The Complete Guide to Zinc Alloy Jewelry

Is it not a little disappointing to end up with a tarnished jewelry piece you used to love so much? Oh, the designs especially. Only weeks from buying and you can longer wear your piece – how frustrating it must be. Well, don’t worry now. You’ve landed the right page because we will guide you along the way on how to best keep your most loved zinc alloy jewelry! Now, let’s start unpacking everything you need to know.

Zinc Alloy Ring Check

What is Zinc Alloy?

We’re fairly certain you’ve heard about zinc alloy jewels. Well, how could you not? In the jewelry world, zinc alloy is a popular material for jewelry production. They are used for many reasons – but mostly they stood out for their low cost and versatility combined. Zinc alloy jewelry is unique and significant in its own way. They certainly take their position in the jewelry industry.

Some people refer to this jewelry piece as the Tibetan Silver. Because it is an alloy, what makes them distinctive is that several metals can be incorporated – including nickel and lead. However, its main component is zinc. It is characterized by a shiny, bluish-white color.

Pros and Cons of Zinc Alloy Jewelry

Advantages of Using Zinc Alloy Jewelry

First, and foremost, because they are affordable, these jewelry pieces are readily available. We are mostly used to precious jewelry being inaccessible and therefore leads to frustration. This is not one of those pieces.

Second, durability-wise, the zinc alloy will keep the corrosion out. This would mean that the metal will serve you longer.

Lastly, the paramount use of zinc alloy jewelry is its versatility. With its composition, many jewelry pieces can be created. And the designs are just endless.

Disadvantages of Using Zinc Alloy Jewelry

Like any other metal, zinc alloy jewelry also has its disadvantages. To start, zinc alloy will rust when not handled with care. It will tarnish and rust. Alloys are known to corrode over time because they are a composition of different metals altogether. What’s more, zinc metal is known to react with environmental elements and that causes its corrosion.

Second disadvantage is that alloy jewelry changes color. Zinc alloy pieces are prone to discoloration once it starts to lose its luster. When at the peak of its wearable life, these pieces will change to green, brown, or black. With its exposure to oxygen, you can expect the metal to change its color over time. With corrosion, you can sometimes expect the color to change into pinkish or reddish.

Lastly, zinc alloy jewelry will turn your skin green. Because the composition has copper in its mix, this will cause it to discolor a portion of your skin to green. However, it is worth noting that the change of color in the skin is not at all toxic. Simply wipe it out and that’s about it.

Is Zinc Alloy Jewelry Safe?

It is a sound question to ask matters about zinc alloy jewelry safety. Is it safe? Plainly, it highly depends on the zinc alloy used in the jewelry piece. To put it out there, some are safe while some are not.

There are a few people who are susceptible to zinc alloy jewelry allergy, although in rare cases. In general, the composition of zinc metal revolves around lead, nickel, and copper. You will need to watch out for nickel as it is the leading cause of allergies while lead is toxic. Nonetheless, if you don’t have any metal allergies, it is considered safe to use. Safer forms of zinc alloy make an excellent jewelry design. 

Additionally, brass is commonly used in zinc alloy jewelry. This metal is preferred by jewellers because of its high corrosion resistance and can therefore produce a non-allergenic design.

Is Zinc Alloy Hypoallergenic?

The direct answer to this question is that it is neither hypoallergenic nor non-hypoallergenic. Bear in mind that your zinc alloy piece can be mixed with zinc, copper, and nickel or the zinc and copper. When the item features the use of zinc and copper, only then is it hypoallergenic and safe. As mentioned above, some will cause allergic reactions. If in general, you don’t happen to have skin allergies, this should not worry you. (If you have sensitive skin, it is recommended to choose some hypoallergenic jewelry pieces.)

How to Clean Zinc Alloy Jewelry?

If your zinc alloy chains and other pieces lose luster and start to discolor into something brownish, there are easy ways for you to clean it.

The so-called “sebum stain” is unavoidable because jewelry is meant to be worn on bare skin. When the skin’s sweat and sebum come in contact with your metal jewelry, the inescapable reaction occurs. Cleaning your pieces does a simple fix. After every use, wipe your zinc alloy jewelry to dry and remove stains. Use a soft cloth. Doing this will subside adverse reactions.

Another helpful tip is to use a dedicated brass polishing cloth. These metal-cleaning clothes are improvised with a polishing agent that is efficient in removing small amounts of tarnish.


Zinc alloy jewelry sure is attractive. It is a great option if you are looking for an inexpensive and affordable piece that is still of premium quality. However, it can only last for so long so it is best to take good care of your pieces. If there is corrosion or signs of cracking, you might want to engage a professional conservator so that your pieces will be revived. In general, these alloy jewelry pieces are for you if you aim for stylish trends.

FAQ about Zinc Alloy Jewelry

Does Zinc Alloy Jewelry Tarnish or Rust?

You may not want to hear this, but yes, zinc alloy jewelry will tarnish over time. Even if the material you bought is free of nickel or lead, the metal used for your zinc alloy jewelry will tarnish and discolor, just like other metal properties. However, this is good news, the tarnishing doesn’t easily take place.

Does Zinc Alloy Jewelry Cause Allergy?

Yes, and also no. The best thing to remember if you want to avoid allergies is to avoid jewelry made from nickel and lead.

Does Zinc Alloy Jewelry Turn My Skin Green?

Yes, but this is a common reaction we get from wearing fashionable jewelry predominantly made from copper. Skin discoloration is essentially an oxidation process that takes place when certain jewelry metals react with skin. Please note, however, that this reaction is normal and is not likened to an allergic reaction.

How Long Does Zinc Alloy Jewelry Last?

Because the metals of your zinc alloy jewelry will tarnish on their own, it is undeniable that its wearable life is short. However, these jewelry pieces might tarnish but this doesn’t occur all too quickly. Take into consideration that they last longer when stored properly and handled with care.

Which to Choose: Zinc Alloy Jewelry or Stainless Steel Jewelry?

This is a matter of personal preference. Knowing the difference between the two will help you decide which to choose. The best thing to note is that each has its uniqueness and good sides. Such should also be taken into consideration.

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