Types of Jewelry Materials: The Ultimate Guide

Types of Jewelry Materials: The Ultimate Guide

Archeologists estimate that the first jewelry was worn in what is now Iran around the year 6,000. Simple stone amulets shaped like stars and flowers were commonly used as jewelry. It’s possible that some of them had deep religious significance.

Since then, jewelry has been crafted from all sorts of materials. So it’s only reasonable to wonder what separates one material if you consider expanding your accessory collection. If you fully grasp these elements, you’ll be better equipped to select the furniture that best suits your needs.

When choosing jewelry, it’s helpful to consider the various types available and when you might use them.

What Are the Types of Jewelry Materials?

Humans crafted the first jewelry with different types of types of jewelry materials after they mastered basic metalworking skills. Archaeologists have found many cases in ancient graves where people were buried with items they thought they might need for the afterlife.

Jewelry materials evolved alongside technological developments. The ability to mass-produce jewelry during the Industrial Revolution led to several changes in the jewelry industry. Some craftspeople, though, continue to make jewelry by hand. Over fifteen different kinds of materials are used by manufacturers and artists.

Let’s look at some of the most popular jewelry-making materials.

Gold Jewelry

It’s possible to come across at least four distinct kinds of gold jewelry in your search for the types of jewelry materials. A thin layer of gold is plated onto a base metal, typically copper or brass, to create gold-plated jewelry. When brand new, these items have a gold content of less than 0.05%. In addition, the covering is so delicate that it quickly wears off when scratched.

Gold-plated jewelry is usually more affordable, making it an excellent choice for trendy statement pieces or jewelry you’ll only wear once or twice. Hypoallergenic gold vermeil jewelry is made similarly. However, the gold layer is thicker and applied over silver. Even though gold is supposed to last for years, it can still be worn away with time and use.

Gold-filled beads and gold-filled findings are other common materials in jewelry-making globally. Unless you’re at the dentist, the gold plating on the brass was applied mechanically. These items are stamped with a 14 or 20, indicating that 14 or 20-carat gold was used. Although the gold content is one hundred times that of gold plating, the process only allows for flat designs. As a result, gold-filled jewelry is often available at a fraction of the price of solid gold and lasts just as long.

Solid gold is the best material since it looks great and lasts long. These items are frequently passed down via families—hypoallergenic solid gold jewelry. Unfortunately, the price of solid-gold jewelry is similarly high.

Genuine Copper Jewelry

The warm and attractive color of copper makes genuine copper beads and genuine copper findings a favorite in handcrafted jewelry, among many types of jewelry materials.

Genuine copper can be shaped in various ways and mixes nicely with other substances. It’s also less expensive than many other options, and who doesn’t appreciate that? ‘

Some believers claim that copper jewelry has helped them feel better by eliminating aches and pains. In addition, since copper is so easy to imprint and engrave, it is common to find stunning jewelry pieces that feature intricate animal engravings and other scenes from nature.

Options with engraved geometric patterns are also available. And if you take good care of your copper jewelry, it will last you a long time. Keep your copper jewelry in a spot where it won’t get scratched and out of the way of other jewelry until I have more to say.

Copper oxidation in air and water can cause skin greening. However, there’s little risk to your h. Copper is a versatile metal that is easy for jewelers to handle, but its malleability makes it prone to bending. This is why many jewelers use copper in conjunction with other metals. Metals like brass and sterling silver are typical examples.

Silver Jewelry

Pure silver is too malleable to be used as one of the types of jewelry materials commonly used in the industry. The color of silver jewelry varies greatly. Silver jewelry is typically inexpensive since manufacturers are not required to specify the silver used in their designs. Alternatives could be:

Fine Silver Jewelry

These items are silver (99.9% pure) with trace amounts of other metals (.1%). Pure silver jewelry is the softest silver available, making it susceptible to scratches and eventual deformation.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver have a minimum of 7.5% copper and 92.5% pure silver, with possible additional trace minerals. Sterling silver jewelry has fantastic reflective qualities but is prone to tarnishing. It is one of the most affordable and popular types of jewelry materials around.

Xinar’s sterling silver beads and findings are not silver-plated but the real thing. These jewelry-making supplies are also lead-free and nickel-free and come in a wide variety of types to make your handcrafted jewelry truly special.

Argentium Silver

The copper and germanium content of Argentium silver varies from 6.4 to 4.0 percent, depending on the grade. As a result, these pieces require less polishing and won’t tarnish as quickly.


Silver is used to coating another material very lightly. Therefore, silver-plated costume jewelry can be purchased for next to nothing.


Silver-filled items contain between 5 and 10% silver and are bound by their manufacturers to a base material. Despite their low price, these items quickly become tarnished.

Platinum Jewelry

Jewelry made of platinum is typically 95 percent pure, with the remaining 5 percent being cobalt or ruthenium. Platinum is one of the types of jewelry materials that’s truly durable.

