All of our silver settings are made from solid USA grade sterling silver (stamped .925). The sterling silver we purchase is AAA grade, meaning it polishes and shines brighter than typical sterling silver. We only use 100% solid-cast sterling silver.
All of our gold settings are solid USA grade 10k gold (stamped 10k). The 10k gold we purchase is AAA grade which is brighter, strong and durable for a lifetime of wear. We only use 100% solid-cast 10k gold. It is not (and never will be) gold plated.
Our Casting Manager, Jeff Taylor, molding and casting our customers pendant/earring designs in sterling silver:
For information regarding the regulations governing precious metals in the USA: In Vogue Jewelry
For current precious metal prices in the USA: Gold Price
Be afraid...be very afraid...of anything "plated". The base is always cheap metal and the plating will wear off quickly. We apologize, but for this reason we do not offer black plated designs.
There is no such thing as "black gold". A good article on "black gold" can be found here: Black Gold: Fact vs Fiction
Additional metal cost factors to consider:
The more metal used – the higher the price. Thin metal designs cost less than thick metal designs. We created thicker metal designs so the piece will last. This is very important when casting sterling silver, as it is soft and pliable, therefore will bend easy. Our settings are cast as one piece - not spot-soldered strips of metal.
The type of metal used - .925 sterling silver is more affordable than gold, especially with the continued volatility of the gold markets; however, sterling silver is much more pliable than gold, therefore, more care needs to be taken when wearing the design.
What about 14k or 18k gold? Of course we would be happy to give you a quote on that if you would like it, but we found that 10k does the job nicely, is the hardest of the gold metals, without the additional expense, so that is what we stock.
We have the solution for you! We can cast your design in 14k White Palladium, which contains zero nickel. Please be advised that 14k Palladium is more expensive than Gold. We are sorry, but we are unable to offer surgical or stainless steel as an option.