There are many choices of materials to use for jewelry and in jewelry metal work. At Peggy Li Creations I choose my materials for their durability, ease of use, durability and of course beauty!
You are probably already familiar with metals like sterling silver or karat gold. But what about materials like 14k gold-filled and gold vermeil?
14k Gold-filled -- I use 14/20 gold-filled materials. While "gold-filled" sounds like the gold is somehow on the inside of the metal, it is the opposite! Gold-filled is a term that describes a process where a thick layer of 14k gold is heat and pressure-bonded to a (typically) brass core. The "14/20" notation is the ratio of karat gold to brass core by weight - 14k gold at 1/20 or at least 5% of the total metal weight.
If you keep your 14k gold-filled away from moisture and nicks, it should resist tarnish (turning color) very well.
You get the rich look of gold with 14k gold-filled, without the cost of solid 14k gold!
Gold vermeil -- Gold vermeil is the term for when gold is layered over sterling silver. Typically, this layer is of 22-18k gold at 100 micro inches (2.5 microns) which is 50x heavier than items made as "gold plate"! This way, you get a rich 24k gold look without the cost. If you keep your gold vermeil away from moisture and damage, this should also resist tarnish. I like to use gold vermeil that has a matte finish for an even more luxe look.
Vermeil Style -- Most of the items marked "vermeil" on my website refers to the fact that the item is a gold plate over sterling silver. The company I use for the majority of my vermeil components creates "vermeil style" gold plate that is 40 micro inches (1 micron) of 98.5% pure gold plated over sterling silver with a fine layer of nickel in between. This is durable and keeps the items more affordable.
Only occasionally will I use other karat gold filled, plated items or base metals, and this will be always be noted in product descriptions. I do use 10k, 14k or 18K golds for certain pieces and by request.
Have a question? Let me know!