Every piece of hand formed jewelry is made from sterling silver or gold filled. Most people know what sterling silver is, but often have questions about gold filled. In this post we'll cover all of the basics and must knows about the metal finishes we use to craft our jewelry.
Freshie & Zero Metal Finishes Explained
Sterling Silver : Sterling silver is a metal alloy that contains approximately 92.5% silver. Sterling silver can tarnish. The best way to prevent your sterling silver jewelry from tarnishing is to keep it in an air tight container when you aren't wearing it. If it does tarnish, it's actually really easy to clean! Silver polishing clothes are somewhat time consuming, so I prefer a sterling silver liquid cleaner. An important thing to not, if your jewelry contains semiprecious stones you'll want to avoid contact of the stone and liquid cleaner.
shown above : Geodes earrings in sterling silver
Gold Filled : Gold-filled materials are much more economical and practical than solid gold, and display the rich look of gold at a fraction of the cost. They are not filled with gold as the name suggests, but rather a thick layer of real gold is permanently bonded to an underlying metal, such as nickel free jeweler's brass or sterling silver. They should not be mistaken for gold-plated since they have 100 times more gold than plate - in fact; they are 1/20 gold by weight. Under normal wear, gold-filled materials will never peel, flake, or wear and can be treasured for generations.
Gold filled does not tarnish or "rub off". However, on some of my pieces there is a place where it has been soldered and this will occasionally darken due to wear and weather. Simply buff the dark spot with a jewelry polishing cloth or clean it with a liquid jewelry cleaner to shine it back up again.
Oxidized Sterling Silver : Oxidized sterling silver is simply sterling silver that we treat specially to reveal the deep dark hue you see in our mixed metal pieces.
shown above : Antique Mini Caldera earrings
Rose Gold Filled : The rose gold finished pieces are just like the gold-filled pieces, but they feature a rosy hue instead of a true yellow gold.
shown above : Rosey Stem earrings
What's your go-to metal finish?