When I first started my jewelry business way back in the early 2000s I worked in Sterling Silver and 14k Gold fill only. It wasn't until I took metalsmith classes (2008-09) that I got the chance to work in Brass and Copper and quickly fell in love with the textures and patinas I could get from these two metals.
It wasn't long before Brass and Copper took center stage in my designs- with a helping-hand from the 2008 recession when silver and gold prices skyrocketed, making handcrafted jewelry in silver and gold unaffordable for many people. Working in lower priced metals allowed me to keep creating and experimenting, while also being able to offer handmade and one-of-a-kind jewelry to my client base.
I've had years of enjoyment working in Brass and Copper, but in the last few years I've had more and more and MORE of you asking for Sterling Silver and Gold options- often asking if I could remake a similar design I created in Brass/Copper into Sterling or Gold instead. Of course, I've been happy to make that switch!
As much as I love working in Brass, it's a very hard metal and over these years has taken a toll on my hands- not to mention the issue of toxicity while in fabrication (ie- sanding, sawing, heating, soldering, etc...). I've come to a point in my life where I've started to look to the future of my work and the longevity of being physically able to continue to create in my medium. The conclusion, after much debate has been to phase out Brass from my studio and designs, and to turn my focus on working in the precious metals of Sterling Silver and 14k Gold-fill. We'll keep Copper around since it's a softer, kinder metal to work in, but I'll be reducing the amount of items I make in it at this time.
I've been LOVING working in silver and gold again, and it looks like you are too!
Here's what you need to know about the future of Brass and Copper:
Brass will be phased out SLOWLY. You'll still see some new designs in Brass popping up in my collections, but as my brass supplies run low they will not be reordered.
I'm phasing Brass out of my studio due to higher demands for sterling and gold-fill options, and because of the wear and tear on on my hands from it's hardness.
I'll still work with you to repair your Brass Elements, Brass Hammered Hoops or Brass Sticks & Stones jewelry on a case by case basis. This goes for making a mate for a lost earring as well- just reach out to me if you need a repair, adjustment, or replacement.
You'll see some older Brass designs (and a few Copper) discontinued and marked down in our new SALE section.
We'll be keeping Copper options around for now, but will reduce the amount of jewelry made in it.
What to know about Gold-fill jewelry:
There has been a higher demand for Sterling + Gold fill jewelry options and I'm thrilled to answer your call! You're already seeing more options in these precious metals in my current collections.
We love Gold-fill jewelry because it's a great price alternative to solid gold, along with excellent quality- miles ahead of gold plated metals.
Gold-fill jewelry contains 100x more gold alloy than gold-plated. Because of this the coating is thicker and your gold-fill jewelry will last longer, resisting wear and tear better than gold-plated. *I have gold-fill earrings over 20 years old that are still in excellent condition after years of heavy wear!
If you have a metal sensitivity like I do, Gold-fill is usually a safe option for people like us! Unless you are one of the rare individuals with a reaction to gold (yes even solid), Gold-fill won't irritate your piercings or skin like plated and base-metal does.
More resistant to tarnishing, Gold-fill jewelry retains is luster and shine without needing to be polished on a regular basis. When you do want to shine them up a little, a soft polishing cloth is all you need.
* I'm a big fan of gold-fill jewelry myself, but as I look even further into the future of my craft I hope to work in solid gold at some point as well. With that in mind, if you see one of my designs that you'd prefer in solid Gold over Gold-fill, feel free to reach out to see if I can make it!
Now that you know more about Gold-fill jewelry and the future of Brass in Christina Holland Designs jewelry, do you have any questions? Feel free to leave a comment below and I'll be back to answer them.