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: 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.