Monday, 2 May 2016

Alpaca or Nickel Silver

  Nickel silver, Mailechort, German silver, Argentan, new silver,nickel brass, albata, Alpacca, Alpaca or electrum is a copper alloy with nickel and often zinc. The usual formulation is 60% copper, 20% nickel and 20% zinc, but this can change. for example: Higher amounts of copper make the nickel silver metal more ductile and more resistant to corrosion. Higher amounts of nickel make nickel silver more white and silver-like.  Higher amounts of zinc slightly improves corrosion resistance, lowers the melting point, raises its strength and hardness, but decreases its ductility.

  This material was first used in China centuries ago. German and other European countries began producing it later, both as a silver imitation and as a base for silverplate.

  It is used in zippers, better-quality keys, costume jewellery, for making musical instruments (e.g., flutes, clarinets), and is preferred for the track in electrically powered model railway layouts, as its oxide is conductive. It is widely used in the production of coins (e.g. Portuguese escudo and the former GDR marks). Its industrial and technical uses include marine fittings and plumbing fixtures for its corrosion resistance, and heating coils for its high electrical resistance. 

 In Jewellery you can found a differents things make with the nickel silver, sheet, half round wire and round wire used for bracelets, rings, belt buckles, ear rings, wire wrapping, necklace and pendants.

 A type to prevent tarnish:

 You can clean the wire by soaking in half water/half white vinegar, then dry it and polish it. wipe the nickel silver wire down and then polish it, if you have polish for jewellery, it is better! 

 Here I let you a few example of how to use it:

 Rings made with half round wire Alpaca:

 Ring made with round wire Alpaca:

 Bracelet made with half wire Alpaca:


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