Aluminum has been rediscovered for quality jewelry. Here’s how to clean and store aluminum jewelery ♦ ︎
Cans for drinks, dishes, components for airplanes: aluminum is used for many things. And it seems that the jewelry is also rediscovering this light and resistant metal. It is not, in fact, a novelty: aluminum was shown for the first time at the Paris Expo in 1855. But, at that time, it was a rare material: for this reason it was used to create jewels. From that period, when aluminum was considered as precious as gold, there are still very few pieces. It was very expensive and much appreciated: those who could, they put on display an aluminum brooch. Blackened aluminum jewels were claimed at the court of Queen Victoria after the death of her beloved Albert and became popular throughout the British Empire.
The metal. Aluminum is the most common metal on Earth and one of the most common chemical elements. Until about a century ago, however, was not known the process to exctract it industrially from the minerals in which is found. It is a very light and resistant metal. It is not particularly toxic and does not cause allergies (except in rare cases). A curiosity: the aluminum oxide, also called corundum, in the form of transparent crystals is more known as sapphire and ruby. It is also the hardest natural substance after the diamond, with relative hardness 9 in the Mohs scale (which reaches 10).
Jewelry. When aluminum started to be produced in large quantities, its use in jewelry was practically ceased, apart from cheap jewelry. But recently, this material has been rediscovered creatively by some Maison who value its qualities, often with refined workmanship. Aluminum was used, for example, by Hemmerle, Vhernier, Chopard, Suzanne Syz or the young designer Emmanuel Tarpin. Among the advantages of aluminum there is undoubtedly the lightness, which allows you to make jewelry with a minimum weight. Furthermore, it is a very ductile and easy to work metal.
Aluminum care. Aluminum can oxidize. Aluminum jewels can get damaged when in contact with creams, soaps and acidic substances. Furthermore, care must be taken not to deform the metal if you are practicing a sport or doing housework. For cleaning, if the jewel has no other elements such as pearls or enamels, just immerse the jewel in warm water in which two drops of liquid soap have been dissolved. Rinse well and dry with a cotton cloth. Since the metal is resistant but can be damaged, it is better to store the jewels in aluminum separately, in containers where they are not in contact with other objects.