Sterling Silver is a mix of pure silver and copper and (or) other similar metals to create Sterling Silver. This process is done mainly because pure silver is a very soft metal, and it wouldn’t resist in time on its own. The Sterling Silver mix makes the silver stronger and more durable. It contains 92.5% of Pure Silver. Copper being a very strong metal, not much is needed to make a difference in strength. While Sterling Silver is stronger than pure silver, it does unfortunately scratch and tarnish. We suggest keeping your sterling silver jewelry in a cool and dry place. Humid environments (or near plants) can speed tarnishing process.
Plating over Silver Jewelry: See our Gold Filled VS Gold Plating VS Solid Gold Section.
Gold in the Jewelry World is made of an alloy of Gold and Silver (and other metals like Copper, Nickel and Zinc). The actual gold content of metal is measured in Karats, which describes the proportion of pure gold to the other metals in the alloy. The higher the portion of gold in the final metal, the pricier it gets. The maximum gold content is said 24K, which can also be translated to 1000g/1000g. 24k Gold is unfortunately too soft and malleable, it cannot be used in jewelry. By comparison, 14K gold is 585g/1000g, which means in a mix of 1000g, 585g will be pure gold and the balance will be a mix of silver, copper or zinc(depending on the chosen color of gold). These alloys makes the gold stronger and easier to work with. Pure Gold is a vibrant yellow color. The non-gold metals added to the alloy determine the final gold color result. It is possible to play with a few hues to get different subtle tints. Gold is always a beautiful choice for wedding bands, rings, earrings and necklaces. We recommend that you bring your rings and other frequently worn jewels for checkups and cleaning every couple years. We will make them all shiny and polished. This also helps prevent and detect any loose stones.
10K Gold: 417g/1000g
14K Gold: 585g/1000g
18K Gold: 750g/1000g
Yellow Gold is an alloy of pure gold, silver and a bit of copper. These 2 are added together to the gold to bring out the metals natural warmth while strengthening it. Yellow Gold doesn’t require any protective plating, the color is already bright and resistant.
Rose Gold is our favorite! This alloy is made by combining pure gold, with a bit of silver and a bigger part of copper. The reddish color comes from the coppers bigger presence. Rose Gold jewels do not require any protective plating.
White Gold is an alloy of gold with white metals such as silver, nickel and zinc. Some people also add palladium. The mix comes out as a grayish tint and is often plated with a rhodium to give it a whiter look. Like any plating, it has to be redone every now and then to keep that shiny look. Rhodium plating also adds a bit to the durability. Today most alloys are done without nickel, as many people are allergic to it.
Platinum is a rarer and pricier option in metals. It is also a very strong metal, alloyed with copper and cobalt and other platinum group metals like palladium. This metal hypo allergenic, is amazingly durable, and doesn’t tarnish. For a Platinum jewel to be labeled as platinum, it must have a minimum level of purity of 90%. Platinum rings are great to engrave as well, as the lettering comes out sharper and more precise. We offer custom orders in Platinum, but we don’t keep pieces in our shop or collections.
Gold Plated VS Gold Filled VS Solid Gold
We did a lot of evaluation of options before choosing what materials we wanted to work with and process. When comparing Solid, plated, filled, vermeil, we focussed on a few things. What will last in time? What can we offer that will be accessible to everyone? Will we be proud of the finished product? After exploring the pros and cons, here are the options we chose to keep Inchoo Bijoux Badass.
Gold-filled: this process has more actual gold. The outer layer of gold filled jewelry is much thicker than on gold plated pieces. At least 100 times thicker that the Flash Plating we currently use. The process of how the gold is actually bonded to the outside is more durable than a plating. The process involves a mechanical bonding of the gold through extreme pressure and heat. Gold filled jewels often have brass in their core, to keep a yellow looking metal, unfortunately, a lot of people are allergic to the brass alloy, and it oxidizes much quicker than Sterling Silver. Gold Filled jewelry have terrible looking soldering joints, they are usually replated over.
Gold Plating (Vermeil)
To gold (rose gold and black rhodium) plate something, it is dipped in a solution that contains particles of gold diluted and it is zapped to a Sterling Silver piece using electric current. The electro chemical reaction makes a deposit of a thin layer of gold on the metal. Not as thick as gold filled, but much less expensive. The plating is put over our Sterling Silver jewelry. If and where the plating will wear out, you will have a high quality silver under that will not cause reactions the same way brass would.
Solid Gold: is more expensive but will last forever. The whole piece is in solid gold. There are no layers.
As most of our jewelry is in sterling silver and we love working with this material, we chose the Gold Plating option. It is a thinner layer of gold than gold filler, but it will add the extra kick that you are looking for. We do make all of our pieces in Solid Gold (10k to 18k) also. We find that the plating is a great in between option before investing for the real solid gold.
Are your Gemstones real? Why aren’t they all the same color as in the malls?
All the gems we use are real. Big Jewelry stores have to be consistent in what they sell, so they buy gems that are exactly alike. In some cases, the stones are heat treated to alter their color and achieve this consistency. We buy our stones according to what strikes our creative eyes and imagination. This does mean that they may vary from each other. They will certainly be real.
Please note that some gems will be different from the pictures, like Herkimer Diamonds/Quartz, as they are all different by nature. Pearls might have a small color difference, opals and moonstones have completely different light reflections in each gem.
