Frequently Asked Questions
Silver with 14K Gold Overlay (SS/14K)
Our SS/14K quality mark denotes an EL precious metal laminate first fabricated at Ed’s request over 35 years ago. A 14K sheet is bonded to a sterling sheet, then rolled or formed into flat sheet, wire or tube.
This special metal ranges from 10-34% 14K by weight. It has served our customers exceedingly well for over a third of a century. Our SS/14K laminate should not be confused with vermeil or gold-filled.
Vermeil is a thin electroplating, measured in microns, each only 4 millionths of an inch thick and virtually un-measurable as a percentage of the metal’s weight. Gold-filled is a process by which a layer of at least 10k gold has been mechanically bonded to a base metal.
Laminating (our SS/14K) and electroplating (vermeil) have nothing in common in regards to process, wear, quality or cost.
White Gold Color Variation
Gold comes in a variety of colors and can be quite different from piece to piece, depending on the alloys used - even the same karat. Although we try to be consistent with the metal colors we use, the color of our white gold fabricated pieces will differ slightly from our white gold cast pieces.
Some E.L.D. designs are “patinated”, meaning they have been given a patina achieved through Oxidation.
Precious metals have always been valued partially because they resist oxidation. However, when they are alloyed to alter their color and strength, they can be affected by oxides to darken their surface. The result is sometimes desirable for a subtle antiquing patina or strong contrast on the bright reflective metal.
Historically, jewelers have always used a variety of methods to darken precious alloys. Although the term ‘oxidation’ is universally used for this process, jewelers use sulphides and other chemicals to achieve aesthetic ‘coloring’.
Since only the surface of the metal is altered, the oxidation is subject to wear, depending on many factors. Although surfaces can always be re-oxidized, you should explain the pros and cons of oxidation to your customers. For instance, chemicals, time, and lifestyle can damage or remove oxidation.
NOTE: Gold is far more resistant to oxidation than sterling, and so its oxidized color is more difficult to maintain, especially if it is not in recessed areas. There is a minimal charge to re-oxidize a piece of jewelry. Due to its density, platinum resists oxidation. We do not oxidize platinum.
For sterling silver we recommend using Connoisseurs Dazzle Drops Silver Jewelry Cleaner. To use the Dazzle Drops, simply wet the cleansing brush, place a small amount of Silver Cleansing Formula onto the jewelry, brush and then rinse the silver thoroughly in warm water and carefully dry. This will remove any discoloration and tarnish.
For our patinated sterling silver and 14k gold pieces we ask special consideration to avoid the use of cleaners as they will remove the charcoal finish. For these pieces a damp, non- abrasive, chemical free cloth is all you need.
Gold requires a little less maintenance and can easily be cleaned with warm water and a couple drops of dish cleaner such as Dawn. For touch up cleaning we recommend a Connoisseurs polishing cloth which can be purchased for either gold or silver.
Chlorine and bleach often found in household cleaners, swimming pools and hot tubs should be avoided as they are harmful to precious metals, gemstones and will accelerate tarnishing.
Repair and Refurbish
We offer polishing, repair, and refurbish services for any jewelry manufactured by E.L.Designs. Depending on the condition and service there could be a nominal fee. If you wish to have your jewelry cleaned and polished by us please call 1-800-828-1122 with your inquiry.
Allow 14 business days for repair processing.
We can mate most earrings, even some of the oldest of designs, with the exception of designs requiring materials we no longer have on hand. Handcrafted jewelry will have some variation from piece to piece, so we recommend that you send us the original earring to use as a match for the piece we are creating. We will reshape and polish the original to match its new mate. Current design mates are priced at 1/2 of a full pair. For mates of designs not pictured in this catalog, please request a price.
Earwires, EA082 and EA083
Bent or broken earwires on EA082 and EA083 can be avoided with proper care. If the entire earring (not the earwire), is always gently opened in the direction that it springs, it will give a lifetime of joy. Upon request, we will provide a simple instruction sheet on the care and function of these earrings.
Cracks or breaks from metal-stress are caused by repeated opening and closing of cuffs, and are generally impossible to repair. This problem can be prevented by educating your customers on how to properly put on a cuff: slip the cuff opening over the side of the wrist, rather than the top, starting at the soft spot about two inches from the wrist, and roll it on. Most of our cuffs are available in small, medium and large. Our stock cuff size is medium, which is appropriate for most wrists from 6 1/2” to 7 1/2”.
Important Words About Retail Prices
Although we thoroughly review the contents of this website, mistakes are still possible. We cannot be responsible for typographical errors.
We are not a custom jeweler. We create and repair only EL designs. Additionally, we will not set “your” stone in our designs or engrave.
Note: Designs shown in this website are not actual size. Variations of a design, not offered in this website, are considered special orders and are not returnable. Please discuss your needs with our We care team.
Need more help?
Call us toll-free at 800-828-1122. We are available Monday through Friday, from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm eastern time.
Email us at Wecare@eldesigns.com any time and we will get back to you during normal business hours.