General Questions

General Questions

Do you wholesale?

Do you create custom jewelry?

What are your ear wires made of?

Hypo-Allergenic

Metal Allergies

Definitions of Types of Silver

Definitions of Types of Gold

Description of Different Metals

Anatomy Guide for Selecting Jewelry

Metaphysical Meanings of Gems and Metals
Stones, Crystals, & Metal Stampings

Cause Awareness Colors For Jewelry

Do you wholesale?

Yes, we do. You must have a resale tax ID number, and our first time minimum order requirement is $500. Please contact us directly for further information.

Do you create custom jewelry?

Yes. Please click here  to see some past custom designs.

What are your ear wires made of?

Depending on the design of the earrings, the ear wires we use are made of either Sterling Silver, 14K Gold, 14k Gold-Filled, Niobium, or Titanium. If the design incorporates lever-back ear wires in antiqued copper or antiqued brass, the metal composition is a copper or brass plated base metal.  We also sell Rubber Earring Backs to keep your earrings where they belong.

Hypo-Allergenic

Webster’s New World Dictionary defines hypo-allergenic as “less likely to cause an allergic reaction than other comparable preparations or goods”. Allergic reactions may occur from any type of jewelry that contacts the skin, whether it be plastic, ceramic or metal. It can occur as moisture leaches chemicals or metal ions out of the jewelry material. Plated metal or jewelry composed of several metals are especially prone to causing allergic reactions due to electrochemical reactions that occur between dissimilar metals in the presence of moisture.

Metal Allergies

One of the more common metal allergies that people may have is to nickel. One thing that many people do not realize is that surgical stainless steel contains a small amount of Nickel (usually 8% in jewelry). If you have only a slight allergy, then you can probably wear surgical steel for a few hours, or possibly all day. Or, you may be so sensitive to nickel that not only can you not wear any earrings with it in them.

Every year we get a few customers who believe that they cannot wear gold jewelry because they get an allergic reaction to it. Some believe that they are allergic to gold. We have never yet known anybody who was allergic to pure gold.

The most common cause of allergic reactions to jewelry is nickel contained in the alloy. Nickel is frequently used in white gold alloys because it is inexpensive, hard, and has a strong whitening effect. Better quality white gold alloys use palladium, which has excellent properties but is more expensive.

The next most common cause of allergies for jewelry wearers appears to be detergent or other chemicals which lodge between the jewelry, usually rings, and the skin. Hairdressers are often affected. Rinsing well can help, but it is probably best to remove rings before using any troublesome chemicals, and use a barrier cream.

A few jewelry wearers still seem to be slightly allergic to yellow golds, nickel cannot be the cause because it is not used in yellow gold alloys. In most cases sufferers only experience problems with low gold content alloys such as nine carat, so upgrading to a better alloy such as eighteen carat usually solves all problems.

The other common components of nine carat gold alloys are copper, silver and zinc. Zinc is usually very well tolerated, it is used in many medical preparations. Silver and copper do not usually cause allergic reactions, but both will form compounds with atmospheric pollutants which may be the cause of some reported problems. When copper and silver are present in high carat alloy such as eighteen or twenty two carat, they are more resistant to attack by chemicals, because they are bound more closely with the gold content, and this will explain why high carat alloys cause fewer problems.

Strange as it may seem, using antiperspirants can exacerbate metal allergy problems. It has been found that the sweat of a healthy person in a sauna can contain 20 times the nickel content of blood plasma. Antiperspirants can reduce the bodies natural way of eliminating heavy metals by hindering the body’s ability to produce necessary sweat.

Titanium and niobium metals are the best elements to use for ear wires for people with sensitivity to metals:

Niobium – Niobium is not plated or painted. It is anodized, meaning it is colored by dipping it into an electrically charged “bath”. Because it contains no nickel, most people with metal allergies can safely wear Niobium.

Titanium – Titanium is good for metal sensitive people with newly pierced ears. Its neutral grey color blends well with many fashions, and will allow the sensitive to “finally wear earrings”.

Learn more about these metals

Hypoallergenic Titanium and Niobium ear wires are available for purchase.

Definitions of Types Of Silver

The proportion of silver in these alloys is stated in terms of fineness, which means parts of silver per thousand of the alloy. Sterling is the American and British standard for silver. Sterling silver contains 92.5 percent of silver and 7.5 percent of another metal, usually copper; i.e., it has a fineness of 925. The sterling standard is 925 parts of silver to 75 parts copper in every 1000 parts sterling silver. Pieces manufactured in the United States are stamped Sterling or 925. British sterling pieces bear hallmarks, symbols and letters indicating maker place of origin, and year of manufacture, as well as the sterling mark, a standing lion (Lion Passant). While other marks vary, the sterling mark appears on all British sterling except for pieces manufactured in Scotland, which bear a thistle mark instead of the Lion Passant. (These thistle-marked pieces are exceedingly rare on the local market).

