Sterling Silver- refers to an alloy of silver that has 92.5% weight of silver and 7.5% of other metals (usually copper) Minimum millesimal fineness is .925
Fine Silver- Refers to pure silver. It is very soft and a pale tone of silver ( almost white ) Minimum millesimal fineness is .999
Vermeil- Vermeil is silver ( sterling or fine ) that has been given a miminum of 14k gold plating.
Brass- An alloy of copper and zinc. The copper in this material might turn your skin green. It is a normal chemical reaction. Please note that this does not mean your jewelry piece is "cheap" or you have an allergy.
Gold-Filled- From wikipedia:
Gold-filled jewelry is jewelry composed of a solid layer of gold (typically constituting at least 5% of the item's total weight) mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some base metal. The related terms "rolled gold plate" and "gold overlay" may legally be used in some contexts if the layer of gold constitutes less than 5% of the item's weight. Most high quality gold-filled pieces have the same appearance as high carat gold, and gold-filled items, even with daily wear, can last 10 to 30 years though the layer of gold will eventually wear off exposing the metal underneath.
Gold Plated- A method of depositing a thin layer of gold. It is made with an electrical machine which deposits particles of gold onto the jewelry piece. This usually wears off unless is a heavy-plate which can be more costly.
Gold- The term gold is misused in the jewelry industry referring to only the color of the piece but in reality Gold is the chemical element and GOLDEN should be the correct term when referring only to the color ( this can be really confusing! ) Please read when buying gold pieces to make sure you are getting the real thing. Gold is an expensive material. We usually use 14k or 18k gold in our jewelry.
Copper- A chemical element, copper is pink-ish in color. There are many benefits of wearing copper! Usually given a gold plate when used in our pieces.
Opals ( natural only )