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Which metal is right for you!


August 09, 2022

Metals

Today we are talking all things metals! Which metals we use on our products, why we do so and most importantly which metal is right for you. Our goal is to inform you about the qualities of each metal so you can make an educated decision when it comes to choosing the metal for your next piece.

What metals do we use and why?

At Vana Chupp Studio we use 14K solid gold (yellow, white and rose) and sterlium plus for the majority of our jewelry collection and gold filled for a small locket selection. We also use brass from our Silhouette and Home Ornaments.

Our decision to use these metals is one we've come to not by accident but after many years of working with them to ensure the final product is heirloom quality and will stand the test of time. Over the years we've had to discontinue certain metals that didn't live up to our expectations. Our goal is not only to design beautiful, meaningful jewelry but also to ensure all our pieces stand up beautifully to daily wear.

14k solid gold is a beautiful metal that adds not only value to our pieces (gold is one of the most valuable resources in the world and its value only goes up with time) but it also makes them truly heirloom quality. Solid gold jewelry doesn't tarnish and if cared for properly, it will last you a very long time. Our pieces are meant to be worn daily, treasured and be passed down to the future generations.

Sterlium plus is a sterling silver alloy that is great to work with and offers strength and re-usability (which is very important for us as we recycle any metal scrap left over from cutting). Sterlium is resistant to tarnish and maintains a bright white color (an upgrade from sterling silver which will tarnish over time). Since it contains no nickle, this metal is a great choice for those with sensitivity to nickel.

Gold filled is a great option for those who love the look and feel of solid gold but are looking for a more economical option. We use this metal only on select Silhouette Lockets due to its limiting qualities. We no longer use gold filled on our charms and medallions (you can read more about the decision to discontinue it here).

What is the difference between solid and filled gold?

There is often some confusion when it comes to the term "solid gold" and I wanted to explain in more dept what it means.  Solid gold is often referred to as "real gold" and a number followed by k (for karat) which refers to the purity of gold. This might be more information than you're asking for, but the purest form of gold is 24 karat (aka 100% gold). 24K gold is very yellow and soft in texture...too soft to actually use in jewelry. To make it stronger, gold is mixed with alloys which are other durable metals like zinc, copper, silver or nickel. We use 14K gold which is 14/24 parts pure gold (58% pure) and the rest (42%) is a blend of metals (aka alloys - which is also what gives the color white, yellow or rose to the gold).

Gold filled is a lot more economical compared to solid gold and is made by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal (such as brass or silver). Unlike solid gold, Gold filled will wear off, exposing the base metal underneath. Gold filled jewelry has a limited life span (with proper care it will last a while but not nearly compared to solid gold) and repairing or restoring the gold color is rather difficult and often involves "plating" as a temporary solution

Which metal is right for you?

There are prons and cons to all types of metals, but Solid Gold is what I'd recommend because of how durable, valuable and least irritating it is to those with allergies to base metals. If you are looking for a piece you can wear 24/7, I highly recommend investing in solid gold. Sterlium is a great metal in that is durable and a lot less expensive but it does have some limitations when it comes to wearing it 24/7 (showing, swimming etc) because it can react to various elements and begin to tarnish.

Investing in meaningful heirloom jewelry is something we are very passionate about. By definition, heirloom is a valuable object that has been in a family for generations. We believe creating your own heirloom piece to be passed down is incredibly meaningful and choosing the right metal is probably the most important part of the process.

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