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by Jesús Zabala - 5 min read

Brass vs Sterling Silver

With so many metals now on the market, choosing the perfect jewelry can be quite difficult. There are quality materials on the market that make jewelry look aesthetic and unique. Besides the gold we all love and cherish, brass and sterling silver stand out as a more affordable variant. So, what is the difference between brass vs sterling silver? Which material would meet your expectations?

Read on as we explore the fashion advantages of these exceptional jewelry materials. In addition, we will also see how you can incorporate and combine them with your fashion style.

Brass vs Sterling Silver Jewelry
Source: jewelrylab.co

Brass vs Sterling Silver Jewelry

When it comes to choosing a piece of jewelry, be it for a gift for someone or you want to treat yourself, you are likely to be faced with the choice of buying brass or sterling silver jewelry. As you would have guessed, brass and sterling silver differ in many aspects, such as visual appeal, versatility, durability, hypoallergenic properties, and price.

So, is brass or sterling silver better? In the following, we will consider these factors in detail, to help you make an informative decision.

Visual appeal and versatility

Sterling silver jewelry

Starting off with silver– we have to say that silver is one of the most popular metals when choosing a piece of jewelry. Silver goes great with any attire. Being an elegant and shiny material, you can easily combine silver with casual or formal clothes. 

As a general rule, silver is usually combined with cool colors like purple, blue, or green. If you could pair silver with burgundy, royal blue, or even white or cream, you’ll further elevate the silver pieces, be it rings, a necklace, or even a bracelet.

As if that hasn’t been enough about the visual appeal and versatility of silver, you can combine it with other metals and gemstones. If you want to emphasize the uniqueness of silver jewelry, we recommend a silver ring complemented by black onyx.

Brass jewelry

The uniqueness of brass lies in its appearance. Although it’s not a precious metal, brass is an alloy of zinc and copper, often resembling gold due to its warm golden color. Not only is brass a durable material, but it is earth-conscious and timeless in its visual appearance. 

You can combine brass with different pieces of clothing and jewelry, but if you want to make an impression, we recommend keeping it simple and wearing it in combination with solid-colored clothing.

Durability and longevity

Sterling silver jewelry

Because of its composition, sterling silver is known for its durability. Namely, this metal contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, such as zinc or copper to enhance its strength. However, silver is prone to tarnishing, so paying attention to its maintenance is important. Unlike brass, it is a softer metal and can be bent and scratched more easily.

 Sterling silver jewelry
Source: jewelrylab.co

Brass jewelry

Unlike sterling silver, brass is a more durable and stronger material. Its composition usually contains 70% copper and 30% zinc, but this ratio depends on the jewelry manufacturer. It is resistant to scratching and bending and is a desirable material when choosing jewelry. Over time, although not often, tarnish and patina can happen, but with regular maintenance and storage, your brass jewelry can last you for a long time.

One thing important for brass jewelry is that it oxidizes over time. As oxidation may occur when in contact with hand cream, sweat, and sulfur in the air, we don’t recommend brass for everyday wear.

Hypoallergenic properties of brass and sterling silver

Sterling silver jewelry

When it comes to allergies, sterling silver belongs to the hypoallergenic group, which means that it is unlikely that an allergic reaction will occur. Although sterling silver is not pure silver, more often than not, it uses copper as an alloy– another hypoallergenic metal. However, when you decide on silver jewelry, pay attention to the other metals in the composition of sterling silver. Since our body reacts individually, allergic reactions can also occur with other metals, other than copper when found in the composition of sterling silver.

Brass jewelry

While brass alone has hypoallergenic properties, it can contain alloys, such as nickel, that may trigger an allergic reaction. Since this metal can cause an allergic reaction, especially in those with sensitive skin, be careful when making a purchase. If you are allergic to some metals, pay attention to their properties and composition before purchasing the jewelry.

Brass jewelry
Source: jewelrylab.co

Price and affordability

Sterling silver jewelry

When comparing brass vs sterling silver, silver is far more expensive. In fact, due to its luster and smooth surface, this metal can be placed in the rank of other metals such as platinum and gold. Due to its high value, sterling gold is the most common choice for engagement, wedding rings, and everyday use. In addition, the price of silver is determined by several factors, such as the craftsmanship, the presence of precious stones, and the design of the jewelry. So, if you want to add a minimalist touch to your style, we recommend a simple, thin, textured minimal bracelet for a casual occasion.

Brass jewelry

Unlike sterling silver, brass is cheaper if you opt for inexpensive jewelry. However, remember that the price often correlates with the design when buying brass jewelry. So, for those brass jewelry that are lower priced, don't expect special details like sterling silver.

If you want to get the maximum value out of brass, our JewelryLab team has already done that. Our rich offer consists of brass jewelry to which we have paid special attention in design and quality.

Brass vs Sterling Silver
Source: jewelrylab.co

Care and maintenance differences

Generally, sterling silver and brass are susceptible to tarnishing, so their maintenance and cleaning are important to extend their lifespan.

To prevent silver jewelry from tarnishing, store it in a special airtight bag and take it off when coming into contact with water, as water oxidizes silver. If you still notice that your jewelry has started to lose its shine, you should get cleaning products and a cloth. When choosing cleaning products, ensure they are designed specifically for sterling silver. That way, your jewelry will regain its shine and beauty.

Brass, like gold, is subject to tarnishing, so storing it in a jewelry box or a special bag will prevent this from happening. On the other hand, if you notice that your jewelry is losing its luster, there is a simple method for cleaning and maintenance.

All you need is warm water, liquid soap, and a soft-bristled brush. Apply the liquid soap mixed with water to the jewelry. Using the soft bristle brush, polish the surface of the brass jewelry in detail. After you're done cleaning, rinse thoroughly and dry. 

In addition to this method, there are specialized tools and cloths for cleaning brass jewelry that you can use. If you don't want to risk it, leave the work to professionals who will thoroughly clean and restore the shine of your jewelry.

Conclusion

Brass vs sterling silver: have you decided which material suits your fashion style? Although these two metals have some differences in composition, quality, and manufacturing method, they remain a popular option in the jewelry world. 

Knowing this fact, we at JewelryLab pay special attention to every detail of the jewelry to offer quality that matches your fashion taste. To make your search easier, look at our wide selection of silver and brass jewelry, which we hope will fit your casual or special occasion.

Jesús  is the founder and designer of JewelryLab. He is the Head of Design and also oversees production, quality control, and precious metal sourcing.

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