Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. By comparison, bronze is principally an alloy of copper and tin. Brass is used for different applications such as locks, gears, bearings, zippers, doorknobs and electrical applications; and extensively in musical instruments such as horns and bells for its acoustic properties.
Owing to its bright gold-like appearance and also its high malleability, brass has been used for decoration and jewellery. Tombak, a brass alloy with high copper content and 5-20% zinc content, has been widely used for gold imitation.
My experience with brass started one day when I found a number of vintage crystal beads with a deep golden-yellow color. Too yellow to be combined with reddish copper or white silver. I do not work with gold, but these beads asked for gold. So I have chosen the brass option.
As compared to silver, 1 and 0,8 mm brass wire have surprised me with how tough they are. Brass is very flexible and hard at the same time, so my normal pliers have turned out to be too weak and I had to dig into the toolbox of my hubby to find those strong enough to stretch and wind the brass wire. On the other hand, even the brass wire necklace needs to be hammered in order to keep its shape and not to bend easily.
For the rest I did not notice much difference with silver wired jewellery. The beads had to be fixated with small squeeze beads, cut from a brass tube, to prevent their sliding along the wires.
Here is the golden brass wire necklace. It looks bright and shiny. Now let the sun shine, too!
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