What is my jewelry made of?
Our established hardware consists of 18k genuine gold plating over brass, with approximately 0.1 microns, finished with an e-coat for extra adherence and durability.
This quality of hardware is affordable and offers great accessibility to owning and loving our SSEK Jewelry pieces. Besides quality and value of plating, we distinguish our suppliers based on their design details, transparent and open communication and support when required.
What is "demi fine" jewelry?
SSEK Jewelry items with the "demi fine" label are made with a combination of higher grade hardware: gold filled, and micron plated. These should last you at least 10 times longer than our established grade.
14k Gold filled
14k, 18k or 24k refers to the purity of gold in karats, with 24k being the highest grade of 100%. However gold is a soft metal and is often mixed with other metals for durability and wearability. Unless you're intending to buy gold as an investment, jewelry typically uses 14k for gold filled pieces.
Gold filled hardware consists of genuine gold mechanically bonded to a base metal (usually jeweler's brass) and this gold layer should constitute 5% of the entire piece. This is a regulated industry standard in the USA, where all of our gold filled parts are supplied from.
A good bet when vetting this standard is looking at clasps or tags (where available) for a tiny inscription of 14/20, or 1/20 14K GF. However they won't be found on chains or wherever it's too small to be engraved.
Gold filled jewelry are a great bridge between regular gold-plated items and fine, full gold pieces. For its affordability, its appearance is closest to a full gold piece, and durability is greatly multiplied, able to upkeep its quality for years to come without major tarnishing down to its base metal.
14k gold filled items are considered mostly safe for all skin types due to the thick gold bonded over its base metal.
For some components in our demi fine range, we have sourced for these alternatives due to their affordability and higher grade. While gold filled is still superior, our micron plated components have up to 10 times more gold than our established standard.
With a base metal of sterling silver, they are plated with a bare minimum of 1 micron of gold. Our established standard is 0.1 microns.
You may find some components stated to have more than 1 micron, and that's because we have various supply sources.
Our micron plated items are considered mostly safe for all skin types due to the thicker gold plating, and its base metal being sterling silver.
How do I take care of my jewelry?
In my experience, our established hardware (0.1 microns) can last at least 6-8 months without major tarnishing.
I've found that jewelry is kept optimally in a covered box/place, away from humidity and preferably away from sunlight. Humidity is the biggest challenge for jewelry in our climate-- not just because of its constant contact with water, but more than that: our sweat, and bodily oils.
I've noticed that the places that jewelry tarnish the fastest are the high contact points (ie: necklace parts that contact the skin most, or earring components when we touch them often!)
After wearing jewelry I do notice a layer of grime/dirt coated over my metal components (even after just one day, yikes) and I believe this is the main culprit that eats away at the surface.
Different people have different ph levels, and for some of us with slightly more acidic levels this also plays a part in the rate of tarnishing.
Even with gold filled pieces, I recommend exercising care and discernment when wearing our jewelry. Here are some tips I go by:
- Keep your pieces dry, away from chemicals like perfumes/oils.
- After each wear when possible, clean jewelry with water and light soap. While soap is a chemical, I've found it helpful to remove dirt, sweat, oils and grime from its surfaces efficiently.
- After each clean, wipe down with a soft dry, non abrasive cloth (can always use your clean shirt hehe)
- Do not use chemical jewelry cleaning agents for your gold pieces. They can damage the gold plating/gold surface.
- Keep them scratch-proof! Ideally keep your jewelry in separate compartments/bags, so they don't scuff each other when they're in the mix.
- Some stones and materials are susceptible to water damage and may discolour if exposed to water. Turquoise, opals, clay beads, coloured beads are some examples. Turquoise and opals are naturally soft and porous stones.
- Practice care and love for your jewelry! Most of our pieces are carefully but delicately made with very dainty parts. Snagging on clothes and edges may cause them to snap, dropping them may cause stones to break.
When you love and care for your pieces, they are bound to last for a long time and more.
Do you have a quality warranty?
For our established range, you can make an exchange within 30 days of receiving your piece.
For our demi fine range, you can make an exchange within 90 days of receiving your piece. We are committed and invested in creating long-lasting pieces for you and will be equally disappointed if they do not reasonably live up to their promise.
However, we do seek your discernment and understanding that they will be examined on a case by case basis to ensure the damage was not out of negligence.
There are strictly no refunds or returns.
Do you have a repair service?
We offer repairs for any piece of SSEK Jewelry throughout its lifetime. A token repair fee will be charged to cover the material and labour cost. Simply email us at email@example.com to enquire about a repair!
Are you able to refurbish my tarnished SSEK Jewelry piece?
Yes! However our refurbishing scheme is still in the works, please stay tuned for this upcoming service.