Bronze, a brief history the other precious metal

May 17, 2019

In modern times bronze has gotten a bad reputation. Much of this reputation can be traced back to the bronze medal of the Olympics, which is given to the third place finish after gold and silver are awarded. While gold and silver can’t be discounted should bronze have the reputation of being a loser’s metal?

Bronze is a historically significant metal to the development of human civilization. The low melting point of the tin and copper used to create bronze alloys allowed it to be worked on before iron was a feasible option. The hardness of bronze is also higher than wrought iron allowing better tools to be made. Tin and copper rarely being found in the same place also helped spur trade in early human civilization, particularly around the Mediterranean Sea. As techniques for purifying iron ores developed bronze stopped being used as heavily in tools and weapons but remained a major part of life.

As steel and iron became more affordable and sturdier, bronze found itself as part of a more sophisticated part of society. The unique acoustic and sculptural qualities of bronze pushed the metal into the arts. Bronze allowed the creation of new instruments such as horns, bells and sculptures featuring the heroes and gods of antiquity. Bronze became the metal of the high arts and remains in that place largely today.

Today bronze is a large part of what makes our company work. Due to its natural usability it is a craftsman’s best friend. For starters there is a natural beauty to the metal. The rich tone can give a more rustic look or a high end elegant look depending on the hand of the artist crafting it. Additionally, while most metals such as nickel or silver give bright cool color palate, bronze gives off a warm inviting tone.

On top of all the natural uses of bronze it also has electrical properties that make it great for plating. At Malcolm DeMille we use bronze as the base metal for projects that would like a more expensive finish but don’t have the budget at that time. Solid gold, for example, is usually out of reach of most budgets but gold plate gives an identical look while not breaking the bank. Color can also be added to bronze by infusing other elements into the make-up of the metal in the form of patinas. The organic nature of this process gives the finish a natural look.

Bronze is far too important to our world to be considered a runner-up metal. We encourage you to take a look at using bronze for your next recognition project. The human history and natural beauty of bronze is a testament to who we are and how we use it, is a sure way to help you impress.

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