Jewellery Metals Information

Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver is an alloy of pure silver. The percentage of Silver is 92.5%, so contains 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. Most of our Silver jewellery is a shiny finish, but some has been “oxidised” which gives the silver a darker finish which helps to make detail stand out, and offers some protection from tarnishing.

Hallmarking – Sterling Silver is usually hallmarked (stamped) with “925”. Not all countries have to hallmark by law, and some countries (we have had this offered by some factories in China), will hallmark base metal plated items. It is always best to purchase precious metal items from a reputable supplier.

Tarnishing and Cleaning – Sterling Silver will react to sulfides in the air and this may cause tarnishing. To protect your Silver Jewellery, we recommend storing in an airtight plastic bag, or anti tarnish bag when not in use. When your Silver tarnishes, it will usually clean up with a Silver polishing cloth.

9ct Gold

9ct Gold is an alloy of pure Gold. The percentage of gold is 37.5%, so contains 62.5% of other metals. The main metals used are Silver and Copper, but some small percentages of other metals could also be used. The percentages of the three main metals, Gold, Silver, and Copper, will effect the colour of gold. More Copper will give you Rose Gold, and more Silver will give you White Gold. White Gold will also be Rhodium plated.

Hallmarking – 9ct Gold is usually hallmarked (stamped) with “375, but we have also seen 9k, 9kt, and 9ct.

Tarnishing and Cleaning – 9ct Gold is much more resistant to tarnishing than silver but will still get dirty from use, and will eventually tarnish slightly. It may be cleaned with soapy water and a toothbrush, and polished with a polishing cloth.

Stainless and Surgical Steel

Stainless Steel is a steel alloy, mostly containling Iron, and about 10% Chromium. Small amounts of other metals may also be present, as well as Carbon. Stainless Steel is the most corrosion resistant form of Steel, but even it will eventually corrode from years of exposure to very salty water. Surgical Steel is the most corrosion resistant form of Stainless Steel and is usually used for medical applications.

Tarnishing and Cleaning – Stainless and Surgical Steel do not tarnish. Jewellery items that are worn a lot will eventually become dirty and require cleaning, and may be cleaned with soapy water and a toothbrush.

Base Metal Plated

Base Metal Jewellery is made from various alloys and then plated with a very fine layer of other metal such as Gold or Silver. A large range of our chains and findings are made from Brass which has the added benefit of not rusting.

Plating on base metal Jewellery will wear off over time. Many things can contribute to the loss of this plating including, thickness of plating, wear and tear, and acidity of wearers skin.

Base metal jewellery will tarnish with silver plated items tarnishing more swiftly than other platings. Care must be taken when cleaning plated jewellery as some polishing cloths with harsh chemicals may remove the plating. Some plated Jewellery is coated with an anti-tarnish coating such as Evergleam. Many of our clients have found that items with the Evergleam coating stay bright and shiny for much longer.

Nickel Free – Most commonly, Jewellery allergies are caused by the presence of Nickel in a Jewellery item. Nickel may be used in many of the alloys used in Base Metal Jewellery. This is why we are pleased to be able to offer a range of Jewellery, Findings, and chains that are Nickel Free.

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