Sterling Silver - Sterling silver items are made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or some other metal (or metals).
Silver Filled - Sterling silver-filled items are an alternative to fine and sterling silver components, with selections including beads, pendants, jump rings, ear wires and more. These pieces are manufactured with an outer layer of sterling silver (.925/20) over a copper-alloy core. The findings have additional silver plating for uniformity. Sterling silver-filled items are also usually finished with an anti-tarnish coating.
Gold Plated - Gold-plated and gold-finished items are simply products of a base metal wearing a coating of gold--the thickness of the gold coating determines what it legally can be called. Vermeil beads and findings are also gold-plated but, instead of being made of a base metal such as brass, they're formed out of sterling silver.
Gold Filled - Gold-filled items are basically gold "sandwiches." Imagine covering a slab of base metal (usually brass) with a gold-alloy spread. Then that "sandwich" is either rolled up or squeezed sideways through an opening to create an item of the desired thickness and shape. Gold-filled items are very durable and most people don't have allergic reactions to them. It's a way to gain the glories of gold at a lower price.
Brass - Brass is an alloy of copper and zinc that is popular for its durability. This bright metal, golden in color, offers the look of gold without the price and is often used as a base for gold-filled, gold-plated and gold-washed items.
Bronze - Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin used for tools and armor during the Bronze Age. It was highly popular in classical Greece and Rome for statuary, a tradition revived in the Italian Renaissance and still active today.
Copper - Copper was the first metal to be worked by human hands. Soft and very malleable, it is an element in and of itself (Cu), much like gold and silver. Copper is commonly used in alloys such as brass, bronze, sterling silver, rose gold and more. The metal displays a range of patinas, sometimes determined by the nature of the other metals in its alloy.
Pewter - Pewter is one of the oldest alloys in the history of metal working and has a long and noble history, from ancient Rome to the modern Academy Awards, where the world famous Oscar® statuette is cast from lead-free pewter.