Medical gold as an alternative to precious metals: variety of copper alloys, composition, wide use, advantages and disadvantages of gold jewelry, reviews

The definition of "medical gold" is very often used in the home. Many people believe that this is the official name for 999 samplesThat's supposedly what it is gold perfectly pure. Only this opinion is wrong: the noble 999th metal is so soft that it is impossible to use it practically and make any products out of it. So what is it medical gold and what does it consist of? Let's try to understand the peculiarities of this name.

Medical gold and the metals used: whether gold is present

Few people know, but all gold jewelry and other products are made from alloys. As already mentioned, the metal itself is too soft to make a single piece of jewelry. In addition, pure metal is fabulously expensive. One can imagine what the real price of such jewelry would be.

Medical gold is called, first of all, because of its active use in medicine. Moreover, medical alloy - is a compound of different metals, but not gold. Different metals in a certain ratio are used to produce so-called medical gold:

  • nickel;
  • titanium;
  • silver;
  • zinc;
  • manganese;
  • chrome;
  • copper;
  • molybdenum;
  • magnesium;
  • brass.

Medical equipment, such as surgical instruments, are actively manufactured from these alloys. Hence the familiar name: medical gold.

Medical gold and the metals used: whether gold is present
Medical gold chains for women

It is worth highlighting the advantages of copper alloys:

  • affordability: metal products are inexpensive;
  • durability: medical instruments do not break, dental crowns, dentures do not rub off, do not crumble;
  • Longevity: Products made of medical gold have a long lifespan;
  • variety of shades: the prevalence of one or another metal allows you to make products of different color shades.

Also, each of the metals that the alloy contains has certain useful properties.

A variety of medical alloys

People successfully use alloys that imitate gold. The attitude to such imitations is always twofold. On the one hand, it is a real godsend for swindlers: passing off alloys as precious metal and sell at a high price. On the other hand, such alloys are an excellent budget replacement for gold.

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Alloys are used for the production of costume jewelry, for gilding various objects, and for the decoration of temples and churches. It is clear that for these purposes to use pure gold is insanely expensive. Let us consider possible compositions of medical alloy, the features and advantages.

Copper and zinc alloy (9/1)

Copper is one of the popular important metals in human life. It is known that copper deposits were discovered by man more than 7,000 years ago. Because of its malleability, copper is used extensively in manufacturing, including medical applications. Copper has excellent electrical conductivity and affects the color of the product, giving it all red hues.

Europeans use an alloy of copper and zinc (9/1). These numbers indicate the ratio of the metals that make up the alloy: 9 parts copper and 1 part zinc. The result is brass, an alloy similar in appearance to gold. In ancient times, this alloy was called orichalc, i.e. zlatomedia.

The amount of copper affects the color of the alloy, the more metal, the redder it is. Red brass is heat-resistant, excellent machinability, non-corrosive, non-oxidizing

A variety of medical alloys
Medical gold alloy

Aural with zinc and aluminum

In the first half of the last century, Americans discovered the zinc compound ZAM or ZAMAK. It is a mixture consisting of 95% of zinc and 4% of aluminum. 1% is made up of copper and magnesium. Judging by the name, one would think that we are talking about some rare unknown alloy.

In fact, alloy is present absolutely everywhere: auto parts, refrigerator parts, weapons, sewing accessories, fishing gear. ZAM is used to make all lock and fittings.

Mosaic 50/50 copper and zinc alloy

If you alloy copper and zinc in equal proportions, you get mosaic gold. This is an alloy that has a native gold color. 

This type of brass is popular in jewelry production and is used to make costume jewelry.

Mannheim gold is an alloy of copper, zinc, and tin

It is an interesting fact that gold castings of copper and zinc were obtained as early as the Middle Ages by alchemists. This is evidenced by numerous archaeological finds of so-called "gold" products. In search of ways to invent gold, the metals were alloyed with each other, resulting in excellent blends used by mankind to this day.

