Materials & Care
Knowing what your jewelry is made of and how to care for it properly will ensure that your pieces stay as beautiful as the day you bought them. Here are some care tips for common materials found in my jewelry designs:
RAW BRASS is an alloy of copper and zinc, neither of which are common causes of metal allergies. Exposure to moisture (even just the humidity in the air) will cause brass to oxidize over time, but can be cleaned with a soft polishing cloth since there is no plating to be worn off.
NICKEL-FREE PLATED METALS have a very thin layer of one metal over top of another metal. Plating can be worn or washed off pretty easily, so avoid wearing plated metals while sweating, swimming, or showering. Clean them gently with mild soap and water.
STERLING SILVER is an alloy made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% another metal, typically copper. Silver is very soft on its own, so the other metal is added for strength and hardness. Sterling silver doesn't oxidize from exposure to oxygen or ordinary water temperatures and rarely causes allergic reactions. If oxidization transfers to your skin, simply wash the skin and jewelry with mild soap and water and dry both thoroughly.
14K GOLD FILL is when a layer of 14 karat gold is bonded around a brass core with both heat and pressure. Gold-filled products are required to contain 5% solid gold by weight, sometimes shown as "1/20 14k GF." Gold filled products are tarnish resistant, will not flake, and do not change color over time.
I love the rough, natural look and feel of more economical stones for my designs. Some stones are dyed to enhance color or coated for a more unique look. Individual product descriptions include more info on stone treatments and specific care instructions.
General Care Tips
To prevent chips, cracks, and broken stones, avoid letting your stones slam into other hard surfaces like counter tops and being dropped on the floor.
To prevent stones changing color, avoid getting them wet.
Other Frequently used materials
COTTON CORD is both durable and comfortable, and generally uses a more sustainable production process than faux leather. A little splash of water from washing your hands is one thing, but don't wear cotton cord in the shower or on your next white water rafting trip.
NYLON THREAD is soft, flexible, and UV and fraying resistant. Unless specified in the product description, I use nylon thread in my bead crocheted and hand-knotted designs.