Some hobbies can transition easily into a successful business venture, such as arts and crafts. Specifically, jewellery making is something that you can turn into a lucrative activity by selling your creations at retail, whether online or in person. If you’re seriously considering making this shift from hobbyist to actual jewellery maker, one of the most important things you should know about firstly is the kind of material that you’ll be working with.
Metals for Jewellery
Jewellery pieces can be so versatile that you can use just about any kind of material for it. The more precious the stones and metals for it, though, mean the higher value of the item. A common requirement for using metals in craft jewellery is that its properties should allow it to be flexible while also being sturdy. It should also be wearable, which means that its components will not prove harmful to the wearer’s health as much as possible. The stronger the material is, the better an investment the piece becomes, too, so longevity of the product is definitely something to look at.
Among the most common metals used for jewelleries is aluminium, thanks to its lightweight characteristic. It is also highly malleable, which makes it great for adding in design details, whether through engraving or sculpting. It is also not prone to tarnishing unlike other kinds of metal and can be easily cleaned and maintained simply by washing it with hand soap and water. Many jewellery makers prefer aluminium also because it is nickel-free, and so is safe to wear even for those with allergies.
Brass is a standout choice for many jewellers because of its similar appearance to gold. It can be sophisticated and elegant without costing as much. It’s also highly versatile and malleable, making it easy to mold and shape into various designs. They usually come in different forms, like brass tubing and squares, among others. As long as it is properly cared for, too, it can possibly last a long time. It helps that finished brass does not tarnish like silver does, which makes its maintenance a whole lot easier. Aside from that, it only needs soap and water to be cleaned. Another option for maintenance is ketchup. Apparently, the acid in tomatoes make for a very good cleaning agent against tarnish on brass.
Similar to brass, copper is a bright, shiny metal that tends to look like gold, albeit with a reddish hue. Also soft and easily malleable, copper is best distinguished through its green patina that occurs upon oxidation. Some consider this patina as part of this metal’s aesthetic, although for jewellery, it could make it look less appealing. Unlike the previous metals, copper requires a bit more for its maintenance, such as a water-vinegar-salt mixture to get it clean.
There are two choices you can go for when working with silver: fine and sterling. Fine silver is pure silver up to 99.9%, while sterling is at 92.5% purity. Most jewellers prefer sterling silver because it is a lot stronger than fine silver, which means it can be used with other accents like pendants. Fine silver, on the other hand, can be so fine that it bends easily making it difficult to incorporate with other elements.
Highly valuable as compared to other metal types, gold is a foremost choice among jewellery makers for its natural beauty and versatility. Real gold is also very easy to maintain because it does not tarnish or corrode. It is advisable to mix it with other metals when possible, however, because pure gold, like fine silver, is on the softer side, which can affect its durability as a jewel piece. Mixing it with other metals will affect its karat though (higher karat means higher purity while lower karat but stronger metal).
About Rotax Metals
Rotax Metals is a premier metal supplier in North America. We’ve been supplying high-quality copper alloys to the world since 1948. We pride ourselves in our vast network of sources and a team of highly experienced metallurgists. Whether you need brass, bronze, or copper tubes, bars, or sheets, we surely have ample supplies in store for you. We serve individuals and businesses looking for the highest quality metals for their projects.