FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is Argentium Silver?
 
Argentium® Silver
  • is highly tarnish-resistant.
  • has greater malleability than traditional sterling

Argentium® Silver is a patented and trademarked alloy that is 92.5% pure silver. What makes it different from traditional sterling silver is that a small amount of germanium replaces some of the copper that is usually the other 7.5% of sterling silver. Peter Johns, a professor of Silversmithing at Middlesex University in England, invented Argentium® Silver in 1996. When I heard about it's anti-tarnish qualities, additional lustre, I sought out sources for it which were hard to find initially.  The majority of my jewelry is made with Argentium Silver.   I do use regular 92.5 Sterling for some jewelry.

What is Gold Filled Metal?

Gold filled metal is made by bonding a layer of gold to a base metal (either sterling silver or brass) using high heat and pressure.  The result is a beautiful gold metal that is less expensive than solid gold but much more durable than gold plated.  The gold filled wire we use for our designer jewelry is 14/20 gold filled. 

There is a BIG difference between Gold Filled and Gold Plated.  We use the higher quality Gold Filled to give you great quality at an affordable price.  The gold filled layer is about 100 times thicker than a plated surface.  The high heat and pressure used to bond the gold creates a gold bonded metal that does not rub off, wear off, or flake off unless put under great pressure or wear and tear.  All jewelry must be treated carefully to keep it's luster and beauty. 
 
How Durable is Gold Filled Metal?

Gold filled metal is very durable.  You can wear gold filled jewelry every day. 
 
Will gold filled jewelry tarnish?
 
All metals will tarnish over time including 14K and 18K gold.   Being a jewelry lover, I own 18K,14K gold  and platinum jewelry.  They all tarnish and have to be polished.

Tarnish is the sulphur in the air interacting with the surface of the metal.  It can be removed in several ways.  You can use a soft jewelry polishing cloth and/or a soft bristled tooth brush with mild soap and water to get into the crevices should be enough to remove surface tarnish on gold.  Silver will need to be polished with a tarnish removing creme, liquid or cloth.  When cleaning jewelry, you have to give careful consideration to the stone.  Gold and silver are very durable and many stones we use are also but some are fragile like pearls and need to be treated with care.
 
I Can't Wear Anything Less Than 14 Karat  gold.  Can I Wear Gold Filled?
 
It depends on the individual.  Many people with known metal sensitivities have been able to wear gold filled jewelry without any problems.  I have very sensitive skin and wear 14K GF  jewelry and I can't tell any difference between it and the 18K gold I wear.
 
What is fused glass or dichroic glass?

The word "dichroic" actually means "two-color." But the dichroic effect really lets you see three colors on the same spot almost at the same time:  1) the color transmitted, 2) the color reflected, and 3) the color you see as the piece shifts angles against the light.  
 
Dichroic glass - also called fused glass -  is handmade by talented artisans using high temperature kilns.  It is glass that has been coated with a thin layer of metallic oxide.  Dichroic coatings transmit certain wavelengths of light while reflecting others, creating an effect similar to iridescence.  
High tech physics combined with centuries-old craftsmanship gives you sparkling beauty in these creations.   After you've seen these brilliant pieces in sunlight, you will fall in love with dichroic glass.  Because it is impossible to exactly reproduce a pattern in dichroic glass, each piece is unique and one-of-a-kind like the natural stones we use.   

What do you use to wrap your jewelry and create your earrings?
 
We use only high quality 92.5 Argentium sterling silver and 14K (14/20) gold filled wire (see above for definition of gold filled).  Argentium is a higher cost quality silver.  Argentium silver is the result of research by Peter Johns at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University,  It has a high tarnish resistance.
 
