Understanding your jewelry's material

At DVNE, we sell jewelry made from a variety of materials: solid gold vintage items, 925 sterling silver, 14k gold filled brass, 18k gold vermeil, 18k and 14k gold plated items.  So what's the difference and why do we use different materials?

Jewelry Metal Material Chart

SOLID GOLD 

Our "Genuine Vintage" collection features vintage products made from 9K to 24K gold.  WE DO NOT MAKE THESE ITEMS, THEY ARE TRUE VINTAGE PIECES. Solid gold products are tarnish resistant, light-weight and can be polished forever to retain it's colour.  While the majority of our vintage gold pieces are hypo-allergenic, we cannot verify the metal content of each piece precisely, so we cannot make allergy claims to these products. Of course, that being said, the gold's karat reveal's its gold/other metal content.  24K gold is 99.99% pure gold and is definitely hypo-allergenic.  18K gold is 75% gold and 25% other metal component-mostly copper.  14K gold is 58.5%; 10K gold is 41.7% and 9K gold is 37.5% gold content.

It's easy to care for solid gold items.  While oxidation will occur on all 9K to 18K items over time, you can easily remove any tarnish with a jewelry polishing cloth that's embedded with a polishing agent (such as the ones we include in every DVNE purchase).  Simply rub the cloth over the item, to polish.  You may retain/reuse the cloth until it darkens.  Please do not wet cloth!

And yes, while you technically CAN go into the water with your solid K gold jewelry, you should definitely avoid pools and harsh water sources in order to retain your item's beauty.  THE LAWS OF PHYSICS APPLY HERE-two objects cannot share the same space.  That means, doing rough work, aggressive hand washing while even wearing your solid K gold jewelry, WILL lead to damages to it's surface, shape and colour (vintage gold is a deeper colour due to the oxidation of the other component metals in the K gold)

Please avoid sleeping in your jewelry, no matter how comfortable they may feel.  This is the quickly way to deform ALL your jewelry, cause wrinkles or other damages to your skin. 

 

925 STERLING SILVER / GOLD VERMEIL

Our most popular collection features jewelry made from rhodium or gold plated sterling silver.  Sterling silver is a material that's highly allergy resistant, feels great on the body and comes with an affordable price tag.  Our 925 sterling silver are made from 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper, without nickel and lead. Our gold vermeil items are made with 25x or more than our normal plating, meaning 2.5 microns of gold.

NICKLE AND LEAD content in jewelry metal are the leading cause of skin irritations and allergy from wearing jewelry.  Sterling silver is therefore, an ideal choice for anyone without an allergy to silver nor copper.

We plate our jewelry with a layer of rhodium or gold in to improve our sterling silver jewelry's colour and prevent oxidation- it does not change the item's allergy-status (meaning if you're allergic to copper, there's still going to be copper in it).

It's easy to care for our plated sterling silver items.  While oxidation will occur on all items over time, you can easily remove any tarnish with a jewelry polishing cloth that's embedded with a polishing agent (such as the ones we include in every DVNE silver purchase).  Simply rub the cloth over the item, to polish.  You may retain/reuse the cloth until it darkens.  Please do not wet cloth! If you run out of cloth, you can use toothpaste and distilled water to polish your item. Please do not polish your item excessively.  A regular soft cloth can wipe away regular oil and debris from your jewelry without needing to use a polishing agent.

AVOID: 

  • chlorinated water source & high acids - Yes, this means most swimming pools and your beautify products that contain acids (such as peroxide).  Sterling silver will turn black immediately upon contact (plated or not).
  • abrasive water source - salt water, regular shower/tap water will not immediately destroy your jewelry but over-time, will fade your plating faster than if you avoid contact with it.  Yes, this include washing your hands excessively while wearing rings or bracelets.  The laws of physics apply to plated items- material cannot be in the same space at the same time.  Eventually your plating will rub off, but how fast depends on use.  Care for your jewelry and it can retain it's colour/shine for many years to come (yes, even for our regular plated items!)
  • sleeping with your jewelry on - let's re-iterate this point. Sleeping with your jewelry on will not only damage your jewelry but yourself.  We feel incredibly sad when we see our customers talking about how they're sleeping with our jewelry on, then reporting back with a negative review about broken pieces or hurting themselves.  
  • openly placing jewelry in a humid environment - avoid placing your jewelry in your bathroom, near your sink.  Guess what's in water? H20.  Yeah, that means oxygen and oxidation. 

DO:

  • wear your jewelry often - the oil naturally found on your skin can act as a protective barrier for oxidation, this is why if you wear your piece often, you will notice that it will actually tarnish less.
  • store your jewelry in an air-tight container (or plastic bag) when not in use - Yes, the less oxygen that touches the jewelry, the less likely it will oxidate.  That make sense right? 

 

14K GOLD FILLED / BRASS

What's the difference between gold plated and gold filled? Gold plating is done with electro-plating where layers of gold are bonded to either brass or sterling silver.  Gold plating can vary from regular layer of plating to thick layer of plating (gold vermeil).  Gold filled, on the other hand, relies on a different process/technology.  Gold filled items/components are made when gold is injection filled/bonded to the core material (brass or copper).  TRUE GOLD FILLED is when the gold content is 5% or more.  Be warily, as this label is often mis-used to mean any gold plated brass or copper. However, rest assured that we only use AUTHENTIC 5% gold injected brass.  And yes, our gold filled items will have a thicker layer of gold than our gold vermeil items (see chart above).

Why do we love to use this material, especially for our handcrafted items?  This is because gold filled items are STRONG; having a brass core allows this material to retain it's strength so that the jewelry (such as thin wires) will retain is's shape without adding bulk or weight. This allows us to handcraft jewelry using wire-working techniques. 

It is easy to care for gold filled brass.  While most of our gold filled items will retain it's beautiful colour for many years to come, it is still important to care for your jewelry as you would with sterling silver.  This means, (once again), avoiding sleeping with your jewelry on, bathing, showering, placing it openly in a humid environment. Place your jewelry in a sealed environment to avoid oxidation.  YES, laws of physics ALSO APPLY to gold filled jewelry.  While there are many claims over the internet (including those first few pages of google results) that gold filled items are "tarnish free," this is not a factual statement!  Laws of physics also apply here- abrasions, exposure, will also lead to your item's deterioration when the gold layer wears off and brass is exposed.  

To remove tarnish from BRASS, (gold filled brass items when the brass core is exposed or raw/plated brass), you may use use distilled water and toothpaste.  Silver and gold polish cloths DO NOT WORK WITH BRASS.