No, Bridge jewelry isn’t jewelry in the shape of bridges. Bridge jewelry refers to jewelry made with sterling silver, pure copper and gold filled metals and semi-precious and other raw minerals. It is more desirable, less dangerous and healthier than costume jewelry made with plated metals…and here’s why.
Plated metals chip, peel and the plating wears off leaving an ugly dull finish, kind of like well circulated nickel. In fact, much of the plated jewelry out there contains nickel and/or cadmium. Lead is pretty much gone but the only people protected from nickel and cadmium poisoning are children…and not even in all states is that true.
Luckily most costume jewelry does not last long enough to hurt you, which…well frankly is not a very good selling point.
Next time you are buying handmade costume jewelry, ask the maker if it contains nickel or cadmium. If it’s store bought and comes from China...beware. There are plated materials out there that do not contain these chemical elements, you just need to be proactive and ask. If they don’t know I would err on the side of safety. There is a ton of information (including lawsuits) available on the internet, but here are a couple of examples:
“Cadmium is a known carcinogen, particularly when it is inhaled in a factory or other workplace. It also can cause serious problems with kidneys and bones, diseases that typically are caused by cadmium that has been ingested in contaminated food or tobacco. The exact risks to adults aren't clear because typically the metal takes long-term exposure to cause the diseases.
Children's jewelry has been of particular concern because kids bite and suck on jewelry - something far less common among adults. Microscopic amounts of cadmium also could be shed onto the hands, and then ingested either by eating or putting a contaminated finger to the mouth.”
"Our legal action sends a strong signal to industry that we will not stand by while they play toxic flavor of the month with jewelry," said Michael Green, the group's executive director.
"Cadmium is toxic at any age. There is no excuse for cadmium in any jewelry, and we intend to eliminate this health threat to women and children," he said.
Nickel is one of many carcinogenic metals known to be an environmental and occupational pollutant. The New York University School of Medicine warns that chronic exposure has been connected with increased risk of lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurological deficits, developmental deficits in childhood, and high blood pressure
So why the term Bridge? Because it is the bridge between costume jewelry and fine jewelry. Fine jewelry typically refers to pure gold, platinum and contains precious gemstones like rubies, diamonds, sapphires, etc.
There are times when jewelry made with silver and high quality gemstones can also be considered fine jewelry so it gets a little fuzzy at times.
One of the most positive attributes of Bridge jewelry is that you get a lot for your money. Pure metals don’t crack and peel. So, silver, copper and even 14/20 gold filled will give you a very luxurious and expensive look without spending thousands. It should also last a lifetime. Or more
The jewelry I make is Bridge jewelry. I use Fine silver, sterling silver 14/20 gold filled (not plated), and pure copper. The semi-precious gemstones I use are AA or AAA rated and I also use high quality moonstones, pearls, amethyst, peridot and more. The jaspers and agates I use are cut from raw slabs by lapidary artisans, not mass produced so there will never, ever be another one just like it. I make most of my findings (ear wires, jump rings, etc.) so I know what is in them. Occasionally I will use copper leverbacks which ae plated but contain no lead, nickel or cadmium. So, you see, there is no reason (other than it is cheap) to use those elements in making jewelry. It is worth it to me to spend a little more and be certain that I am not making my customers sick.
Take a look!
Filed Under: Fashion & Jewelry
,Health & Jewelry
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