Combination Of Metals Used For Antique Jewellery
We all love to handle and wear fine antique jewellery, hand-made by skilled artisans who lived for their trade and as you would expect, a diverse range of materials were used to make jewellery. Fine gemstones and metals come together to create stunning pieces.
When it comes to antique jewellery, there are a few things that are important to take into account. Aside from the precious stones used, the type of metal that was used to create the piece also matters. Different metals have different properties, and each one can give an item a unique look and feel. Here are the metals that were used over the ages to make quality jewellery.
Of course, gold was the most popular metal to make jewellery, yet pure gold (24k) is too soft, so 18k or 9k gold was preferred. Even today, it is rare to find 24k gold in jewellery, yet all of the periods in our history made very good use of this precious metal. You would also notice this when you buy vintage engagement ring from a reputable antique dealer who would be happy to provide you with all the information you need and help you out in your quest for learning on why investing in such a ring would make a smart long-term investment. Gold is always hallmarked and these can be found if you use an eyeglass, looking at areas that are normally concealed when the item is worn.
Silver was probably used to make jewellery before gold was, as this soft metal was found in abundance and is as common as any other precious metal when looking at antique jewellery. Then came sterling silver in the early 20th century and this was commonly used in the making of jewellery. Silver usually has a hallmark of ‘925’ or similar, which denotes the silver is 92.5% pure.
This metal first arrived in jewellery during the Art Deco period of the 1920s, yet aluminium was rarely used in the making of jewellery. Having said that, contemporary jewellery makers did use aluminium, which is strong and light.
Copper can be found in very old antiques, which would be in minute amounts; archaeological digs prove that ancient man used copper to shape into ornamental items that they adorned on their body, yet from the 13th century on, copper was rarely found in aristocratic jewellery.
This is an alloy of lead, tin, antimony and copper and while it was commonly used to make furniture, it was also known as Brittania metal. Antique jewellery that contains pewter is very rare these days and if you think you have some jewellery made with pewter, why not ask an antique dealer to appraise it?
An alloy of copper and zinc, pinchbeck was used in the making of snuff boxes, pocket watch cases and some jewellery. This alloy gave a similar appearance to rose gold and it was eventually replaced by sterling silver and platinum.
As you would expect, gold, silver and bronze were often intermixed, with very attractive results. If you would like to browse genuine antique jewellery that is for sale at reasonable prices, search with Google for a leading antique dealer, one who focuses more on jewellery than furniture. They would have an extensive catalogue of fine antiques and you can shop from the comfort of your own home. Whatever period interests you, there will be a wide range of metal combinations and the Internet hosts a wealth of information about every era.
Antique jewellery is avidly collected across the world and most women have a nice collection of vintage and antique jewellery.