Cremation jewelry is crafted from a large assortment of different metals and finishes. Understanding not only the make-up of the jewelry but how this effects the care and maintenance of your cremation jewelry can help you keep your keepsake looking it’s best for years to come.
Sterling silver is one of the most versatile metals that crosses several industries. The cool tones and easy care make it popular amongst jewelers and the popularity has spilled over into the cremation jewelry industry. Simple to care for and maintain, sterling silver is a great option for those looking for durability and versatility with their cremation jewelry.
What is Sterling Silver?
The term 0.925 grade sterling silver means that the silver is a combination of 92% silver and 8% other metals. Sterling silver is very soft on its own and adding additional metals or alloys strengthens the metal but doesn’t compromise the color of the silver.
Sterling silver versus silver plating - what’s the difference?
Silver plated is much different than sterling silver. With silver plating, the jewelry has a base of brass or another metal and a thin electroplating of sterling silver on the top. This silver plating gives the rich beauty of sterling silver but the cost is generally lower. Additionally, silver rhodium plating is often added to sterling silver jewelry. Silver rhodium plating gives the jewelry a high reflective shine as well as added durability.
14k gold is a metal that is prevalent in the jewelry industry. Available in both 14k yellow gold and 14k white gold, the metal is versatile and one of the more expensive jewelry materials. Both white and yellow gold have different attributes depending on skin tone, gemstone accents and skin allergies.
What is 14k yellow gold?
Yellow gold is a mix of gold and copper and zinc alloys. It is available in different karats such as 10k, 14k and 18k. The number tells parts of gold in 24 parts alloy so the higher the percentage of gold, the higher the karat. So, for example, with 14k gold there are 14 parts fine gold and 10 parts other alloys. Yellow gold needs to polished regularly and is prone to scratches. Complimentary to those with warm skin tones, yellow gold is a classic choice when it comes to jewelry.
What is 14k white gold?
White gold is similar to yellow gold in that is contains part pure gold and part alloy. The different is in the alloys. White gold is mixed with white metals like palladium and silver. This mixture provides a stronger, scratch proof surface and is most often paired with gemstones such as diamonds. White gold compliments the color and depth of gems, especially diamonds. Often plated with rhodium to give it a shiny and durable look, white gold is a popular option for those with a bigger budget and for those looking for a modern and trendy approach to their jewelry.
Another popular option is gold plated keepsakes. Gold plated jewelry is complimentary to a variety of different skin tones and gives customers an affordable alternative to solid 14k gold. The keepsakes are easy to maintain and available in a wide assortment of styles.
What is gold plated?
Gold plated jewelry has a base of copper, brass, silver or another metal. The base metal goes through a series of chemical processes and then is dipped in a solution. The solution reacts when an electric current is applied and causes a thin layer of gold to be applied to the base metal. The thicker the gold plating the higher the cost of the jewelry.
One of the most popular metals used in the jewelry industry is brass. The soft tones of the jewelry give it an understated appeal to men and women alike. Brass is durable and versatile and one of our most beautiful alloys.
What is brass?
Brass is an alloy that is a combination of copper and zinc. Brass displays different properties based off of the amount of zinc and copper that is used. The color of brass changes depending on how much zinc it contains. The higher the zinc proportion the lighter the color of brass.
Stainless steel is rising in popularity and is an affordable option for those that love the look of silver but are looking for something a little less expensive than sterling silver. Strong and resilient, the metal can have a matte or shiny finish and is very durable.
What is stainless steel?
Stainless steel is steel that is combined with at least 10% chromium and smaller percentages of other metals. The 10% chromium combines with oxygen and this forms an invisible layer on the steel. This protective layer is the ‘stainless’. This layer makes stainless steel resistant to rust, corrosion and discoloration.
Perhaps one of the strongest metals, titanium is durable and beautiful. Increasing in popularity due to it’s durability, titanium is an affordable alternative to 14k white gold as well as for those that are hard on their jewelry or looking for something different and unique.
What is titanium?
Titanium is unique in that this white metal is used primarily in its pure form, approximately 99% pure. The color of the metal is light gray and titanium is 100% hypoallergenic. The metal is exceptionally lightweight, more so than 18k gold or platinum. Titanium is very difficult to work with as the hard metal can damage jewelry making tools easily. It cannot be soldered which also restricts how titanium can be utilized for jewelry. The difficulty in using titanium offsets the cost of the metal, making titanium pricier than sterling silver but still more affordable than 14k white gold.