Unlike its noble metal counterparts like silver and gold, zinc alloy is a lesser known material.
However, it makes a great option for jewelry, if not better.
It is an inexpensive and affordable option that is still high-quality.
Zinc alloy is completely lead-free, which makes it safe to wear.
Lead is a toxic substance which makes jewelry unsafe to wear.
Brass is a commonly-used type of zinc alloy, made of 55% to 90% of copper.
What is Zinc Alloy?
Zinc alloy is a material mainly used to imitate another metal.
Here’s an example:
If gold is real leather, then alloy is like synthetic leather.
Alloy material is much more affordable than noble metals like gold and silver.
Alloy is affordable and easy to obtain.
Does Zinc Alloy Tarnish?
However, the drawback to zinc alloy is that it can easily deteriorate.
The surface can darken or become rough when not handled with care.
After each use, care for it properly and use the store it properly so that your zinc alloy jewelry can last a long time.
When zinc alloy discolours, it is difficult to restore it to its original colour.
So, make sure you handle your jewelry with care to prevent it from discolouring.
Causes of Deterioration and Maintenance Methods
Zinc alloy can tarnish and deteriorate over time.
But, why is that?
The main cause is something called “sebum stain”.
Your jewelry is usually worn on bare skin.
This cannot be avoided.
When the sweat and oil from your skin mixes with your metal jewelry, an adverse reaction can occur.
There is a simple fix for this.
After each use, wipe your zinc alloy jewelry clean with a soft cloth.
Another great option is using a dedicated brass polishing cloth.
Metal cleaning clothes are impregnated with a polishing agent that will effectively remove small amounts of tarnish.
If you notice that the surface of your jewelry becomes rough, wash it off with a natural detergent.
Ensure that your jewelry piece is dried thoroughly after it gets wet.
Jewelry made from metal alloys are susceptible and weak against UV rays, heat and oxidation.
If possible, store them away from moisture and the sun.
History of Zinc Alloy
Zinc alloy is an alloy made by synthesizing aluminum, copper, magnesium, and iron.
It has been used as a material for die casting and casting products since ancient times.
It is one of the alloys used for more than 80 years.
While aluminum alloy is the most famous alloy for die casting and the like, zinc alloy is actually the second most used alloy after aluminum alloy.
Zinc alloy is characterized by its excellent impact resistance, and depending on the composition of the alloy, it can give off a sheen of lustre.
Another feature of zinc alloy is that it is relatively easy to apply plating.
Most products with colourful plating are zinc alloys rather than aluminum.
Not only is zinc alloy great for jewelry, they are also used for a wide variety of applications.
Business card holders, cigarette cases, cans, pen cases, etc.
Surprisingly, so many metal material that we see and use in our daily life are made from zinc alloy.
Why is that?
It is because it is so easy to process and plate.
It can also be processed into complex shapes and also can be made very thin.
Zinc alloy is an effective and economical high-quality counterpart to other metals.
They make a great metal for jewelry as they are safe to wear, easy to mold into complex and intricate patterns.
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