We do used Cubic Zirconia too. It will always be identified. We use the best quality on the market, either Swiss or German Made.
What is the difference between precious and semi-precious gemstones?
The term semi-precious is somewhat misleading. It suggests that some gemstones have inferior value, which is not the case. Years ago, people decided that 4 gemstones would be considered precious, and all other would be considered semi-precious. These gemstones are: Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire and Diamonds. The truth is, all natural colored gemstones are rare and precious. Their prices are determined by availability, quality and pureness of the color of the gemstone.
Hum, I think I’m reacting to your ring?
We use the highest quality of Sterling Silver and Solid Gold in our jewelry (see this post for more information). We do electro-plate some jewels (at you demand only) with 14k Gold or Rhodium platings. Skin reactions are very uncommon with our jewelry. They do occur rarely for a variety of reasons. Some skin reactions happen because we wear our jewelry too frequently without removing them and cleaning them. Chemicals and natural ingredients can get caught between the jewelry and the skin causing reactions. Generally, if a ring starts giving you problems after weeks, months of wearing, it strongly points to an outside agent (cosmetics, lotions, soaps. Cleaning chemicals, etc.). Elements can get trapped under a ring and cause skin reactions.
Sometimes it can also be because the ring is too tight on your finger and not allowing oxygen to reach the skin. It is known that some medications, that change the body’s chemical balance, can also cause an discomfort.
If a new ring turns your finger green or black, we suggest removing the ring and cleaning it gently. Sometimes there might be a little polishing compound that stayed on the ring. That product does react a bit with skin. We wash our jewels thoroughly, but some can stay that missed our eye. If you react for any other options, please contact us to discuss options.
Carat weight, Information about Diamonds
Carat: Carat is the measurement of how a diamond, or precious gemstone weighs. A metric Carat is defined as 200 milligrams. Each carat can be divided into 100 “points”. This allows for a very precise measurement, to the hundredth decimal. One carat is shown as 1.00ct. Diamond and gemstone prices increase with weight because larger diamonds and gems are more desirable. Large diamonds are considered more valuable because they are much less discovered in nature than smaller ones. That being said, 2 diamonds of the same weight can have different prices depending on the 4Cs of diamond rating: Cut, Clarity, Color, Carat. Color: Colorless diamonds are scarce, most diamonds have tints of yellow or brown in them, making the whiter diamonds more valuable and expensive. Diamonds are scaled D-Z to determine the whiteness. At Inchoo, we have a great passion for black diamonds and salt and pepper ones! Let us show you their beauty! Clarity: Diamonds have internal features, called inclusions and irregularities. Clarity grades the absence of these. Blemishes are imperfections that are found on the surface of the diamond, inclusions are said of those inside. Inclusions are mineral crystals of diamond crystals that are trapped in the diamond when it formed under pressure. Clarity characteristics affects diamonds and have a negative impact. The positioning of the inclusions have a great factor: inclusions on the side of the diamond will have less negative impact than inclusions that are in the middle of it. The most desirable diamonds are the ones said to be Flawless. Flawless diamonds are extremely rare and can go for top prices. Diamonds on the other side of the chart typically have inclusions that can be seen with an unaided eye. Cut: Dimonds are expected to give an incomparable beauty. A well-cut diamond plays an immense factor on setting it’s value. When diamonds intereact with light, every angle in the gem should affect the amount of light that is returned to the eye. Diamonds proportions determine how light performs when it enters the diamond. A diamonds beauty depends on 3 optical effects. White light reflections (brightness). Flashes of color (fire). And the areas of light and dark (scintillation). There must be enough contrast between light and dark areas to give the pattern of the diamond crisp and shark look. The term cut is also used to describe the diamonds fashioned shape. The most common one is calls Round Brilliant. The other shapes are referred to as fancy cuts. Fancy cuts have different names, base of their shape. The most popular ones are: princess, pear, oval, emerald, marquise and heart. It is said that the cut of a diamond can determine up to 50% of its value. A high quality cut diamond makes color and clarity less of a determining factor. All diamonds have different characteristics that determine their final price. We recommend you to learn and recognize beautiful diamonds, by visiting local jewelry store or high end merchants, or even coming shopping with us. If you have additional questions, feel free to contact us, we want to help you find the diamond that fit’s with you.
FAQ Workshop Space Rentals
Rent a Space in our WorkShop
Inchoo Bijoux’s Workshop is located near Metro Joliette in the Hochelaga neighborhood of Montreal. It is possible to rent spaces to work there as a jeweller. The space rents go for a day to monthly leases.
The workshop is fully equipped to answer all types of jewellers. It is fully equipped for molding and casting, wax carving, polishing, bench work, soldering, 3d modelization, metalsmithing, working with wood or plastics, silver and copper etching, eletro-plating and so much more. It is also equipped with a wire stretching bench, a Rolling Mill and a Tumblr.
There is a kitchen area, a bathroom, a desk with a laser printer and a photography studio with a 41 megapixel camera that can be borrowed at any time.
Daily Rental Rates : 20$
Monthly Rental Rates : 200$
We offer Electro-Plating Services : 14k Yellow Gold, 14k Rose Gold, Black Rhodium.
We have a total of 5 working desks available. If you are missing tools, a bit of metal, a gemstone, we can always help out!
We have 2 Soldering stations at the moment. 2 more will be added around June 2020. We can also do small castings.