In all my work I use several different types of wire, 14k yellow and rose gold FILLED, Fine Silver, Argentium Sterling Silver, Platinum Sterling Silver and even solid 14k gold. The metals I use are fabulous, quality metals at reasonable prices, and I know you will love them. Each are described below.
Gold filled metal and wire is made from solid gold and filled with other alloys. Gold filled jewelry wears like solid gold because the outer surface is solid gold. The process of making gold filled jewelry is quite different from gold plated - there is 100 times more gold in a 14K gold filled piece than in the same piece gold plated. 14K gold filled wire, also referred to as rolled gold or 14/20, is created by permanently bonding a sheet of 14K gold to a core of semi-precious metal, usually brass, carefully controlling extreme heat and pressure for a precise length of time. Laws regulate a substantial layer of gold surrounding the inner alloy.
Gold filled items are strong, durable and do not tarnish. The gold will not wear off as in plated jewelry. It is nearly impossible for anyone but a jeweler to tell a gold filled piece from the same piece in solid gold. With reasonable care it will last a lifetime. I use both yellow and rose gold filled metal in my creations.
The Rose Gold filled wire I use in my work is created by copper being alloyed with yellow gold (using the same process as above) so that a beautiful rosy red coloring appears in the finished gold. Rose Gold is also popularly referred to as red or pink gold.
Argentium Sterling Silver is a type of sterling silver that is tarnish resistant. DeVer Originals has been using this metal exclusively in place of sterling silver since its creation in 2005.
The benefits of argentium sterling silver are numerous. Argentium is manufactured with a lower level of copper alloy, and replaced with a germanium alloy. Copper is what causes tarnish to begin with - so decreasing the amount of copper in silver decreases the possibility of tarnish.
Argentium silver is made to a higher standard than traditional sterling silver and is guaranteed to be not less than 92.5% pure. Argentium sterling also hardens to a greater degree than traditional sterling, providing an added benefit with your treasured jewelry creations.
If and when your Argentium Sterling treasure DOES tarnish - it can be cleaned using normal methods for traditional sterling.
A little trick - if you clean your Argentium piece, reactivate the tarnish resistant properties by “baking” your piece in your oven at 250 degrees for 20 minutes. If you have a piece with gold filled in it you can still do this and not damage those metals at all. Don’t burn yourself!
Fine Silver is 99.9% silver. With very little additional alloys in this metal, it does not tarnish. For this reason it is a very desirable metal. For many uses it is very soft, so I only use it in certain designs.
Platinum Silver is 92.5% silver, as in traditional sterling silver, but the additional alloys include 1-3% of platinum, in place of copper. With less copper in this sterling silver alloy, it is highly resistant to tarnish. Platinum Silver is a very hard metal, and is said to mimic the look and properties of 14k white gold.
I only use standard sterling silver when a suitable argentium silver alternative is not available. Sterling silver is defined as 92.5% pure silver. It is hardened with another metal alloy of no more than 7.5%, usually copper. Sterling silver is also referred to as .925, which references the amount of pure silver in the piece.
If you would like a custom quote for a piece sculpted in solid 14k gold, please contact me.