We continue with the cycle of “Metals” and in today’s post, we talk about one of the most used metals in manuals and making jewelry, the ALPACA./h2>
This material is an alloy of zinc (8-45%), copper (45-70%) and nickel (8-20%) which results in a metal of similar colour and brightness to silver. For this reason, it is also called German silver, new silver or argentine.
It was originally called “maillechort”, as this alloy was invented by the French Maillot and Chorier around 1819, in response to the need to use a cheaper and less sensitive metal than silver for the manufacture of cutlery and other tableware.
Like all alloys, its quality is determined by the quantity of each of its components. The best quality will be that in which more than half of the composition is copper (if not, it cannot be considered alpaca) and the parts of zinc and nickel are more or less proportional (17%-18%; 26%-22%).
Among its properties we highlight its durability and malleability. It is very resistant to abrasion and corrosion, only sulphur can stain it but it does not oxidize easily. It is also a very malleable metal, due to its copper content, though resistant thanks to zinc. Hence, its use in manuals and complements.
Although you can find in the market fornitures made in alpaca, since this material can be stamped and forged; we present it in its more habitual version, in form of wire.
With this wire, besides making all the compositions that you can think of to create tiaras, crowns, adornos to incorporate in other creations, etc., you can make your own hooks for earrings, rings, sticks and thus give it the form and the size that you need.
>a href=”https://www.vindastore.com/en/beads/beads-and-jewelry-supplies/jewelry-wires/”>Here you can see our alpaca wires in the different thicknesses we work them: 0.30mm, 0.40mm, 0.60mm, 0.80mm and 1mm.
To conclude, we must tell you that the thicker we choose the wire will be harder and less malleable.
We hope you liked it… See you next time.