At Indigo Willow®, we are proud to use the finest materials available in the creation of your keepsake jewelry. Below is an explanation of the materials we use. We hope you find this information educational and sincerely hope that it helps you to choose the jewelry best for your needs and budget. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us and we'll be happy to get back with you!
Sterling silver is a precious-metal alloy comprised of pure silver and copper. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper (hence the .925 marked you see on all sterling silver jewelry). Sterling silver requires very little maintenance over time, but will eventually tarnish if not worn regularly, or when exposed to a moist environment. We recommend purchasing a sterling silver cleaning cloth (available in our store by clicking here) along with your jewelry. We have found that these cleaning cloths are very effective for keeping sterling silver jewelry looking its best, while also extremely gentle on your precious breast milk stone.
Rhodium-plated Sterling Silver:
Rhodium-plated sterling silver is jewelry with a sterling silver base (see above), but it is plated with a high-grade rhodium. The rhodium plating is used to protect sterling silver jewerly from tarnish and give the jewelry a brighter, whiter appearance than sterling silver alone. Our rhodium-plated sterling silver jewelry includes our Celestial Dreams Breast Milk Ring, our Clair de Lune Breast Milk Ring, and our Celtic Fire Breast Milk Ring.
Rhodium-plated Solid14KT White Gold:
Rhodium-plating is used for white gold to give our white gold jewelry a brighter, whiter appearance, and protects our customers who may be sensitive to the small amount of nickel that may be present in our rhodium-plated white gold jewelry. Rhodium-plated white gold holds up very well over time and tarnishes very slowly (it may take years and years to ever see tarnish on gold jewelry), but rhodium does eventually wear off over the years, and may need to be replated if you enjoy the bright white color of rhodium-plating. Our Rhodium-plated Solid 14KT White Gold jewelry includes the Calypso Breast Milk Ring, the Inara Breast Milk Ring, and the Solid 14KT Gold Mother and Child(ren) Breast Milk Pendant.
Palladium-based Solid 14KT White Gold:
Our Palladium-based Solid 14KT White Gold is white gold made using palladium, a metal very close to platinum, as a base rather than the traditionally-used nickel. Our palladium-based jewelry is slightly darker than our rhodium-plated jewelry, as it is not plated with the whiter-colored rhodium, and is truly solid 14KT gold. Visually, most customers cannot tell a difference between the palladium-based and rhodium-plated white gold jewelry when looking at our palladium-based white gold, but when compared directly to a rhodium-plated white gold jewelry piece, the difference is noticeable. Palladium-based white gold will never need maintenance, as it is made using a metal very close to platinum, which does not oxidize, and there is no plating to wear off eventually. Jewelry from our Timeless Crown Collection™ has the option to choose Palladium-based Solid 14KT White Gold. Due to the palladium-base, this gold reacts differently to acid tests than nickel-based white gold jewelry, but is still the same quality and amount of gold as nickel-based white gold jewelry.
Solid 14KT Rose Gold:
Rose gold is made by mixing pure gold and copper to give rose gold the beautiful pinky-orange hue that you see with rose gold. Our rose gold jewelry holds up very well over time, is not plated with any other metals, and will maintain it's beatiful pinky glow throughout the years. Jewelry with a rose gold option include the Timeless Crown Collection™ pieces, the Solid 14KT Gold Mother and Child(ren) Breast Milk Pendant, the Inara Breast Milk Ring, and the Calypso Breast Milk Ring.
Solid 14KT Yellow Gold:
Our solid 14KT Yellow Gold is made with pure gold and a small amount of silver and copper. Like the rest of our gold jewelry, it holds up very well over time. Our Yellow Gold is not plated with any other metal, and will maintain it's beautiful yellow color over time. Jewelry with a yellow gold option include the Timeless Crown Collection™ pieces, the Solid 14KT Gold Mother and Child(ren) Breast Milk Pendant, the Inara Breast Milk Ring, the Solid 14KT Yellow Gold Tree of Life, and the Calypso Breast Milk Ring.
14KT Rose Gold-Filled and 14KT Yellow Gold-filled:
Two of pieces, the Orbiting Triple Ring Breast Milk Pendant and the Sunrise Meditation Breast Milk Ring, use gold-filled elements as part of their design. Our gold-filled jewelry is made using a brass base with a very thick layer of gold which is molecularly bonded to the brass. The layer of gold on gold-filled jewelry will not rub off, flake off, or tarnish, entirely due to this molecular bond, unlike the lower quality gold-plated jewelry. Gold-filled jewelry is legally mandated to contain at least 5% gold, and is just a step down from solid gold jewelry in terms of quality. It's great for people with allergies to certain metals.
Closely-related to palladium, platinum is a fine metal revered for its purity and anti-tarnish properties. It is widely regarded as the finest metal on earth, is nearly double the weight of gold, and is impervious to corrosion (tarnish). The only jewelry piece we currently offer in solid platinum is the Inara Breast Milk Ring, which has diamonds throughout.