On this page we will try to clear up just what all these
terms mean, and more importantly, when to use them in your jewellery making.
the differences between gold-plated, vermeil, and gold-filled?
What does the karat measure? How much silver is in sterling silver?
is a mixture of pure silver and some other metal, usually copper. The
resulting alloy gives the silver strength. The standard is at least 92.5%
silver. Hence the .925 stamp you see on some sterling
all our sterling silver items
Vermay) is sterling silver that has been gold-plated. Most of our vermeil
is plated with 24K gold. This is a good combination for those with allergy
to normal, plated findings. The difference between vermeil, and gold-filled,
is in the thickness of the gold and the base metal used. In vermeil, the
base is sterling silver. The standard is for the gold plating to be much
thicker than ordinary plating
all our Vermeil items
also called rolled-gold. These jewellery findings are not actually filled
with gold! They are made of a base metal (usually brass or copper) covered
by sheets of gold in a mechanical bonding process. Effectively a thick
coat of gold: the gold content is 5% or 1/20 of the total weight. Use
gold-filled items for your top-of-the-line jewellery. Usually made with
14k gold, it is hard wearing. With reasonable care it will not peel or
flake, and should last as long as solid 14k gold jewellery. It is safe
for most people with sensitive skin
all our Gold-filled items
Gold jewellery reacts with chlorine. Never take your gold jewellery into
a pool or spa.
Gold-plated A base metal such as steel or brass is dipped into
a bath of electroplating solution, with a lump of solid gold. When an
electric current is applied, a thin layer of gold is deposited on the
metal. Since the plating is quite thin, the plate (and hence the colour)
on findings can wear off.
Gold Purity - Karats
The karat is a very old measure of how much gold is in an alloy, or gold-blend.
A measure of 1 Karat is where there is 1 part of pure gold and 23 parts
of metal alloy - or 4% gold. So 24K is 100% pure gold.
9K is 37% - 14K is 58% - 18K is 75%
Carat is not the same as Karat. Carat is a jewellers'
weight measurement, initially used to describe diamonds. One Carrat is
200 milligrams ie one fifth of a gram. Jewellers also have a point system
where one carat is 100 points. The size of a stone is not necessarily
measured by carats. Different types of stones have different density,
hence a 1 carat diamond is a different size to a 1 carat ruby.
Allergies: Some people have allergic reactions to some platings.
most common is nickel-plating- possibly up to 10% of people react to nickel.
Unfortunately nickel is used to color gold, as an alloy, and sometimes
in the electroplating process. If allergy is a problem, most jewellery
makers like to use surgical steel,
sterling silver, vermeil,
or gold-filled findings.
The plating on plain electroplated items is usually too thin. A product
called "Jewelry Shield"
by Newall, which comes from the USA, claims to provide protection for
jewellery allergy suffers.
Look here for a wire gauge table so you can
convert and find out how thick wire should be.
We have a large range of precious
metal wire available. If we don't stock it we can get it made for