Anyone who knows me knows that I am committed to quality. I have a belief in offering products that reflect my quality standards. You will not find any plated materials in my shop - in my opinion they are of inferior quality for a piercing, as the plating, whether that is silver plate, gold plate, rhodium plate, etc will quickly wear away, and expose the base metal beneath. Ever bought that pair of earrings in the sale section of your local department store? Remember how the shiny gold part wore away and became this black, ugly mess so soon after your purchase? That is because the earrings were plated. I have seen the same types of materials offered as nose jewelery and what I can tell you is that the outcome will be the same.
I work with sterling silver, 14 karat gold, and 14 karat gold fill to create my unique nose jewelery. Many people mistake gold fill for gold plate but it is not the same. 14 karat gold fill is an actual tube of gold that starts out hollow. The gold is then filled with another material, usually brass. The outside parts are gold. It is a high quality material that, with proper care, will wear the same way gold does.
Sterling silver will tarnish. If your piece begins to tarnish - as it will - it isn't ruined. All sterling silver tarnishes – it is called oxidization. It can be cleaned with a silver cleaner. I buy mine from the jewelry counter and simply dip the silver in there for a second and give it a rinse. It shines it right up. Be careful of stones though! Pearls will dissolve in it, as will turquoise.
I buy quality stones and crystals as well. Most of my stones are natural gemstones, but I also buy lab created gemstones. These are of the same quality but are less expensive as they are made by human hands, rather than the ravages of nature. The properties of the stone are the same but they are less highly prized and valued than their wild counterparts. In all cases, when my stones are lab created, the description I give will let you know that.
Another aspect of quality commitment is the care and attention I give to the creation of each piece, as well as the finishing work. Each piece is scrutinized before it is sent out to you and sometimes I put one into the melting pot because it doesn't reflect my quality standards. My pieces are handmade, and do look handmade, so they won't have the same exactness as things that are stamped from a mold or a press. I think this is part of their beauty - as I believe most of my customers do as well. We're tired of buying things that look the same as everyone else's - things with no heart, beauty, or soul. I bend each piece to the customer's specifications and carefully finish the end so there are no jagged edges. This requires the use of a cup burr added to my dremel tool, and a bit of fine grit sandpaper to get it nice and smooth.
Creating new and unique styles of nose studs and rings feeds my spirit. My commitment to quality begins even before I purchase my products to create with and doesn't end when the piece is in the box on it's way to the new owner. It extends much beyond that and encompasses all of the aspects of my little business; from production to customer service.