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Metals

Metal FAQ

What metals are in the products we carry, how long do they last, and are they hypoallergenic?

14K Gold Filled: 14K gold filled is a federally regulated amount of 14K gold (we buy 10%) bonded to a base metal, usually brass. It is the next best thing to solid 14K gold. It has no nickel in it and is considered hypoallergenic. It will not tarnish or discolor your skin. The finish will last one to five years under heavy wear (like a ring) and a lifetime under occasional wear (like an ear cuff). Many customers confuse gold-filled (which has a least 10 times more gold content) with gold tone or gold plate, which can sometimes last only days or weeks.

Sterling Silver: Sterling Silver is a mixture of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. The copper is used as a hardener as pure silver is too soft for jewelry applications. Sterling Silver is the standard for fine jewelry and is the whitest of all metals. It is considered hypoallergenic. It requires polishing to keep a shiny luster to the metal. Chemicals in some pools and hot tubs can tarnish silver. It may discolor on some people with high acidic levels but can always be re-polished.

Vermeil: Vermeil is a heavy gold plate (100 mils or more) over sterling silver. We use 14K gold vermeil when the fabrication procedures prevent us from using 14K gold filled. It is the next best thing to 14K gold-filled.

Gold Plate: Gold Plate can be any amount of gold over any base metal.

Silver Plate: Silver Plate can be any amount of silver over any base metal.

Solid 14K Gold: 14K Gold is the standard for fine jewelry in the United States. It is made to last many lifetimes.

Stainless Steel: 316L stainless steel is used in a great many "body jewelry" applications. 316 and 316L surgical stainless steel contain 2-3% molybdenum for even greater resistance to harsh corrosives (both industrial, and in the body). 316L is a low carbon version of 316, with extra corrosion resistance, and is frequently used for stainless steel watches and marine applications. Like most other stainless steel, it contains 8-10.5% nickel, making it unsuitable for people with nickel allergies.

How do I care for my jewelry?

Avoid hairspray and perfume near your jewelry. Store your jewelry away from moist areas (bathroom), and preferably in a box or a zip lock bag. The dessicant you store your BAHA in is a great place to keep your HearClip™ when you are not wearing it.

How do I clean my jewelry?

Please see our section on "How to Take Care of Your HearClip".

Preventing your Copper from turning your skin green

Apply a coating of car or jewelry wax to the jewelry piece

This works very well. It also prevents your copper from tarnishing and keeps your copper jewelry nice and shinny. Eventually it will wear off (not flake off) depending on how often you wear your copper jewelry. Simply reapply the wax, let dry then buff your jewelry with a soft cloth.

Wipe your jewelry piece with a soft cloth before you put it on or after you take it off

This is the cheapest, easiest way of keeping your copper jewelry clean and to protect them from oxidation. Oxidation is what turns your skin colors. Keep your copper jewelry clean, it's as simple as that! Treat your copper jewelry as you would your expensive pieces of jewelry; wipe it with a clean soft cloth before putting it on or after taking it off. This helps remove the sweat and oils from your skin which causes oxidation. Keeping your copper jewelry clean will prevent it from turning your skin colors.

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