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Article: Sterling Silver vs Brass Jewelry: Which Is Better?

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Sterling Silver vs Brass Jewelry: Which Is Better?

Jewellery made from brass or sterling silver are as affordable as they come. But what are the differences between the two? In this blog, we compare sterling silver vs brass jewellery. We’ll cover their pros, and cons and figure out the differences between the two. At the end of the post, we also offer some suggestions on which would be best suited for you.

What Is Sterling Silver Jewellery?

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Jewellery made from sterling silver consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals. Other metals present in sterling silver include copper and nickel.


  • Value - silver is considered a precious metal and tends to retain and even increase in value. This makes sterling silver jewellery more valuable.
  • Easy to repair - silver is a softer metal and is easy to repair with basic soldering. This makes it a great material for jewellery.
  • Resistant to tarnishing and fading - compared to other metals, sterling silver is very resistant to tarnishing and fading. This is because it contains minimal amounts of copper and nickel.
  • Hypoallergenic - sterling silver only contains minimal amounts of copper and nickel. Because of this, sterling silver jewellery is less likely to cause skin allergies.
  • Appearance - sterling silver has a beautiful bright white lustre to it which gives it a luxurious look.

  • More expensive - jewellery made from silver will be more expensive. This is because silver is a precious metal.
  • Durability - silver itself is soft and very malleable. Jewellery made from silver is more prone to dents and damage. This is why pure silver is alloyed with other metals to increase its durability, or plated with rhodium.
  • Maintenance requirements - Sterling silver jewellery needs to be wiped down and cleaned often to prevent tarnishing and fading.

What Is Brass Jewelry?

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Jewellery made from brass alloy consists of approximately half copper and half zinc, but the amounts can vary, Brass has a bright yellow colour to it that looks similar to gold, but less shiny. Often brass jewellery is plated over with gold, sterling silver or rhodium to prevent tarnishing and to make the piece appear more luxurious.


  • Affordable - brass jewellery is more affordable than other types of jewellery. This is because of simpler manufacturing processes and lower material costs. Brass is also a non-precious metal.
  • Lightweight - Compared to similar metals like bronze, brass is considerably lighter. This makes it a great material to make everyday wear jewellery pieces.
  • Customisability - Brass is a soft metal, and therefore very malleable. This makes it great for creating jewellery with intricate designs, or to inset stones.
  • No value - Brass is inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Jewellery made from brass has no value because of this.
  • More prone to tarnishing and fading - brass tarnishes because it is composed of copper and zinc. When exposed to oxygen, moisture or oils on the skin it will tarnish and fade over time.
  • More prone to oxidising - brass oxidises because of its composition of copper and zinc. When exposed to oxygen, moisture or oils on skill, it can corrode and turn a greenish hue.
  • Not hypoallergenic - brass is not a hypoallergenic metal as its alloy contains copper, zinc and nickel. These often react with skin and can cause allergies for those with sensitive skin.
  • Maintenance requirements - to keep your brass jewellery looking shiny and clean, you will need to ensure regular upkeep. This involves regularly using a soft cloth to clean and polish the jewellery.

Differences Between Sterling Silver And Brass Jewellery

  • Appearance - sterling silver jewellery has a bright, white lustre to it. Brass jewellery has a brighter yellow look to it.
  • Value - sterling silver is considered more valuable than brass jewellery. This is because silver is a precious metal, whilst brass isn’t.
  • Weight - jewellery made from sterling silver will be heavier than brass. This is because sterling silver is much more dense.
  • Hypoallergenic properties - sterling silver is more hypoallergenic than brass. This is because sterling silver has lower copper and nickel content.
  • Maintenance requirements - brass jewellery will require more maintenance than sterling silver jewellery. This is because brass jewellery is more prone to tarnishing and corroding.
  • Resistance to tarnishing and fading - sterling silver is much more resistant to tarnishing and fading than brass jewellery. This is because sterling silver has a lower copper and nickel content.
  • Resistance to oxidising - Sterling silver is much more resistant to oxidising than brass jewellery. This is because sterling silver has a lower copper and nickel content.
  • Price - sterling silver jewellery is more expensive than brass jewellery. This is because silver is precious metal and brass isn’t.
  • Repairability - silver is a softer material than brass. This means that sterling silver jewellery tends to be easier to repair than brass jewellery.
  • Durability - brass has greater hardwearing qualities than sterling silver does. This is because brass is a harder and less malleable material than sterling silver.


Sterling Silver vs Brass Jewellery: Which One Is Better?

Whether sterling silver or brass jewellery is best for you will depend on your personal preferences, styling needs and budget.

Sterling silver jewellery is a great choice for someone who cares about the value of their jewellery and wants a heavier feeling piece that is long-lasting. Sterling silver jewellery is also a great choice for those who have sensitive skin, as it is extremely hypoallergenic.

Brass jewellery is better for those who want maximum affordability and a lightweight feel. Brass jewellery is also a great option for those who are looking for a jewellery piece that can withstand daily wear and tear.


After comparing sterling silver vs brass jewellery, you should be aware of the pros and cons of each. At the end of the day, choosing between the two comes down to your personal preferences, budget and styling needs.

Jewellery made using sterling silver has an iconic bright white appearance, and heavier feel and is long-lasting. Brass jewellery is super affordable, lightweight and can withstand daily wear and tear.

Remember, when choosing between these two types of jewellery, choose whoever complements your lifestyle, style and how it makes you feel when you put together an outfit with it on.


Does brass jewellery turn green?

Yes, brass jewellery will eventually turn green. This is because brass consists of copper and zinc, two metals that oxidise when exposed to oxygen, moisture and body oils. This is why brass jewellery is often plated with precious metals to prevent corroding.

Can I shower with brass jewellery?

No, you should not shower with brass jewellery. Exposing brass jewellery to moisture will expedite the process of tarnishing and corroding.

How long does jewellery last?

Brass jewellery can be long-lasting if maintained properly. Brass jewellery is great for everyday wear as it is hardwearing, however will oxidise and corrode when exposed to oxygen, moisture and body oils. It is important to regularly wipe your brass jewellery with a soft cloth to prevent this from happening.

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