Aluminum is an excellent metal for hand stamped jewelry. This bright silver metal is just as beautiful as sterling silver but does not tarnish. It is also lightweight, making it perfect for larger necklaces as you won't feel weighed down wearing it all day. Also, aluminum is extremely hypoallergenic (even moreso than sterling!), contains no nickel, and is perfect for those with metal allergies. To clean aluminum, simply wipe with a soft cloth to remove any fingerprints or body oils that may have accumulated. No chemicals or cleaners are required or recommended.
Copper has been used for thousands of years in many applications, including architecture, sculpture, and jewelry. It is extremely durable and will last a lifetime if properly cared for. Copper is also nickel-free, making it a great alternative for those with nickel allergies. This metal has a unique reddish-brown metal look to it that I absolutely love. It is one of my favorite metals to work with because it is so versatile. You will see us use it in many applications, including stamping, etching, texturing, and general metalwork.
Copper will naturally darken with time. Many factors, including climate and the specific chemistry of your body, can speed up or slow down this process. For our antiqued copper pieces, we chemically induce darkening of the metal to give it a rustic look. We cover these specific pieces with a coating that helps to prevent natural oxidation (darkening). However, it will still darken naturally. If desired, the copper can be cleaned in a solution of 3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of salt. Please keep in mind, however, that removing the natural oxidation will also remove the darkening we added to the piece, leaving you with a shiny copper piece instead of the rustic-looking copper. To help prevent excess darkening, copper jewelry should be stored in a resealable plastic baggie to help eliminate contact with the elements that may cause the metal to turn faster.
Brass is an alloy made from a combination of copper and zinc. This precious metal has a yellow tone that makes it a beautiful alternative to gold. Brass will also darken/tarnish with time, so the information above about the care of copper can also be applied to brass. Brass is nickel-free, making it a great metal for those with nickel allergies.
Pewter is a beautiful, silvery-grey metal made from tin with a small amount of copper. It is a soft metal that is fairly heavy for its size and has a beautiful luster when polished. It is also completely lead-free and is considered a precious metal.
Caring for pewter is easy. Simply use a mild soap, water, and a soft cloth to keep it clean. Like all jewelry, it is best to not wear pewter during activities such as sports or heavy cleaning to prevent damage.
Fine Silver/Sterling Silver
Fine silver and Sterling silver are very similar metals. Sterling silver is an alloy of mostly silver (92.5%) with copper and other elements making up the 7.5%, while fine silver is made of 99.9% silver. Sterling silver is more prone to tarnishing due to its copper content while fine silver generally doesn't tarnish as much or as quickly as Sterling silver (the extent and speed of tarnish depends, among other things, on the body chemistry of the wearer and the environment the jewelry is in). Because of the higher percentage of silver, fine silver is a slightly softer metal than Sterling silver. Due to this difference in hardness, each type of metal is better suited to different applications. Both are so much fun to work with, and we like to use both in our work.
Both types of silver can be cleaned with a polishing cloth.
Stainless Steel Chains
All of the silver-toned chains we use are made from stainless steel. They do not tarnish and are very durable. They also are great for those with metal allergies because stainless steel, like aluminum, is extremely hypoallergenic.
Antiqued Copper and Brass Chains
Antiqued copper or brass plated chains are made by plating an antiqued layer of copper or brass over a base of brass. They are extremely durable and hold their color well. Just like regular copper and brass, our antiqued plated chains are great for those with nickel allergies.