Mannheim gold has a rich gold color, which unfortunately makes it easily exploited by unscrupulous jewelers.

French copper-based gold (80%)

French gold is used to produce costume jewelry imitating the sun metal. This exquisite name actually refers to a bronze metal alloy: copper - 58.3%, tin - 16.7%, zinc - 25%.

The bronze alloy is also used in the artistic decoration of interiors. Due to its color and luster it really looks like a noble metal.

All of the above alloys are medical gold.

Mosaic 50/50 copper and zinc alloy
Copper and gold alloy

Jewelry steel marking

Jewelry or, as it is also called, medical and surgical steel is an alloy that is obtained by combining iron, carbon and alloying elements. A distinctive feature: the alloy is coated with chromium, which has a protective function. Producers in Europe, as well as Australia and the United States jewelry steel is labeled 316L. In Russia, it has the marking 03Cr17N14M3.

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The benefits of jewelry steel:

  • does not cause allergies;
  • does not oxidize;
  • does not rust;
  • not exposed to the sun, wind, water;
  • has a low cost.

The impeccable appearance of medical steel products is an undeniable advantage. For example, jewelry items are polished to a shine, have no external defects, due to which they look expensive.

The sphere of application of jewelry steel is quite wide. It is used to make surgical instruments, costume jewelry and decorative items. Jewelry steel is successfully used to imitate white gold, silver.

Methods of gilding products under the precious metal

Gilding The main process of jewelry making is to imitate a precious metal. The jewelry itself is made of different alloys: bronze, brass, nickel silver, zirconium or melchior. Gilding helps make the piece look like gold.

There are two basic methods:

  1. Gold Filled - by the knurling method. In America, this method is called Goldfield. In Europe and Russia it is called knurling. The metal produced by this method is called knurled or fused gold. The product is placed in an airless environment, heated to 900 degrees, and then compressed under hydraulic pressure. The result is a high-quality alloy with a warranty of up to 5-10 years. Moreover, the products, gilded by rolling, are stamped. GF is branded in Europe and America, then the number of carats is shown beside it. For example: GF14k. The carat system has 9, 10, 14 and 18 carats. In the CIS countries, the amount of gold (grams) contained in the alloy is marked. Among gold-plated items, 375, 583 and 750 are common.
  2. Gold Plated - Galvanization. Galvanized gold is a gold-plated alloy. The process itself can be done mechanically or electrochemically. The mechanical method involves gilding with gold leaf. Thin sheets of gold are glued to the surface of the product. To obtain a matte finish, the sheet is applied to an oil base. A polished product surface is obtained when the gluing is done on a polish. The electrochemical method is a coating of gold by means of an electric current, as if gold is atomized. The main thing in this type of gilding is to properly prepare the surface of the product. It should be well polished and cleaned.

As you can see from the characteristics, the best quality is knurled gold. But any of these methods helps to produce high-quality medical gold alloys.

Medical gold applications

The use of gold for medical purposes dates back to ancient times. This is evidenced by the discovery of gold crowns in the mouth of the Egyptian pharaoh Chephren. Today, the use of medical gold is quite wide.

Medical instruments and prostheses

All instruments used in medical procedures and operations are made of surgical steel. Scalpels, clamps, forceps, spatulas, needles, syringes - all this and much more equipment is made of medical metal. Its use for the manufacture of medical instruments is primarily due to its strength, durability.

Prosthetics in dentistry gold
Gold dentures

Such metal does not cause allergic reactions, does not cause corrosion, does not oxidize, which is safe for contact with the human body. For the same reasons, dental prostheses are made of medical steel. Thanks to its properties, they can stay in a wet environment for a long time.

Surgical steel is also used to make manicure and pedicure tools.

Medical Preparations

Since 1929, gold has been successfully used in the treatment of rheumatic diseases. The noble metal has been used to make medicines:

  • "Crizanol;
  • "Sanokrizin;
  • "Myocrysin;
  • "Auranofin;
  • "Taredon.

