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Mixing Alloys for Jewellery Making

Posted August 12th 2019

Gold jewellery

Do you know what metals you are wearing?

You might be surprised to know the amount of different metals and alloys that have made their way into your jewellery and onto your body. At William Rowland we are proud to provide high purity metals and alloys to a range of industries around the world.

The main metal types that we think of when it comes to jewellery making are of silver and gold, but in fact most jewellery is not made of pure silver or gold. The reason for this is that in their purest forms, silver and gold are both too soft to be suitable for most jewellery. All metals have unique properties that make them suitable for specific tasks, and this is why it’s essential to speak to an experienced metal trader when ordering.

The purest type of silver is called ‘fine silver’ and this is mostly used for bullion, rather than jewellery or currency, since it is relatively soft. Silver is also highly susceptible to tarnishing, and mixing with other metals can prevent this. Instead, an alloy, sterling silver is used instead. This has 92.5% purity, but the remainder is mixed with other metals such as copper, zinc or silicon.

Similarly, gold in its purest form is usually reserved for bullion, since it is soft and would easily become misshapen in jewellery or currency. Gold is mixed with metals such as copper and silver when it is used to make jewellery. White gold is not an element in itself, but simply gold mixed with other metals to create a silver look. The most commonly used metals in white gold are nickel and palladium, or even zinc or tin.

There are also different mixes of gold to create different colours and effects. Rose gold is a mix of yellow gold, silver and copper, to create a pinkish colour, and new metal alloy combinations for jewellery are always being discovered.

At William Rowland we know metal and having been around since 1830 we have a unique understanding of their properties and suitabilities for a whole host of applications. When you purchase through William Rowland, whether by placing an order in our online shop, or making an enquiry over the phone, you can access our wealth of knowledge and be secure in knowing you are making the right choice for your requirements. Contact us today on 0121 559 3031 or browse the William Rowland Online Shop.