sterling silver earrings
Silver earrings have become quite popular these days not only because other precious metals like gold have gone way up in price but also because of the range of styles available in sterling silver earrings.
From elegant vintage looks to contemporary Italian made two tone earrings with a touch of yellow gold, the availability of styles can be mind boggling.
Silver as a metal is just as versatile in gold when it comes to the range of textures and finishes that can be applied to this metal from the design phase through the casting phase and into the finishing phase.
This can be as simple as designing large scale silver heart earrings so they can be made hollow for weight considerations or as complicated as selectively applying a black rhodium finish on a pair of silver dangle earrings or silver chandelier earrings.
Oxidised or Antiqued Silver Earrings
Silver is a versatile precious metal that many designers take advantage of because it can be oxidized or antiqued fairly easily as is often done with 925 silver earrings.
Designers and manufacturers of jewelry use the fact that the tarnish on Silver is typically black and the process can be accelerated to give a vintage look to that particular sterling silver jewelry piece.
So you will see a lot of this type of silver jewelry in department stores because it can be done inexpensively. Because white gold is a noble metal, the easiest way to give white gold an oxidised look is to apply a coating of rhodium plating that is black in color.
In this way sterling Silver is a bargain, because vintage silver earring styles are widely available and the selection is awesome. Many designers like to work with styles that give a vintage look to jewelry because it makes these pieces time less and makes the sterling silver of the more expensive than it actually is.
Designer Silver Earrings in The Vintage Style
One such designer whose work you would see in virtually every department store fashion jewelry counter is Judith Jack.
Her range of vintage silver earring styles is truly astounding and quality looks great because this type of work is so easy to do in sterling silver.
Of course, all this jewelry comes from the far east which has a reputation for having sweatshops of underpaid labor doing this kind of work. This may or may not be true since popular designers of jewelry are particularly conscious of the types of companies that they outsource their work to.
Her use of marcasite in jewelry is great and stylistically fashion forward. She applies this look to various types of earrings including silver hoop earrings,silver stud earrings and silver drop earrings.
Popular Gemstones in Vintage and Antique Silver Earrings
Vintage looks in silver in this way are easily achieved by oxidizing the silver. Setting gemstones that you often find in vintage jewelry is another way of enhancing the antiqueness of sterling silver earrings.
Gemstones like Garnet and spinel were used extensively back in the late 1800s during the Victorian of design.
Small pearls known as Kashi were also used alongside marcasite and so when you see these pearls you know that the designer is trying to achieve a vintage looking piece.
Two Tone sterling Silver earrings
Many women like the look over touch of 14 karat or 18 karat gold on sterling silver earrings.
Often, they think plain silver is a bit boring and with a touch of gold it seems the earrings are more visible and stylish.
True, this will add a bit of cost to the earrings because gold is 100 times pricier than sterling Silver.
However, when used sparingly it doesn't increase the cost that much and the addition of this hue as a richness to the sterling silver earring.
You can see this in Judith Ripka's berge hoop earring collection where gold is applied twice to two spots on each earring like a piece of fabric wrapped around a tube.It is raised above the sterling silver and stands out even though there's not a lot of it. One can see how this earring is dramatically different if this earring did not have the gold applied to it.
Wear and Tear on Silver Earrings
You don't have to add a blob of gold totaling as much as half a gram to a piece to reap the benefits of two toned silver.
One can even apply a gold plating of a few microns that is hardly any goal that all but will still be durable for everyday wear of the earrings.
One of the nice things about earrings is that they don't get a lot of wear. Other items of jewelry that maintain contact with the skin and are exposed to banks and scrapes against other objects like rings and pendants are will definitely sustain scratches to that thin gold layer.
But earrings don't encounter this type of wear and can safely be plated with gold for a two toned look that will be lasting.
Fashion and Two Tone Sterling Silver
When you have a bit of gold added to your silver jewelry, it also allows a wider range of clothing to be worn with the jewelry.
The gold allows the Silver earring to be worn with warm colors as well as earth tones like orange, brown, green and other earth tones.
The sterling silver if it's rhodium plated matches up with cool colors. So you can wear these earrings with the blues, grays, purples and other cool colors.
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