Precious Metals Guide
Lily Grace creates, and handcrafts jewellery mainly from 925 sterling silver, sterling silver is the highest quality silver used for jewellery, an alloy of pure silver mixed with other metals to increase durability, usually copper to toughen it.
Sterling silver will naturally tarnish over time, this is part of its natural make up once it is exposed to the air, make up, perfumes, hairspray, moisturisers, soaps or other harsh chemicals, regualr cleaning will keep your silver sparkling.
I also sometimes use art clay silver, which once fired becomes 99% pure fine silver.
What is the difference between sterling silver & silver plated:
Simply put.. sterling silver will last a lifetime if looked after properly, silver plated is a process of bonding a very thin layer of silver to a base metal, such as nickel, copper or brass, it is less durable and wears out over time, exposing the base metal underneath the silver, silver plate is also not a good metal for those with allergies.
I aim to create beautiful designs that you can wear daily, and pieces that are timeless, that you will love and want to keep and maybe hand down to further generations, making them heirloom pieces, which I why I only choose to use precious metals rather than plated metals ( although for my cotton wish bracelets I use plated metals for the charms, as well as sterling silver and Swarovski crystals)
Rhodium plated silver.. is a powerhouse precious metal and part of the platinum family, it is sometimes used to plate sterling silver to protect it from tarnishing, it is one of the rarest & most valuable precious metals, rhodium is also hypoallergenic.
Gold Vermeil, is from the french term for gold plated sterling silver, gold vermeil must meet certain high standards, the plating must be on a base of sterling silver, the layer of gold itself, must be a minimum of 10 carat gold, and a thickness 0f 2.5 microns (0.0025 millimeters)
Reasons I love gold vermeil, it is perfect for achieving a high quality luxury look, whilst being more affordable than solid gold, it is a safe choice for people with allergies, as it only contains sterling silver & gold.
Gold vermeil is also available in rose gold vermeil which is a softer pinker coloured tone than the brighter yellow gold, and in several carats such as 9k, 18k and 24k gold and rose gold vermeil.
Ways to keep your jewellery at it's sparkling best:
Put your jewellery on after you have applied make up, perfumes, moisturiers, etc, to avoid contact with any harsh chemicals.
Do not shower or bath in your jewellery.
Do not have your jewellery in direct contact with sunlight, the swimming pool, beach, sand, chlorine and saltwater will not do it any favours.
Storage is queen... keep your precious jewellery stored away from direct sunlight, keep in a moisture free enviroment, fasten all chains to stop them getting tangled, and store each piece in a little airtight bag, or soft pouch, to stop them scratching each other.
Cleaning your jewellery:
* Please note... never use harsh chemicals or chemical cleaners on any fine or precious metals, use only the recommended cleaners for precious metals and a soft precious metal polishing cloth.
I do not recommend the use of silver dip cleaners, due to the chemicals and sulpher within them, as these can damage the surface of the silver and precious metals, and wear it down over time.
Precious metals that contain no pearls or semi precious gemstones including crystals: may be washed in luke warm water using a very mild detergent only, using only your hands ( do not wear jewellery whilst washing as it may scratch your item) once cleaned, dry completely with a soft lint free and non abrasive cloth, before storing away...
* Please note...do not use kitchen roll, a duster, kitchen cloths, scrubbers, normal tissue or toilet paper or any such items, as this can and will scratch and damage your sterling silver and precious metals.
If in doubt, specialist precious metal polishing cloths are available and are an ideal cleaning companion for all your precious metal jewellery.