Jewelry silver is an alloy containing 80 percent silver and 20 percent copper (800 fine). Coin silver was manufactured prior to the acceptance of the sterling silver in the US (about 1960). Most manufacturers in the early 1800s stamped “Coin Silver” or “Pure Coin” on pieces to indicate the quality; 900 parts silver per thousand. 900 silver is 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper. For jewelry in Egypt – there is no sterling silver.

Sheffield Plate is a confusing term. The city of Sheffield, England remains a major center for the manufacture of sterling and plate, although true Sheffield Plate is no longer made. Sheffield Plate is a silver and copper ‘sandwich’ with the less precious metal in the middle. It was rolled into thin sheets and used in silverware manufacture at a price far lower than that of sterling. By the mid-1800s, however, the electroplating process made silver plate an even lower priced alternative, and the manufacture of Sheffield Plate was discontinued.

Electroplate is a process of plating a base metal with silver after an object has been manufactured. The base metal is usually indicated in code on the piece: EPNS Electroplate on Nickel Silver (most common today); EPBM Electroplate on Britania Metal; EPWM, Electroplate on White Metal; EPC, Electroplate on Copper.

German Silver is another misleading term. It is not silver at all, but an alloy of nickel, copper, and zinc. Nickel Silver is another term used interchangeably with German Silver.

Over time oxidation reactions will occur, especially with sulfur and oxygen, causing silver to become tarnished. Tarnishing on silver jewelry, when worn on a regular basis, usually does not occur. Storage for a prolonged time causes silver jewelry to tarnish. Contact with rubber bands may cause tarnish – the sulfur in rubber is a catalyst for tarnish. Taking a medication that changes the acidity of your skin may cause silver jewelry to tarnish. Individuals with a more acidic PH balance will notice their silver jewelry tarnishes.

Definitions of Types of Gold

Gold Jewelry – Karats & Color
Gold has been used in jewelry making for thousands of years and is the most popular jewelry metal today. Because of its high malleability (among metals, only silver is more malleable), gold can be manipulated into intricate designs. It does not fade, rust, or corrode, and it is very resistant to tarnishing. As you know, gold is also expensive. Only one other metal, platinum, is pricier than gold.

Gold Content in Jewelry – Karats
Because gold is very soft, it’s usually alloyed with other, harder metals. Alloyed gold is less prone to scratching and deformation over time, making jewelry more durable. The amount of pure gold in a piece of jewelry is measured by the “karatage” system. Every piece of gold jewelry should be labeled with a small metal stamp indicating its karatage. These stamps are called “karat marks.” They typically depict a number followed by the letter “k.”

Karat marks indicate the amount of pure gold in 24ths. Pure gold is described as 24 karat (or “24k”). If you divided a 24-karat piece of jewelry into 24 equal units, all 24 would be pure gold. A 10 karat piece of jewelry divided into 24 equal units would contain 10 units of pure gold and 14 units of other, nonprecious metals.
Here are the most common karat marks used today in the United States and Europe:

Karats (k) Percentage of Pure Gold
18 75%
14 58.5%
10 41.7%

In the United States, all gold jewelry is required by law to contain a karat mark, and the minimum legal karatage for jewelry sold in the U.S. is 10 karat. Gold content may be as low as 9 karat in the United Kingdom, and as low as 8 karat in Germany. Twenty-four karat gold jewelry is rare in the U.S. and Europe, but is a traditional wedding gift in China and Hong Kong.

Gold Colors
In its pure (24 karat) form, gold is deep yellow-orange with a slightly dull finish. When gold is alloyed with other metals, its color changes subtly or dramatically, depending on the alloy. It also becomes shinier. Yellow gold typically contains copper and silver. White gold contains copper, nickel, and zinc. (This is important to remember if you’re allergic to nickel.) Gold can even be colored “rose,” green, or “red” when alloyed with various amounts of copper, zinc, and/or aluminum.

Anatomy Guide for Selecting Jewelry

Visit the Anatomy Guide to help you select the jewelry that looks best on your individual body.

Metaphysical Meanings of Gems and Metals, Stones, Crystals, & Metal Stampings

Read through the metaphysical meanings to find that perfect stone for your jewelry.

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