Crafting Timeless Beauty: The Allure of 19K Gold Plating Over Stainless Steel & Why Brass and Copper Fall Short
Welcome to Boutique Minimaliste's exploration of jewelry materials, where we delve into the intricate world of crafting beautiful accessories that stand the test of time.
At Boutique Minimaliste, we take pride in our commitment to quality and craftsmanship, offering a stunning array of pieces meticulously crafted from premium materials.
In this article, we shine a spotlight on one of our signature materials: 19K gold plating over stainless steel. A marriage of elegance and durability, this unique combination embodies the essence of timeless sophistication, delivering jewelry that captivates both aesthetically and functionally.
Join us as we unravel the secrets behind the durability and exquisite color of 19K gold plating over stainless steel, exploring the craftsmanship and characteristics that make it a standout choice for discerning jewelry lovers. Additionally, we'll delve into why you should avoid wearing brass and copper jewelry, discussing their tendency to tarnish over time and the potential for skin irritation.
Why stainless steel as a base?
Stainless steel jewelry offers a combination of durability, hypoallergenic properties, versatility, and low maintenance, making it the perfect choice for your day to day jewelry.
1. Durability: Stainless steel is highly durable and resistant to scratching, tarnishing, and fading. This makes it suitable for everyday wear and ensures that the jewelry retains its appearance over time.
2. Hypoallergenic: Stainless steel is hypoallergenic, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin or metal allergies. It rarely causes allergic reactions, unlike some other metals such as nickel.
5. Low Maintenance: Stainless steel jewelry requires minimal maintenance. It can be easily cleaned with mild soap and water, and it does not require polishing or special care to maintain its appearance.
But most brands (even big and pricey brands) use brass or copper as a base. Why not brass or copper for jewelry?
Brass and copper will tarnish due to exposure to air and moisture, leading to a greenish discoloration on the skin called verdigris. This occurs because of the reaction between the metal and acids in sweat or other chemicals on the skin. It's not harmful, but it can be unsightly. Some people may have allergic reactions to the metals or the tarnish itself, causing skin irritation. Additionally, tarnished jewelry gives out a super strong metallic or slightly sulfurous smell.
Overall, the combination of inferior materials and manufacturing methods makes brass and copper jewelry more susceptible to tarnishing compared to higher-quality pieces made with precious (like gold or sterling silver) or high quality metals (like stainless steel).
What about the gold plating? What is the difference?
Brass and copper jewelry usually are made with an electroplating method, that wear off over time, exposing the base metal to tarnishing agents, that accelerates tarnishing.
Boutique Minimaliste jewelry is plated with PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) Coating: a vacuum deposition process that involves heating gold to create a vapor, which is then deposited onto the surface of the base metal. PVD coating produces an extremely durable layer of gold that adheres well to the stainless steel, offering excellent scratch and wear resistance.
And what about karats? What do you use? What’s best, aesthetically and durable?
In gold plating, the term "karat" refers to the purity of the gold used in the plating process. The higher the karat value, the higher the purity of the gold and the strongest gold color.
The most used gold plating for jewelry are:
24k: usually luxury jewelry brands use this plating as it has a strong vibrant yellow/gold color, making it extremely expensive.
18 or 19k: offers a balance between purity and durability, providing a rich gold color while also being suitable for everyday wear. This is the plating we use.
14k: still a beautiful gold hue (a less bit vibrant) but less valuable and not as durable.
10k: The lowest purity level commonly used in gold jewelry, slightly paler color compared to higher karat gold which makes it less durable.
When choosing gold-plated jewelry, the karat value indicates the thickness and purity of the gold layer applied to the base metal. Higher karat values typically result in a thicker and more durable gold plating, while lower karat values may be more prone to wear and require more frequent re-plating.
At Boutique Minimaliste, we meticulously select materials that not only embody the essence of luxury but also prioritize practicality and comfort. That's why we've chosen to use 19K gold plating over stainless steel in crafting our exquisite jewelry pieces. This unique combination encapsulates the best of both worlds, marrying the timeless allure of gold with the unmatched durability of stainless steel.
We believe that jewelry should not only be a statement of style but also a reflection of practicality and versatility. With 19K gold plating over stainless steel, we offer our customers a balance of elegance and functionality. Whether it's a delicate necklace, a pair of statement earrings, or a chic bracelet, our pieces are designed to withstand the test of time, effortlessly complementing any outfit or occasion.
Furthermore, our choice of materials ensures hypoallergenic properties, making our jewelry suitable for even the most sensitive skin types. And with minimal maintenance required, our customers can enjoy the beauty of their favorite pieces without the hassle of constant upkeep.
Experience the perfect harmony of luxury and practicality with our collection of 19K gold-plated stainless steel jewelry, where durability meets sophistication, and style knows no bounds.