Gold Vermeil and Silver
The silver components and Gold Vermeil beads Bijoux Rocks used is made by the Karen Hill Tribe People in northern Thailand using traditional tribal methods and also sourced from Bali. The Silver made in Thailand is only made in villages situated outside of the main cities by Hill Tribe families. Bali sterling silver like Hill Tribe Silver is revered because of its high silver purity content.
"Vermeil" is a French word and means silver gilt. Vermeil Gold is a combination of sterling silver, gold and other precious metals. Vermeil gold is created by coating sterling silver with a coat of gold usual 14 karat. Vermeil is the more expensive and luxurious version of typically gold plated jewellery as the underlying metal will always be Sterling Silver. The plating is also much thicker with Gold Vermeil than it is for gold plating.
At Bijoux Rocks we use Vermeil gold made of 24 Karat gold. The components made out of Vermeil Gold are a bright gold colour similar in colour to Indian Gold. One of the advantages of Gold Vermeil is that it does not tarnish easily and 24 K Gold plating does not wear away if you take care of your jewellery.
Gold Vermeil when combined with semi precious gemstones and sterling silver is a really striking contrast. We use Gold Vermeil produced by the Karen Hill Tribe in Thailand.
Karen Hill Tribe Silver
Our silver components, charms and beads are made by the Karen Hill Tribe People in northern Thailand using traditional tribal methods. The Hill Tribes in Thailand number around twenty tribes, including the Karen Hill Tribe. After melting down the silver with and pouring it into moulds, very small pieces are shaped by a long process of tapping.
Karen Hill Tribe Silver is between 99.5% and 99.9% pure silver and has a higher silver content than Sterling silver. The silver is a bright silver colour and sometimes an almost white silver in colour and satiny texture.
The pieces we use in the designs for Bijoux Rocks are individually handmade in small batches with little use of machinery. Some of the pieces we use are hand hammered and he silver is hammered and sculpted into shapes such as hearts, flowers, butterflies, dragonflies, shells, leaves.
Bali is part of a chain of Islands that form Indonesia. Like Thailand, there are certain communities that specialise in silversmithing and these silversmithing skills, techniques and knowledge are passed down from generation to generation.
Bali silver is cut into different shapes and sizes to form beads. The filigree type beads we use are created by cutting small holes into the sterling silver metal sheet and then formed into beads. Intricate designs are etched into the beads and you will often find some type of granulation i.e. dots used as part of the design.
Our Karen Hill Tribe and Bali silver components are crafted with high content silver ranging from 95% to 99.9% in purity.
The silver produced in Bali and Thailand is nearly pure silver which means it is softer and more malleable to work with and easier to form into intricate bead shapes and designs.
Sterling Silver is usually mixed with 7.5% copper alloy, which makes it stronger than pure silver and means that it is 92.5% pure. This means that Sterling Silver has the required durability, stability and hardness to cope with wear and tear and also hold its shape. Bijoux Rocks mainly use sterling silver for the main beads used in our bracelets and necklaces as the small percentage of Copper strengthens it.