This alloy, made up of a combination of 92.5% silver and other metals, acts as a layer of protection for the 100% pure silver. This is due to the fact that if pure silver were exposed, its softer texture would put it at risk of scratching and denting.
Sterling Silver’s timeless elegance and versatility makes it the perfect material for both every day accessories and special occasion items, co-ordinating well with almost any colour and individual style.
The known history of silver dates back to ancient times, where it was prized for its beautiful lustre’s similarity to a shining full moon. Silver has also been venerated by generations of humans for its soft and malleable properties, meaning that it is one of the few metals that can be successfully hammered into very thin sheets or ‘leafs’ and make an impressively strong wire. This also explains its unending appeal to jewellery makers and artists.
In order to keep sterling silver in good condition it must be kept away from any creams, oils or perfumes and be stored separately from costume or leather jewellery. To clean it, rinse thoroughly with warm, soapy water and dry thoroughly before polishing with a soft cloth.
It may be created in a laboratory, but its dazzling sparkle resembles that of diamonds. It comes in a large variety of colours – ranging from clear to peridot to deep garnet. Due to its flawless appearance, it actually rates as a ‘D’ on the diamond colour grading scale.
Although it isn’t as hard as diamond, cubic zirconia is still a very durable alternative and would be a great choice for a ring that you are planning to wear for many years. Also, as it is artificially manufactured, the cubic zirconia is completely flawless in contrast to the inevitable imperfections in a naturally formed diamond.
This stone’s popularity rose dramatically in 1976, when the Russians found a less expensive way of manufacturing large quantities of it for the mass consumer market. By incorporating cubic zirconia stones into a bracelet or a necklace to offset an array of more expensive precious gems, you can make a piece much more affordable to purchase. They are quite often used in pieces like eternity rings and elaborately designed necklaces to complement higher value coloured gems and birth stones.
To store it, keep it in its own jewellery box or a soft pouch to prevent it from getting scratched or damaged.
Much like sterling silver, all this gemstone requires is a wash with warm, soapy water to stay at its best.
Zinc alloy is a very popular material for jewellery as it is inexpensive and incredibly versatile. It is most widely known by the name ‘Tibetan Silver’ and has become a commonly accepted way of identifying it in the trade. However, it is a misleading title as the original Tibetan silver did have silver in it, although now it is very rare. Zinc alloy, despite its appearance, doesn’t actually contain any silver at all. Alloys can often contain a variety of materials, however it is advisable to avoid the lead or nickel based alloy jewellery as it can be toxic and irritating to the skin.
Like nearly all metals, Zinc alloy can tarnish over time so it’s very advisable not to store it in moist or wet conditions and actually could benefit from the use of a dehumidifying product like Silica sachets. How quickly alloy jewellery will tarnish very much depends on the combination of metals it contains and any finish that has been applied to the surface. If it does start to tarnish, a very simple solution is to clean it with ordinary household toothpaste and a soft bristled brush. This technique can be very effective and often pieces can look as good as new in very little time at all. Always make sure that all paste residue is removed before drying thoroughly and putting back into storage.