Learn about the qualities of sterling silver and gold-fill and how to properly clean and care for your Reimers Designs pieces.
If you're a jewelry lover or collector, then you're quite familiar with how quickly some metals can tarnish. It may be one of the most frustrating things about handling precious or semi-precious jewelry, aside from how fragile they can be. It is important to keep your jewelry clean, if you want them to look their best when you're ready to wear them.
At Reimers Designs, we take pride in the appearance of our pieces when they arrive at your doorstep and would like to share some tips to help you keep them looking great.
Sterling silver is the most commonly metal used in our designs. Sterling silver is a great high quality, precious metal. It is made from fine silver, which is 99.9% pure silver. This metal in its pure form has minimal tarnishing qualities, but unfortunately is too soft and malleable to make silver jewelry. Sterling silver is made with 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of an alloy metal, typically copper. This is the reason why sometimes you will see ".925" or "SS" stamped onto your jewelry, to identify the type of metal the piece is made with.
The use of copper makes the silver harder, which makes it easier to work with and make the pieces more durable than using pure silver. For this reason, most of the silver jewelry made by professionals, will be sterling silver. Using copper does not affect the color of the silver, but it does cause quicker tarnishing and oxidation. Don't fret, sterling is very easy to clean.
Pictured Above: (left to right) Malachite/Chrysocolla Filigree Bangle; Dina Fringe Earrings in Malachite; and Dana Regal Ring, from our collections.
Gold-filled metal is a metal that is constructed in 2-3 layers. It is an affordable alternative to solid gold jewelry. Gold-fill is a thick layer of gold, typically 12kt or 14kt, layered over an alloy base metal. This gold layer is a sleeve that is thick enough and will not wear off, if taken care of properly.
This process is different from plating; it will not turn green or peel off over time. Plating is when a base metal is dipped into a chemical to get the look of the desired metal.
The gold tones are visually appealing in our pieces and costs significantly less because of the base metal core. We use gold-fill in our mixed metals pieces, while keeping our designs at a reasonable price range for our customers. With proper care, gold-fill can last you a long time.
AT-HOME JEWELRY CARE
Our designs are created to be long lasting treasures. Metals oxidize naturally over time, but if the oxidized look is not your style, here are some tips on how you can clean your jewelry at home. Use mild soap, warm water, and a soft bristle toothbrush to clean your pieces: gentle circular motions are best to remove natural oils from the skin, dirt from the environment, and lotions/perfumes. Please gently dry the pieces immediately, so there are no water marks: DO NOT AIR DRY! Be extra careful with pearls and gemstones. Avoid using polishing solutions and creams that may damage your gemstones! Also, avoid baking soda or toothpaste to clean your pieces. For a shiny and polished look, please purchase a polishing cloth to keep your pieces sparkling. NEVER shower or swim with your jewelry on. Remember your ABC's of jewelry cleaning: Always Be Careful!