With so many varieties of metal available in the jewllers world, we thought we would go back to basics and examine the different types of metal used ( and what we use) , from metal alloys to gold filled.
With so many terms to describe jewellery, it can be confusing to know exactly what you’re buying, the value, and how to look after them.
Below we go through the differences between common practices used in accessory making and the specifics we use in our works. If you have any questions about the metals we use please read all below before getting in contact with us - its likely we will answer your queries.
Below we explain the difference between
filled vs plated, Vermeil and solid gold jewellery.
Gold filled vs Gold plated
Gold Plated: The process of gold plating is one where a tiny layer of gold is applied over a base metal (usually brass or copper). The amount of real gold that is used is actually so tiny that its technically considered unmeasurable (less than .05%). This is why gold plating will wear off (actually pretty quickly). Frankly most gold tone jewelry sold is plated, because its cheaper to manufacture - ALOT of jewellers gold plate and do not attempt to retain quality wears, thus creating more waste.
Gold Filled: Gold Filled jewelry is made by wrapping layers of solid gold sheets around a base metal. Unlike gold plated jewelry, gold filled jewelry actually has a measurable amount of gold in it. This process of adhering solid gold sheets makes for jewelry that does not tarnish, peel, chip or discolor. If your gold filled jewelry has ever changed color at all its usually just because of dirt build up and can be cleaned with a damp cloth. For this reason ALL CHAINS SOLD ARE GOLD FILLED.
Bottom line your going to pay a little bit more for gold filled jewelry, but it will stand the test of time, and in our opinion its well worth it.
Businesses will want to let you know that you are getting a quality product. If there is no marking, or labeling telling you its gold filled, most likely its just plain ole plated, ( and probably done very cheaply!)
Vermeil is also known as “silver gilt” as it refers to high quality silver that is plated with a thin layer of gold.
Our Gold Vermeil jewellery is hand-made from ethically sourced and recycled 925 Silver, finished with a thick layer of 14K Gold plate ensuring the rich gold lustre is retained longer.
All of our plated works are vermeil unless stated otherwise. We have chosen to opt for Vermeil as we believe it is better then using a base metal (like copper or brass) for durability and life long value.
Gold vermeil is the ideal choice if you love gold but cannot afford to buy the solid thing.
Solid gold pretty much defines itself.
We will be having exclusive designs available in solid 14k gold, and if you prefer to have a design or chain in solid gold please get in touch - as it is ALWAYS a possibility.
Solid gold (for us) is the obvious winner - though an investment for the buyer. The beauty of gold is that it is durable for generations. It is one of the most valuable resources in the world and is the sustainable choice vs plating.
plus its luxe as fuck
925 - Cast.
925 is your classic sterling silver.
Sterling silver is an alloy made from 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent alloy (copper, nickel, zinc).
Our .925 pieces are those that have been cast from an original .999 design. We have decided to incorporate casting into our brand recently (Nov 2020) as it allows us as a crafter to focus more on design then hand building every single work over and over again. (our old model of being 100% handcrafted) Casting involves me making a master design in .999 PMC (below) and sending it away to a casting agency to make a vulcanised mold of the work, to then it be able to be replicated in either a base metal, silver, or gold.
All our hooks and chains used are sterling silver.
Our handcrafted pieces are made from 99.9% silver… Pure silver.
These pieces are how all our original designs are created (unless stated otherwise). We use a modality called Precious Metal Clay- aka: PMC.
Precious Metal Clay was developed in the early 1990’s in Japan and consists of microscopic particles of recycled pure silver (or other precious or base metals) and a water soluble clay binder which burns off during firing. - We fire our pieces at home, in our studio kiln.
When you see the words ‘base metal’ in association to jewellery it usually means the piece is made from copper, zinc, brass, nickel, or aluminum.
They are much more economical to use than precious metals because the elements that make up these metals are more commonly found.
We have always had a base alloy option available since we began working with metals.
Copper has always been our go to for many reasons including benefits to health and the ancient symbolism it holds. We have been designing works with wire, through electro forming and now with PMC and casting (spoken of above) since the Scout journey began.
Copper is an essential micronutrient that has numerous health, wellness and beauty benefits, from improved skin, to treatment of wounds, and also aids in maintaining metabolic processes. Copper is a brain stimulant that is associated with higher thought processes. It opens neural pathways and encourages creativity, circulation and improved brain functioning… Wearing copper jewelry has been proven to absorb enzymes into the skin and ultimately, enter the bloodstream, thus being a benefit to our bodies. - Read our article on how to take care of you copper pieces.
If you’re still struggling to figure out which is the best metal for you, reach out to us - we would love to here from you.