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History Of Brass | Vintage, Victorian, Gothic & Renaissance Jewelry Design

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A Victorian Style Pendant

HISTORY OF BRASS

In Jewelry Making

WHAT IS BRASS?

Brass is an alloy (mixture) of copper and zinc in variable proportions. Depending on the proportion of copper to zinc, the color of brass can vary from yellow/gold to green, to a redish (coppery) tone.

The more copper, the more red to brown tone...the more zinc, the more yellow to green tone.

A Renaissance Style Focal

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A Gothic Style Ring

A Large Raw Brass "Yellow Gold" Color Filigree. This Brass Has A Higher Zinc Content.

Example Of Yellow "Gold" Brass (New)

A Renaissance Style Neckpiece Using "Old" Brass Jewelry Findings. See Our GOTHIC/RENAISSANCE Page For More Info On This Piece.

A Renaissance Style Neckpiece (Old Brass Findings)

HISTORY OF BRASS JEWELRY

Many anitque dealers are familiar with the term "Pinchbeck Jewelry". It was named for Christopher Pinchbeck (1670-1732), who was a famous clock & watch maker who had a shop in London where he made and sold jewelry as well as watches and clocks. His discovery looked like gold, but contained no gold! While the actual formula was guarded, many believed it contained 4 parts copper and 3 parts zinc. The mixing of copper & zinc to make a gold color metal is today known as...BRASS!

THE BRONZE AGE

What is bronze and what is the difference between bronze and brass? Bronze is an alloy (mixture) of copper and tin. Brass is an alloy (mixture) of copper and zinc.

The earliest period of The Bronze Age begins in Ancient Egypt in the Protodynastic Period circa 3150 BC.

Because brass and bronze are similar due to their high copper content, we utilize our proprietary oxidizing process on brass to produce an "ancient or antique" bronze patina making our oxidized brass a perfect metal for producing ancient and old world designs. Many of our customers are jewelry designers for stage and film productions which have historical themes.  Whether designing for Ancient Egypt, Rome or Greece, the Gothic and Renaissance periods, or thru to the Victorian Era up to contemporary design, oxidized brass can be used to produce a variety of finishes to emulate jewelry designs through out the ages.

OLD OR NEW BRASS?

With our oxidizing and finishing technics, it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between old brass and newly produced brass. Due to the rarity of genuine old brass findings, we mix old & new brass in many designs to achieve a very authentic looking old world look. 
   

"Low" Brass Is Higher In Copper Content

Example of "Low" Brass. Brown Tone. (New)

A Gothic Style Neckpiece Using Old Brass & New, Hand Oxidized Brass. See Our GOTHIC/RENAISSANCE Page For More Info On This Piece.

A Gothic Style Set (Old & New Brass)

Old Brass From The 1940's In Various Stages Of Oxidation

Old Brass With Natural Aging/Patina

THE VICTORIAN ERA

The Victorian Era is named for the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Known for it's eclecticism, the Victorians took on many of the styles from the middle ages including Gothic & Renaissance motifs. Iron & steel were also used in jewelry through out these era's (from the early 1700's) and can also be found in jewelry as late as the 1930's.

There really are no rules when designing jewelry! Get pieces that appeal to YOU and put them together. Our best advise for jewelry making or crafting, is for you to acquire components and findings that you like then just go for it!!!


!! INTERESTING FACT !!
The victorians used names of stones to spell out words or initials in jewelry. Example: Connect together turquoise (T), amethyst (A) and jet (J). To make the initials TAJ (Tammy Agatha Jones :)

 

A Victorian Brooche Made With Oxidized Brass

Oxidized Patina Brass With Czech Glass