The metals I work with include jeweler's brass, .925 sterling silver & 14k gold-filled
Jeweler's brass is an alloy of copper (85%) and zinc (15%) and is very similar in tone to 14k gold. Brass requires a little extra care than other metals but if properly done, it will last a lifetime.
.925 sterling silver is an alloy of silver (92.5%) and copper (7.5%)
14k gold-filled is a thick layer of gold that is pressure bonded to a brass core. It is hundreds of times thicker than gold-plated and should not flake or tarnish. It is suitable for most skin sensitivities.
All metals are nickel-safe!
Both brass and sterling naturally darken over time and will tarnish when exposed to heat and humidity. This does not harm the metal and actually acts as a protective layer! If you enjoy the aged look of patina created by tarnish, you can simply let it do it's thing.
To keep jewelry bright & shiny:
- avoid getting jewelry wet
- do not wear jewelry to sleep, shower, workout or swim
- store jewelry in an airtight bag or container in a cool, dry place (NOT the bathroom)
- polish periodically with a sunshine cloth
There is a slight chance brass will turn your skin green due to the high copper content. This is completely harmless and temporary - some people even believe it has healing properties! Whether or not you turn green is largely due to your individual chemistry and can be avoided by following the above instructions.