Platinum jewelry, often mined in Russia or South Africa, is built to last due to its resistance to tarnishing, corrosion, and color change. Because of its white color, platinum complements various precious stones and diamonds.

Although it may cost more than other materials used to make fine jewelry initially, there are no ongoing fees, such as replicating the jewelry, making it an excellent long-term investment. Platinum jewelry will last forever. If you opt for a platinum wedding band and have it weighed on the big day, it will retain the same weight on your 75th anniversary. A jeweler can readily remove the patina that forms over time if you decide you don’t like the look.

Jewelry made of platinum is hefty. It will typically weigh about 35% more than the piece crafted from 18-karat gold and 60% more than 14-karat gold. Because of platinum scarcity, jewelers can charge more for jewelry made from metal. In addition, platinum jewelry shows scratches more readily than white gold does. So if you need to resize or repair your platinum jewelry, you may have to pay a premium.

Brass Jewelry

Brass jewelry is on-trend and great for laid-back occasions, making it a must in our list of types of jewelry materials. The alloy is a blend of zinc and copper, which gives it a lovely golden hue. Brass jewelry is typically less expensive than alternatives like pure gold and silver.

Older brass jewelry can have a lovely patina, and restoring it to its former luster is simple. Brass jewelry will not rust or corrode; therefore, it can last very long. This holds even if you aren’t the best at maintaining your jewelry; nonetheless, we’ll share some helpful advice on how to do just that in a moment.

Brass is a beautiful metal to add to your collection, but brass-plated pieces won’t last long. Brass is not magnetic, so you can tell the real deal when you see it in person.

Because of this, you can tell it is not genuine brass if a magnet is drawn to it. Brass jewelry will tarnish in the shower, so remove it before getting in. Brass jewelry is known to irritate the skin. Because of this, brass jewelry can cause skin irritation in some people.

Titanium Jewelry

Jewelry can also be made out of titanium, adding titanium to our exclusive list of types of jewelry materials. It resists rust so that it can be used repeatedly without worry. Titanium is highly resistant to abrasion and bending, making it an excellent choice for those who engage in physically demanding occupations or hobbies. It’s also much easier to work with than heavier precious metals like gold, commonly used in jewelry. Titanium, like platinum and Tungsten, can withstand extremes in temperature and is very corrosion-resistant. Titanium jewelry is available in a rainbow of colors thanks to the simple process of anodizing the metal.

Matte surfaces characterize titanium jewelry. As a result, it won’t have the same luster as other valuable metals. Prongs used to secure gemstones in titanium jewelry must be made from a different metal. Titanium jewelry cannot be altered or repaired by a jeweler, so the correct size must be ordered at the outset. Titanium is difficult to form, which drives the price of intricate designs. Titanium is scratched more quickly than many other options on the market, although it does not scratch as easily as solid gold. Finally, titanium jewelry may be too light for those who prefer to feel the weight of their accessories.

Stainless Steel Jewelry

Stainless steel jewelry is ideal if you spend a lot of time outside or work in a hostile environment because it is corrosion- and heat-resistant. Since very few people are allergic to stainless steel, it has been used for centuries as the initial piercing post. Jewelry made of stainless steel is ideal for everyday wear, such as wedding bands, because it resists tarnishing, corrosion, and scratches. Soap and water will do fine for a piece of stainless steel jewelry. When you wear a necklace or a bracelet made of stainless steel, you won’t feel any weight on your neck or feel that your arm is disproportionately heavy. Stainless steel shines elegantly. However, it’s much less expensive than most alternatives.

Resizing stainless steel jewelry can be difficult without the right tools. There may be an added cost as a result. Because stainless steel is so challenging to shape, few alternatives exist. In addition, chlorine is not a good companion for stainless steel. If you wear jewelry, remove and store it safely before entering the water.

Pearl Jewelry

A pearl necklace has a level of sophistication that is difficult to match. The finest pearl jewelry can be a wise financial investment. Pearls can either be produced or found in nature.

Clay Jewelry

You may wear your clay jewelry practically anywhere without worrying about it breaking or scratching. Clay jewelry, like ceramic wedding bands, is hypoallergenic and a good option for people with metal sensitivities. Because of its low weight, jewelry made from clay is ideal for continuous wear. Molds can be made with clay to produce multiples of the same design, or the material can be sculpted by hand to create unique artwork. Polymer and air-dry clay allow novice artists to do low-priced works. You can find a lot of different styles and colors in this category, and they’re a lot of fun to wear. They can be fashioned into entertaining accessories for festive events despite their greater fragility.

Clay jewelry may not break easily, but you must exercise common sense to avoid damaging it. Clay jewelry is susceptible to the same damage as fine china inherited from granny.

Pewter Jewelry

Artisans have crafted pewter jewelry since the early Roman Empire. Concentrations of copper, bismuth, and silver are negligible compared to the tin content. Pewter’s malleability makes it helpful in creating a wide range of jewelry. Workers can mass-produce items using casting methods like pressure-die casting. Jewelry produced from pewter will not tarnish and has an antique appearance.

