Metals in our Jewelry

 

STERLING SILVER

Is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum fineness of 92.5. Fine silver, for example 99.9% pure silver, is generally too soft for producing functional objects. For this reason, the silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength while preserving the ductility and appearance of the precious metal.

How to clean: Polishing cloth, toothpaste, or baking soda.

VERMEIL

Is an alternative way to say silver-gilt or silver-plated. Vermeil pieces appear to be gold in colour, are generally more affordable and lighter than solid gold. Vermeil is a combination of sterling silver, gold, and other precious metals. A typical example is sterling silver coated with 14 karat (58%) gold.

How to clean: Polishing cloth or toothpaste (when back to silver)

GOLD-FILLED

Is composed of a solid layer of gold, which must constitute at least 5% of the item’s total weight, and is mechanically bonded to sterling silver or a base metal. Some high quality gold-filled pieces have the same appearance as 14 karat (58%) gold. Gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last 1 to 5 years but will eventually wear through. Gold-filled items are 5 to 10 times thicker than regular gold plating, and 15 to 25 times thicker than gold electroplate.

How to clean: Polishing cloth

GOLD / SILVER PLATED

Is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold or silver onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver (to make silver-gilt) by chemical or electrochemical plating.

How to clean: Polishing cloth (Note: will change colour over time)

BRASS OR COPPER

Is a metal alloy made of copper and zinc; the proportions of zinc and copper can be varied to create a range of brasses with varying properties. At the time of purchase, Antique Brass will have been oxidized (look darker / have a patina) and can not be polished. Raw Brass is a lighter gold colouring and can be polished.

How to clean: Polishing Cloth, light soap and water (dry thoroughly), or hot sauce.

TIERRACAST BEADS

Start with the Britannia pewter base, and are electroplated with various metals to create the finished piece. While ordinary plated jewelry components are notorious for wearing or rubbing off, leaving the base below exposed, electroplated finishes are much thicker and more durable, and will easily withstand reasonable wear and tear.

TierraCast beads, findings and jewelry components with the Antique Silver and Bright Silver finishes are electroplated with pure silver (also called “fine silver” or “.999 silver”). These finishes look exactly like sterling silver. These finishes, like sterling silver components, are susceptible to tarnish. However, they can be cleaned with a soft jewelry polishing cloth, or with a gentle liquid cleaner.

TierraCast beads, findings and jewelry components with the Antique Gold and Bright Gold finishes are electroplated with 22k qualty Gold Plate. This finish will not tarnish.* TierraCast beads inc.