|Base metal findings are increasingly popular, not just because they're economical, but also because they offer stylish, trendy looks in modern jewelry design. From gunmetal to antique brass, natural to antique copper, Auntie's Beads has just the findings you need to complete your latest greatest design!
About Base Metal Findings
In recent years as the prices of sterling silver and gold have skyrocketed, base metal beads and findings have gained popularity because of their versatility and price.
So... What exactly is base metal? While sterling silver and gold are considered precious metals, base metals are less expensive and more plentiful metals like copper, iron, zinc and aluminum; sometimes, they are an alloy of one or more of these metals. Many base metals are plated. This means that you have a base metal like copper or pewter that has a thin coating of another metal on top. A copper plated pewter filigree, for example, has a pewter base with a thin layer of copper applied to the surface. The advancements made in the plating process have allowed us more options than ever for a variety of finishes and colors in our jewelry designs.
Antique Brass Findings: Antique brass is a brass plating that has been darkened to look vintage. Antique brass findings are neutral findings that work well with natural-toned beads and softer colors. It also works well with gunmetal.
Antique Gold Findings: Antique gold is a warmer version of antique brass. The technique used to create antique gold findings is similar to the process used to make antique brass. While antique gold plated components are not always plated in 10k or 14k gold, the effect resemebles an aged gold.
Antique Copper Findings: No matter what the base metal is, antique copper plated components have a thin layer of a copper plating that has been chemically altered to look weathered and antiqued. Antique copper is one of the most popular and versatile base metals available. Because of its warm reddish-brown color, it works well with gemstones and crystals of all colors, and is especially nice with earth tones.
Antique Silver Findings: Antique silver plated components are coated in a thin layer of silver that has gone through a chemical process that makes it look vintage. Antique silver findings are perfect for jewelry designs where you want the look of silver without the high shine or where you want to give your pieces an elegant vintage look.
Copper Findings: Copper is a reddish metal that is soft and malleable and a great heat conductor, making it perfect to use as a base metal or in an alloy of metals. In mines where large concentrations of copper are found, you will often find gemstones whose color variations and striations are affected by the presence of copper. Believed by many to help with arthritis and joint pain, copper has long been used in jewelry designs. Whether or not it has healing powers, copper is very pretty and, because of its inherent softness, very easy to work with.
Gold Plated Findings: Gold plated findings can work as a great substitute for gold filled components. Because gold plated findings have a thin coating of gold as opposed to a process that bonds gold to the base metal, they are less expensive. You can use gold plated components anywhere you would use gold. They are especially great with jewel tones such as amethyst, ruby, sapphire and emerald.
Gunmetal Findings: Originally, gunmetal was given its name because it was a metal used to make guns. It consisted of several base metals and was brassy in color. Today, gunmetal is a plating that is almost black in color; in fact, it is sometimes referred to as black oxide. It can have a shiny, metallic finish similar to hematite in color or a more matte finish. For contrast, gunmetal findings look great when paired with silver plated findings and components. It works well with antique brass when a vintage look is desired.
Pewter Findings: The base metal pewter is predominately (at least 85%) tin with traces of copper or silver. Pewter used to contain lead, but in the past decade or so, concerns about lead safety have led many manufacturers to either remove or significantly reduce the amount of lead in this alloy. TierraCast pewter findings, for example, are made in the USA and contain no lead. Pewter, like other base metals, can be plated in gold, antique brass, antique copper and silver.
Rhodium Findings: Rhodium is one of the rarest precious metals and is a member of the platinum family. Our rhodium plated findings feature a pewter base metal with a thin electroplating of this bright silver colored metal.
Rose Gold Findings: Rose gold is a gold and copper alloy that is pinkish-gold to copper in color; the color depends on the amount of copper in the alloy. Rose gold plated findings and components work well with gold, rose gold and even copper beads and findings. They add a warm earthy glow to gemstone beads.
Silver Plated Findings: Silver plated findings offer an inexpensive alternative to sterling silver and silver filled findings. Whereas silver filled findings are created using a process that bonds the silver to the base metal, silver plated findings are created when a base metal is dipped in a plating solution. The advances in electroplating over the years have allowed high quality silver plated components to be produced that, to the naked eye, look just like sterling silver and stand the test of time without worries about the finish chipping or flaking.
While many people prefer precious metal findings like sterling silver and gold, base metal components do offer versatility and affordability in design. With high quality finishes and worries about lead and nickel diminishing, you can rest assured that base metal findings will enhance your jewelry designs in ways you never thought possible.
|Base Metal Findings Projects|
We don't just provide the products and information related to the products, we show you how to use them! Try out these free beading projects featuring base metal findings.
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