Product Descriptions

Basic information on the materials and/or descriptions used on this website. They are specific to Ave Maria's Circle and may be different elsewhere.
NAME
DESCRIPTION
Antique Silver
Our products that are tagged as antique silver are made of a lead free base metal called Zamak 5. It is such a nice metal that it can be cast to give good details when the mold is well detailed. Then the cast item is electroplated with a very thin layer of silver. After that it goes through a chemical bath and then rinsed. It is the chemical bath that antiques the product to bring out the details.
Antique Brass
All of the antique brass (ABR line of) products are custom made for us. They are cast in solid "rich-low brass" which is made of 85% copper and the balance is zinc. This makes it a lead free product. It is then subject to the chemical bath and rinsed to antique it and bring out the wonderful details.
Brass Wire
We now offer solid brass wire. It is termed Jeweller's brass as it is a warmer, richer, golder tone than standard yellow brass. Made of copper and zinc, it is half-hard wire at 20 gauge so makes great eyepins in solid wire to match the ABR products. Not being antiqued or from the same supplier, it is not a perfect match, but close and looks much better than gilt. If you would like jump rings to match, just ask as we often have them around for use in our jewelry making.
Gilt
Gilt or guilding is an older term used for materials that have a gold colour but are not made of gold. This is the correct term to use so as not to be misleading.

Our gilt or gold-tone products are made of either zamak or brass and are therefore lead free. They are then electroplated with a yellow gold-colour finish. These are rarely antiqued.
Nickel
Nickel is a metal alloy of it's own. It is generally mined from meteorites and is a silvery colour with a gold undertone that can be polished to shine.

Most of the nickel items we carry are made of Zamac 5 and then plated in nickel for colour, shine and longevity. The more grey and humble appearance (as compared to silver-plate) goes so well with wooden beads and hematite. Although they are darker, they match the antique silver Crucifixes and centres very well due to their antiquing.
Pewter
There are very few items offered at Ave Maria's Circle that are pewter. It tends to be heavier and therefore has much less of the fine details. The pewter pieces that are offered are made of lead free pewter which comprises 85 to 99 percent tin and the balance is copper and antimony for hardening.

They are cast and then antiqued using a chemical wash and then rinsed.
Silver-plate
please see antique silver above for most of the details. Electroplated silver-plate that has not been antiqued is a brighter, shinier and whiter silver colour.

Silver-plated wire is made of a base of copper and then electroplated silver.

The amount of silver used to plate is unknown. A manufacturing secret.
Stainless Steel
We are now offering a few products made of solid stainless steel. This is due to it's durable quality. It is made of a combination of nickel, iron, carbon and a minimum of 11% chromium. Because stainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily as ordinary steel (it stains less, but it is not stain-proof) it is reliable, very strong and causes less problem for people where tarnish is an issue.

Common uses of stainless steel are cutlery, watch cases and bands. So, if it is safe to put in our mouths or wear 24/7 then it is certainly safe for a rosary that is held 20 minutes at a time!
Many of the details on the metal compounds have been obtained from www.wikipedia.org .Many thanks for their great help with information :D)