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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?

Turquoise Mosaic Earrings Betina Roza

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 a minuscule layer of solid gold 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. ​

Most Betina Roza Gold-filled items are 14kt gold-filled. 14k Gold-filled products are identified as 14/20 Gold-filled or 14kt Gold-Filled.

One of the pro’s of Gold filled jewelry (other than the obvious-it looks just like solid gold!) is that 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, it will last you a very long time. 

However, from time to time your jewelry may become dirty from everyday wear. To clean gold-filled it is best to use mild soap and water. Let it soak for several minutes, the dry with a soft cloth. 

You can shower, you can surf, you can play racquet ball… you can sleep in it. 

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 then oh so pretty!

What is Sterling silver? 

Double Silver Hoops Betina Roza

You might be surprised to admit that you don’t know what exactly Sterling silver is! That’s ok, I really didn’t either until a surprisingly short time ago. 

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by copper.

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. 

Silver does tarnish over time, but can easily be cleaned with a silver polishing cloth. Warm water and soap are often all that is needed. Avoid exposing your silver to household chemicals when cleaning with bleach or ammonia, or when swimming in chlorinated water, as these chemicals can damage silver.

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 ;)

What is Brass? 

Radiance brass sun necklace

Brass is an alloy 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 simply 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 mater 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 due the trick, try these:

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

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

  • Coat brass piece in ketchup or Worcestershire sauce. Let sit several minutes, rinse and dry 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.