All finishes are made using an industrial grade electroplated finish with the exception of the natural brass ox, which is a natural ox finish on pure brass chain. As durable as our finishes are they are still susceptible to wear depending on the conditions that they are subject to. Some of the worst conditions are presented by lotions, perfumes or excessive sweat, all of which are acidic and will deteriorate the finish at an accelerated rate. Showering, swimming and other environmental factors will also affect how a finish wears. In addition to wear the other thing to keep in mind with any finish is its ability to tarnish. Obviously some finishes will tarnish more easily than others with the two most susceptible being silver and shiny copper. Protectants are applied to all of our finishes to help prevent or slow this process, but tarnishing may still happen. While we use a nickel base in most of our finishes, nickel-free versions are also available upon request. We also offer custom color matching for those customers where our standard finishes are not close enough. Below please find a brief description of all of our standard finishes available.
Gold is and will most likely be one of our most popular finishes. Our standard gold finish is approximately the color of 18k, or “Hamilton” gold, but other gold tones are available such as 14k for those that prefer a lighter gold color. Gold is applied at a thickness that ranges between 1-3 mils (millionths of an inch) and is considered to be one of the more durable finishes. While the 1-3 mils is sufficient for 99% of our customers we do have the ability to plate as thick as 100 mils for those customers that require it. We define our standard gold as “gold finish” and not “gold electroplated” in order to comply with the FTC guidelines which state that an item must contain at least 7 mils of gold to be defined as “gold electroplated”. For more information on this please see: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/guides/jewel-gd.shtm
This is a matted version of the gold finish described above.
This is an antiqued version of our standard gold finish. As with any antique finish variations should be expected and is part of what give the chain its antique look.
Our brass ox is pure brass chain or components that are naturally oxidized, relieved and lacquered to protect the finish. This produces a very rich, bronzy finish. As with any antique finish variations should be expected and is part of what give the chain its antique look.
Shiny copper can best be described as the look of a “new penny”. It is an electroplated copper finish, which is then lacquered to protect it. Shiny copper is a durable finish but is very susceptible to tarnishing under certain conditions.
This is an antiqued version of our standard shiny copper finish. As with any antique finish variations should be expected and is part of what give the chain its antique look.
Gunmetal, sometimes referred to as black nickel or hematite, is an electroplated finish. It has a shiny blackish-blue appearance and is extremely durable.
Matte black is an electroplated finish that almost has the appearance of a painted black chain with just a slight sheen.
Silver is another very popular finish that has the look of fine silver. It is an electroplated process where silver is applied at a thickness of approximately 40 mils (millionths of an inch). Silver is a durable finish but is very susceptible to tarnishing under certain conditions. Imitation rhodium is a good alternative to silver if tarnishing is a big concern.
This is just a matted version of the silver finish described above.
Rhodium is the most durable electroplate finish that we have, but is rarely used because of its high cost. The most popular use of rhodium would be on stainless steel or sterling silver to help increase a chains wear ability and tarnish resistance. A lower cost alternative to Rhodium would be “Palladium with a Rhodium Flash” or “Imitation Rhodium”
Imitation Rhodium is by far our most popular finish. It is an electroplated finish which is designed to look like real rhodium at a fraction of the cost. This finish is sometimes also referred to as “white” or “silver tone”. It is used in place of silver finish a lot because of its durability and resistance to tarnishing. It most closely resembles the color of a paper clip or chrome.
Our antique silver is an electroplated finish and is more accurately described as an antique imitation rhodium. We use imitation rhodium as the base to antique giving the chain the look of real antique silver, but with the durability of imitation rhodium. A “true” antique silver finish is also available upon request. . As with any antique finish variations should be expected and is part of what give the chain its antique look.
Fire dipping is a process where solid brass chains are “dipped” in a solution to remove any oxidants and discoloration that may be present. The end result is a more consistent golden brass color that can then be antiqued and/or lacquered to protect it. It is not advised that fire dipped brass be used without a protectant of some kind as it is a raw material. Because this finish is just enhancing the brass’ natural color there will still be variations because it is not an electroplated finish.
Vibing or “tubbing” as it is also known is a pre-plate process where the chain is burnished in a mass media finishing machine to help polish the chain to a shiny finish. This is also a very popular finish for stainless steel and copper chains that will not get electroplated.