Jewelry Components Defined

Here are some definitions for the metals I use in my jewelry:

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is an alloy. All sterling silver components are industry standard .925 silver, i.e. 92.5% silver. Typically, copper is mixed with the silver to create sterling silver.

Argentium Sterling Silver

Sterling silver by law has to be 92.5% silver and the rest is something else.  Usually that something else is copper and you can tell it’s copper due to how quickly sterling will tarnish.  Argentium sterling is silver mixed with copper and germanium.  This new version of sterling tarnishes very, very slowly.  However, due to the extreme newness of this alloy, it is only available in my chainmaille collection and does not include the clasp.  Some chainmaille weaves take longer to produce in argentium due to technical aspects of the weave, but I will be sure to note if an item is available in argentium sterling silver.

Gold-filled

Gold-filled is composed of a solid layer of gold bonded with heat and pressure, to a base metal such as brass. The only surface that touches your skin is solid gold, not the base metal. Gold-filled items are 50 to 100,000 times thicker than regular gold plating. Most of my gold-filled components are 14k gold-filled.

Copper

Copper rings used in all chainmaille jewelry are solid copper. All other copper components are plated. Do note that everyone reacts to copper differently. Copper will turn some people’s skin green due to body chemistry. This is a completely natural process.

Swarovski Crystal

Swarovski crystals are also known as “Austrian” Crystal. This is the world’s finest leaded crystal in the form of beads, pendants, and pearls. IMO, this is the best man-made bling the bead world has to offer. Nothing sparkles quite like a Swarovski. 😉 Swarovski pearls have a crystal base and then are coated to create the look and feel of a pearl. Swarovski pearls are cold to the touch and warm up to your body just as natural pearls for a fraction of the cost.

Freshwater Pearls

All freshwater pearls used in my designs are naturally colored unless noted othewise. These pearls are more organic in shape, unlike salt water pearls that are more uniformly round. Freshwater pearl are typically shaped in the form of a potato or grain of rice.

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