HomeJewelry InformationLectureEarrings Made with Zinc vs Earrings Made with Tin

Earrings Made with Zinc vs Earrings Made with Tin

Earrings Made with Tin vs Earrings Made with Zinc at wholesale jewelry market

Most earrings in Wholesale Jewelry Market are made from brass. However, they can also be crafted from other materials, such as tin or zinc.

Tin or zinc is chosen for production as it is suitable for small-scale manufacturing. In contrast, brass is heavier than tin or zinc, making it cumbersome to produce and wear large earrings.

Additionally, due to higher raw material costs of brass compared to tin or zinc, the production of large-sized earrings is not as common.

The majority of the products shown above are created using tin or zinc. While it is possible to use brass for above design, larger earrings like those are harder to sell than smaller ones, making mass production challenging.
Therefore, there is a preference for producing them in small quantities using tin or zinc.

Comparing brass items and earrings made with zinc and tin products reveals significant differences.

Brass earrings often utilize cubic zirconia to create a setting, securing the stones in a way called “Nanbal.”

Earrings Made with Tin Zinc


However, earrings made with zinc and tin follows a different production method, often bonding stones together for earrings.

earrings type at wholesale jewelry market


Even though it is made of brass, attaching stones through bonding is rare. Also, in the case of earrings made with tin and zinc, there are no instances of cubic zirconia being held using “”random tools””Nanbal”.

Therefore, by examining the method of attaching cubic zirconia or stones, one can generally determine whether the material is brass or zinc (or tin).

Let me return and explain the differences between earrings made of tin and zinc.

Tin is highly ductile and soft, with a relatively high density and relatively low tensile strength. As a result, tin earrings have a soft feel and are relatively lightweight, providing comfort when worn. However, tin is prone to oxidation and discoloration over time, and some individuals may develop allergic reactions to tin.

On the other hand, zinc boasts a relatively high tensile strength and low density, making it resistant to corrosion and highly durable. This makes zinc suitable for creating earrings with complex designs and a high degree of design freedom.

In summary, you can think of more intricate designs being made with zinc and simple, soft designs being made with tin.

For instance, in the case of a bulky brooch, using brass may not be suitable due to high cost and weight. In such cases, zinc or tin can be used, with zinc being more expensive. Therefore, if the brooch shape is somewhat complex, zinc can be used, and for a brooch with a simple design, the more affordable tin can be utilized.

Of course, even simple design brooches can use zinc, known for its corrosion resistance and durability. The decision to use zinc or tin will depend on factors such as the selling price or customer requests.

If price sensitivity is a significant consideration, opting for tin may be suitable.

However, tin products are not solely made from tin; they are often mixed with lead.

Lead is considered cheaper than tin, leading many wholesalers to produce tin products while trying to lower production costs by increasing the lead content.

Originally, there was a trend to reduce or eliminate lead when making products with tin due to environmental concerns. However, wholesalers are now increasing the lead content to enhance price competitiveness. Therefore, when looking at a product made of tin + lead, the plated exterior makes it difficult to determine the lead content. However, as lead can cause allergies, it is essential to check if the product contains a minimal amount of lead.

For example, there are earrings like this one.

Earrings Made with zinc at wholesale jewelry market


It’s good to look at this product and think:

There is no such thing as a “Nanbal” to hold that stone, so it is probably not made of brass material and is probably zinc or tin+lead…

In the case of zinc, the cost is slightly more expensive than tin, but it is more durable and discolors less than tin, so check if it is made of zinc.

However, if it is tin (+lead)… it will be expensive because a lot of stones and plastic pearls are used and bonding work has to be done one by one. I guess I have no choice but to do it in comments.

However, since I will sell it domestically, it doesn’t matter if lead is included, but if I export it overseas, it must be lead-free, so this design may be difficult to export overseas.

However, since tin is said to be more susceptible to discoloration than zinc, I should ask whether the plating thickness is a bit thicker.

I once visited a wholesaler’s office.

The office was fully equipped to produce zinc and tin (+lead).

In a small room in the office, there was a rubber mold, equipment for melting tin, a machine for pouring molten tin water into the rubber mold, and a machine called a garang machine for smoothing the surface of tin products, all in one small room.

The story I heard from a wholesaler…

When a request for a design sample comes in from Japan, they immediately do CAD work in the office, create a rubber mold, and produce the sample right away, providing the sample within 2 days.

It was said that zinc and tin could be produced in small quantities. So we were able to respond immediately to sample production. So, small orders are handled in the office, and large quantities are produced in China.

However, Japanese buyers, especially Japanese franchises and 300 yen shops, look for very cheap products. Most of them are produced in China, but some products are supplied from Korea, so the wholesale price must be very low.

This company was a wholesaler that mainly supplied to Japanese 300 yen shops, and it was said that they produced with tin (+ lead) to meet the supply price. When I visited this company, I didn’t ask about the specific gravity of lead because I thought they only made it with tin.

However, in fact, the raw material cost of zinc and tin designs is cheaper than that of new pearls, but zinc and tin designs require a person to glue each pearl or stone together. In other words, labor costs are much higher than new shares.

Therefore, due to increased labor costs, zinc and tin products may end up being more expensive than brass.

In other words, even if zinc and tin are used, production costs may actually increase depending on the complexity of the design and how much labor costs are involved.

However, although the production cost is high and the wholesale price is high, the reason why wholesalers produce with zinc and tin is because small quantity production is possible.

Since small quantity production is possible, there is no need to keep a lot of inventory, so if you are a small wholesaler, it may be less burdensome to design with zinc and tin rather than the burden of mass production with brass.

And there is still a factory in Korea that makes earrings out of zinc and tin… People say it’s a casting factory. There are still casting factories in Korea, but most of the Shinju earring factories are said to have disappeared. It is said that there are almost no new factories due to labor costs.

So, some casting factories remain and are supplying them to Wholesale Jewelry Market,

So, some casting factories remain and are supplying them to Namdaemun wholesalers, but some factories closed during the last coronavirus outbreak, so there are not many casting factories left anymore.

Designs made with tin and zinc are more crude than those made with brass, and as wholesalers prefer to make products with brass, tin and zinc designs are becoming more and more marginalized, so I am a little worried about how long casting factories will exist in Korea.

(In other words, Korea’s fashion jewelry manufacturing base is slowly disappearing, so we may eventually have to rely entirely on other countries such as China, Vietnam, etc. for production.

In the past, Japan used to produce directly, but now most of the factories directly manufacture it. As the wholesale market for fashion jewelry has disappeared in Japan, there is a high possibility that Korea will depend on other countries such as China and Vietnam for production, just as it relies on China and Korea.)

I briefly talked about the design using zinc and tin.

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