There are different techniques to make jewelry look golden without being solid gold. In this blog we explain the steps you have to follow to distinguish them and to make it easier to know if the jewelry you are buying is good quality or not.
How to know if the jewelry is of good quality?
1. What is the base of the jewelry made of? This is the first thing you have to ask yourself when you are looking for gold jewelry. In San Saru we work with 925 Sterling Silver,, but there are many other metals such as bronze and brass that are used as a base to flash them in gold color. When choosing your jewelry, it is very important that you look at the quality of the base. The best choice is always silver, as it is a precious metal and is the best material that can be found under any flash plating or gold plating.
So always look for what material it has as a base. And you may ask, what's wrong with other metals like brass? Brass is a material 300 times cheaper than silver and it can easily get oxidized, it weighs less than silver, smells a lot of metal and sometimes can cause skin allergies because it contains 40% zinc. It is a metal with low quality, and even if we apply gold on top, the piece will still be of low quality. And do you know what? They cannot be considered jewelry, because it is not a precious metal, but pieces of costume jewelry.
Right, and once I know that the base of the jewelry has to be made of silver, how do I know that the gold is of good quality? There are two factors to consider: if it is gold or not and if it is flash plated or gold plated.
2. Is it gold? The first thing you have to look at is if the coating on the jewel is gold or any other material that imitates its color. If it is gold, we are on track. In San Saru we use 22 carat gold to our jewelry.
3. Flash plated or gold plated? The quality of the gold applied to the jewelry is always measured in microns. The microns refer to the thickness of gold on the piece. If the jewelry has less than 1 micron, it is considered flash plated; but if it has more than 1 micron, it is gold plated.
Flash plating is usually made of a very thin layer of gold: the piece is covered with a coverage of between 0.1 to 0.3 microns of gold. This technique is the cheapest, but also the one with the lowest quality. Flashing will last a very short time, and if they have brass or copper underneath, they could easily oxidize when in contact with water or even in daily contact with your skin.
However, gold plating consists of applying a thicker layer of 1 to 10 microns of gold on the piece. In San Saru we use 2 microns in all the pieces. In rings we put 3 microns, so that they last much longer, since the hands are usually in constant movement and in contact with everything.
Difference between our 925 Sterling Silver jewelry and other brands
Silver is a precious metal, so it will be a good option. If a gold plating is applied on 925 Sterling Silver jewelry, we get jewelry of the highest quality that can last a lifetime. This technique is called "Vermeil", although few people know its meaning.
What does it mean that it is a precious metal? Only gold, silver, platinum, palladium and rhodium are considered precious metals. They are the only materials that cannot be manufactured in a laboratory and therefore have a high market value.
All our gold jewelry is plated with Vermeil technique. It is 925 Sterling Silver plated with 2 and 3 microns of 22 carat gold.. It is jewelry made with precious metals that you can wear in your daily life and that can last a lifetime! As the base is silver, they do not cause allergies or discolor your skin.. It is a good option if you want to wear gold jewelry, but cannot afford solid gold jewelry (pure gold).
From San Saru we want to share with you all the knowledge we have about jewelry. We recommend you to read the descriptions of the products and their composition before buying. And remember that the price is not always an indicator of quality, since nowadays you will find pieces made in brass with very high prices.