What is the difference between brushed (matte) and high polish (shiny) finish?
The matte finish we use is a brushed finish. We use a tool that leaves small lines creating a dull finish instead of shiny. It is a beautiful finish. Contrary to popular belief it does not necessarily hide scratches better. I know right?! It sounds like it might. The problem is most scratches come from something metal (like a door knob or a railing) the metal burnishes (otherwise known as polishing) that one spot and leaves a shiny spot on the ring. After a few months of wearing the ring the finish evens out to a pleasant patina. Those first scratches are the hardest!
A high polished finish is one where the metal is polished until it is reflective and shiny. It is the finish you expect to see on classic wedding rings. This finish does scratch too (all precious metals scratch and dent) but you are less apt to notice it because it is already polished. Much like the matte finish the high polish finish gets a beautiful patina from wearing it every day.
Why does sterling sometimes make my finger turn green?
There are several different types of silver used in jewelry making. We use .925 silver, which is 92.5% pure silver alloyed with other metals, mostly copper. The other metals provide strength and durability to the sterling piece. We feel that .925 silver is the best known and most durable metal for our silver pieces.
When exposed to atmospheric pollution, sterling silver tarnishes. If you live in a particularly polluted area with a lot of industry or the burning of fossil fuels, your silver will tarnish faster. In addition, the copper in sterling silver reacts with oxygen to cause tarnish. Your skin oils and your food intake can cause tarnishing, too. Most people will find that their sterling pieces are less likely to tarnish when worn every day because the friction of the jewelry against your skin essentially polishes it.
Sometimes people’s fingers turn green when they wear silver jewelry. Contrary to myth, this happens with .925 sterling silver as well as “fake” silver. The copper in sterling silver can cause a reaction depending on your particular skin make-up, the foods you eat, and air quality where you live. This happens with 2-3% of the population, and the instances of it happening are rising due to the chemical composition of the foods available to us. If your finger turns green while wearing a sterling silver ring, there are several things you can do to keep it from happening again.
First, polish your piece with a soft cloth. If you clean the piece daily, the reaction may stop happening after a week or so.
Soak your ring in a 50/50 mixture of ammonia and water for a day or two.
Make sure your skin is dry when wearing your jewelry. Take your ring off before you wash your hands and dry your finger thoroughly before putting it back on.
If your finger still turns green, there are a few jeweler’s tricks we can employ to help keep it from happening. Please contact us.