These drugs are used by prescription in cases of arthritis, rheumatism.

In addition, preparations containing the noble metal relieve inflammation. In therapy this is dealt with by chrysotherapy, a separate field.

Read also
Dental gold: what kind of gold in dentistry, indications and contraindications for use, crown fitting procedure


Gold in cosmetic purposes has been used since the times of ancient Rome and Ancient Egypt. For example, the beauties of antiquity applied gold particles to their skin for luster.

With the development of technology, the noble metal began to be used in aesthetic and plastic cosmetology. The golden revolution in the beauty industry was started by the Koreans. They were the first to produce creams with gold particles.

And, for example, the Japanese use gold plates for rejuvenation. Thin sheets of gold are applied to the face instead of masks. It is believed that this technique smooths wrinkles, preserves, restores elasticity of skin tissues.

Today the use of the noble metal in cosmetology is affordable. This is due to the production of colloidal gold - a solution of gold particles in demineralized water. It is added to anti-aging creams, serums, masks, and hyaluronic acids.

Cream with gold particles
Cream with gold particles

Piercings and Accessories

Medical steel is used to make products for piercings. They are used in piercing salons.

Metal is also used to make accessories: key chains, watches, buckles, eyeglass frames.

Jewelry from cheap to branded

Although the word "gold" more often hides a manufacturer's desire to attract attention, products made of medical alloy are wildly popular. Low prices, high quality and presentable appearance are the very characteristics that allowed medical gold to occupy a worthy niche in the jewelry business. Today, it is used to create a variety of jewelry: from cheap costume jewelry to premium-class jewelry.

Medical steel jewelry from prestigious jewelry houses

Medical steel as a raw material is used by costume jewelry manufacturers and prestigious jewelry houses. For example, SOKOLOV, whose jewelry salons can be found not only in large Russian cities: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Simferopol, Yekaterinburg, Omsk, Irkutsk, Rostov, Ulyanovsk and others. SOKOLOV bijouterie is made literally around the world. The brand has its own website, online store, and an assortment of products is available in catalogs.

Surgical metal items are found in the Belarusian brand Kristall. This is the oldest jewelry factory in Gomel, which produces jewelry with diamonds and other stones. In the stores of "Kristall" you can find a variety of products: from small carnations to large bracelets. Earrings, chains, pendants, rings, pendants - the range of jewelry of this brand is wide. You can buy the items in jewelry stores of any Belarusian city: Minsk, Vitebsk and others. Jewelry products are also exported to CIS countries and Europe.

Another jewelry company specializing in the production of jewelry pieces made precisely of medical alloys is Xuping. This Chinese manufacturer is gradually conquering the jewelry world due to its quality and low cost medical alloy jewelry.

Read also
Colloidal gold: properties, obtaining and wide application in cosmetology, medicine and electronic industry
Medical steel jewelry from prestigious jewelry houses
Medical gold chain and ring

Criteria for distinguishing medical gold from real gold

Modern manufacturers produce such high-quality medical alloy jewelry that it is difficult to tell it apart from gold. If in doubt about the composition, you should look at the following characteristics:

  1. Assay. If you are looking at a piece of gold produced in Russia, it will be branded with a girl's head in a kokoshnik and numbers - proofs. Soviet gold was branded with a five-pointed star with a hammer and sickle inside. Medical alloys are stamped with an alphanumeric value.
  2. Price. Gold jewelry cannot be cheap.
  3. Stones. Rarely do medical gold products contain gemstones, unless we are talking about famous brands.
  4. Weight. Costume jewelry is much lighter than gold jewelry. That is why surgical steel is used to make massive jewelry.
  5. Shine. Pure gold does not shine brightly; its sheen is muted. Medical alloy is usually polished to a perfect glow.
  6. Scratches. Jewelry metals, due to their strength, cannot be scratched, whereas gold is soft and easily exposed. But this method of inspection is dangerous because there is a risk of damaging the store's jewelry.
  7. Reaction to reagents: Iodine. You can leave a drop of iodine on the inside of the jewelry. Since surgical steel is coated with a protective film, the iodine will rub off easily. The substance will remain on the precious metal.

