Semi-precious jewelry refers to jewelry made with semi-precious metals and semi-precious gemstones, and the market for semi-precious pieces is hot right now! Thanks to the increase in popularity of gems and interest in meanings behind gemstones, shoppers are looking for meaningful and high-quality semi-precious items to add to their collections. Whether you typically work with precious metals and stones or have yet to invest in semi-precious materials, as a jewelry maker, A good jewelry manufacturer can help you take advantage of the potential of semi-precious metals and stones to expand your work and increase your business.
Making semi-precious jewelry is easier than ever before. Find out how you can use jewelry from semi-precious metals and stones to expand your jewelry business.
If you’re a jewelry maker, using semi-precious metals and semi-precious jewelry stones can be a wonderful way to expand the possibilities for your designs while also attracting a broader range of potential customers.
To get you started, we’ve put together a quick primer on the materials you need to know in order to create standout semi-precious jewelry pieces that your customers will love.
You are likely familiar with well-known precious metals such as gold, and silver. But what counts as a semi-precious metal? Generally, semi-precious metals are more cost-effective than precious metals and are sometimes used as base materials for items that are gold or rhodium plated, which will help bring your jewelry vision to life without a high initial investment cost. Semi-precious jewelry metals still offer durability and quality, but without the same expensive price point, and can be incredibly versatile for creating stylish fashion jewelry.
Brass: A Metal That Does it All
As far as fashion jewelry goes, brass is a jewelry maker’s best friend. It is dependable and sturdy, yet malleable enough to bring a variety of jewelry shapes to life. From a subtle brushed finish to a high shine effect, brass can offer much of the shine and style of precious metals at an affordable price point.
Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc, with a yellowish hue that means it can look similar to gold. For jewelry makers, brass is one of the most prized semi-precious metals because it offers the warmth and shine of gold without the extra cost.
Bronze is a semi-precious metal, but it’s less popular in terms of fashion jewelry. We specialize in a type of called silicone bronze, an alloy that is mostly copper.
Bronze is sturdy, though the abundance of copper means it is not valuable in the same way gold and platinum is.
Silicone bronze has a grain almost reminiscent of wood that adds a unique quality to jewelry made with it.
Semi-Precious Jewelry Stones
Semi-precious jewelry stones can add color, texture, and shine to your jewelry. They’re an alternative to precious gemstones like diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires. Most birthstones are semi-precious, and using them in your work means you can appeal to a greater range of customers. Here are some of the top semi-precious stones to learn about if you are thinking about working on semi-precious jewelry. You can also use semi-precious stones to create custom birthstone jewelry, as many precious and semi-precious stones are also birthstones
With its delicate and soothing pale blue hue, aquamarine is a wonderful stone to work with. It looks great in a wide variety of precious and metal settings and complements pieces that use other colors and varieties of stones. With its 7.8 rating on the Mohs scale, aquamarine can be cut into a variety of shapes, while still remaining durable and strong. Long ago, sailors believed that aquamarine could prevent drownings, and it is reputed to reduce anxiety and soothe frazzled nerves.
Amethyst is technically a violet variety of the mineral quartz that gets its color from naturally-occurring deposits of aluminum and iron. Its color varies widely, from paler purples to rich and deep violets, so you can choose stones that convey the mood and effect you’d like to create with your semi-precious jewelry pieces, all with this one gemstone. Amethyst has long been treasured as a protective stone and is said to help clear away negative thoughts and feelings.
Topaz: Found in various colors, but blue topaz is especially popular. Topaz is a beautiful and popular gemstone available in various colors, including blue, yellow, pink, and white. It is commonly used in jewelry and is the birthstone for November.
Amethyst: A purple variety of quartz. Its purple color can range from pale lilac to deep violet, and it is often associated with royalty, luxury, and spirituality. The name “amethyst” is derived from the Greek word “amethystos,” which means “not intoxicated,” as ancient Greeks believed the stone could protect them from drunkenness.
Amethyst has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively durable and suitable for use in jewelry such as rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. The gemstone can be cut into various shapes and sizes, and its vibrant purple color is its most desirable feature.
Throughout history, amethyst has been associated with various spiritual and metaphysical beliefs. It is believed to have a calming and protective energy, promoting clarity of thought, emotional stability, and spiritual awareness. Some people use amethyst for meditation and to enhance their intuition.
Amethyst is the birthstone for February, and it is associated with the zodiac sign of Pisces. It is often given as a gift for birthdays and anniversaries, particularly for individuals born in February.
Amethyst can be found in various locations worldwide. Major sources include Brazil, Uruguay, Zambia, Madagascar, Russia, and the United States (specifically Arizona).
In alternative healing practices, amethyst is sometimes believed to have physical healing properties, such as aiding with headaches, sleep disorders, and stress relief. However, it’s important to note that these beliefs are not scientifically proven.
Overall, amethyst is a cherished gemstone with both historical and contemporary significance, appreciated for its beauty, symbolism, and potential spiritual properties.
For those who love the drama and rich red hue of rubies, garnet can be a stunning semi-precious jewelry alternative. Their vivid color is romantic and conveys passion. Some varieties are closer to violet in appearance, while others look more red-orange. Regardless of where they fall on the color spectrum, garnets create a look of luxury.
Garnet has a hardness of 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, which makes it relatively durable and suitable for use in various types of jewelry, such as rings, pendants, earrings, and necklaces. The red garnet is often cut into standard shapes like round, oval, and emerald-cut, but unique and fancy cuts are also popular.
Opals are one of the most diverse semi-precious jewelry stones you can work with, as no two opals look alike. They are pearly and reflective, creating a more subtle sheen than some of their other semi-precious cousins. Opals range in color from milky white to blue to pink, with the most common coloration being the pearly white hue. The great appeal of this semi-precious stone means that it is also on the rise as an alternative engagement ring option!
This opaque gem lends an air of solidity and a pop of bright color to any piece. Turquoise can be cut in a variety of ways, making it easy to incorporate into all styles of jewelry, from the sleek and subtle to more substantial, statement-making rings, bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. This well-known blue-green stone is mined in many places around the world, from Israel to the American Southwest, making it a storied semi-precious jewelry stone to work into your pieces.