My Story

I'm a girl from a small town in Ohio living in a beautiful coastal town in Florida. I'm married to my very supportive high school sweetheart and we have a beautiful fur baby, Hula. I studied interior design in college and after several career reincarnations I am now here, living the unexpected life of jewelry designer and absolutely LOVING it!!! This blog chronicals my journey through this wild and exhilarating and sometimes exasperating world of jewelry making from idea to fruition!

My art is available at Old Florida Gallery and Outdoor Center in Englewood Florida

Thursday, April 28, 2016

No Plated Jewelry For Me, Thanks!!!

If you've ever wondered why I refuse to incorporate plated components in my jewelry designs here's the reason. Plating adds only a minute amount of gold or silver over base metals and when that plating wears off, and it will (the amount of time is dependent upon body chemistry), those base metals now sit against your skin and your body is exposed to those heavy metals. The skin can now absorb those heavy metals, which can be in the body for a looong time! Another reason is that I don't like to waste money! I'd rather be able to wear jewelry for a long time rather than only once or twice before it's garbage!

What's the difference between solid precious metals, filled (i.e. gold filled or silver filled), and plated you may be asking. Solid precious metals (gold, silver, platinum, to name a few) are pure metals with alloys (copper, palladium, nickel, also just a few) incorporated into them during casting to make them harder/stronger and more wearable. Most precious or noble metals are quite soft in their purest states. Filled/fill/rolled gold or silver are created with a substantial layer of solid precious metal applied with heat over a central core of base metal, usually copper or brass. The solid precious metal is usually at least 5% of the overall metal content. I have gold filled antique and vintage jewelry pieces from the late 1800's and early 1900's (back then it was often called rolled gold) that are still in great wearable condition with very minimal to no gold wear through to the base metal. And lastly plated metals. Plating is a chemical or electrochemical process in which a thin layer of gold is attracted to the base metal, usually 0.05% or less of the overall metal content. Everyone's body chemistry is different. My body chemistry is naturally very acidic 😕 I can only wear a piece of plated jewelry once or twice before I'm down to base metal. I always know when the plating is gone when I start feel very location specific skin irritation. This happens a lot with bras at the adjustment points, those components are always plated! Some people can wear plated jewelry on and off for up to a year before they're down to base metal.

Here's a fact you might find Interesting - white gold isn't naturally as white as it appears in jewelry stores! White gold is naturally slightly yellow. Gold is yellow. The alloys added to make gold white, such as nickel and more recently palladium, just aren't enough to make it as bright white as silver (which is the whitest of all of the precious metals) or platinum. White gold is usually rhodium plated to make it appear whiter! And as with all plating it will eventually wear off and you'll need to have it plated again if you want it to look as it did before and plan to continue wearing the piece.

You've probably seen it before, but here's an example of wear through. It looks as like this ring started out in copper, then it was nickel plated, then gold plated. This is a ring I just couldn't pass up it was SO pretty! I absolutely adored it, but I only got to wear it a few times 😔

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