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The Silver Connection

Sterling Silver Jewelry

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EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION

Silver Jewelry Information
Gold Jewelry Information
Gemstone Glossary
Pearl Jewelry Information

Gold Jewelry, Gold Filled Jewelry, and Gold Plated Jewelry


What Is “14 Karat” Gold?

Like fine silver, fine gold is alloyed with other metals to improve strength and durability.  The amount of fine gold used is traditionally measured in karats.  “Pure gold” is represented as 24 karat.  In its pure state, however, gold is quite soft and is rarely used for jewelry.

The most common gold alloys used in the United States are 14 karat and 18 karat.  14 karat gold consists of 58.3 percent fine gold.  18 karat gold consists of 75 percent fine gold.


What Is Gold Filled Jewelry?

Gold filled jewelry is made up of gold tubing, which is then filled with brass.  This gives the item the look and feel of gold jewelry, at a much more affordable price.  Gold filled jewelry has about 100 times more gold than gold-plated jewelry, so the gold surface will never flake, peel, or wear off.

14/20 gold fill means that the gold tubing consists of 14 karat gold, and that the karat gold tubing makes up 5 percent (1/20) of the total metal weight. 12/20 gold filled jewelry uses 12 karat gold for the tubing.


What Metals Are Used for our Gold Plated Items?

Unless otherwise noted, our gold plated items consist of sterling silver with 14 karat gold plating.  Items marked as fashion jewelry do not contain precious metal, except for plating.  Gold plated fashion jewelry items consist of base metal (often brass, for example) plated with 14 karat gold.

Alternative Metals

Why Are Alternative Metals Becoming So Popular?

With the cost of precious metals like gold and silver rising, alternative metals allow designers to continue to craft bold statement pieces while keeping costs down. From trendy pieces for everyday wear, to wedding bands that will last a lifetime, high-quality alternative metal jewelry has carved out a permanent place in the jewelry market.


What Are Today's Best Selling Alternative Metals?

From the golden tones of brass, to the lasting strength of stainless steel, designers turn to a wide variety of alternative metals, each with its own unique benefits. Here are some of the most popular alternative metal choices:

Brass has quickly become a popular alternative metal in jewelry fashion. An alloy of copper and zinc, the metal’s malleability, resistance to tarnish and acoustic properties have made it a choice material for musical instruments like trumpets and trombones, and the metal’s warm, yellow tone and bold shine make it the perfect alternative to gold jewelry. Although it has been associated with a vintage look, the metal’s reputation is rapidly evolving into a highly modern material in the fashion world.

Bronze: With its honeyed hue, bronze jewelry makes a beautiful addition to any collection at a great price point. Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin, and is as rich in tone as it is in history. For thousands of years, cultures around the world have produced works of high art using bronze, and the metal continues to be a growing jewelry trend with a unique, contemporary edge. Like copper, the patina that can form on bronze jewelry gives it an attractive aged look.

Copper The use of copper in jewelry craftsmanship dates back some 10,000 years, which adds an allure of antiquity to the metal’s reddish, earthy tone. Polished copper has a bright luster and is often given a thin coating of clear lacquer to preserve this burnished look. Over time, copper oxidizes and creates a darker, antique affect.

Stainless Steel: 316L stainless steel is an attractive, highly durable metal for jewelry. It is the most common grade of stainless steel used for jewelry in the industry and an affordable choice for those needing a durable or robust piece of jewelry. 316L stainless steel is highly resistant to pitting and corrosion and remains tough even in temperature extremes. It can be refinished and does not oxidize, tarnish or turn black.

Titanium is a fast-growing trend in the men’s jewelry sector and has many benefits.  It is extremely resistant to corrosion and water and it is hypo-allergenic — people who have allergies to gold or silver can wear titanium without any problem.  It is has a very high strength-to-weight ratio, resulting in lightweight, strong jewelry that is comfortable to wear.  Because it is so strong and lightweight, titanium has been used for years in aerospace technology applications.  And, titanium offers the stylish, rich color of platinum at a much more affordable price.

Tungsten carbide is an alloy of tungsten and carbon — when combined, the metal is extremely hard and durable.  MMA’s tungsten jewelry is made up of tungsten carbide. Tungsten carbide is ten times harder than 18 karat gold, five times harder than tool steel, and four times harder than titanium.  It is almost impossible to scratch and will keep its shine for a lifetime.  Tungsten carbide jewelry is known for its heavy weight and deep, modern color.  Some tungsten jewelry on the market is manufactured with cobalt, which can cause adverse skin reactions.  Tungsten jewelry containing cobalt can also develop oxidization spots that cannot be removed.  MMA’s tungsten jewelry is all cobalt free.

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Our sterking silver jewelry is .925. What does that mean?

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