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Metals Used in Jewelry Making

Sterling Silver Standards:   Sterling Silver is .925 silver (92.5%) by

weight and .75 (7.5%) other metals, usually copper, to give it strength.

It has a bright white luster finish. Over time, with exposure to the air, it

oxidizes ("tarnishes") and needs to be cleaned to restore its bright shine.

Sterling Silver can be deliberately oxidized to creat a different (darker)



Definition of Fine Silver:   Fine Silver is .999 silver (99.9% pure) and is

much softer than Sterling Silver. It must be work hardened to make usable

jewelry. Fine Silver has a brilliant white finish, and while it will eventually

oxidize, it keeps its bright white finish much longer than Sterling. It, too, can

be deliberately oxidized to achieve a darker finish.


Definition of Gold-filled:   Gold-filled is karat gold overlay on a brass

subsurface, making it tarnish resistant. Gold-filled is longer-lasting than

gold plated because the coating is thicker: 5% of the weight of the core

metal. The value is greater than gold plated also because Gold-filled

has an actual layer of gold, not just a microscopic film.


Definition of Vermeil:   Vermeil is karat gold (14k, 22k, or 24k) layered

over Sterling Silver. Vermeil is 50 times heavier than standard gold plating.

It gives the look and feel and weight of fine karat gold at a more economical

price than pure gold.


Definition of NuGold:  NuGold is an alloy of copper and zinc that has been 

specially formulated for jewelry. It's also known as "red Brass", "Merlin's

Gold" and "jeweler's Bronze". I contains 85% copper, giving it a warmer,

richer, more 'gold-like' color than regular brass. It contains NO nickel,

which so many people are sensitive to.


Definition of Brass:   Brass is an alloy of copper (68.5%-71.5%) and

zinc, and more malleable and lustrous than both its components.





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