What is Brass Jewellery?
Brass has been an important metal throughout history. Known for its yellowish warm tones that can gleam as good as gold, brass is a versatile metal that has numerous applications, and is used in the making of musical instruments, decorative items, machinery, household items and jewellery
Brass is one of the most popularly used metals for jewelry, partly due to its resemblance to gold. It has been used since its creation in making beautiful jewelry designs. Due to its affordability, workability and durability, brass is a very good choice for jewelry and is increasingly being used in the jewelry world.
Brass Origin and History
Brass is an alloy made of mainly of copper and zinc. The proportions of the copper and zinc can vary do produce different types of brass. Sometimes, other metals such as lead and nickel can be added to brass as well.
Variations of brass has been around since 500 BC and has been used in many parts of the world. Brass has been referenced at least 39 times in the Bible as well as by prominent writers such as Shakespeare. Around the Middle Ages, the use of brass flourished and the metal was used extensively.
Brass bangles are one of the most ancient forms of jewellery in the world. The true nature of this copper and zinc alloy was not really understood when it was used in pre-historic times, but it was nevertheless highly in demand for various purposes, including jewellery making. It had a unique reputation of being a metal that was preferred by the royals as well as the common folk. One of the most unique types of brass jewellery that is enjoying a renaissance in the fashion world today is the brass bangle. This is essentially a rigid bracelet worn around the wrist, made of brass.
Brass bangles are a great way to add some jazz and glamour to any look without spending too much money. These versatile brass bangle bracelets come in traditional as well as edgy designs to appeal to women with differing tastes. They are also very affordable as compared to other precious metals, but at the same time, have all the durability and beauty of metallic substances. In fact, brass bangles are distinguished by their unique dark golden shine that also has hints of red from its copper component. This look cannot be achieved with any other metal. It suits traditional, intricate and ethnic designs as well as abstract, modern patterns. Even in ancient times, it was the versatility and affordability of brass that made it such a hit with all sections of society.
Women can opt for all types of brass bangles based on their aesthetic and style preferences. In India, brass bangles sets are a common accessory worn by young girls as part of their daily or casual wear looks. These can be thin, unadorned brass bangles that are worn in sets of six, twelve or eighteen or they can be large and chunky brass bangles worn in a set of maximum six on one hand. Indian culture dictates that bangles should be worn on both hands but this style is no longer a requirement. When wearing a brass bangle for fashion purposes, women often choose to wear a single ornament on each hand or on just one hand. It all depends on the look that women want to achieve when wearing this bangle.
Solid Brass vs Brass Plating
Solid brass jewellery, as the term implies, refers to jewellery that is made purely of brass. However, sometimes, brass plated items can be found. Brass plating is when a thin layer of brass is coated over the surface of another metal such as steel or zinc. It is very difficult to tell brass plated jewellery items apart from solid brass.
Why does this matter? Because brass plate wears off over time, the metal beneath will eventually bleed through. If your brass jewellery is actually brass plated, then you may need to have the item re-plated over time.
The main way to test if your jewellery is solid or brass plated is by using a magnet. Solid brass jewellery does not react to magnets, whereas brass plated items do. Another way to check is by checking out the scratches on your jewellery. If there are no scratches, use a pin to carefully scratch the piece in an area that is not readily visible. If you see yellow beneath the scratch, it is solid brass. If, however, the metal beneath is white, you have a plated piece.
The more intricate and ornate bangles can be decorated using many different techniques. Indian brass bangles design patterns tend to be the most exquisite and beautiful as they are more often than not handcrafted by skilled jewelers who know how to mold and shape brass beautifully. Using centuries old knowledge and expertly honed skills, they are able to create artistic designs and patterns on the brass bangle. Some popular variations include the jaali work bangles that come with a mesh like layer of brass on top, the filigree bangles that are wrought into elaborate motifs and the studded brass bangles that come with stones, beads and crystals stuck onto the metal. Designer brass bangles are also often hand crafted and have a more edgy, modern look that really highlights the earthy flavour of the brass metal.
Popular motifs on brass bangles include small depictions of mythological figures, divine beings and nature inspired symbols such as flowers, leaves, trees, vines and fruits. Brass can also be easily filigreed into beautiful, complicated geometric patterns and designs as well as painted with different colours to achieve a more colourful look. It is also sometimes used as base metal for Meenakari work jewellery pieces. Meenakari brass bangles have a very striking look because of the contrast of the bright colours with the dark base metal. Chunky and over-sized brass bangles with these types of designs can even be worn singly, as a piece of statement jewellery. Another trend is to wear brass bangles of mismatched sizes and designs as a set to create a funky look. The variety of options in terms of designs is really quite vast in brass bangles; women can opt for large, concave stand alone pieces as well as thin and intricately filigreed sets of twelve. It all depends on the look they want to go in for.
Styling and Trending Brass Bangles
Brass bangles have become very trendy in western as well as Indian fashion, not just as a form of funky street fashion but also as a high fashion accessory. This is because despite their affordability and versatility, they have a very refined, chic look that really suits all types of outfits, from sequins embroidered tunic dresses to copper work lehenga cholis. They can be used to dress up a boring office salwar kameez or printed tunic or they can be used to add a bit of edge to a contemporary saree. Having a set of designer brass bangles is always a boon as they are one of the easiest go-to accessories for single tone outfits in darker shades such as blue, black and green.
Rajasthani Beautiful Golden Brass carved Lac Bangles for Women – Set of 2
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