LEXICON: Metal + Stone
The Lexicon is a work in progress. It is constantly evolving, and is not meant to be inclusive of all things metal, ever. That said, if you have specific questions and the information is not yet here or linked to offsite, kindly contact me.
If you are allergic to either nickel or tin, bronze or brass might not be suitable for you. Generally speaking, gold and silver might be preferable for you, in that they are more pure, and contain base metals in lower proportion. I do use recycled silver and gold, in my other collections.
Alloys are basically different formulas for metals. Technically, they are the product of metallurgy. If you think about gold, for instance, we seldom talk about or purchase pure, raw gold in its mineral state. We generally refer to alloys, be it 18 carat (18k, .750) 14 carat (14k, .583 or .585), etc.
Here is some information on specific alloys.
Bronze is also known as “jewelers bronze” or “red brass”. It has a warm color, similar to that of rose gold, but is at a fraction of the price.
Why bronze? As a jewelry designer, I am aware that gold, diamonds and silver do not appeal to everyone. Historically, there has been a wider array of available metals. Presently, there is growing awareness of the environmental impacts of securing metals and stones. And, of course, both bronze and glass are recyclable, although I hope it never comes to that.
See also: Allergy Information
Why gold filled?
Gold-filled is an affordable option for those who want the look of gold, but don’t want to break the bank, so to speak. As a jewelry designer, it allows me to experiment in gold without the risk or the investment of solid karat gold.
Gold filled metal is base metal clad with a thick layer of gold on one or both surfaces. These earrings are made with dual clad 14/20 gold-filled metal. What that means is that base metal is clad on both sides–not the edges, with 20 percent 14K by weight. The thickness of the gold layer is said to be more than twenty times thicker than gold plating. The base metal that is usually used for this process is brass, because it resembles gold.
Whenever possible, pieces are photographed in both natural light and electric light, to show the range of color and reflection.
If you’re looking for reliable information on metal alloys, techniques, tools, or the like–consider visiting the Ganoksin Project. It is both a huge, vital community of metalsmiths and a wealth of knowledge.
Within jewelry making and design, fabricated generally means made by hand, not cast.
Keum-boo is an ancient Korean technique for fusing very thin gold sheet to the surface of silver utensils and ornaments, using heat and pressure. The gold foil is approximately 20 times thicker than gold leaf, and is rolled or hammered by hand.