You can use so many different types of metals to make the jewels, but have you ever used the zinc alloy jewels?
Today we bring to you one of the most common metals used in jewelry, zinc alloy. This metal alloy is one of the very famous metals in jewelry, but it’s all because of its affordability.
- What is zinc alloy?
- Zinc alloy contains
- Is zinc alloy safe?
- Benefits of using the zinc alloy
- Does it tarnish?
- What causes tarnishing?
- Is zinc alloy nickel-free?
- Is zinc alloy hypoallergenic?
- Is zinc alloy durable?
- Does zinc alloy rust?
- Does zinc alloy jewelry change color?
What is zinc alloy?
Some people also refer to zinc alloy as Tibetan silver. The one unique thing about them is that they have several metals included, including nickel and lead. It, however, must have some zinc.
The zinc alloy comes in a bluish-white color, yet it’s usually shiny too. The metals that make zinc alloy are from the environment.
It’s from North America, Australia, central-east Asia, and northern South America.
These zinc metals were first used in 1400BC but using it as an alloy first happened among the Romanians.
Zinc alloy contains
Of course, since it’s an alloy, it will contain several metals.
People use it more on the constructions but especially when you are making the cast items and jewels. Brass is also a beneficiary of zinc since it features the use of zinc and copper.
Zinc will also create the nickel-copper alloy that’s best known as nickel silver. They use it to make the silverware too. Notice, though, that the alloy has no silver; instead, its color gives it this unique name.
Notice that when you are making alloys, you will have zinc as part of it too. They sometimes have lead and tin. It may also contain copper and many other elements like aluminum.
We always advise, though, that if you choose one for your jewels, you should choose the one with no toxic metals like lead, cadmium, and nickel.
So the zinc alloy jewels are just the jewel that has zinc alloy as part of the product composition.
Is zinc alloy safe?
I would say it depends on the zinc alloy you used for the jewels. Some of them are safe, while others are not.
Although it’s maybe rare, we have a few people who are allergic to zinc metal. In such cases, therefore, it’s unsafe.
Nonetheless, if you don’t have a metal allergy, then the zinc alloy should be safe. Generally, the zinc metal will contain lead, nickel, copper. Nickel is the leading cause of allergies.
Lead is also toxic, and for a long time, the governments have been canceled as a metal to avoid just because it affects the nervous system.
Brass is the most common metal used in the zinc alloy. People say that brass is safe, durable, and corrosion-resistant. Remember, if you use a lot of copper, it may also cause skin reactions.
Therefore, if you use the ones that are free of lead, we may say that they are safe.
Notice, if you get the zinc alloy outside and expose it to air and carbonate oxide, it forms a chemical reaction. It does react to form a zinc carbonate layer as a protective layer. The layer will then prevent any more reaction with the air.
Remember, though; those manufacturers will use zinc with other metals but not pure metal. You can add about 55% copper to make the jewels of your dreams.
Benefits of using the zinc alloy
It’s easy to use
This is the one metal you won’t struggle to make. This is your go-to material when you are looking for an easy to use options. They are, in fact, nicely soft to mold.
It’s readily accessible
We are used to precious metals that are also not easy to access. When we talk about zinc alloy, the right thing here is that this is readily accessible. Don’t also forget that the zinc alloy is cheaper.
Notice that the zinc alloy will keep the corrosion out, which will mean that the metals will serve you longer. The alloy is hard and will form a zinc carbonate layer, which prevents further reactions.
Most metals will often react to air or water in the environment. Well, once the zinc alloy forms the zinc carbonate layer, there will be no more reactions. Corrosion is therefore unheard of with zinc metals.
Note that this zinc is a versatile choice. You can use it for your necklace, anklets, bracelets, or rings. They are safe to use for any jewelry but mostly if you will also plate it at some point. The versatility also means you can use it for different occasions.
Does it tarnish?
The truth is that even if you bought the zinc that’s free of toxic elements like nickel and lead, you would experience tarnishing with the zinc alloy. The good thing though, is that the tarnishing will not occur naturally.
The moment the zinc carbonate layer is formed, the tarnishing will not be as severe. So the layer will prolong the lifespan of the zinc alloy.
Therefore, Notice that whether the metals tarnish or not will depend on the finish you have for the tarnish—the metal content and the environmental condition.
Thus, the environment you subject your zinc alloy will determine whether it will last longer or not.
More reading: Jewelry Metals That Don’T Tarnish
What causes tarnishing?
As you can see tarnishing will occur under different circumstances. So under the following circumstances, you can expect the zinc alloy to tarnish.
Oxidation and other reactions
Tarnishing of the alloy may occur as a result of the oxidation. It occurs when theirs the reaction of the non-metallic compounds with the alloy surrounding.
The tarnishing will occur more when there’s oxygen in the surrounding. We also have hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide.
Remember, the corrosion of the alloy will either be safe or active. If it’s safe, it will take a green, brown, blue, or black color. In most cases, it will appear brown or black, though. However, if you are dealing with active corrosion, then it will be green powder like.
When you have extreme humidity and stressful environmental conditions, then the zinc alloy will most likely tarnish faster.
It has abrasion and dents.
If you notice that the zinc alloy jewel has abrasion and dents, you can be sure it lets the metal beneath seep through, thus the tarnishing. In such cases, then it will be faster. It will allow the cleaning products into the metal.
Is zinc alloy nickel-free?
Yes, and no, some will have nickel, while others don’t. You get to choose the kind of zinc alloy you need. Of course, this question arises more because alloys mostly contain nickel. The sad thing though, is that nickel is the cause of various skin reactions.
Therefore, if you are allergic to nickel, I would advise you not to use zinc alloy, especially if you know the content. If you are sure though that it contains nickel, you should stay away.
More reading: What you need to know about Nickel Free Jewelry.
Is zinc alloy hypoallergenic?
The easiest way to talk about this is that it’s neither hypoallergenic nor non-hypoallergenic. Note that the zinc alloy can blend the zinc, copper, and nickel or the zinc and copper.
So when it features the use of zinc and copper only then its hypoallergenic and safe. Often, it will cause allergic reactions. If you have no skin allergies, though, it won’t affect you.
Check out the guide to find out more about Hypoallergenic Jewelry.
Is zinc alloy durable?
Most of the zinc alloys are strong but then it’s not stronger than the stainless steel. Zinc is also a heavy metal that adds on some metals and makes it corrosion resistant. It will maintain strength or stability.
It will, in fact, serve you if you need to use it for larger items.
When the zinc is alloyed, then it’s nicely durable and strong. You can use it to make the different kinds of jewels thus last longer.
Does zinc alloy rust?
Anytime you have an alloy, you can be sure it will start to rust because it’s a mix of many metals together. Well, the zinc metal is famous for reacting with other elements in the air, and that causes corrosion.
If there’s moisture in the air, then it must respond quickly. If you, however, plate or coat the metal, then it won’t react or corrode. The best thing though is that you can get rid of it.
Does zinc alloy jewelry change color?
Yes, it does the same way other metals like brass does. On most days, it will change to green-brown or black. In the presence of oxygen, you will expect the metal sot change the color. Sometimes the corrosion will cause the color to be pinkish or reddish.
Does zinc alloy jewelry turn your skin green?
Yes, it mostly has copper in the mix, so yes, it will change the skin color to green. Remember, the skin color isn’t at all toxic. You only need to wipe it out, and that’s about it.
Want to know more about What Kind Of Jewelry Turns Your Skin Green? Check out this guide.
It’s easy to maintain this jewel and care for it so you can buy it. They are cheaper and stylish, making it even more appealing than any other jewels style.