|20K Designer Beads|
What does all this mean for people that make jewelry for a living or a hobby or the customers that purchase their products? It of course, means the price is going up and staying there for the foreseeable future. Ways we can deal with this are cutting down the quantity of metal we use in our designs, use old stock or do what we must do eventually pass it on to our customers. It does raise the intrinsic value of the items we design and this is always a plus. Make the metal the focus and this will bring to the mind of the viewer that it is a thing of value. I use metal as a way to bring in light and sparkle which just needs a touch here and there to achieve the desired effect. Being creative people, beaders will come up with innovative ideas as they work this new factor into their creations.
GOLD!!! is rated in various purity amounts such as 10k, 14k, 18k, 20k or 22k. Pure GOLD is 24k. 10k designates that it is 10 parts pure gold and 14 parts other metal this holds true for 14k, etc. The total of parts always adding up to 24. Adding other metals to gold increases durability and the choice of metal effects the resulting color. Silver, platinum, palladium, zinc and nickel create a white gold while copper creates a rose gold. The choice of metal of course does not effect the purity of gold and there is no way of knowing exactly what metal has been added.
|Brushed Sterling Beads|
|22k Vermeil Bead Cap|
Another very useful metal for jewelry crafters is Vermeil which is solid silver with a covering of gold. The thickness of the gold must be 2.5 micrometers thick (or approximately 1/10000ths of an inch) . The base metal must be solid sterling or it is not considered Vermeil. The thickness is fine for jewelry making as most items are not worn for an extended period of time.
All metals will keep well if stored in an airtight container! They stay bright and shiny without exposure to air (oxygen).
Hope this article has added to your knowledge of precious metals and how to manage them in your jewelry designs.
(Please click on the caption under the image of the bead to go to that item. Clicking on the image leads to an error message.:)
Sylvia C. Rose-Johnson
The Silver Rose