The most reliable way to checkIf you want to know if you are being cheated in a jewelry salon, use a special X-ray. Such devices are often used by pawnshops.

Benefits of a medical alloy

  1. Attractive appearance, maximum resemblance to jewelry metals. Surgical steel jewelry can look as good as gold or silver.
  2. Affordable price compared to noble metals. If you can't afford to buy gold jewelry, medical gold is a great way to avoid losing weight on your wallet.
  3. The wear resistance of the medical alloy. By adding harder metals, the alloy is strong, so it lasts a long time.
  4. Increased strength, resistance to tarnishing. For surgical steel to be white, titanium is added to the alloy. It prevents tarnishing. Medical instruments and dentures are made from this alloy. 
  5.  Safety for the health of children. In piercing salons, children wear earrings made of medical gold when their ears are pierced.
  6. Hypoallergenicity. Since the composition includes hypoallergenic metals, medical alloys do not cause any allergic reactions.

These characteristics make medical steel jewelry an excellent alternative to gold.

Disadvantages of medical gold

Despite the advantageous features, medical gold jewelry has a number of drawbacks:

  1. A scarce assortment of colors: white and yellow. Experimentation lovers can only pay attention to the design, as there is no variety in colors.
  2. Rapid deterioration of the coating. The alloy itself is durable, but the coating wears off quickly, no matter if it is gold-plated or silver-plated.
  3. More expensive than ordinary costume jewelry. Compared with ordinary jewelry, medical gold is expensive. But this can hardly be considered a disadvantage when compared to the precious metal.
  4. The lack of hallmarks and the lack of a state standard. Such jewelry is branded by manufacturers, as there is no single state standard.
  5. Lack of prospective value of the metal. If pure gold prices are market prices, then the medical price is set only by the producer, then by the seller. Such jewelry cannot be considered an investment.
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Nevertheless, jewelry made of medical steel is popular. With the right purchase and careful wear, the product will last more than a year.

Where you can buy and sell medical alloy

It is easy to make up your mind about buying medical gold. You can buy the items at any jewelry store or alloy jewelry department. A wide range of jewelry offer jewelry online stores. And, to buy on the Internet, you can look at photos of the product, read the prices and conditions of the order. You can buy jewelry in bulk and retail, they can be delivered from a store or warehouse. Orders are delivered in different ways: by courier delivery, transport company, postal service of Russia.

But with the sale of bijouterie things are not so easy. It is possible to sell medical gold only at flea markets or on private announcement sites.

Even if the jewelry is gold-plated, pawn shops will give you an inexpensive price.

Where and how you can buy gold 56
Pawnshop Gold Jewelry

Price range

The price of jewelry depends on several factors:

  • alloy composition;
  • share of gold, gilding;
  • design;
  • weight.

You can buy such jewelry for about 150 rubles for small stud earrings or 2 thousand for a necklace with stones. The cost also depends on the design and the presence of additional elements. For today, the average, reasonable price is 500 rubles per piece.

Recommendations for choosing jewelry made of stainless steel

To buy a quality piece of jewelry, you need to pay attention to the marking, manufacturer, and composition of the alloy. It is recommended to shop in specialized departments and stores.

How to properly care and store medical alloy products

Jewelry will last much longer if properly stored and cared for.

Methods of cleaning with improvised means

If the product is blackened, has lost its luster or has simply become dirty, you can clean it yourself. For this purpose, you can use ordinary improvised means:

  1. Natural chalk. You can simply rub the ring or earrings with a piece of chalk. Then remove the chalk with a clean, damp cloth.
  2. A mixture of tooth powder, ammonia and water in the proportions 15g/30g/50ml. The mixture should be used to soak a soft cloth or sponge and wipe the jewelry with it.
  3. Beer or wine alcohol will gently remove the dirt and make the piece shine.
  4. Vinegar. This substance, if wiped on the surface of the product, will restore its shine.
  5. The soapy solution will clean all the dirt.

