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What's my jewelry made of?

All of Betina Roza Jewelry is made with either Sterling silver, 14K gold fill, Solid brass, or a combination. But what do those terms mean??

What is Gold Filled?

14K Gold Filled Turquoise Mosaic Earrings

Many people wonder this and you are not alone.

Here’s the scoop. 

Gold-filled is composed of a solid layer of gold (typically 14K gold) mechanically bonded to a base of either sterling silver or some other base metal, frequently brass. 

Heat and pressure are used to bond the gold to the surface of the base metal, and it is defined as having 5% gold by weight.

This is a very different process than gold plating or gold dipped, which is when a minuscule layer of solid gold is applied to a brass base typically making up less than .05% of the total weight. 

In other words, Gold filled is 100 times thicker than plating. 


Most gold plating will wear off rather quickly and expose the brass base product. It does not stand up to heat, water or wear over time. ​

Betina Roza gold-filled designs are 14KT yellow gold-filled or 14KT rose gold filled. 14k gold-filled products are identified as 14/20 gold-filled or 14KT gold-filled.

How to Clean Gold Filled Jewelry:

One of the pros of gold filled jewelry (other than the obvious, it looks just like solid gold!) is that it does not de-laminate or peel like plated or "dipped" products. Nor does it tarnish as readily as silver. Most find that they never have to clean gold-filled items at all. If treated properly, your gold-filled jewelry will last you a very long time. However, from time to time your jewelry may become dirty from everyday wear.

To clean gold-filled jewelry, 

  1. Soak you jewelry in a dish of warm soapy water. 
    Mild dish soap works best!

  2.  Let it sit for a half hour or so and gently scrub with an old toothbrush.

  3.  Rinse with warm water and dry completely with a soft cloth or old t-shirt.

You can shower, you can surf, you can play racquetball… However I do recommend removing jewelry when you sleep to avoid unnecessary twisting and pulling on chains which can weaken them over time.

As with all jewelry, avoid exposure to household chemicals, especially if cleaning with bleach or ammonia, or when swimming in chlorinated water, as these chemicals can cause damage.

The only thing you can’t do in your gold filled jewelry is feel anything less than  fantastic!

What is Sterling silver? 

Sterling Silver Squared Earrings 

Sterling silver, is mostly (92.5%) pure silver with a tiny amount of copper (7.5%). Pure silver, also called fine silver, is rather soft, very malleable, and easily damaged, so it is commonly combined with other metals to produce a more durable product. The most popular of these alloys is sterling silver. 

The small amount of copper added to sterling has very little effect on the metal's value. The majority of silver jewelry you see is made with sterling. 

One of the coolest things about sterling silver is that you can always melt it down and turn it into something else. If you are into that kinda thing ;)

Silver does tarnish over time, due to a natural reaction to air and moisture. but can easily be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth. Start first with warm water and mild soap, that is often all that is needed. 

How to Clean Sterling silver Jewelry:

  1.  For heavy silver tarnish, I recommend first using a silver cleaning cloth. 

  2.  For Silver set with stones, avoid harsh silver cleaning solutions like Tarn-X. Instead, use a small amount of baking soda toothpaste, or baking soda mixed with white vinegar and gently rub it onto the silver with your fingers. Rinse and dry 

  3.  The best defense against silver tarnish is prevention! Store your silver jewelry in little plastic bags or toss one of those little silica packs that come in your vitamins in your jewelry box to absorb moisture and prevent tarnishing. 

  4.  Whatever you do, don't keep your silver jewelry in the bathroom! The   constant humidity will accelerate the tarnishing process!

What is Brass?​ 

Open Circle Brass Stud Earrings
Open Circle Brass Studs

Brass is an alloy (mix) of copper and zinc. 

Because of the copper content of brass, it can react with your skin and turn it green (sorry, but it's true!) The good news is that it's harmless and will easily wash off with soap and water. You can also use a jewelry shield coating to prevent this, or just remove your brass jewelry when you are doing any kind of sweaty activities.

Another unfortunate truth about brass is that it will tarnish eventually. No matter what they tell you, no matter how it is coated or waxed or whatever protection spell is placed upon it: it will tarnish.

But again, the good news is that it's relatively easy to clean.

Like all jewelry, warm soapy water is always the best place to start. If that doesn't do the trick, try these:

How to Clean Brass Jewelry:

  1. Mix juice from half a lemon with 1 tsp of salt and a cup of water. Submerge your brass piece and let it sit for several minutes. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

  2. Mix lemon juice or vinegar with salt to form a paste. Gently rub the paste into brass piece until tarnish is removed. Rinse and dry thoroughly with a soft cloth.

  3. Coat the brass piece in ketchup or Worcestershire sauce (really!). Let it sit several for minutes, then rinse and dry it completely with a soft cloth.

Whatever method you choose, be careful to dry your piece completely, as brass has a tendency to form water spots that can be difficult to remove.

A polishing cloth made for silver, or a light coating of olive oil or Renaissance Wax, will help preserve the shine. 

Have a jewelry care question I haven't answered here?

Send me a message and let me know!