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Different Types of Metals

It's been a few weeks since I have blogged, so what better day to do it than this sunny Monday.  Ever wonder what your jewelry that you're wearing right now is made of? Well, have no fear I am going to give you the basics on the popular metals found in jewelry. I can't go through all of them because we would be here for a while, but I want to highlight the most popular metals and the ones that we carry most often in the stores. You'll hear me refer to some metals or mixtures of metals as an alloy, which means a mixture or metallic solid solution of 2 or more elements.  I didn't know what it meant when I was researching so I thought I would enlighten you as well. There are 4 metals that I see as the most popular: (pictures are under the description) Gold - its a dense, soft metal with a bright yellow color and doesn't tarnish in air or water. It's probably one of the most popular of the metals. gold     Gold-Filled - also known as gold overlay. This is made by using heat and pressure to apply a thin layer of karat gold to base of a less costly metal (like nickel or brass). It's thicker than gold plated as well. So there is some gold in the metal, but contains other elements as well. gold filled         Gold-Plated - a steel or brass item will be dipped into a bath of electroplating solution the covers the jewelry with a thin layer of gold. This type of metal will wear off and tarnish quicker than gold-fill. goldplattedjewelry       Sterling Silver - this is an alloy that contains a mixture of silver and another metal usually copper. In order for a piece of jewelry to be considered sterling silver it has to have 92.5% sterling silver so you can imagine that the mixture of another metals is a very small amount. However, when silver is mixed with copper its more likely to tarnish, but silver can be shined easily back to it's origin with a shinning cloth. sterling silver       Other metals that are now becoming more popular in jewelry design and some that we carry as well are rose gold, copper, brass, and base metal jewelry. Rose Gold - this is an alloy that combines gold with copper to create a golden metal with a reddish hue; also known as pink gold or red gold. This metal doesn't tarnish and can be cleaned with warm soapy water. rose gold       Copper - this is a reddish gold metal and is often referred to as a base metal. This metal is considered to have healing properties. Copper will tarnish and might turn your skin dark where you wear the jewelry if you are allergic to it. copper         Brass - this is a copper and zinc alloy that is a dark gold color. It will tarnish and turn brown or a darker gold over time. It is not as shiny as gold or silver, but still has a gold hue to it. brass         Base Metal - this is a common metal not considered precious as in copper, zinc or tin. This is a non-precious metal (excluding gold or silver because those are precious) is mostly used in costume jewelry. Base metals are often plated with a very thin layer of gold, silver, nickel or rhodium. This metal oxidizes or corrodes easily, but is fun to wear! base metal           Now that you know your metals you are ready to concur the world, right?! Or at least you have a better understanding for jewelry and what certain pieces are made out of. At Mana Culture we carry  a variety of what I pointed out to you above. All of our jewelry is nickel free and good quality metals. So next time you're searching for that perfect piece to complete an outfit don't be afraid to ask what it's made of -- you'll be glad you did! Happy Shopping! Lauren
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