Fashion Jewellery - FAQs on metal used in its making

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Fashion jewellery has caught up in the latest trends and women all over the world are using it as their main daily ornaments. Here are the answers to some very frequently asked questions about the composition of fashion jewellery.

1. What types of metals used in fashion jewellery?

Fashion jewellery is made up of both elements and alloys. Previously, elements like Lead (Pb) were very widely used for making jewellery. But currently, alloys are in the trend. Alloys are mixtures of various elements where one inexpensive element can be the base metal and the precious element can be the used for coating. Alloys also include mixing of all kinds of elements together to form a solid metal component for the jewellery.

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2. What are base metals?

Any metal used in the making of fashion jewellery is known as the base metal. It is not very precious, but is actually rugged and sturdy, suited for rough use. It is plated with precious metal to give a shiny and attractive look. Metals like gold, silver, rhodium, nickel and others are used, before pearls, beads, and chains are embedded on it, to finish the look.

3. What are some of the common base metals?

Common base metals include:

· Aluminium: A soft metal, it does not rust and forms a great base for fashion jewellery. You can get custom colours added to aluminum, giving it diverse purposes.

· Brass: An alloy of copper and zinc, along with other metals, it is mostly used with gold plating. It needs to be polished and can change colour with age.

· Copper: With a reddish-orange colour, it is a stark base of fashion jewellery which is mostly used in the making of earrings and rings.

· Nickel Silver: Also called German Silver, it is the alloy of nickel, zinc and copper. It is comparatively inexpensive and gives you a wide range of options to explore.

· Steel: Steel is used as a blanket term for all iron alloys which are tough and hard. They are not easily malleable and thus form very durable pieces.

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4. What are precious metals?

Precious metals have a very high economic value, as they refer to the rare metals. When these precious metals are also resistant to corrosion, they are known as noble metals. It adds more value and shelf-life to them. Gold, silver and platinum are both precious and noble metals. In this category, Sterling silver, Fine silver, Silver fill, Vermeil, and Gold fill is also used to add to the attraction of a fashion jewellery. They make the jewellery sturdy and durable for the long run.

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5. What are green metals?

Ethical or green metals, as suggested by their names, are recycled from materials and are refined to be reused. These are not newly mined, and so, help in ecological sustenance. They are the reclaimed bits from electronics, industrial scrap, scrap jewellery, photo processing and other sources. Even the beads and jewellery findings of most fashion jewellery are made with green metals and so, they are good for the nature as well.

6. What do you mean by platings?

A plating is very thin deposit of metal that is applied on the surface of a metal base either directly or electrochemically to give it a previous coating. Sometimes, copper is used as an intermediate plating and then the final precious element is placed.

The most common types of plating are as follows:

· White Plate: It is the silver tinted plating made from imitation rhodium, with nickel, zinc, tin and copper.

· Silver Plate: Silver plate is the actual coating of a very thin layer of silver. It matches the colour of sterling silver and can tarnish with repeated use.

· Antiqued Silver Plate: It is an oxidized layer of silver which has a dark shade to give it a rustic and oxidized appearance.

· Yellow Plate: A long-lasting golden plating which is slightly brassier than gold, it goes the best with raw brass.

· Gold Plate: It is the actual layering of precious gold metal on a base plate, preferably on a white nickel plate.

· Antiqued Gold Plate: Similar to the antiqued silver plating, it also gives an oxidised look to the jewellery which tends towards distressed yellow tint.

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7. What is the difference between gold plating and gold filling?

Plating and filling are the two methods of coating a base metal with another precious metal. Filling is 50 to 100,000 times thicker than the plating method, be it gold or silver. Electroplating method is also common, but filling contains maximum of precious metal, other than all fashion jewellery.

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8. Can I get metal allergies from fashion jewellery?

The most commonly reported metal allergy is nickel allergy which people with sensitive skin can face. For them, fashion jewellery is available in various other metal base like sterling silver, titanium, karat gold and non-metal earrings. Before choosing your jewellery, make sure that you cross-check the nickel quantity, if you have got allergies before. You can also ask for hypoallergic jewellery, so that you get primarily non-nickel jewellery. However, always keep in mind that metal allergy is just like food and other elements. Not everyone is allergic to the same thing and not everyone has the same reactions. So you have to keep up the trial and error method until you find the perfect fashion jewellery type for you. The products at Beautiart are quality-tested and known for least harm to the body, so you can go ahead with them without any worry.

9. Do I need to care about corrosion?

Corrosion is a common problem with the inexpensive fashion jewellery that you wear. In the industry, the agents of corrosion are often termed as patina or oxidizers. For example, iron can get rusted or cheap silver can be tarnished. While this is just the cost management compensation, you can delay the corrosion of your fashion jewellery. Take proper care, while wearing and storing the jewellery. Read our blog on fashion jewellery on the Beautiart website for further elaboration.

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