Base metals – copper, brass and steel

Posted on August 10, 2015 by Amelia Ebdon

Manufacturing and engineering inspires all our designs at Alice Made This. Our processes dictate the materials we use and the way we design a collection. After investigating a process, our metals are chosen from those that are most abundant in that industry. Industrial techniques often use base metals because of their hardness, conductivity, machinability, and corrosion resistance, and so our Aerospace collection is based on the base metals copper, brass, and steel.

Metal cufflinks | Alice Made This

Although we use precious metals in other collections, like the Royal Household collection, precision turning and precision milling cannot use precious metals because they are too soft, and would be scuffed by the machines, and so harder base metals are used instead. In the Nanotechnology collection, however, a brass base is electroplated with precious metals to achieve a highly polished finish. This means that the plated coating achieves the precious metal finish but the product still maintains the toughness of base metals. Additionally, in the Royal Household collection, solid bronze is cast before being coated with rose gold, though solid rose gold is available through our Made to Order service.

Copper is often used in industry because although it’s softer than steel, it’s the second best conductor of heat and electricity, after silver. Copper is combined with zinc to make brass, which is harder than copper, and so suitable for forming bases to be electroplated with precious metals. Stainless steel has a minimum of 11% chromium, and often some nickel, which makes it more resistant to corrosion.

Our unwavering focus on production processes means that the usual gold and silver cufflinks sit alongside brass, copper, and steel cufflinks, industrial materials turned into refined and precise accessories, unique in look and in origins.