At By Eileen, we use different materials for different components for 3 primary reasons:
1. Ethical Practices- It is a lengthy process to look for artisans with ethical work practices. By this we mean, fair wages and working conditions, safe working environment, safe environmental work practices- in a nutshell treating and doing the right things for their workers and environment.
Therefore, when we find the ones that are align with us, we work within what they can produce. For example, one of our partners can only produce Sterling silver base; and another is unable to produce gold filled metals.
2. Cost- Many materials such as gold filled and recycled metals are extremely expensive and require large quantities to produce. As a small business, this tend to be challenging- especially when we only produce small batch jewellery.
3. Price- At the other end of cost is price. We want everyone to be able to own a piece of quality By Eileen jewellery without breaking their bank. Therefore, different components of your jewellery are made with different materials to give it the best longevity. For example, due to the nature of rings being in contact with water most frequently, the plating on gold plated rings can wear off quicker than we hope. Hence all our rings are either sterling silver, gold vermeil or gold filled.
The Metals we use and their differences
There are many techniques when it comes to producing gold coloured jewellery. While they may look similar, some may contain more gold than the other; some may last longer and some may be way more expensive than the rest.
The most common terms we hear are Gold plated, Gold vermeil and Gold filled. So here is a breakdown:
Gold- Plated is done by electroplating a thin layer of gold onto a base metal (usually brass or copper).
On some occasions we may use gold plated sterling silver as one of our partner artisans- who also holds the most variety of genuine gemstones- do not have the ability to produce Gold vermeil or Gold filled; or when we have certain price point in mind that we will like to set.
Gold Plated Summary:
Gold plated jewellery are suitable for occasional wear; and extra care is required to ensure its longevity. Gold plated jewellery can tarnish over time due to natural oxidization process. At By Eileen all our gold plated jewellery are also coated with an anti- tarnish coating to prolong its longevity.
Gold vermeil refers to high quality silver plated with gold. It is more superior than gold plating as according to US standards, to be considered as Gold Vermeil, the gold on each piece needs to be at least 2.5micros thick and at least 10 carats or higher.
The gold we use is 18carats and above; and 925 Sterling Silver base with a protective anti- tarnish coating; and all our Gold Vermeil jewellery are at least 2.5-3 microns. This is an excellent option for those who are sensitive to nickel, brass or copper. We use Gold Vermeil in most of our jewellery as they are great balance between long lasting and affordability.
Gold Vermeil Summary:
Gold Vermeil jewellery are not Solid Gold and proper care should be taken to ensure its longevity. The durability of Gold Vermeil items can differ for each person depending on climate, lifestyle, use of cosmetics and products as well as individual’s diet. At By Eileen all our gold vermeil jewellery are also coated with an anti- tarnish coating to prolong its longevity.
Gold filled items are generally more expensive primarily because it is more expensive to manufacture. It is made with an old- fashion technique of heat bonding- which is now expensive to produce as it is time intensive and not necessarily more superior to plated jewellery. While Gold Vermeil has a minimum of 2.5 microns, Gold filled has a requirement of minimum 2 micros bonded on base material such as brass or copper (which can be cheaper than sterling silver). While gold plating is measured in thickness, gold filled jewellery is measured in weight ie. the gold layer contains at least 5% to the item’s total weight.
We use Gold filled and Rose Gold filled chains as they are the closest in contact with our skins and can have a quicker chance of wearing off/ tarnishing. Therefore, this option prolongs the durability of your chains.
Gold Filled Summary:
Gold filled items can still tarnish over time- but takes longer to happen. Proper care is still required. Gold filled are more expensive as compared to Gold vermeil.
IN A NUTSHELL...
There are pros and cons of different gold jewellery.
At By Eileen, we offer different materials for different reasons- as above- so as to cater to different budgets. We believe that everyone deserves to own a piece of By Eileen jewellery that suits their lifestyle and budget.
Because you are magic!