Gemstones
 
Most of the faceted gemstones in my jewelry are natural stones from the earth. Many gemstones we love are natural stones that are heat treated or irradiated to intensify the colors.  For example, London Blue Topaz achieves its gorgeous hue through taking the natural stone through an irradiation treatment.  Aquamarine is heated to change it from greenish blue to blue.  Green amethyst is created by heat treating and/or irradiating the natural stone.  I buy many of my gemstones direct from vendors in Thailand and China to cut out the middle man and get better pricing.  I will always tell you if the stone has been identified to me as being man made. 
 
How Can you Sell Large Carat Gemstones and Your Jewelry at Such Reasonable Prices?
 
I've read that jewelry stores often have a 100% mark up on their jewelry.  They have to cover the cost of the building, personnel, benefits, insurance and other costs which I don't have.  I buy directly from vendors in other countries and cut out the middle man.  I have a tax i.d. and am able to get wholesale pricing on gemstones and cabochons which is often 50% of the retail price.  Wire Inspirations is my passion but not the income I use to provide for my family.  As a result, the mark-up on my pieces is less than other jewelry designers who make a living from their art.  I enjoy sharing my art and do this because I have a passion for it. 
 
What is Titanium Druzy?
 
Titanium druzy is created using a chemical process called Chemical Vapor Deposition(CVD) in which the natural drusies are exposed to metals like titanium. During the process the metal bonds on a molecular level with the mineral resulting in a spectacular rainbow of colors. By varying the metals and process parameters a host of colors and shades can be created. The most common compound used is titanium but others are cobalt, Silicone-Dioxide, gold, and silver.
 

What are your beads and embellishments on your pendants, watches, earrings & bracelets?

Our metal beads and toggles are 92.5 sterling silver or 14K GF.  Our natural beads are stones such as jade, aventurine, chalcedony and other natural stones.  Our glass is either SWAROVSKI ® crystal, Austrian crystal, Czechoslovakian fire polished glass or handmade furnace beads.

What kind of wire to you use to make your beaded necklaces, watches and bracelets?

Our watches and bracelets are made with Beadalon®  premium beading wire which is made of strands of fine stainless steel wire coated with nylon.  We use different types of BEADALON®  depending on the weight of the stone.  The most common one we use is BEADALON® 49 - Professional Series which is 49 strands of flexible stainless steel wire in a nylon coating.

 

Chainmaille Jump Rings

Below are descriptions for the metals I use to make my Chainmaille jewelry.  All of the jump rings are handmade by artisans and are saw cut for an even, bur free edge.

Enameled copper rings are some of the brightest and most colorful you will find.  They are made using pure copper and adding an enameled coating.  This coating is durable and should not flake or peel.  Most of the colors I use are silvered - these have an added layer of pure silver before the enameled coating.  This creates more shiny and brilliant colors than regular enameled copper.

Annodized Aluminum rings are made of aluminum that has been exposed to electricity and then a color bath. They are shiny and light weight and perfect for weaving.

Rubber Jump rings are made of premium silicone that comes in bright colors and enables me to make stretchy bracelets.

Methods of Payment

We accept Paypal which allows you to use any credit card and keep your information private.

Shipping and Handling

We use USPS for shipping.  The cost of shipping includes a gift box, $100 insurance and delivery confirmation.  If the cost is higher due to your a need to increase the insurance or  your location, I will email you.  Currently we do not ship outside the United States. 

Returns Policy

I am very proud of the quality of my work and I want you to feel proud to wear it.  If for any reason you are unsatisfied with the jewelry you've purchased from me, I will refund your purchase price less shipping and handling including Paypal fees if you contact me and return it to me within 5 days of receipt.  I will also offer you the option to exchange it for another item of comparable value.  The item must be returned in its original condition with no wear and tear evident.  It should be packaged as carefully as it was sent to you and returned insured for the purchase price with delivery confirmation.  If a customer chooses not to insure the item or use delivery confirmation and I don't receive it, I will not be able to refund your purchase.  In the unusual event that any item needs repair due to a problem in workmanship, please contact me within 21 days of receipt.  The item must not show any undue wear and tear in order to be refunded or repaired at no charge.

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