Pewter jewelry requires extra care because it is easily dented and scratched. Cleaning your pewter jewelry is simple; wipe it down with a dry cloth. Pewter may be less expensive than other precious metals, but it may also cause allergic reactions in some people. If you enjoy antiquing for jewelry, you should be aware that older pewter pieces may contain lead, which can harm your health. Lead is no longer used in production.

Tungsten Jewelry

The typical ratio of Tungsten to nickel in tungsten jewelry is 85:15. Tungsten is a powder and cannot be used alone to create jewelry; a binder is always required. Tungsten is an excellent option for long-lasting jewelry because only a diamond can harm it. Not the lightest jewelry available but about the same as gold or silver in density. It has a built-in resistance to allergens.

Tungsten jewelry is typically plated in various hues to disguise its original gun-metal gray hue. These inexpensive items make them a good option for newlyweds or anyone who wants to add some glitz to their abode without breaking the bank.

Cobalt Jewelry

Cobalt jewelry is sometimes mistaken for white gold, although it has several advantages. While white gold jewelry must be replaced after a few years, unplated cobalt can achieve a nearly identical look. Cobalt-plated jewelry is available, and the plating procedure allows artists to achieve stunning colors, such as yellow or rose gold. Because cobalt does not rust or tarnish quickly, these items can be polished to a high sheen without worrying about their appearance deteriorating with time. When shopping for an essential piece of jewelry like a wedding band, it’s helpful to know that cobalt is resistant to scratches and wear and tear. Cobalt jewelry is nearly indestructible, four times as hard as the hardest precious metal. These items are inexpensive and easy to wear due to their low weight.

Due to its extreme hardness, cobalt-made objects are notoriously difficult to resize. Traditional engraving methods will not work on cobalt jewelry, but laser engraving can be added. Due to the challenging nature of working with this metal, most will have a brief appearance.

Wooden Jewelry

Wooden jewelry is one of a kind because no two pieces have the same history. Therefore, you won’t deplete an irreplaceable natural resource if you choose to accessorize with wooden jewelry. In addition, wooden jewelry is an excellent option for those allergic to metals because it is hypoallergenic.

Gemstone Jewelry

Gemstone jewelry comes in a wide variety of styles. Most can be trimmed and formed into various forms. Discounts on gemstone jewelry, whether it be natural or synthetic, are standard. Gemologists use the Mohr scale to determine how long a gemstone will last. Options with a durability rating of eight or higher hold up better to regular use. Examples of fashionable jewels include:


This cheap purple gemstone has a Mohs hardness rating of around 7.


This gemstone is rated at roughly 7.5 on Mohr’s scale, ranging from a very light blue to a greenish blue, but inclusions can be problematic.


Citrine’s distinctive yellow hue is artificially produced by heating quartz containing iron. This stone has a Mohr’s value of roughly seven, which means it may display a wide range of colors, from very light yellow to dark amber.


Many people adore the emerald because of its beautiful green hue, which can range from blue to yellow. However, the Mohs hardness of the material is roughly 7.7, and interior fractures can be an issue.


Garnets come in several colors, including orange, brown, green, and pink. On Mohr’s scale, these inexpensive jewels fall around the seven-point range.


White onyx gemstones are available, although black onyx is the more common. On Mohr’s scale, it clocks in at a 6.5 and can be had for relatively little money.


Opals are available in a wide range of colors, including white and orange; however, they only score a 4.5 on Mohr’s rating. Furthermore, a stone that has developed cracks can be excessively brittle.

There is a wide range in the hardness of gemstones. More complex surfaces may be more challenging to scrape than their softer counterparts. Gemstones with high clarity are in high demand, but customers can access stones with lower clarity. The appearance of genuine gemstones can be negatively affected by inclusions.

Glass Jewelry

The variety of glass jewelry pieces adds to the enjoyment. Glass jewelry is often reasonably priced. There are various glass jewelry options to choose from, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

Fused glass

The layers of colored glass are stacked and then melted in a kiln to produce this style of glass jewelry. As a result, the edges of these components may not be perfectly smooth.

Dichroic glass

Comparable to jewelry made from fused glass but with the added step of layering colorful pieces over the clear glass before heating.

Lampwork glass

Lampwork refers to making ornaments from tiny glass rods by melting them into shapes and then annealing them in a kiln.

Murano glass

Millefiori, often known as Venetian glass, is a type of glass art in which the ends of glass rods are painstakingly shaped to resemble millions of tiny flowers. The production of Murano glass is labor-intensive and hence costly. Fakes frequently flood the market, so be cautious.

Sea glass

The glass used to make these pieces was initially discarded at sea in a tumbler. Workers then construct the jewelry in and around it.

Glass jewelry can be discolored by direct sunshine. Because of this, you should never keep them in direct sunlight, although you probably won’t notice a change if you wear a piece outside for a bit. Also, glassware with a dye or metallic coating fades faster. Glass beads can lose their color faster than usual due to the oil on your skin reacting with the dye.

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