The correct answer is c) copper and niobium.

The golden glow of this metal makes it a lovely substitute for much higher priced karat gold. An alloy of copper and zinc, this metal can be highly polished and used in the place of gold for ornamentation, or antiqued for a lovely patina like that seen on this Peach Glow Necklace from one of my shops, MysticWynd. This lovely necklace's metal is: a) Bronze; b) Brass; c) Zinc; or d) aluminum. I used antiqued b) Brass components in this warm and beautiful piece!

Made of a metal that is also the most abundant metallic element on the planet, this stunning Dragonscale Cuff is offered by boundinchain **. Her use of this shiny silver metal has an advantage over metals like silver - it's lightweight and is also highly tarnish resistant. This lightweight, very malleable silver metal is a) zinc; b) aluminum; c) tin; or d) cadmium. Lightweight b) aluminum is the metal used in this gorgeous cuff!

At first glance, you might think this stunning metal flower brooch from folzinc is beautifully aged silver or pewter, but in reality it's a lovely example of a metal that is also an essential mineral, necessary for our health and well being. This white metal is also used in many metal alloys to give them extra hardness. This metal, also called spelter in some contexts, is: a) zinc; b) magnesium; c) copper; or d) nickel. If you selected a) zinc - you're absolutely right!

The last alternative metal (actually a metal alloy) I'm sharing today is also silver in color, and the appeal of this metal in jewelry design is its malleabiliity and its low melting point making it perfect for casting intricate, detailed designs like those in the the components used in these Tree of Life Earrings by redwhisper. There was a time not too long ago when concern was raised over the existence of lead in this alloy, but since a lead free form is now readily available, the metal is regaining its popularity quickly! Also used to create such pieces as plates, steins, statuettes, and teapots, this metal is: a) Nickel; b) tin; c) antimony; or d) pewter. I'll take that as your final answer... and tell you that the correct answer is d) pewter!

There's a number of other alternative metals available in the world of jewelry design, so if you're curious and so inclined, browse for jewelry tagged brass, bronze, niobium, copper, pewter, zinc, aluminum, titanium, or any other metal you can think of and see what you come up with!

Tomorrow, I'll be sharing an interview with a sweet and talented artist who specializes in watercolors and pencil portraits :) Please join me for this interesting look into her life and work. See you then - have a marvelous Monday!

**designates an undiscovered or underdiscovered shop

1 comment:

tescar said...

What a wonderful read! I think I love working with copper so much because it's under appreciated and unnoticed. It's such a beautiful metal. People really love it when they give it a chance :-)

~~Connie Tescar of Fashion Wire

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