Q. What is Sterling Silver?
A. Sterling Silver is composed of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of other metals and alloys, mainly copper. Sterling silver is also marked as silver 925.
Q. Why not make silver jewellery out of pure silver?
A. Just like pure gold (24 karat gold), pure silver is too soft to make intricate and durable jewelry. Adding copper to pure silver makes silver harder, which is better for jewelry. Sterling silver is the highest purity (92.5%) of silver that still allows adequate hardness and metallic qualities for fine jewelry.
Q. Why does silver tarnish?
A. Silver jewelry tarnishes over time due to oxidization. Acids in the human body, fluids, humidity and exposure to strong direct light can accelerate the oxidation process. However tarnishing can be prevented through proper care. Though silver jewelry tarnishes, it is very easy to be cleaned up by simply polishing with a polishing cloth or dip in a special liquid cleaner for silver. Please see our Jewelry Care section for more details.
Q. Why use rhodium plating on jewellery?
A. Rhodium is a precious metal, a member of the platinum family. Rhodium electroplating is used on jewelry, especially on silver or white gold, to provide a surface that will resist scratches and tarnish, and give a white, reflective appearance.
Q. How to oxidize silver?
A. Some silver jewelry looks beautiful with a dark finish, such as Native design pieces with deep carvings. You can use tellurium dioxide and hydrochloric acid 1% or dip in polysulphide solution to create a more deep and sophisticated look. We also offer this service in our store for $4-15 depending on the piece. Some customers oxidize their finish by putting silver jewelry in a plastic bag with something that gives off sulphur like a boiled egg. You can try it for fun but be aware that the blackening can be permanent.
Q. What is Native Works
A. Native artworks usually refer to artworks done by aboriginal people which is quite different from mainstream art. In the North American continent, native works (also frequently called Native Indian or Aboriginal works) include American Native Indian artworks - a South Western style associated with silver jewelry, painting and pottery, and Canadian West Cost artist hand carving works in wood, metals or stones. This website mainly features Canadian Native Works and American Native Works in silver, gold, copper and other precious materials.
Q. What are Custom Orders?
A. Custom Orders are designed and made specially for you, according to your request. These include Canadian Native artist works and some Gemstone designer's line. Customers can order their favorite symbols, styles, materials and sizes. Simply fill the Custom Design Inquiry form, and we will reply you within 48 hours. Most custom jewelry takes 3 to 8 weeks to complete. Some pieces can require up to 12 weeks depending on complexity of the piece and availability of the artist. There is no extra charge for custom orders. However, price is subject to change due to the market price of precious metals and workmanship from different artists.
Q. What other services for in-store purchase?
A. Our jeweller has over 25 years of experience working with silver, gold and other precious metals for jewelry repair and custom made jewelry. Repair services include ring sizing, soldering, stone setting, and buffing. Please bring your pieces to our store for a more accurate estimation. We also offer hand engraving on our merchandize, such as a short message on the back or inside of the jewelry. Engraving fee is $15 for 15 letters maximum. Other services we offer are free gift wrapping in all seasons, and lots of smiles and care for our customers!