It is not necessary to use substances if you are not sure of their composition.

Methods of cleaning with improvised means
Soap solution for cleaning medical gold

Cleaning applications for special media

There are special products used to clean the nurse's float.

  1. Non-abrasive special products for metal cleaning. These are products that do not contain solid impurities, like scrubs. Such substances contain ammonia, wax, organic solvents. Sodium hyposulfite, pastes "Asidol" and "Jewelry", sprays are well suited. Price range: from 100 to 2 thousand rubles.
  2. Ultrasonic device. This is a special device that cleans the thing with ultrasound. It is enough to put a ring or earrings for 2 minutes in the device, and they will shine with purity and shine. Cleaning is done even in hard-to-reach places, such as where there are stones. You can buy such a device for an average of 5 thousand rubles.
  3. Have your jewelry cleaned by a professional. Jewelry salons often provide a cleaning service for jewelry. They clean jewelry with special agents or ultrasound. The average cost for cleaning one piece of jewelry is 100-200 rubles, and for polishing it is up to 500 rubles.
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Cleaning allows you to keep your jewelry in presentable condition for a long time.

Why jewelry steel is inferior to titanium

Compared to medical alloy, titanium is more lightweight. In addition, during processing, depending on the heating temperature, different colors of the metal can be obtained: pink, red, yellow, purple, black.

Why titanium is used for prosthetics and surgery

Titanium is widely used in dentistry and surgery because of its strength. In addition, this material is biocompatible, which means that it easily adapts to the human body.

Video: medical gold, variety of alloys and their applications

Subject: Q&A

What is the composition of ear piercing nails?

Opinion of an expert
Maltseva Amelia
Specialist beauty center "Asdis" Krasnodar
A special gun is used to pierce the ears, in which a nail earring is tucked in. It is made of surgical steel, does not cause allergies, so the puncture site heals quickly.

What is the coating on medical alloy jewelry? Can I clean with vinegar or toothpaste?

Opinion of an expert
Andrey Seleznev
Chemical-technologist of the plant "Krasny Oktyabr" Volgograd
Medical alloy jewelry is gold-plated. Therefore, it is necessary to clean them with the same means as for gold. It should be a soft non-abrasive or special substances. Vinegar and toothpaste are not recommended.

Can I wear gold and jewelry steel at the same time?

Opinion of an expert
Elena Kibantseva Anatolievna
Allergist-immunologist, Movement Clinic, Saratov
If a person is not allergic to the metal contained in the gold jewelry, you can wear it in combination with any piece of jewelry. Such proximity will not harm anything.

Does medical alloy turn black or not?

Opinion of an expert
Andrey Seleznev
Chemical-technologist of the plant "Krasny Oktyabr" Volgograd
One of the advantages of the nurse's float is that it does not darken, it does not blacken. You can safely take water procedures with it.

Jeweler's comment

Molokanov N.M.
Molokanov N.M.
Jeweler, experience in jewelry manufacturing 26 years.
According to jewelers, gold has always been valued for its costliness and presentability. Now that time has passed. Jewelry lovers give preference to design and uniqueness rather than cost and status. For them, medical gold is a valuable find, allowing them to save money and demonstrate their aesthetic taste.

Medical Gold Alloy: Costume Jewelry Reviews

Although medical gold is a collective definition, it is far from a noble metal. Med alloy is used to make jewelry whose characteristics are not inferior to those of gold.

Vasily P, Voronezh
Nikolay P. Smolensk

Medical alloy jewelry is valued for its high strength and durability, excellent appearance. Modern jewelers make unique jewelry with an unusual design that looks expensive, like real jewelry.

With proper care and careful storage, medical alloy costume jewelry can be worn for years. It will not darken, rust, stain or scratch. In addition, such jewelry looks so stylish that it suits any look.

Roman D., Murmansk
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