I can hardly believe that I’ve never made a post about this, but I often get the question: What metals are used in Zurina Ketola Designs jewely and how do I care for it?
It’s come up recently as a new member of my studio and shop space at Studio Hertzberg. Since we all work in the shop a few times a month and sell each others work, I thought now would be the perfect time to write about this. There’s quite a bit of information to share about what I do, so I’m going to separate things out into a few different blog posts: gold, rose gold, and silver.
First up? Let’s talk about the type of gold you’ll find in my handmade jewelry and how to best care for it.
14K Gold Fill (US)/ 585 Gold Fill (EU)
Gold fill is made using a layer of solid gold which is pressure bonded to a base metal, most often brass. Gold fill products are 5% gold by weight. You’ll find 14K gold fill materials in my handcrafted ear wires, ear cuffs, wire wrapped gemstone drops and links, and chains.
I’ve always preferred gold to silver, but found it difficult finding gold jewelry that I actually wanted to wear and choose to work with this material because of its affordability and durability. While it’s not solid gold, gold fill wears much the same way as solid gold does. This makes gold fill jewelry the natural choice if you’re looking for quality jewelry that is both affordable and stylish. It’s also a great choice for those with allergies or sensitivity to metal. Gold fill jewelry can be worn in the shower or bath which I do quite a bit with earrings, although I recommend taking off necklaces as dirt and oils can collect in small crevices of the chain. Even with regular use and daily wear, if properly taken care of, your gold filled jewelry can last for decades.
How to Clean and Store Gold Fill Jewelry
Gold filled jewelry should never be cleaned with abrasive cleaners, polishes or jewelry cloths. Although gold fill is considered quite durable, these types of cleaners will remove the surface over time, and will shorten the life of your gold fill jewelry.
Only use jewelry cleaners that are non-abrasive liquids. Often these cleaners will specifically state that they are approved for alternative metals or costume jewelry. These types of cleaners can unfortunately be difficult to find, and if it is unavailable to you, you can also use mild dish soap, water, and a clean, soft cloth.
You will need:
- 2-3 drops Dawn liquid dish detergent, or similar mild liquid detergent
- 1/2 cup water
- bowl + spoon
- soft, clean cloth
- Add a few drops of mild dish soap to a bowl of water, and mix until you see some bubbles.
- Place your jewelry in for a few minutes.
- Remove, use cloth to wipe dry.
16K Gold Plate
Gold plating is a chemical process that binds a layer of gold particles to a metal surface, typically brass. Compared to gold fill, gold plating is not as thick or durable of a finish and will wear off over time. Not recommended for individuals with metal allergies, and not recommended for wearing in water.
In recent years, I’ve discovered more durable options that include thicker plating and anti-tarnish finishes, which I really love.
You’ll find 16K gold plating in my line of leather jewelry, including my leather bangles, prosperity bracelets, and chokers.
How to Clean and Store 16K Gold Plate Jewelry
Gold plated jewelry should only be cleaned with specially formulated non-abrasive liquid jewelry cleaner intended for costume jewelry, and wiped dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Storage: I recommend that your gold plate jewelry be stored in the air tight plastic bag it was received in when not in use.
Gold Tone w/ Anti-Tarnish Finish
ZKD jewelry featuring gold tone material has a matte, pale gold appearance and includes an anti-tarnish finish. Not recommended for individuals with metal allergies.
The gold tone finish on the materials used in ZKD jewelry are relatively durable, and wear similarly to gold plated items.
How to Clean and Store Gold Tone Jewelry
Gold tone jewelry should only be cleaned with specially formulated non-abrasive liquid jewelry cleaner intended for costume jewelry, and wiped dry with a clean, soft cloth.
Storage: I recommend that your gold tone jewelry be stored in the air tight plastic bag it was received in when not in use.
Comments or Questions?
Have more questions about how to care for your Zurina Ketola Designs handmade jewelry? Contact me for more information.
Next Up? Rose Gold Jewelry Details + Care Info
My next blog post is coming later this week and will feature more information regarding the types of rose gold you’ll find in my jewelry. Stay tuned!
Until then, visit the shop! I’ve made some changes to the home page to make navigating the site a little easier. I’d love to know what you think.