What! The truth is…! The battle between silver and electroplated alloy jewelry

by mittag jewelry

Many guests asked us when buying products...

"Is this earring really sterling silver? I am very susceptible to allergies, so I have to buy sterling silver earrings!"

"I heard that silver jewelry is difficult to maintain, and the alloy jewelry is relatively simple!"

Whenever I heard, I would patiently explain to the guests, these ideas are biased; since there are so many people curious, we’d like share some ideas.

Allergies applies to all body different parts

Many people think that they are allergic to alloy, so pay special attention to whether it is sterling silver when buying "earrings".
In fact, this is an incorrect concept, you should pay attention to “all accessories” If you are allergic, whether it is pure silver (or pure gold, pure white gold, pure titanium, etc.). The difference is that other body parts allergic are easily considered to be other reasons; moreover, pay attention to whether its contents contain nickel, chromium, cobalt and other metal components that are allergic or even carcinogenic.
My younger brother was once having abdominal itching, thought it was eczema and asked for a dermatologist. Unexpectedly, the diagnosis was actually skin allergies, and the culprit was a metal belt buckle. My younger brother has this situation for three years, but we thought it was because the pants were tight so made waist eczema! In addition, when you are choosing any metal accessories, such as glasses, you should pay more attention to the choice of metal materials. 

Pure silver vs. alloy plating jewelry maintenance method comparisons

Many people think that it is difficult to maintain the brightness of sterling silver jewelry because it will oxidize and blacken! It is better to buy alloy plating jewelry for better maintenance! We believe that this is really necessary to clarify...
In fact, all the jewelry needed to be "wiped" after wearing. But the only difference is that the purpose of wiping. The wiping of silver is only to avoid the oxidation of sulfur in the air, and this oxide (silver sulfide) does not cause physical allergies, but it is an aesthetic problem. (In our other article, "What if the silver jewelry is oxidized?" is clearly written in the article, and will not be repeated here.) Moreover, according to the experiences, unless the natural body has a high sulfur content or living in the seaside, hot spring area. If you wear it for a long time, you don't even need to wipe it, because the body's oil will protect the silver jewelry from oxidation. As shown in the figure below, this is the ultimate test done to deliberately immerse in the hot springs. You see that the entire bracelet and ring are vulcanized in the same black color just after the first day taking hot springs. After wearing them, they will be returned to silver state in about 3~4 weeks. (please note that if it is not directly contact with the skin, such as the groove of the ring below, it will remain vulcanized). Through this practical experiment, we like to share a concept, if you expect not to wear it for more than 2 weeks, just use a neutral detergent and rinse with water and wipe it with a dry cotton cloth. Put it in a zipper bag and store it.

 

 

On the other hand, the reason why the alloy plating jewelry needs to be wiped is to prevent the acidic sweat from corroding the plating layer, causing the plating layer to become thin and the underlying metal to be exposed to cause skin irritation, redness and even ulceration. Therefore, the alloy plating jewelry is “had to be wiped”. And it has a more contradiction, that is, "cannot wipe" too many times, because of too many wiping times causing plating become too thin, and once the plating layer is thinned or scratched, the plating layer will be broken and the underlying metal will be exposed. Moreover, you may know that the thickness of a hair is about 0.08mm, but you must know that the plating layer of the jewelry is often only 1/3 of the thickness of the hair. If it is to achieve 0.1~0.25mm thickness, the cost will not be affordable! Therefore, is plating jewelry really easier to maintain than silver?
Moreover, although the electroplating process is not a rare method, you need to understand the fact that cheap industrial plating (there will be other heavy metal residues) using a plating solution costs US$1~1.6, but a very basic professional jewelry plating costs US$10~13 for a product (even US$5~6.6 for electroplating copper)!
 

True "silver" has its preservation characteristics

In the trading of precious metals market, it is nothing more than gold, silver, platinum, palladium, which are directly related to the international currency situation! This means that they cannot be incited – they represent money (value)! Therefore, in addition to its beautiful functions, the sterling silver jewelry you wear can maintain its basic value for you! But, the alloy plating jewelry can only be the fate of being discarded!
Remember the TV series where the gold ornaments were taken to the mortgage because of lacking money? In the past few years, booming many precious metals recycling shops in the market. That is because the precious metal can be continuously reused without damaging its composition after being melted at a high temperature of about a thousand degrees. It is far worthy collecting from the alloy and electroplating products.

A word of "fast" fashion, it’s at the expense of our environment

When it comes to fashion, that the country France and Italy have their absolute leading position; when it comes to taste, Britain is also a country that cannot be screened out. But I once noticed an interesting phenomenon when studying in Europe. In these countries, whether it is the white-collar director, or the elder couple who moved to the countryside after retirement, or the female student who just entered the university majoring in music, or younger male who found the first professional job in life... They all have a common point of fashion, that is, with a "rational taste!" They don't want many fancy things, but pursue exquisite! In those boutiques that are well-established and readily available, and world-class brands that are "locally local", it is reasonable to have a cloakroom in everyone's home! In fact, the result of my personal "market observing" is just the opposite. Instead, they pay attention to whether the timing of buying a boutique can combine with their memorable moments in life, because the "cherished feeling" from the combination of the two is more valuable than the goods themselves.

On the other hand, the "fast" fashion is now popular, but the products you buy are with very short life! Paid a few hundred bucks, and use only 2, 3 months! But do you know, those fast fashion accessories are for the purpose of cheap, good looking and shining, and the process of electroplating that is must be done to avoid allergy. It is highly polluted environment! However, in front of consumers, they use “anti-allergic” coatings to beautify the facts; in addition, because the quality of the goods is rough workmanship, the service life is bound to be very short! This has produced countless rubbish over the years! It’s "fast" fashion speed, but it hurts  our cherished environment!

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