Brass-brass is an alloy of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties. is used for decoration for its bright gold-like appearance; for applications where low friction is required such as locks, gears, bearings, doorknobs, ammunition, and valves; for plumbing and electrical applications; and extensively in musical instruments such as horns and bells for its acoustic properties. it is also used in zippers. because it is softer than most other metals in general use, brass is often used in situations where it is important that sparks not be struck, as in fittings and tools around explosive gases.
brass has a muted yellow color, which is somewhat similar to gold. it is relatively resistant to tarnishing, and is often used as decoration and for coins. in antiquity, polished brass was often used as a mirror.