What Metal Is Cremation Jewelry Made Of?
When it comes to crafting cremation jewelry, skilled artisans can use several different metals. How those are chosen depends on a variety of factors such as durability, malleability, maintenance, and overall appearance. As you look into designing your very own unique piece of cremation jewelry, it’s helpful to be familiar with the types of metals most commonly used. The material used to craft your cremation jewelry is a statement of its very own. Let’s take a look at six commonly used metals in cremation jewelry.
One of the most durable metals around, sterling silver is also one of the highest quality silvers available. Alone, silver is a pure, precious metal that offers a high sheen with an almost white color. Sterling silver is a silver alloy. That means it’s a mixture of silver and other metals. More specifically, 92.5% of sterling silver is made up of pure silver. The remaining 7.5% is usually comprised of copper or nickel. This particular blend of metals is known as “925 sterling silver.” Typically, 925 sterling silver is simply referred to as sterling silver.
There are several kinds of silver alloys. It all depends on which types of metals are used as their base. For example, fine 999 silver is comprised of 99.9% silver ingot. A silver ingot is a metal casting of pure silver in a pre-determined weight, size, and shape. The melting process purges silver of any impurities to create pure silver.
As a precious metal, sterling silver exhibits enduring beauty and endless durability. Sterling Silver for cremation jewelry is highly regarded among jewelers and jewelry wearers alike. It’s very easy to care for and requires very little maintenance. A simple polish will keep your sterling silver cremation jewelry looking sharp. Strong yet comfortable to wear, sterling silver allows you to keep your loved one in close remembrance daily. The Living Urn offers a vast array of unique and illustrious sterling silver jewelry options. Here are two exquisite examples:
- Circle of Life Cremation Pendant: This radiant pendant is immaculate in 925 sterling silver and can be customized with a radiant birthstone of your choice for an extra boost of brilliance. Skilled artisans handcraft it, and includes an 18” sterling silver rope.
- Tree of Life Cremation Pendant: This elegant pendant is made of sterling silver, which symbolizes the beauty and resilience of the human spirit. The strong-rooted tree of life equally emphasizes strength through beauty.
A great alternative to sterling silver, stainless steel has a very similar appearance to sterling silver. It happens to be less expensive while offering more durability. Although its more affordable and doesn’t boast the “precious metal” status, it certainly doesn’t look cheap. Another bonus to stainless steel is its ability to withstand water and chemicals. It’s also scratch-proof.
Stainless steel is a metal alloy. It’s primarily made up of a mixture of iron, small amounts of carbon, and several other metals. Different levels of stainless steel grades can be created by changing the concentration of the metals that make up stainless steel. This provides it with varying degrees of special features and properties.
5 Grades of Stainless Steel in Jewelry
- 304: It’s the most common and made up of 20% chromium and 10.5% nickel. Chromium helps bind oxygen to the surface of the steel to prevent corrosion. Nickel promotes toughness.
- 316, 316L, and 316F: these are all high-quality grades. They offer hypoallergenic traits and contain more molybdenum for resistance to corrosion. Considered “surgical stainless steel,” 316L is usually used for body jewelry. The main difference between the three grades is the carbon content. The “L” in 316L refers to the low carbon content in its makeup. This means 316L has a higher resistance to corrosion. The “F” in 316F refers to forging properties.
- 202: This grade is made up of 18% chromium and 4% nickel. Cheap jewelry utilizes this grade.
Stainless steel is a popular choice for cremation jewelry for its elegant display of beauty and toughness. Offering hypoallergenic properties, it’s perfect for sensitive skin. Also, it’s long-lasting and will not tarnish. Stainless steel in cremation jewelry symbolizes the radiance of the human heart as well as its unbreakable resilience.
The Living Urn offers an eye-catching variety of stainless steel cremation jewelry pieces. Here are two excellent options:
- Dog Tag Coordinate Pendant: This stunning piece can be engraved in a number of ways and offers the lasting durability and sharp look of stainless steel.
- Custom Cremation Pendant Vial: Safely protecting a small glass vial with classic stainless steel, this pendant is able to hold a number of sentimental elements such as ashes, soil from the burial site, or soil or water from a scattering site.
A common metal, brass has a unique gold-finish look to it. Its a very accessible metal and offers resistance to corrosion. Brass is mostly composed of varying ratios of copper and zinc. Yet, if brass has a high concentration of copper, it can turn your jewelry as well as your skin green! A coating of lacquer can help prevent this. Other metals can be mixed in to heighten various qualities. Brass is a very versatile metal and can be formed into various shapes and patterns which makes it ideal for jewelry.
With a smooth, dark silver color appearance, Titanium is an extremely strong metal and resistant to corrosion. It’s a wonderful choice for pendants and bracelets. Hypoallergenic and comfortable to wear, Titanium requires low maintenance. It can last several years without care or treatment. Simply polish it if you wish to achieve a high sheen.
The downside to Titanium is that it is quite expensive. This is because it takes an extreme amount of energy to produce. It has a very high melting point and must go through several stages of handling. This creates huge manufacturing costs.
Solid yellow gold is one of the most classic and sought-after metals. It is the most expensive of all metals, yet it will not tarnish. Gold is available in different karats, which means only a percentage of gold is used. For example, 14k of gold means the jewelry is made out of approximately 58% gold. The rest of the jewelry is comprised of different metals, such as copper and zinc.
Two other types of gold in cremation jewelry:
- White Gold: the white is achieved by combining gold with platinum or with palladium, nickel, and zinc. It’s actually more durable than yellow gold
- Rose Gold: the rose color is created by mixing gold with copper and silver. It’s the most unique member of gold while also being the least expensive.
Because solid gold is so expensive, a popular alternative is to simply use a different base metal and cover the outer layer with gold. Typically the gold layer is only several microns thick. Usually, copper, stainless steel, or even sterling silver are utilized as base metals. This is a good alternative for anyone looking to have the appearance of gold without having to pay the price of solid gold. Stainless steel or sterling silver are preferred bases if you wish to have extra durability.
Whether you choose stainless steel, sterling silver, or another metal, cremation jewelry can offer you solace during a challenging time. It has the power to comfort and soothe as you hold your departed loved one in eternal remembrance. Explore The Living Urn’s handcrafted cremation jewelry options by visiting our store today!