The Metals

Types of metals used.

Sterling silver is the primary metal I use. What is Sterling silver?

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of pure silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum fineness of .925.

 22k gold. is another metal used in my work.

 24K is pure gold, 22k is 92% gold and 8% alloy. such a high K gold is very yellow and soft , but makes a great metal for jewelry. Most of the my jewelry that uses 22k  gold are made by creating a Sterling piece and then soldering on a sheet of 22k gold over the sterling. This creates the wonderful contrast and look that play off of each other.

In comparison, 14K gold is only 58% gold. The remaining 42% is alloy. So 22k gold is much much more valuable.

22k bimetal is another metal I use. This is a  layer of 22 karat gold with a bright yellow or rose colored gold bonded with sterling silver to form a sheet of precious metal with two distinct surfaces. This metal comes to me straight from the refinery in this form. It is available with either a yellow or rose gold color.

14k gold filled is another metal I use a lot. This metal form is a more difficult one to explain.

I’m not sure why the industry decided on “gold-filled” to identify this kind of metal it’s confusing, since it really has nothing to do with being filled with gold.  The only thing you need to know is that the term refers to a thick outer layer of durable, pressure-bonded, real, solid gold...on the outside   

“Gold-filled” is a  industry standard that legally requires  5% pure gold by weight.  It’s a strictly regulated process that involves pressure bonding multiple layers of solid 14k gold with extreme heat over a core of high quality jeweler’s brass resulting in a durable, quality real gold product.

Gold-fill is absolutely your best option after solid gold for quality and durability.  It will not flake off or turn your skin green and offers a great option for people with sensitive skin.  Gold filled jewelry can stay beautiful for a lifetime, especially with a little care.

Plated metals have there place in jewelry, but I do not use them.  I have used gold plating in the past and have not been happy with how it holds up. I felt I just want to use metals that remain as they are! Vermeil is a popular plating process but the  thin gold plate has no metal value and I found after a year or so, the plating was wearing through. Refiner's won't accept gold plate for recycling because the gold content is so slight. 

 

  Quick click to the jewels

 Twigs & Spirals           Circles       Flowers       Hoops 

Hearts     Tidal Pool   Spring 2020     Birches

 

© 2020 Judith Barker. Proudly created by Dead Rat Productions