Posted by Rika Woyan

This month, things are getting HEAVY: Heavy Metal that is!

We’re chatting all things metal, such as Gold, Silver, Rose Gold, Champagne and Gunmetal.

Here’s a few fun facts you may not know:

* Gold, Sterling Silver and Platinum are considered precious metals.

* Most of our designers use various levels of Gold Plated over Brass. Example, Sheila uses 18k, Azuni uses up to 22k, while Kendra uses 14k.

* Generally, brands do not plate Sterling Silver over Brass, since it will tarnish and they want the pieces to have the look of silver consistently, the industry standard is Rhodium over Brass.

* Karine Sultan and Chan Luu are a little different. Karine uses Pewter as the base metal instead of brass.

* Chan uses Gold Vermeil, Sterling Silver or uses Base Metal. Gold Vermeil is Gold Plated over Sterling Silver. Chan ‘s gold plating is 18k. Because the base metal is a precious metal (Sterling Silver), the pieces are a little more expensive.

* “Base Metal” is a common term and used throughout the industry. These are non-precious metals such as zinc, nickel, copper, etc. However many brands that use base metal will make sure it is nickel-free since many people are allergic to this metal.

* Rose Gold is a mix of Gold and Copper. The amount of copper varies and that is why you see the variety of the rose gold hue. Copper also adds strength to the metal.

* The other two prominent colors we carry are Champagne from Sheila Fajl that is gold with only a little bit of copper. It is a softer gold with a slight pink cast. The other popular color is gunmetal, which is darkened rhodium over brass.

* Lastly, dye can also be added to the metal process to create a different hue, such as chocolate, which have carried in the past. This is different from plating the brass with a colored dye; such as Kendra did with her Matte Metals this past summer.

* One important point: plating is just that and will wear off over time. It is important not to expose plated pieces to corrosive elements such as perfumes, lotions, soaps, household cleaning agents, and especially salt water. It help keep the plating for a long time, it is also important to slightly polish your pieces after wearing to remove any body oils.

Hot To Mix Metals

* Mixing metals can be done! The most popular mix is Gold and Silver. In the last couple of years, we've seen gold with rose gold. Many of our designers create pieces that show off both these metals in the same piece. In addition, as long as the styles are similar, meaning all the items are more of a modern design, we suggest layering different metal pieces.

* Again as with all jewelry, the wearer is the designer, so play with combining different metals from your jewelry wardrobe to create a look that is your signature style!