There are many formulations used to make pewter beads, but all have a high tin content of between 85 and 96 per cent. Pewter beads are made from this tin alloy, using added metals like copper for strength and durability.
Tin has a low melting point, so pewter beads are cast and manipulated into interesting shapes for jewelry making with great ease. They are malleable and carve easily, allowing a craftsmen to hand make much of their exterior decoration.
Lead previously had been used in some mixtures of pewter beads. Once the poisonous properties of lead became known, other metals where used to create pewter beads.
Colors of pewter beads
Pewter beads can be polished to a high, silver sheen or chemically darkened for a blacker metal look. This darker appearance of pewter beads seems to be more popular, as for a silver look people would more likely choose sterling silver.
The darker pewter beads are therefore quite distinctive and are used for this reason in jewelry making. Pewter beads will tarnish to a dull grey, but like silver are easily cleaned.
Metal beads often lend a professional feel to your beading projects. Match the right colored metals to your jewelry, and your beaded arrangements will be greatly enhanced.
Always care for your metal beads, and do not allow them to come into contact with moisture or chemicals if you can help it.
While metal beads in jewelry act as a 'neutral' type color, great arrangements of metal beads will do two things:
- The metal beads will be the same color metal as the findings.
- The color of the metal beads will complement the color of the beads.
By considering the hues of the metal beads for your next project and matching them with suitable beads, you will already be halfway to creating some unforgettable designs!
Suggested metal bead arrangements
Sterling silver or fine silver metal beads look amazing with pastel colors such as blue, lilac, light pink and spearmint. The more 'white' a color has in it, the cleaner the silver looks because it reflects a lighter color.
Pewter metal beads look best with deep, bold and striking colors to match their darker chemical hue. Try midnight blue, deep purple or red for some stunning results.
Because of the yellow tone in gold, avoid using gold-look metal beads in arrangements with red, as they can each take away from each other. Burnt orange and any shade of purple work well with gold metal beads.
Bronze-look metal beads work fantastically with deep greens, they bring out a rich color in each other. Pink also looks great with bronze toned metal beads.
Light green and copper metal beads complement each other well, as do aquamarine and copper.
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