Design Idea E51E Earrings
by Barbara van Look, Content Development Group, Exclusively for Fire Mountain Gems and Beads®

From cold connections to metalsmithing, jewelry makers have been using metal sheet for millennia.

Different metal types have different strengths, challenges and purposes. Let this article and the convenient chart below help you determine which metal type is right for your project.
All About Metal Sheet Nickel Silver

Nickel silver offers the look of silver without the price. Highly resistant to corrosion and tarnish--as well as being easy to solder--it is frequently used for jewelry, accessory and décor projects. Metal sensitive customers should avoid this material.

All About Metal Sheet Jeweler's Bronze

Jeweler's bronze was designed by jewelers to look like high karat gold, without the price tag. It is easy to work; it easily cuts with shears and can be embossed by hand or via machine.

All About Metal Sheet Embossed Brass

Ideal for cold connection designs, these pre-embossed brass sheets will save jewelry makers time. Simply cut, bend or shape before attaching to other materials using rivets, brads, wire and other methods.

All About Metal Sheet Plain Copper

Red-orange copper is the first metal to be worked by human hands as it is soft and very malleable. It is an element in and of itself (Cu), and conducts both electricity and heat exceptionally well. Copper is commonly used in alloys such as brass, bronze, sterling silver, rose gold and more. The metal displays a range of patina, sometimes determined by the nature of the other metals in the alloy.

All About Metal Sheet Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is an alloy that contains a mixture of 92.5% silver with 7.5% of another metal (usually copper). In order to be called sterling silver, the alloy must possess at least 92.5% pure silver. When mixed with copper, sterling silver will tarnish and may firescale. (Firescale is the industry term for a layer of oxidation which forms on the surface of alloys which contain copper when they are heated--such as during soldering--and may appear to be red or purple in color. It can only be removed by polishing. It can also be plated over.)

All About Metal Sheet Lillypilly Copper with Artistic Patinas

These Lillypilly copper sheets have been covered with an array of unique, vibrant artistic patinas, no two alike. Patinas are created using a combination of earth, fire and chemical processes--called the "Earth Burial" method--designed to mimic the natural effects of time on copper. They are ideal for a range of cold connection uses, as they should not be soldered. Tumbling can remove the patina, so great care should be used during polishing processes.

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