MALLEABILITY, DUCTILITY, TOUGHNESS, HARDNESS, DENSITY: BETTER UNDERSTAND METALS

To produce quality jewelry, you don’t just need to be creative or imaginative. Indeed, the realization of a piece of jewellery requires knowledge and technical skills. For example, the characteristics of the metals are among the requirements that you must master. Follow this short guide on the different attributes of metals and their uses.

Characteristics related to your creativity

If you are creative, you will be able to imagine the most imaginative and elaborate shapes for your jewellery. For this reason, it is necessary to use a metal that meets your transformation needs. Malleability is one of the characteristics of metals that you should consider. It concerns the transformation of a metal when it is rolled, that is to say when it is struck with a hammer, or other material, to make it as thin as possible without breaking. Afterwards, to make complex shapes by weaving, you have to take into account the ductility of the metal. This is the metal’s ability to stretch into wires, which is essential if the work requires passing through the die.

Metal tenacity: a better understanding of it

If the shapes you have imagined require a break in the integrity of the metal, the toughness of the metal must be checked beforehand. This is one of the characteristics of metals, it indicates their ability to resist the propagation of a crack, it is expressed in kilograms per square millimetre. If you have to work a metal with an unsuitable toughness, you have to play with the alloy to find the right value. In toughness, the percentage of the different components in the alloy is of prime importance. For example, if copper has a toughness of 39 kg/mm2 and silver has a toughness of 36 kg/mm2, a copper-silver alloy of 25 and 75% respectively will have a value of 77 kg/mm2.

The hardness and durability of the metal

If these metal characteristics tell you which metal is suitable for the jewellery, you should also consider the metal that is suitable for the purchaser. Indeed, its lustre is expected to last for a long time. It is in this sense that the hardness of the chosen metal must be considered. It indicates the metal’s ability to resist penetration or to be scratched. This is an important property for a bracelet, for example, because the hand performs a lot of movement and the jewel is exposed to a greater risk of rubbing against hard elements. Finally, density refers to the fact that one metal is heavier or lighter than others for the same volume. It should be understood that people unconsciously think that a heavier metal is more precious and of better quality.

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