Le Papier Studio is now Vana Chupp Studio. Read More

Jewelry Care/Materials + Repairs

With a little care, your jewelry should last you a lifetime. Ensure that it does so by following our simple jewelry care tips.

  • Jewelry can scratch with wear. This is totally natural and just shows how much you love your VCS jewelry.
  • As with all fine things in life, you should take care to protect your jewelry. Moisture and salts encourage the appearance of tarnish. Do not store jewelry in the bathroom.
  • In those rare instances you take off your piece, store it in a sealed plastic bag. It's best to remove your jewelry while showering, swimming, applying perfume or working out.
  • We believe jewelry should be worn daily (we wear ours!) but there are a few activities where we recommend removing your precious pieces –  when coming in contact with rocks or gardening; when holding grabby babies; or when wearing a nubby sweater.
  • Believe it or not, regardless of price, jewelry that looks delicate... is. We still encourage you to wear your VCS pieces but use good judgement.
  • Some skin types may react to gold filled jewelry causing it to tarnish or wear out prematurely. We advise you do your research, email us ahead of time with lots of questions before you finalize your metal selection. If a gold filled charm starts tarnishing on you, we can re-polish free of charge (within 90 days of purchase) but will not offer a replacement free of charge.
  • Fine “scratch” marks are common and part of the handmade nature of our pieces (and more noticeable on the smaller charms).

14K Solid Gold (Yellow, Rose and White)

We use 14k solid yellow, rose and white gold on our heirloom jewelry so your pieces will last you a lifetime. Unlike plated gold, solid gold will not rub off or alter in appearance over time, is most hypoallergenic and durable for everyday wear. Gold should be cleaned regularly in order to maintain its beauty and luster. It can get dirty though. Like any precious metal, solid gold does scratch, so be mindful. Using the included polishing cloth to clean is highly recommended to ensure the longevity of your pieces.

A note for customers ordering a mixed metal product : White Gold comes rhodium plated (with a shiny finish) where as our yellow and rose gold are satin finish. Keep that in mind when ordering.

Gold filled (no longer offered)

PLEASE NOTE: We have discontinued this metal as of September 9, 2019. For more details please read our post here.

Gold filled is the next level and is an amazing, quality alternative to solid gold. Unlike gold plated, gold filled is formed from a mechanical bonding process that melts solid gold onto the base metal. Gold filled jewelry contains 5% solid gold which means the gold coating is much thicker than that of plated or vermeil jewelry.

Gently clean your gold filled piece with a soft toothbrush and a small amount of mild dish soap. Rinse well and place on a towel to air dry. Be sure your charm is completely dry before storing. For a quick shine, simply rub the polishing cloth (included with your order) on the charm until it's shiny again.

A note on the gold filled material - Due to the cutting process, the edges of the gold filled charms are exposed base material (copper and brass) and like any non-solid gold metal, your piece will tarnish over time (for some even after the first time they wear the piece). You can certainly slow down the tarnishing process by taking good care of your piece (using the instructions provided here and on the care card that comes with your order). Avoid wearing perfume, hair or deodorant spray. Perspiration also plays a role on how fast your gold filled piece will tarnish. Everyone's body chemistry is different and some people are more susceptible than others.  If this is a concern to you, or you haven't purchased gold filled from us before and are not sure how your skin will react to it, we strongly advise you to opt for the solid gold or sterling silver option instead.

A little more information on gold filled and why we use it...

First, what does gold filled actually mean?

Gold filled is a layer of 14k gold that has been bonded to a brass core. Think of it like an ice cream sandwich- with the ice cream in the middle being the brass and the chocolate cookie on either side being the 14k gold.

Why does gold filled tarnish faster than 14k solid gold?

Going back to our ice cream sandwich comparison; just as you can see the ice cream from the side of the sandwich, you can see the brass on the edge of your charms. Brass tarnishes at a faster rate than gold and will appear darker faster. The acid in your skin, sweat, perfumes, soaps, lotions, hairspray, makeup, sunscreen, chlorine, bromine (like in hot tubs), household cleaners, certain medications all can all speed up tarnish.

Additionally, over time the 14k layer can wear down causing more of the brass to be exposed and therefore more of the piece to tarnish. Unfortunately this is just the nature of a well loved and well worn treasure (check out your grandmother’s wedding rings and notice if the underside of the ring is much thinner than the top).

Why we love and use gold filled?

Simply put, we recognize that not everyone has the budget for 14k solid gold jewelry. We offer gold filled to have an alternative to the higher prices of solid gold while still keeping that beautiful, warm gold color. If you know you are highly sensitive to brass (which is the base metal in gold filled jewelry) gold filled may still irritate your skin and tarnish quickly because of the raw edge. Please consider silver or 14k solid gold.

Why not gold plating?

Gold plating, a process where and item is electroplated with gold, results in a very thin layer of gold actually on the piece. This thin layer can wear away within weeks on some people. We don’t feel it is a sustainable option for your future heirloom. Gold plated pieces typically contain 0.05% gold by weight while gold filled are required by law to contain a minimum of 5% gold.

.925 Sterling Silver

Sterling silver naturally oxidizes or tarnishes. Prolonged exposure to the air and your body’s natural chemistry can expedite this process. In order for your sterling silver piece to look its best, avoid direct contact with showers, perfume, lotion, chlorine, and bleach. All silver jewelry should be stored in an airtight plastic bags to slow the oxidation process.The best way to clean your sterling silver charm, and to prevent or remove dirt and tarnish, is to use the polishing/anti-tarnish cloth which arrives with your order. Rub the cloth on the charm until it's shiny again.

How to care for Diamonds

Diamonds can be cleaned using jewelry cleaning solutions, ultrasonic cleaners and soapy water. Harder at home cleaners are not recommended.

How to care for Gemstones

Gemstones are sensitive to heat, perfumes, household cleaners, oils and chemical. Be careful when in contact with such agents. Use warm, soapy water to clean them and dry them immediately with a soft cloth. Do not use commercial jewelry cleaners and avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaning.

How to care for Pearls

A pearl's surface is not very hard and it can easily be damaged by other pieces of jewelry if stored together. Since pearls are organic gemstones, they can be fragile and very sensitive to chemicals and moisture. Avoid contact with lotions, perfume, water and hair products. Wipe your pearl jewelry with a soft cloth after each wear.


We take great pride of the quality and craftsmanship of our pieces. Our jewelry is meant to be worn daily. However, jewelry is by its very nature delicate. If you should experience the need for a repair, we are here to help. We offer free repairs within 60 days for any breakage caused by manufacturer defect.

We are also happy to re-polish any jewelry piece you purchased with us within 90 days of its arrival. Simply get in touch with us through our REPAIR REQUEST form.

International orders are not eligible for returns or repairs.