925 or Sterling Silver is 92.5% Silver, alloyed with 7.5% copper for added strength. This precious and valuable metal can be distinguished by it’s white/grey appearance and will be marked 925 or Ster for authenticity. It is a durable, affordable option for collectors and unlike cheaper metals like brass and nickel that have been populating the market, sterling silver is hypoallergenic. Keep Sterling Silver jewelry in a dark, dry airtight container when not in use. It will tarnish with exposure to the elements but will easily polish with wear.
Vermeil (pronounced vermay) is a very thick coating of gold, (in our case 14k,) over a solid sterling silver base. It is distinguished from lower quality gold plated jewelry in that it requires a sterling silver base, not brass or cheap metal, and must be 2.5 microns thick. To the naked eye it looks like solid gold and is a much more affordable option! Vermeil does require special care to extend the life of the gold overlay, and over time may develop a natural patina exposing the sterling silver beneath, especially on heavily worn pieces like rings and bracelets. Vermeil pieces may be recoated with gold for a fee. Remove gold vermeil jewelry when washing hands and showering, applying perfumes and lotions, or while using harsh cleaning supplies. To clean, buff with a microfiber or 100% cotton cloth and store in a dry, airtight container when not in use.
A relatively rare precious metal, gold has been valued by cultures for thousands of years. It is an excellent choice for heirloom jewelry, as it maintains it’s value over time. Pure gold is extremely soft and therefore alloyed with other metals to adjust color and add strength and durability. 10k yellow gold is .418 gold alloyed with copper, silver and zinc. 14k yellow gold is .585 gold, copper, silver, and zinc and so forth. Most of our pieces are cast in 10k gold, as it is the most affordable and durable option, but we are able to cast in higher karats in yellow, white, rose and even green gold.