Alpacca, Alpaca, Nickel Silver, German Silver, Chinese Silver, New Silver
Alpacca has no silver content and is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc. It is also known as nickel silver.
In 1770 German metalworks were able to produce a copper-nickel-zinc alloy for the first time, in imitation of imported "Chinese silver". In 1823 the process was perfected independently in both Germany and England, and the trademarked name Alpacca became widely used. Widely available after the 1860s.
Aluminum was introduced in 1827, and was originally an extremely expensive material. Very popular with religious artists from the1880s though the 1920s, because of it's light weight and the way fine detail could be cast. Many antique crucifix and medals are aluminum
Before the mid-19th century, carbon steel was expensive and was only used where no cheaper alternative existed. With the advent of speedier and thriftier production methods, steel began replacing brass and copper for chains and links.
Stainless Steel
Stainless differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. Carbon steel rusts when exposed to air and moisture; Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium oxide, which prevents further corrosion.