Metals Encyclopedia


We work with a range of metals in our studio to service a variety of styles, skin sensitivities and price points. Each metal possesses its own set of personality traits and we want to insure that you and it will get along well. Below are detailed descriptions of each along with care instructions.

 

B R A S S

Jeweler's brass has a rich yellow shine which patinas to a deeper antiqued finish with wear. The brass we use is recycled and of a jeweler's quality. Brass resembles 14k gold at high polish yet is a much more cost effective option. 

Care: Brass is most affected by environmental elements such as water, natural oils, sulfur in the air and humidity, and while some people prefer the softness of patinated brass, you can easily use a polishing cloth to return its shine. To maintain this shine over time, it is best to store your brass jewelry in an airtight container when not in use.

Sensitivity : Regarding sensitivity, brass is best for those without a history of sensitivity to metals. All brass earrings we make come with a sterling silver post and backing to reduce likelihood of reaction.


S T E R L I N G • S I L V E R 

Denoted by a 925 stamping, sterling silver is a precious metal, made of a compound of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of another compound, often copper. This alloy provides additional strength to silver which is very soft in its pure state, and is ideal for creating jewelry that will last through years of wear. 

Care: Sterling is meant to be worn, since its shine is maintained and protected through contact with your skin’s natural oils. The metal tarnishes with exposure to water and oxygen, which can be prevented by taking the following precautions. It is best to remove silver jewelry when swimming, showering, working out and sunbathing. When not being worn, your pieces should be stored in airtight containers to slow oxidation. If it does oxidize, you can easily clean your piece with a polishing cloth, or a good scrub with 2 parts water to 1 part baking soda mixture.

Sensitivity: Sterling silver can be a great option for those with some skin sensitivity. For most, the 92.5% purity will not create irritation, but for extremely delicate skin the alloys in sterling may cause reaction. In such cases we recommend the most skin friendly metal: gold.   

 

G O L D • F I L L

Jeweler's brass electro-plated with 5% thickness-by-weight of 14k gold. With a life span of 10-30 years, this material maintains your jewelry's shine far beyond that of a thin gold plating. The 14 karat finish has a lighter moon-lit tone which pairs well with any mixed metal.

Care: Gold fill jewelry is delicate and should be removed for activities that will shorten its lifespan such as showering, swimming or applying your favorite scents and lotions. 

Sensitivity: 14k gold is the only metal to have skin contact in our gold fill pieces, making them a great option for those with very sensitive skin.


G O L D • V E R M E I L

Developed as a gilding technique in 18th century France, gold vermeil is a thick plating of high karat gold over a sterling silver base. Amongst traditional jeweler's metals, gold vermeil is second only to solid gold. We first make our gold vermeil pieces in solid sterling silver before having it plated with 100 mils of 23.5 karat gold. With proper care, this thickness allows for years of daily wear. While very high karat gold is normally a deep yellow, we have toned our vermeil pieces to an almond color to more closely resemble the softness of 14k-18k gold. 

Care: Just as with any piece of jewelry, gold vermeil should be stored with care in a soft pouch or box. Although more resilient than a plating, it is still best to remove vermeil pieces before showering or working out. 

Sensitivity: 23.5k gold is the only metal to have skin contact in our gold vermeil pieces, making them a great option for those with very sensitive skin.


S O L I D • G O L D

An heirloom precious metal and the decided favorite of humans and magpies alike. Most of our gold pieces are solid 14 karat unless otherwise marked. 14k is a mainstay in our line for its light buttery color and durability, which can be lost in the softness of higher karats. 

Care: A piece of gold jewelry will be with you for a lifetime, and be around for many lifetimes to come, so treat it kindly. Store in a soft box or bag when not wearing, and gently scrub with warm water from time to time to maintain its finish.

Sensitivity: Simply the best option for extremely sensitive skin. It is the least reactive of precious metals and a perfect pair for your skin's pH.