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QUICK JEWELRY GUIDE

Jewelry Definitions

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Here is a quick simple guide to the meaning of certain jewelry terms just in case if you are confused about what certain jewelry terms mean.

 

GOLDS

 

16 KARAT GOLD

16 Karat gold plated. 16kt gold plate is plated over copper or brass with 16-karat gold. Almost all our of gold is 16k gold plate or gold vermeil. Our 16k gold plate is different than your average costume jewelry. We have treated it with extra coating to make it last. As long as you keep it away from liquids and oils it can stay gold years. We still get compliments from our customers years later because they are surprised how good their pieces still look for such an affordable price. As of 2015, all gold chains sold on BLK AND NOIR will be used with 16k gold plate with anti-tarnish polish.

 

24 KARAT GOLD

Usually a gold plate as 24 karat gold alone is too soft on it's on for jewelry use. Has to be plated (attached) to another metal to keep from changing shape.

 

GOLD VERMEIL

Karat gold plate over Sterling Silver. Considered a precious metal because of the .925 sterling silver underneath. However, it can (doesn't mean it will) eventually tarnish reveal the sterling silver underneath depending on thickness of plating.

GOLD FILLED 

 Much thicker than regular gold plate and last longer than gold vermeil although it’s not a precious metal. So, is it important to have a precious metal that is worth more, or the look that will physically last longer in gold form? Looks like 14kt gold. Lasts very long compared to 16k and regular gold plate. Plated over copper or brass.

 

14 KARAT GOLD

Solid gold of 14 karats, usually considered the best (14kt is usually considered better than 10kt and 24kt). No plating necessary. Will tarnish over time if not protected from air but can be polished with a cloth to show original shine.

 

GOLD PLATED

Light gold plating over brass or copper. Can tarnish fast especially if in contact with oils,chemical, moisture and certain temperatures. More like costume jewelry. Our gold plate is 16k gold and lasts a very long time because of heavy plating and coating

SILVERS

STERLING SILVER 

.925 Sterling silver with small amount of copper to hold shape. Silver is an affordable yet is considered a precious metal. The price of silver has risen in price constantly over the last 8 years (since 2009).

 

STAINLESS STEEL

Stainless Steel is slightly darker than sterling silver. But never tarnishes and can be put in anything (sweat, moisture, temperatures). Perfect for everyone because has no allergic reaction nor isn’t affected by acidity of skin, temperatures or liquids. We use mostly stainless steel chains for some of our chains because it keeps price the price down, while giving the appearance of sterling silver.

 

TITANIUM

A bit pricier and rare when it comes to jewelry making (meaning you'd normally see things made of sterling silver or 14k gold but not everyone sells titanium). However, Titanium is really great for those with sensitive ears or for ear piercing. A lot of issues with healing piercings can be fixed with medical grade Titanium.

 ALUMINUM

Like stainless steel in the fact that aluminum is affordable, unaffected by acidity of skin, temperatures or moisture. Lightweight and hypoallergenic. Our personalized bracelets are almost always made of this metal.

 PEWTER / BRITTANIUM

A metal originally from Britain. Usually doesn’t tarnish but is made up of tin and is lead/nickel free. Can be gold or silver-plated and last a long time depending on manufacturer. However, certain gold plating can chip (if you were to say hammer it/hit it really hard) revealing the (silver colored) pewter underneath.

 RHODIUM PLATED

 Rhodium is a high polish plate. Rhodium can be plated over almost anything like brass or sterling silver. In cases of sterling silver, rhodium might be a great choice if you want a really shiny and bright finish with a platinum appearance. Rhodium is not likely to tarnish ever. But there is always a possibility. 

 

SILVER PLATED

Silver-plating over brass or copper. Silver plate can lasts longer than regular gold plating based on appearance (its easier to get away with silver-plating than gold plate based on looks alone). Tarnishing is just more obvious with gold plating vs. silver. If you treat your jewelry well, silver plating can last years without tarnishing.